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'Who doesn't like a good ghost story?' The family behind Welcker's Lounge says they have plenty to share

Posted at 6:34 PM, Oct 23, 2023
  • Video shows Welcker's Lounge and The Whistling Swan Inn in Fish Creek.
  • The Devroys, who own Welcker's Lounge, say they have had heard of people feeling a hand on their shoulder, phone calls and knocks with no response, and even apparitions.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

A building with a rich and maybe a little haunting past. I'm your Door County neighborhood reporter Katlyn Holt. If you visit the building that is now Welcker’s Lounge and the Whistling Swan Inn here in Fish Creek, some say you may feel a sort of ghostly presence.

“It's definitely part of the history,” said Katie Devroy. The Devroy family opened Welcker’s lounge Memorial Day of this year and they have had quite a few spiritual experiences. They say the building has a rich history.

“Dr. Welker, he was the person who essentially started a lot of Fish Creek, and he brought this building over with his daughter Mathilda, she passed away when she was like 15-16 from an illness,” said Katie Devroy. 

The Devroys say they aren’t sure if Mathilda passed away in the home but a medium in the past said she has a strong presence in the building. The lounge was originally built in Marinette in 1889 and disassembled and moved across the frozen waters of Green Bay in 1906 and re-assembled in 1907. “She would do readings in the hotel and in the lounge and said that room three and six are the most active rooms in the building,” said the Devroys.

If you’re one to shy away from the spiritual the Devroys say they don’t think it’s anything to fear, the experiences they have had are playful and childlike. “I’ll feel like a hand on my shoulder sometimes turns around and obviously nobody's standing behind me at the bar. People will call from rooms that nobody's in… I guess something's calling from a room that nobody's in,” said Katie Devroy.

Katie says the spirit seems to play tricks from time to time. “These three windows behind us they were open one day, and all simultaneously at once they all slammed down and they're very heavy windows, so it was quite loud,” said Katie Devroy.

With the building being more than a hundred years old some say something is bound to be lingering between its walls.

“Guests have said like in their rooms when they're sleeping late at night, they'll get knocks on their doors, and they'll go to answer and nobody's standing in the hallway when I’ve also heard some people say that they've seen like an apparition up in the hallway,” said Katie Devroy.

Lisa Devroy even said she heard a woman’s voice when she was alone in the lounge. “So, I started talking like, 'Hey, Kate, what are you doing in here?' and then realized that I was getting zero answer. So, I got up and I walked around the whole entire building and nobody was here,” said Lisa Devroy.

If you want to check out Welcker’s Lounge yourself they have a prohibition theme with loads of pictures of the Welcker family and staff and even a special dish named Mathilda’s Ghost. In Fish Creek, Katlyn Holt, NBC 26.