Resurrecting the Haunted Summerwind Mansion
Owner’s of Wisconsin’s infamous Summerwind haunted house hope to restore it and open a Bed and Breakfast.
The Summerwind Mansion, on West Bay Lake in Vilas County, Wisconsin, is widely regarded as Wisconsin’s most haunted house. Though all that remains of it now are overgrown ruins, the mansion has been attracting the attention of legend trippers and paranormal investigators for a long time due to claims of unexplained phenomena.
Built in 1916, the mansion served as a summer home for Robert P. Lamont and his family for about 15 years. Legend says it was abandoned in the 1930s after Lamont fired his pistol at what he believed to be an intruder. The bullets traveled through the figure and lodged in the wall, instead.
The house changed owners several times. It had sat vacant for some time until the early 1970s when Arnold and Ginger Hinshaw moved in with their children. Their stay would turn out to be a mere 6 months. According to the family, they experienced a series of bizarre happenings including hearing strange sounds and voices, seeing shadows and windows mysteriously opening.
While attempting to renovate the house, the Hinshaws discovered a secret compartment behind a shoe drawer in the back of a closet. Inside, the family apparently found a human corpse. They decided to leave it there, though, and no police report was ever made.
Soon after, Arnold had a nervous breakdown and Ginger attempted suicide. Arnold was sent off for treatment while Ginger and the children moved in with her parents. The couple divorced when Arnold’s treatment failed.
Years later, Ginger’s father Raymond Bober announced he was going to buy the house. The Summerwind Mansion was to become a restaurant and inn. Ginger begged him not to, but he did not heed her warnings. In a book he wrote later about Summerwind called The Carver Effect: A Paranormal Experience, Bober claimed he had been in contact with the spirit that haunted the house.
Through dreams, trances and Ouija board sessions, Bober communicated with the ghost of an eighteenth-century explorer named Jonathan Carver. According to Bober, the spirit wanted his help locating a deed for the northern third of Wisconsin from the Sioux Indians. It was supposedly sealed in the foundation of house.
While attempting to convert the house into a restaurant, Bober noted many other mysteries. The dimensions of the house seemed to differ day to day, which Bober noted in measurements and photos. Workers felt uneasy and their tools vanished. Many refused to return to work on Summerwind.
Eventually the project was abandoned and the house left to rot.
In 1988, Summerwind was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Only the chimney stacks, foundation and stone stairs remain.
The current owners, Harold and Babs Tracy, along with Craig Nehring of the Fox Valley Ghost Hunters paranormal investigation group, are hoping to raise money for the resurrection of the once grand Summerwind Mansion. Through campouts, donations and media exposure, Nehring is hoping to raise $500,000 to restore Summerwind to it’s former glory by building a modern replica of the structure.
Once complete, it will be opened as a bed and breakfast.
Read more about the history of Summerwind on PrairieGhosts.com
What do you think: Was the haunting of Summerwind made up, or was there really some sinister paranormal activity happening inside the mansion?