Pfister Hotel

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



“The Pfister Hotel is Milwaukee’s only 4 Star full service hotel with Luxury Accommodations.”

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.”

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.

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.

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 offers 307 “lavishly appointed” guest rooms and 82 suites in the tower and the historic section of this upscale hotel for guests who love luxury, expect fine service and hospitality, and are willing to pay for it. The suites include sitting rooms, wet bars along with the standard luxury amenities that “anticipate your every need” offered in all rooms.

The historic section offers the discerning guest opportunities to stay in The King Salon Suites, Pfister Double Salon Suites, The Pfister Governor’s Suite and the Heritage and Grand Heritage Suites.

For a true historical flashback , some guests like to stay in The Pfister Double rooms which maintain the elegance and luxury of when the Pfister Hotel first opened in 1893,

The tower rooms also offer premiere status. Club Rooms and Signature Rooms have fabulous views of the downtown skyline and of Lake Michigan. Tower Rooms and Grand Tower Rooms not only offer spectacular views but have glorious bathrooms with regal features.

In-room dining service is available  from 6:00 am through 10:00 pm. Guest services and the Pfister Concierge are glad to assist their guests with dinner reservations, extra pillows and special requests; both big and small.

The Pfister Hotel offered conveniences and services within its walls, including restaurants, a barber shop, hair salon, Well Spa and 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.

The BLU Bar & Lounge is located on the Pfister Hotel’s 23rd floor in the newly renovated Tower. Bar features blues and jazz that attracts people outside of the guest population as well; from greater Milwaukee area. This lounge. offers a spectacular view of the city of Milwaukee. It is temporarily closed as of 2020 due to Covid virus.

Groups with taste like the visiting baseball teams who come to Milwaukee to play the Brewers love to stay at the Pfister Hotel.  Great social events like weddings and receptions also take place here.



Guido and Charles Pfister would be very pleased with not only this current philosophy and sentiment concerning hospitality, 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.”

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.

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 eight 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.”

In 1965, a twenty-three story, tower addition, which provided another 176 rooms was built, with a parking garage. This addition was seamlessly added onto the old building.

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

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.

During a period of decline in the late 50’s early 60’s, the hotel was purchased by Ben Marcus, who was determined to bring the hotel back to its former glory. Several years of renovations took place and some significant additions were made, including a new 23-story guest room tower.



Owners of hotels sometimes as spirits like to keep an eye on how the living are running the love of their business life when they were alive and breathing.

Bullock Hotel, SD (The spirit of Seth Bullock keeps a close eye on the staff and helps when he can with guests. He makes bed checks too!).

Eldridge Hotel, LS (The spirit of Col. Shalor Eldridge is a friendly spectral supervisor, and tries to help where he can).

Stanley Hotel, CO (The spirit of Mr, Stanley likes to keep tabs on the staff, and watches them do their duties).

Pfister Hotel, WI (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. Now as a spirit, he continues to monitor the staff and make sure his guests were well-treated, not quite trusting the living to carry on).

Guests who have a favorite hotel or ship or bed and breakfast where they go for a holiday, sometimes like to stay for free as spirits; and when they have to share, they can get mischievous or down-right rude.

Queen Mary, CA (A spirit who died in third class when Queen Mary was still an active ship, now objects to sharing his room because it was renovated to be a room with a bathroom and amenities).

Buford House Bed and Breakfast, AZ (An elderly woman who claimed her bedroom as hers even though she has passed, use to yell at guests to “Get Out!”)

St. James Hotel, NM (A gambler who was shot for his winnings, refused to leave his hotel room and is willing to physically push people out of it).

Pfister Hotel, WI (Some spirits who stay for free, like to tease the living who dare to stay in their room, but not always).

Sometimes spirits have the same prejudices they had while living.

Michael Swope Townhouse, VA (Col. Swope still can’t stand the English, even prohibiting an English woman from buying his house).

Ranger Guest House at Harper’s Ferry, WVA (A male spirit here still has a nasty hatred of anyone wearing a Federal uniform).

Brumder Mansion, WI (Some of the former Speak-Easy employees of Sam Pick don’t care for paranormal investigators who work as policemen and have been known to let them know in harmless but naughty ways.

Pfister Hotel, WI (Spirits here are loyal to the Brewers and like to tease other members from outside ball clubs who stay here when they are playing the Brewers).



A friendly, former owner stays to make sure his staff are up to snuff. Other spirits are former guests who love to stay for free, and are still loyal to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Spirit of Charles Pfister

The friendly, gentle entity of Charles 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.
Pfister’s spirit has also been seen on the 9th floor.

Apparently, the spirit of Charles still exercises his dogs now in spirit as well. Animal entities of dogs have been heard frolicking in the hallways.

Spirits who Reside for Free

Apparently, guests who stayed here while alive have decided to reside here in their favorite rooms.

Visiting baseball players from  visiting teams have told their experiences to a variety of sources.

Baseball players Michael Young, Bryce Harper, Mike Cameron, Carlos Gomez, Ji-man Choi, Clint Hurdle, Colby Lewis, Arian Beltre and Jon Gray all had experienced a variety of paranormal activity that if put together would be a full paranormal sports package.

Ball Players’ Reported Auditory Activity

Disembodied voices were heard.

Knockings on the door were noticed when no one  living was there.
Pounding with a hand on the other side of the head board.

Foot steps and stomping was heard by one ball player but they stopped when it was requested that the spirit not wake him up again but that he or she could hang out there.

Ball Players’ Reported Visual Activity

A neatly, laid out uniform was found the next morning on the floor with the table it was laid out on clear across the floor.

Doors have opened and shut by themselves.

Window blinds go up and down by themselves. Some spirit likes to look out the window.

TV’z iPods, iPhones, air conditioners and other devices that run on electricity have a mind of their own.

Ball players have seen actual apparitions  and a skeleton apparition in their rooms.

Close Encounters

One ball player was lying on his side, when he felt an unseen presence give him hug from behind and whispered in his ear.



I could find no hard evidence shared on line concerning the spirits at the Pfister Hotel.

Staff, guests and some baseball players have had a variety of paranormal experiences.

Some baseball players ask to be put in a room with teammates to avoid having personal encounters with the spirits.

Two other baseball players on the same team checked into another hotel to avoid the paranormal activity.



Most Probably So!

Despite what the official line told by Pfister personnel that the Pfister Hotel is not haunted, guests and some employees would beg to differ with this statement; especially baseball players!  The Pfister Hotel doesn’t allow paranormal investigations because they don’t want their spectral residents disturbed by annoying people that may generate some complaints and behavior that would be hard to calm down and hide from the public.

The spirit of Charles Pfister is most welcome to be the spectral supervisor as this was his first hotel, and the staff and current owners don’t want to disappoint his high expectations of hospitality to either real people or spectral residents.



424 East Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 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.





By Michael Clair @michaelsclair
October 29, 2020

Here’s a list of MLB players who have been haunted by Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel
JR Radcliffe – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, JUNE 22ND, 2018


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