Pfister Hotel – HauntedHouses.com


Paranormal Overview

• Sometimes it is hard to let go of a labor of love, even after having no physical body.

Pfister Hotel has always been about hospitality and caring about their guests!

The following sweet dreams prayer is left with a chocolate on their guests’ pillows:…

Pfister Hotel – HauntedHouses.com



424 East Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202


This glorious, 100 year old, high-end luxury hotel can be found on the corner of East Wisconsin Avenue and North Milwaukee St. in downtown Milwaukee, about two city blocks from the 794 FWY, and three blocks from the shores of Lake Michigan.


Pfister Hotel has always been about hospitality and caring about their guests!

The following sweet dreams prayer is left with a chocolate on their guests’ pillows:

“Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a moneymaking organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof. May the business that brought you our way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy. May this room and hotel be your “second home.”

Guido and Charles Pfister would be very pleased with not only this philosophy and sentiment, but also would be very happy that the living have taken such good care of their labor of love, The Pfister Hotel, which is still a “People’s Palace.”

Guido Pfister, a German Immigrant who had made his fortune as a tanner, becoming a leader of the community, was the man who had the vision to create this “People’s Palace.” Guido and his son, Charles shared the vision of providing an elegant hotel where the lobby could be the grand living room, a gathering place of all of the people of Milwaukee, as well as a hotel which would show hospitality and service of no matter their social status.

While Guido died in 1889, one year before construction started, his son Charles went forward with the plan with enthusiasm, being faithful to the architect’s blue prints for the hotel, finishing it in 1893, at the cost of 1.5 million dollars.

In 1893,The Pfister Hotel was indeed like a Palace, being an 8 story, creamy limestone/gray limestone structure with Romanesque Renewal architecture on the outside, made complete with impressive granite columns, terra cotta decorum, and what is described as “towering bay windows.”

The three story Lobby made a simply glorious living room, described as being “lush and opulent,” whose elegance is made complete with royal touches of gold gilding, grand marble staircases, which have bronze lions greeting people, paintings and of course the crowning jewel; the impressive Tiepoloesque ceiling fresco. Throughout the years following, Charles shared his art collection with their guests, hanging his works of art in the hallways, and lobby area

The lounge located in the lobby was designed to be a French hunting lodge, with a cherub-adorned fireplace, offering stuffed chairs and tables for visitors to sit down and relax.

The Pfister Hotel offered conveniences and services within its walls, including restaurants, a barber shop, hair salon, drug store with soda fountains and a men’s lounge and ladies lounge. The glorious ballroom has seen many grand affairs, beginning with a dinner for President William McKinley and his cabinet.

Today, there are restaurants which serve top cuisine and other services as well, such a clothing store. The hotel still hosts special events like weddings and receptions.

The original 200 rooms were built with high ceilings and decorated with 19th century decorations. The Hotel had its own source of electricity, provided by generators, individual room heating controls.

In 1965, a 23 story, tower addition, which provided another 176 rooms was built, with a parking garage. This addition was seamlessly added onto the old building. It was renovated recently. Rooms feature “English Regency furniture, over-sized wooden beds with post headboards, swag drapes framing by windows, and red and white marble bathrooms, to name some of the rooms’ decorations.

Along with every day people, The Pfister Hotel has welcomed many presidents, prime ministers, princes, sports stars and big-name entertainers as guests.

Tom and I visited the lobby of The Pfister Hotel during the summer of 2007. We were greeted by four friendly young gentlemen, hired to help visitors and guests. WOW! What an impressive lobby, which is glorious and regal in its nature, and gives off a friendly welcoming atmosphere.


I get the sense that Charles Pfister took what was his father’s dream to heart and worked hard to run a hotel which not only was beautiful and elegant, but prided itself in offering terrific service in taking care of its guests.

When Charles died, it seems that he decided to stick around and continue to monitor the staff and make sure his guests were well-treated, not quite trusting the living to carry on.


The friendly, gentle entity of Charles Pfister keeps a friendly yet watchful eye on the living, making sure his guests are taken care of by the staff of the hotel.

Guests and staff have spied the entity of this good-natured, portly gent standing on the hotel’s grand staircase, observing the lobby, watching the living go about their business at hand.

His apparition has also been seen strolling along the Minstrel’s Gallery above the ballroom.

His spirit has also been seen on the 9th floor.

Animal entities of dogs have been heard frolicking in the hallways.


Yes Indeed!


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The National Directory
by Dennis William Hauck
pg. 458
Penguin Books