Whitewater Wisconsin has a full list of creepy legends and folklore. The one that you hear first is about the Witches of Whitewater, but there was also a man named Morris Pratt who made an institute all about spiritualism and psychic subjects that may have started off the talk of witches. In the spirit of Halloween coming in 8 days, we’re going to take a dive into the legends that define some of Whitewater’s spiritualistic history.
In the late 1800’s, it was considered fairly normal to try to speak to ghosts. Spiritualism is a belief or religion based on talking to the dead, but more so through mediums. Spiritualism’s birthplace in the US is considered in New York, but migrated into Wisconsin with the help of Morris Pratt.
1889 was the year the Morris Pratt’s house was built in Whitewater, WI. It was the most expensive home in town which included 2 auditorium halls where one could sit nearly 400 people. However, his idea generated into an institute of spiritualism which started in 1901. The school remained in business for 40 years but was later turned into a telephone office. In 1946, the institute was moved to Milwaukee, WI where it resides today.
The building of the Morris Pratt Institute was when the tales of the town started as well and Whitewater came to be known as “Second Salem”. Well known stories of the Witches Triangle and the Witches Tower are tossed around by locals.
Calvary Cemetery, Oak Grove Cemetery, and Hillside Cemetery are said to be the end point of the Witches Triangle. The locations of the cemeteries make a perfect isosceles triangle which can be connected back to witchcraft.
One story is said that in the 1970’s, a coffin of a little girl was placed on campus on Halloween week. It was thought to have come from one of the three cemeteries.
Oak Grove Cemetery is where Mary Worth is buried. She is known for being an ax murder and is said she can be seen on Halloween Eve among the gravestones.
The stone water tower in Starin Park has a history of witches circling the tower and performing rituals. The spiked iron fence could also be seen as keeping something inside instead of keeping others out.
It’s said that on Halloween Eve, you can also see witches or ghosts outside of the tower at night. From my past experience, I personally didn’t see anyone but college students out there the night I went 3 years ago, however, you never know if they’re just waiting inside the tower for you instead.
Whatever your thoughts are on spiritualism and witches, there is no question that it didn’t have a big impact on Whitewater itself. The history is deep with these stories and legends which livens up a rather boring small town. Maybe not everything in this town is what it seems and maybe you can catch the sight of some witches this upcoming Halloween.