Apparition Leads Milwaukee Police on Wild Ghost Chase

Ghosts Chase Milwaukee Policemen

On August 29, 1884 the Milwaukee Sentinel reported the story above. The two police officers named in the article encountered an apparition described vaguely as a “large white object” while walking down 34th Street between Cedar and Wells. (Cedar was later renamed Kilbourn.) Today this area is still largely residential.

The article suggests that the ghost of a man struck by lightning on the spot a year earlier on July 4th, 1883 may be to blame for the strange incident. The following Sentinel article from July 5, 1883 documents that event. The death actually occurred one block south of the spot where the officers encountered the ghost.

Struck Dead by Lightning

Five days after his run-in with the supernatural, Office Anderson changed his beat, transferring to the Southside. However, the paper trail ends there. There has to be more to this intriguing story. For example, we’d love to know if the nightstick flung by Officer O’Neill ever reappeared. We’d also like to get our hands on any police reports about the incident if they still exist.

We are seeking any historical or current neighborhood ghost stories. Perhaps descendants of the police officers know of additional details passed down in their family histories. We welcome these reports as well as research assistance. If you or anyone you know has information to share, don’t hold back. Speak up and help make a comprehensive Milwaukee hauntings database a reality. Please call (414) 807-7862 or email


~ by mkeghosts on February 21, 2010.

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