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Maribel Caves Hotel Hell

By on December 12, 2011
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Built in 1900, the Maribel Caves Hotel in Maribel, WI has come to be known locally as Hotel Hell because of the disturbing and persistent rumors surrounding it.

Some of the stories that continue to haunt the mysterious remains of the Maribel Caves Hotel are:

- The building burned three times, each time on the exact same date. It was rebuilt twice. The first fire was in the 1920s. The last fire was in 1930 and everybody died in their sleep.

- Skeletal remains of some of the victims can still be found on the third floor, which is apparently now inaccessible because of holes in the stairway, and in the basement.

- Years ago, one of the hotel guests went psycho and killed everybody in the hotel during a mass-murder frenzy, committing suicide afterwards.

- The spirits of those killed in the hotel have lingered in the building. This spiritual activity attracted a group of local Black witches who conducted secret rituals to curse the hotel and in the process they opened up a portal to Hell through an old fountain in the front of the hotel. This unleashed a horde of evil spirits that terrorized the town of Maribel. Fortunately, a White witch came to the rescue, sealing off the portal and confining the demons to the boundaries of the hotel and the surrounding yard.

- It used to be a spa in the late 1800′s for movie stars.

- During the prohibition, the hotel was owned by Al Capone.

- It served as a hideout for Al Capone, and he ran a moonshine business out of the hotel and the water bottling company next door. Underground passageways built beneath the hotel during the bootlegging days contain the lost treasures of Al Capone and John Dillinger.

- A little boy was playing on the roof of the bottling factory and was killed when it caught on fire.

- The name “Hotel Hell” came from the blood on the walls, yelling from the basement, the ring of a bell and the sound of wheels.

Inside the Maribel Caves Hotel in Maribel, WI

Some of the paranormal activity reported include cold hands applying pressure on your back on the third floor, feelings of being threatened in the basement, and apparently if you shine a flashlight at a second floor window, something will shine a light back at you.

The true history of the Maribel Caves Hotel seems to be much less interesting. Apparently it opened in 1900 as a hotel and therapeutic spa for travelers, which eventually became a tavern. It remained open in one form or another until a blaze destroyed the interior in 1985.

In 2006 the building was gutted, all remaining debris removed, leaving only the stone walls standing.

Maribel Caves Hotel, known as Hotel Hell, in Maribel, WI

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Charlie Hintz

About Charlie Hintz

Artist, musician, designer. General deviant. Collector and curator of oddities and weird news at Cult of Weird. Horror design at the Mental Shed. Follow me on: Facebook | Twitter | Youtube | Google +

46 Comments

  1. Ms. Okay

    April 2, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    The new owner is rebuilding “hotel hell” to its
    former value

  2. Teresa LeClair

    March 11, 2014 at 3:09 am

    I received permission to go on the land this past fall and took pictures of what’s left of it as well as some pictures of my daughter with the rubble as we have always been intrigued by the legends of this hotel

  3. bbbetty

    August 10, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    So, let me get this straight. No one can actually get onto the property where the hotel stands, well, sorta stands, most of it is a pile of stones now? So, why would I go there if I can’t get anywhere near it? Certainly not for the caves since I’m claustophobic, but, I do like ghost stories and in particular, old buildings with interesting histories. What’s the scoop? Is hell off limits? Or should I bring a shovel and try to dig my way through?

    • Sausuke Uchiha

      August 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      I can answer those questions for you. No – It is not a pile of stones. Why would you want to go there? First off, Spirits NEVER DIE, second; If you did your research (which i hope you did) the bones (ie:skulls,bones) that were on the 3rd Floor — are now accessible! I assume the paths to the caves are blocked off due to the high 80mph winds! Hotel Hell (whomever owns it) is accessible by permission.
      If you proceed to disturb the dead (and Indian Burial ground) Know that they will attach themselves with you when you go home (for disturbing their place).

      • Wendy L. Schmidt

        August 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm

        When I look at the photos it seems that half the building is now demolished. That is why I said most of it is a pile of stone. I’ve heard many different stories (just like the comments on this page) about the bones being there and the bones not really being there at all. Which, I guess if you think about it, the latter would make sense. I mean, why would someone leave them lying there?I thought this was more a question of is this a destination site or not. Certainly don’t want to disturb the dead. I mean, is the burial ground in the hotel? Is that why no one has removed the bones? There are many burial grounds, even some in wooded areas assessable to the public so it’s hard to know if one is disturbing the dead unintentionally. I would dare say that this is also possible in graveyards and places haunted for other reasons. It’s why I’m always doubtful about all the amateur ghost groups now performing so-called hunts. They seem to treat it as entertainment and rarely talk about the real possibility of spirit attachment. Anyway, I’m not interested in taking the trip anymore.

      • Samantha Stewart

        October 21, 2013 at 9:01 pm

        so u can acutely get promition to go by it?

      • Cassandra Marie

        March 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm

        Maribel is my hometown and I now live 20 minutes away. It is a pile of stones now. Last year a tornado came through and destroyed almost the entire building – leaving only one small corner standing. There were never bones in the building and their are no reported deaths. The hotel is not – and hasn’t been since it’s closed – been accessible (even with permission). The building has been dangerous since it was burnt.

    • Sammi Simonar

      February 26, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      Well you can go on the property just not inside of the hotel and it is actually really cool i have been there

    • K Miller

      March 10, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      It is pretty much nothing but a pile of stone, not resembling much of anything anymore. A tornado this past year destroyed much of what was left. Not much really to look at anymore but the site is still there.

    • Chad

      March 10, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      I live a few miles away…. Save your time and go somewhere else. lol

  4. JR

    August 7, 2013 at 10:29 am

    3/4 of the structure blew down in a storm last night. (8/7/2013)

    • JaaayP

      August 9, 2013 at 10:15 am

      /Users/dentalcity/Desktop/8:7:13.jpg

      • JaaayP

        August 9, 2013 at 10:45 am

        Dang, that didn’t work! Tried to post a picture of what’s left of “Hotel Hell” after the storm that JR mentions… Copy the line above, (ends in .jpg) Paste in your web browser (not the search window) -> hit enter… it should show the photo…

    • Charlie Hintz

      August 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      You can email the photos to me at info@wisconsinsickness.com. I can post them up here.

  5. Tim Hughes

    August 7, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Just so everyone knows…..The hotel was destroyed last night during a devastating thunderstorm that rolled through with 100mph winds. About 75% of the structure was completely blown over and the remaining portion will need to be taken down for safety reasons.

  6. tony l

    July 21, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Camped just down the road and lived near by for fifty years. Hiked and biked day and night. The ghost stories are a load of melarky.

  7. Tyler

    July 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    That place is haunted and creepy. My buddy and I were on our way to check the hotel out one night, about a quarter mile before the hotel, we both seen a white ghost figure about 20 yards in front of us, just floating in mid air. It then slowly moved to our right and disappeared. we seen the ghost for a good 5-10 seconds. We both seen it and both couldnt believe what we really saw. This happen in 2007. We are planning on doing a trip down there again next time im back in wisc. This story is for real. No bull**** !!!!

    • jan

      August 7, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      The correct terms should be ” we saw” not we seen Where did you go to school?????

  8. JOMAMA

    May 31, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    does anybody know for sure if any of this is true? because this hotel looks fucking scary as hell and if it wasn’t haunted, i’d kinda be disappointed.

    • Marissa

      June 10, 2013 at 12:30 am

      This is true because I went to it and witnessed it myself as well as my friends. It’s scary as hell!!!!

  9. lucid

    April 20, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I believe Wagner still owns it, had plans for historical site…but not sure its a reality anymore

    • Jean

      March 10, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Dick Wagner used town it and ran a bar in the lower level ! As I was in it in my early 20′s. He has since died, so don’t know current owner, but I heard it was Lyman the current local dentist.

  10. Jaime Albright

    November 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Is your nanny still alive? I would really like to talk to some one who know anything about the caves and hotel. My great great grandfather owned it. Thanks

    • Adrian LaCombe

      January 31, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      My grandfather and his brother built the hotel in 1900. My grandfather was Eugene Steinbrecher and his brother was Fr. Francis Xavier Steinbrecker. My middle name is Francis named after hiim. My great great grandfather Charles Steinbecher designed the hotel. My mother was Anita Steinbrecher, Eugene’s daughter.

      • Melissa G

        June 14, 2013 at 8:33 pm

        Hello Adrian… I was wondering if I could come up from Janesville and do a short film shoot and photo shoot there? Do I contact you or someone else? thanks … Melissa

      • Craig Williams

        August 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm

        Adrian, I was surprised to see your family name. My mother is a Steinbrecher and we have alot of relation in Green Bay. I’ve always been curious about the family name in that area. I would love to pick your brain to find out if we are relation and where it goes.

  11. John Johnson Jr

    October 16, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Ive been here a thousand times and no matter what some book tells you I can assure you this place is not haunted. Ask any local and we can tell you its just some place that burned down in the 80s.

    • Kim

      May 16, 2013 at 8:28 am

      I’m a local, and that’s not the case…plenty of people go here late at night and try to sneak up to the hotel in hopes of not getting caught by the neighbor next door.

    • erin

      June 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      Really then why is their a web site??

  12. Justin Time

    August 17, 2012 at 8:48 am

    This is a really nice fairy tale, I live about 5 minutes away and this is bull……witches LOL!

  13. Jeff Westphal

    July 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    There isn’t much to see, regarding interests in photo shoots. The locals, from Mishicot to Trivers, don’t really know what the status of the property is. There were rumors regarding restoration some time back and I do think cost was an issue, but based on the structure’s popularity and location (right off I-43 between ChicagoLand and Door County) I think the payoff would be swift and strong.

  14. Christa

    May 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    does anyone know the address to this place? I cant find it any where online!

    • J. Nathan Couch

      May 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      Driving directions are in the book “The Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations.”

  15. Bev Rockwell

    May 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I was just there two days ago and took pictures of the buildings. There really isn’t much to photo shoot anymore. It is just empty stone structures. If you want to see the pics they are on my facebook page.

    • Brandon

      September 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Can you put up your facebook page info so I can see the pictures? It does look interesting and we might want to get some photos as well if you were able to get some interesting photos. Thanks.

    • Ashley Sheffer

      September 14, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      i looked on your facebook page and your pics are private so i cant see them

  16. LUGER

    April 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I USE TO HANG OUT AT THE CAVES, AS WE CALLED IT IN THE 60S AND 70S. MY NANNY’S RELATIVES OWNED IT THEN. THEY WERE THE CHERNEY’S. SHE MY NANNY AND WAITRESS AT MY MOTHER’S CLUB, THE 141 CLUB, WAS LILLY PECK. SHE ALSO WOULD WORK AT THE CAVES.

    IN THE MID 70′S DICK WEGNER, I BELIEVE THE SPELLING IS CORRECT, EITHER OWNED IT OR RENTED IT. I HAVE BEEN UP ON THE THIRD FLOOR. WE HAD A GREAT TIME. I DIDN’T KNOW OF NOR DID I HEAR ANYTHING ABOUT THE SPIRITS UNLESS THEY WAS US. LOL

    THERE WAS VERY LITTLE BUSINESS MOST OF THE TIME AND REALLY VERY BORING. WE ALWAYS BROUGHT OUR OWN FUN SO WE DIDN’T MIND.

    MAYBE WE ARE SOME OF THOSE SPIRITS.

    I MUST ALSO SAY IF THAT PROPERTY IS RAZED HEADS SHOULD ROLL. THIS IS A GREAT PROPERTY AND A HISTORICAL SITE.

    • Dan

      March 12, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      Yes, Adolph Cherney used to own it, he kind of reminded me of Boris Karloff

  17. Cody J Thiel

    March 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    About to go ghost hunting there tonight. If I don’t make it back alive, you’ll know.

    • Maribel

      April 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      So did you come back Cody???

  18. J. Nathan Couch

    December 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    This location appears in the Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Places by Chad Lewis. All it says about ownership is the location is private property (under “constant surveillance”) and that the owner and the county are deciding whether to renovate or raze the place. Perhaps start by contacting someone at the county?

  19. Nikki Farce

    December 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I did some research and I guess behind it is where the caves are, and that’s all public, but the hotel itself is private property and would be a bitch for us to get clearance to shoot.
    Its condemned too, so safety is gonna be a factor too…

    • Chuk

      December 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      Safety? Who cares about safety? It’s no fun without the possibility that we all might die horrible, agonizing deaths.

      • J. Nathan Couch

        December 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm

        At least it’d be a memorable way to go. You’d at least get a blurb in the paper.

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