Remember back in the day, back when folks weren’t carrying high-definition cameras and video cameras in their pockets, when supposed real-life “hauntings” involved flying beds, bleeding walls, demonic voices, and shit more or less hitting the fan? Isn’t it odd that these days, when folks do carry high-definition cameras and video cameras in their pockets, “hauntings” only seem to involve quiet noises and flecks of dust drifting by the camera. Huh!
But that’s neither here nor there. With Halloween just around the corner, we’ve rounded up and ranked seven videos featuring one of Milwaukee’s most “haunted” places, the Pfister Hotel. As you’ve probably heard from countless visiting athletes and celebrities (not to mention countless locals), the Pfister is supposedly haunted by the ghost of its original owner, Charles Pfister, and/or an ill-fated bride who was pushed down an elevator shaft or whatever. Either that or it’s just an old hotel.
And yes, the following videos involve Miley Cyrus and former Blossom heartthrob Joey Lawrence.
7. Pfister Hotel Ghost? – Feb 2014
Remember that part in the original Ghostbusters, when Venkman inspects a “supernatural” stack of books? “You’re right,” he says, “no human being would stack books like this.” Anyway, here’s a video—uploaded by milwaukeeghosts.com founder Allison Jornlin—where an automatic door opens and closes. (“Dude, dude, seriously! No, they’re automatic. They’re auto…holy crap!”) No automatic door system could open and close doors like this.
6. Miley talking about the chocolates at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee
Back in 2009, Miley Cyrus was wholesome, sweater-clad, and decidedly un-zany—and decidedly uninterested in talking about the Pfister’s status as a haunted hotel. In this clip, WMYX’s Kidd O’Shea and Elizabeth Kay try their damnedest to goad Cyrus into spilling the beans about ghosts or whatever; instead, the singer goes on and on about the hotel’s high-quality chocolate (“fudge chocolate”).
5. Countess Bathory at the Pfister Hotel
This tongue-in-cheek video features actress (and Mortal Combat motion-capture artist!) Lorrisa Julianus giving a quick tour of the Pfister, in character as real-life Hungarian serial killer Countess Bathory. Bonus points for the cheeky humor and Svengoolie-level accent, negative points for describing Milwaukee as “the home to my famous protégé, Mr. Dahmer.”
4. Baseball Players Open Up About Haunted Hotel
The Pfister’s haunted reputation is legendary in Major League Baseball circles, as summed up by this Associated Press video from 2009. Highlights include then-Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Mike Cameron describing his wife’s feelings about the hotel (“My wife, she didn’t like it. She felt…she’s real big on all that extraterrestrial creepy stuff like that,”) then-Minnesota Twins center fielder Carlos Gomez bringing along “extra protection”—a.k.a. a Bible—for his visits, and then-Pfister GM Joe Kurth talking about the “ghost” of Charles Pfister (“The ghost is described as a portly gentlemen with a smile, here to make sure that his brand of hospitality still exists within the hotel today.”)
3. MLB Player says he saw ghost in his room at the Pfister
Centered around Los Angeles Angels first baseman Ji-Man Choi’s recent thoughts on the Pfister ghost (“I hope it’s a girl!”), this TMJ4 video gets extra spooky bonus points for the involvement of reporter and weekend meteorologist Scott Steele; Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee founder Noah Leigh; those autograph hounds who literally do haunt the Pfister; a “ghost-detector app”; and Mayor Tom Barrett, who uses the opportunity to talk trash about Choi (“I think he should concentrate more on his hitting than ghosts. […] He may be seeing ghosts, but he’s certainly not seeing the fastball or the curveball.”)
2. Live at Pfister Hotel – Door chain moving on its own? RE: Podcast EP 16: Live at Pfister Hotel
What has the folks from Chicago’s Supernatural Occurrence Studies podcast quivering in fear in this terrifying video? A spectral sighting? The aforementioned flying beds, bleeding walls, and demonic voices? Nope, just a dangling door chain doing what dangling things tend to do: barely swinging back and forth. “It’s weird, right?” Not really!
1. Joey Lawrence’s Pfister Hotel Ghost Story!
Whoa! Back in 2006, Joey Lawrence found himself staying at the Pfister during a national tour of Dancing With The Stars. In the middle of the night, the onetime Blossom star was awoken by the sounds and lights from one of his daughter’s toys—clearly the work of the restless undead. In this recent Hollywood Today Live clip, Lawrence recounts the spooky encounter (“The thing was in the doorway!”), and engages in this delightful back-and-forth with co-host Amanda Salas, which handily puts this clip at the top of the heap:
Salas: “What is the name of this hotel again?”
Lawrence: “The Pfister Hotel.”
Salas: “And where is it?”
Lawrence: “It’s in Milwau…Cleveland? Yeah.”
Jump ahead to 0:50 to hear David Letterman say “Pfister.”