SHEBOYGAN FALLS, Wis. — For nearly 20 years, the Sheboygan Asylum has been abandoned...until now. Instead of sitting empty and quiet, people can go on ghost tours of this once mental health facility that was built in 1939.
The tours are lead by Melissa Clevenger and Craig Nehring of the Fox Valley Ghost Hunters.
“A lot of times people see shadow figures down at the end. Loud bangs, loud voices," Clevenger, the lead investigator said.
“Guests on the tours have been touched. I’ve gotten my sweatshirt pulled so many different times," Nehring, the creator of the Fox Valley Ghost Hunters, added.
The tours last roughly three hours. The guides are equipped with lots of ghost hunting equipment like thermal guns, audio detection devices, motion sensors, and more.
You get to tour through the old patient wings, nurses quarters, surgical wards, the basement, chapel, and more. All the tours are at night between mid-April to mid-November. Tickets are $70 and go on sale Jan. 2nd, and you better act fast. Last year, Clevenger said all the tours sold out within three weeks of going on sale.
From the moment I arrived at the asylum, I immediately felt strange vibes. The deserted hallways, dark tunnels, and the feeling there could be something around me was overwhelming.
"About three in the morning and there was just three of us sitting in the hallway, and all of a sudden there was a loud shrilling lady scream, and it continued for about four minutes," Clevenger said about one of her experiences in the asylum.
I was kind of scared, but Craig and Melissa weren't at all. They saw it as a service to the dead.
“I would think that maybe they could be lonesome on the other side. Maybe they just want someone to talk to. They haven’t talked to anybody in years and we are the people that listen," Nehring said.
Ghost hunting can be a fickle business, though. Just because you pay for the tour, doesn't mean you will get a lot of action.
“Some nights are amazing with crazy activity, and there's other nights that are slower," Nehring said.
Regardless of the results, getting to tour the Sheboygan asylum and hunt for ghosts is a cool experience.
It's just the third year that tours have been offered. While the building has been empty for most of the past two decades, it hasn't been owner-less. It is still private property. Those who want to break in will be punished and fined.