Spooky Door County:
Pick Your Level of Fright
Scare Level: Casper the Friendly Ghost
Door County’s rich maritime history and association with Ports des Morts, or Death’s Door, provides a fascinating perspective on the dangers of water passage before the modern era. Visitors can explore the (sometimes tragic) history behind the county’s shipwrecks and learn how the waters between Washington Island and Gills Rock earned the nickname Death’s Door by visiting the Door County Maritime Museum. The museum has a location in Sturgeon Bay and near Gills Rock, where you can also board the ferry and make your own passage across the infamous waters.
Another way to explore the waters and shorelines of the county is by attending the annual fall Door County Lighthouse Festival on the weekend of October 12-13. Visitors can visit the 11 historic lighthouses around the county by land, boat, and adventure tours and see perspectives rarely open to public view.
Or, get a more ghost-filled version of events at a one-night-only speaker event called “Ghost Stories of the Great Lakes” by Dan Heibler on October 3 at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay. Admission is free of charge with a suggested non-perishable food donation.
Scare Level: A Chill in the Room
You might find yourself shivering while on a tour of the Noble house, even if it’s in the middle of summer. That’s because the Alexander House, built in 1875, has been called haunted by some. The Alexander Noble House was built by Alexander Noble, replacing the family home that was destroyed by fire a year earlier. Before that, Noble’s wife Emily died, besetting the family in sadness.
Watch our episode of Our Door County which takes you inside the Noble House to tell the story of the spirit that haunts docents and visitors to this day. In Haunted Door, you’ll meet the Nobles, and find out why so many locals swear that Emily’s ghost continues to make her presence felt on the corner of Main Street and Highway 42 in Fish Creek.
Scare Level: Hairs on the Back of Your Neck Stand
Ramp up the scare factor by signing up for a trolley tour that aims to tell you the most scintillating stories of the past. Trolley tours are given daily through October and on weekends in November.
The Ghost Tour of Door County
Step aboard the “Trolley of the Doomed” as we share tales of ghostly sunken ships, haunted lighthouses and mysterious happenings on the darker side of this spirited peninsula. It’s a mixture of scary, fun, and informative—a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
Haunted Pub Crawl
Get caught up in the “intoxicating” tales of the peninsula’s haunted pubs and taverns. The Trolley Tour will spend approximately 35 minutes in each of the four establishments where you can mingle with the “spirits.” Must be 21 years old.
Scare Level: An Repulsed Shudder
Your nightmares will have plenty of fodder to work with after taking this newly added trolley tour that seeks to uncover the grisly details of some of the county’s more evil happenings. It’s bone-chilling fun but not recommended for those easily scared or ages under 9.
Murder & Mayhem Tour
Step aboard the Trolley as we weave through and retrace the steps of the Peninsula's most wanted criminals, past and present. Hear shocking stories including the Canal Shack Killing and infamous Furnace Murder!