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Maribel Caves Hotel Hell

By on December 12, 2011

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 the bizarre at Cult of Weird. For the latest weird Wisconsin news and haunted places visit Wisconsin Frights.


  1. Beth Dale

    November 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Is there a way to contact someon to go and explore this place?

  2. Chad

    October 29, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    I want to go too

  3. Jack Hills

    June 28, 2019 at 9:49 am

    Just watched an episode of “Fear the Woods” on Travel channel about this place. How the Travel channel can air and pass off such drivel as being “REAL” is beyond me. The main BS from the TV show is their depiction of the building,sitting downhill and looking zero like the real building. Allegedly they were “chased away” by an 8 foot tall evil spirit. Hiding behind trees and somehow out running it. This was an alleged “investigation” by three weirdos that really proved nothing. No pictures, no evidence and they ran away like four year olds. What BS! The Travel channel should be ashamed to show this as being a “true story”!

    • Eric Swanner

      June 28, 2019 at 11:38 am

      Amazing that the lies are so casually presented as facts. It’s gotten so we can’t trust a single thing we see about anything at all.

      Remember when The History Channel was about history? Now there is a show about competition butchering and another about making crappy knives. Of course, they offset that with a BS show about Oak Island treasure.

      Memorial Day movies were once about war and warriors…they very reason for Memorial Day, to honor and reflect on that history. But now, John Candy movies (like the guy but come on…it’s Memorial Day) or some other such fluff.

    • Jules

      December 17, 2019 at 1:39 pm

      Today is the first time I got to see this.I lucky got to tape it, I then decided to go look it up. I was amazed to even see that. It was because I hadn’t heard that before that it was on the travel channel. It has been a long time since I had been out there, makes me wanna take a ride to revisit it. As a kid we went to the caves to look around, lots of times made the mistake of not taking a flashlight. I agree they ran off, scared rabbits, however I probably would of ran too. But they were being paid to get footage, The only footage they got was them running,my thoughts send Patrick Doyle and Kristen Luman to investigate. Might be right up Zac Bagans. Question is are they real investigators?

  4. darrell edgell

    February 15, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    This is on my 2019 list to do

  5. Kari Chilberg

    October 14, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I’m so bummed that the building is almost gone. In the 90’s we used to sneak in and look around, it was really creepy and definitely not safe. I always wanted to go back and see it again, until I heard a storm took it down. I live in Green Bay, I still kind of want to go check it out, but I hear that it’s now under constant surveillance. It always was private property, but as teenagers we didn’t care. It was creepy, but never saw any signs of it being truly haunted.

    • eugene

      November 28, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      what an absolute line of bullshit! I’m 62 played around in it as a boy and often went to the basement bar later in the 70’s it was a famous teen spot last run by dick wagner. no hauntings no ghosts.
      it burned sometime in the 80’s or early 90’s. NO mass murders. according to my dad age 98 NO al capone, his brewery was down Hidden Valley RD near the ski hill.
      prior to dick wagner it was owned by cherney family who also owned land where nearby county park is located. the last guy I know of that owned it also owned devil’s river campers park, where an old mill that I also used to play in is.
      I’m pretty sure it was built by the cherney family to utilze the hot springs nearby.
      my dad said the caves extended for a mile west but were blown shut when building 141 hwy (now R).

      • Cherie Woznick-Hall

        January 1, 2018 at 4:47 pm

        My grandparents lived in Maribel from the 1930’s to mid 1960’s. The Cherney family owned it then and I used to ride my trike with their grandson, Ricky Kornely, back in the early 1960’s. Their daughter Alice Kornely owned the brick bar on the corner in Maribel built in the early 1950’s. When the Cherney’s passed away, Alice sold her bar and put up a trailer home in the front yard of the hotel in the 1970’s. Her son, Ricky, now lives in the ranch next door, and her daughter lives in the house across the road with her husband. There is so much bs about this hotel and it is all bs. There were kids doing drugs and drinking while there were bands playing there in the 1980’s and they trashed the place and started the fire that destroyed it. I am 60 years old and my grandparents were Archie and Katie Wolfe who lived next to the railroad tracks on the main drag in Maribel. My mom grew up there from the 1930’s and married in a dance hall on the main drag in October 1952. The dance hall burned down while she was on her honeymoon and Alice built her bar there after that.

  6. Ross Stone

    September 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    My Great Great Great Grandpappy built the original caves hotel in the 1870’s. The site was an old Alonquin burial ground. There were in fact movie stars visiting during the 1880’s and 18090’s, but most people didn’t know of movies because the government was keeping it a secret because of the war effort. I seen the movies. Some of my relations were in them. Grant Scobleman, Arn Petermann and Luis VanDeHoeffen were regulars, to name a few.
    Gradpappy Schwarzman had to leave the original land in 1890 because of the Lake Huron Treaty, and the hotel was burned by locals who weren’t aware that a family with 3 infants were still in the hotel when it burned. The land was rezoned for corn.

    • Eric S

      May 15, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      Wait. In the 1890’s there were movie stars….but movies were a government secret? Do you have any idea how stupid that sounds?

  7. B. A. Ranta

    April 14, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    It used to be a spa in the late 1800’s for movie stars!?! Tell me what movies were big in the late 1800’s? Who were the stars?

  8. Carol Tiedt

    March 30, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    can a person get permission to go up to this? who would you contact? thanks…

    • eugene

      November 28, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      check with people at devil’s river campers park, in the 90’s he owned both properties.

    • shawn

      November 30, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      There’s nothing left they gutted it then a big wind storm took the walls down

  9. Ms. Okay

    April 2, 2014 at 5:21 pm

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

  10. 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

    • Heather Lea (@CustomBuffalo)

      August 28, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Can you tell me who to contact regarding this property?

    • Cora B

      June 10, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      Teresa, We were hoping to get some wedding pictures in front of the hotel, do you know who I could contact to possibly get permission to do so??

  11. 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.

        • cynthia serfoss

          February 7, 2015 at 11:03 pm

          Wow, thanks for your honesty

    • 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

      • Paul Walker

        September 5, 2018 at 5:54 pm

        Yeah. Go to JFK Prep (Salvatorian Seminary) over in St Nazianz. That place is super creepy.

    • Jared

      April 4, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      You can get pic of it. If you go to the maribell caves and go north there is a trail that leads there. I got pics.

      • Evchrny at Wisconsin

        June 22, 2018 at 10:02 am

        Or you could take hwy R to it drive in the driveway. Its about fifty feet from the highway. Lol.

  12. 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


      • 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 I can post them up here.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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?????

  16. 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!!!!

  17. 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.

      • Kim LaChappelle

        February 7, 2015 at 7:41 am

        Used to camp down the road and yes Lyman owns it. We also used to party in basement bar back in the 80s. Had great times. Never seen anything Scarry.

  18. 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.

  19. 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??

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.”

    • Kathy

      March 27, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      I just went to Google maps and typed in the name of the hotel.

  23. 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

  24. LUGER

    April 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm






    • Dan

      March 12, 2014 at 8:40 pm

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

  25. 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???

  26. 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?

  27. 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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