GHOSTS OF THE PRAIRIE

HAUNTED WISCONSIN

DELL HOUSE
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Dells region is perhaps one of the most popular vacation spots in the state of Wisconsin. Unfortunately, many of the area's more scenic spots like the towering bluffs and steep ravines of the Dells themselves, have been overshadowed by gaudy commercial enterprises.... but there do remain a few secrets here. Get away by traveling outside of town and you are likely to discover the beautiful forests and natural wonders of the region.... and you might discover some ghosts too.

The infamous Dell House was built in 1837 by a man named Allen. It stood near a place called the Narrows in a shady glen that was close to both a sandy river beach and a fresh water spring. The Dell House was not a classy establishment. It catered to the basic needs of the rough river men who came there... food, a place to sleep, bad whiskey, gambling and women. Violence was not uncommon here and it is believed that a number of unlucky patrons probably found their final resting place to be the muddy bottom of the nearby river.

The days of the river traffic eventually faded and the Dell House closed down. By 1900, the ramshackle building had been abandoned. Adventurous tourists and local residents occasionally camped out near the site and so began the tales of ghosts and phantoms who were said to walk the ruins of the house. Campers spread tales of ghosts and mysterious sounds like cursing, laughter, breaking glass and pounding footsteps coming from the old structure.

The house came to an end in 1910 when a fire burned the empty building to the ground. All that remained were the foundations of the inn, the fireplace and the towering brick chimney. Eventually, the ruins were engulfed by the surrounding forest. The forest glen near the Narrows still remains, although the Dell House is gone.

There are still many who believe that it's ghostly legacy lives on however. Those who have ventured out near the site after dark still claim that unusual sounds can be heard in that area of the forest and that shadowy figures still slip past the trees and disappear.

Do the ghosts of past still haunt the site of the Dell House? We dare you to find out.....

The Wisconsin Dells are in central Wisconsin, about fifty miles northwest of Madison. Dell House once stood on a sandy glen near the Narrows. Today the ruins are covered by forest but the location can be learned by contacting the local tourist board or the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Copyright 2001 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

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