It's Halloween season, so here's a reminder that The Rave is haunted as hell
Shaker's Cigar Bar in Walker's Point. Both Schroeder and Humphrey Hall on Marquette's campus. The Pfister Hotel. There's no lack of supposedly haunted locales in Milwaukee. But ask any musician, and they'll tell you that the creepiest place in the Cream City is undoubtedly The Rave, which is rumored to be haunted by much more than just millennials.
Built in 1927, The Rave has supposedly picked up several displeased spirits over its 90 years of operation – whether it was the home to the Fraternal Order of the Eagles (who, fun fact, were leading advocates for creating a national Mothers Day), a men's shelter or the musical club it is now.
The locked-away (but not particularly WELL locked-away) swimming pool area is the most infamous paranormal place in the venue, supposedly haunted by the ghost of a little girl – or, in some cases, a whole mess of children – who drowned long ago in the pool.
But those are far from the only specters spooking visiting singers. Some say they've been haunted by the ghouls of former employees – one named Jack, another who's the cruel former overseer (there's even a video of the former supposedly telling a group of ghost hunters, "Get out," if you're the kind of person who believes in low-quality YouTube haunting videos).
Some say it's merely bad vibes creeping in from across the street, where Jeffrey Dahmer's hotel of horrors once stood. Some say it's Buddy Holly (really) who kicked off his final tour, the Winter Dance Party in 1959, at The Rave before dying in a plane crash just a few weeks later – though we'd like to imagine the ghost of Buddy Holly would be more fun than freaky.
No matter the case, however, bands upon bands leave The Rave with stories of being spooked by lights and showers turning on and off for no reason, the sounds – and sometimes even sights – of unknown children playing or crying, and other paranormal pests.
Recently, one label – Tooth and Nail Records, the Washington-based Christian rock outfit – assembled several of its bands together to share their particular spooky experiences at The Rave. Named by many of them as the creepiest place they've played, The Rave takes up an entire episode of its podcast, "Labeled," fittingly titled, "Milwaukee Madness: The Rave in Milwaukee is the Scariest Club in America."
Have a listen (maybe with the lights on), have a happy Halloween and maybe have a proton pack on standby next time you head to a concert at The Rave.
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