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The haunted history of Downtown Racine

The haunted history of Downtown Racine

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RACINE - Mark Flynn started working one Sunday morning at his store, D.P. Wigley, and he heard soft singing.

"I thought maybe we had someone under the dock singing away," Flynn told a group of about 50 people Friday night. They were gathered for a Downtown Racine ghost tour.

"I looked under the dock and there was nobody there," said Flynn, the co-owner of the D.P. Wigley.

He went back to work and heard the haunting melody again. He couldn't understand a word of it, he said.

"The following day, we were open for business here," Flynn said. "A worker came into our building and said, ‘did you hear the news?' We were digging in the street and we hit a grave stone. It was a Welsh woman who died."

That was his haunted story of D.P. Wigley, 234 Wisconsin Ave. It was just one of the stops on Alexander Voss' ghost tour of Downtown Racine. It's the first of three tours this fall. All proceeds for the $12 tour go to the Volunteer Center of Racine County.

Besides D.P. Wigley, there was a stop at Ivanhoe Pub and Eatery, 231 Main St., where rumor has it a woman was killed in a love triangle in the 1900s.

"She has spoken to at least one employee," said Voss, 36 of Racine, who has always been interested in history and haunted houses. His birthday is on Halloween.

Also featured on the tour were the ghosts of Sixth Street Theatre, the Dalmatian burial site, and the mysterious presence at 514 College Ave.

Dana Petit, 22, of Sturtevant, who was on the tour, said she knows not everyone believes in ghosts. She was a skeptic herself at one time, she said.

But now, she said, "I definitely believe."

She said she has a friend who lives on 20th Street in Racine; at her friend's house, she said, Petit felt the presence of a ghost pulling on her pants.

Similarly, Melody Kniess, 41, a software manager at a law firm, said she has felt the presence before at her house in Milwaukee.

"It woke me up," Kniess said.

It was the same day the woman who used to live in her house died in a nursing home, she said.

As for what for the tour guide himself thinks about ghosts?

Voss, who works for Wisconsin Internet Inc, said he doesn't know one way or another.

"I'm not sure what I believe," Voss said while holding his lantern to guide the group, and the occasional spirit.


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