The Mars Haunted House, located in a building owned by the Mars Distributing company at 734 W Historic Mitchell in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been operating for 18 years, and is one of the premier haunted houses in Wisconsin.
The building itself dates back to the 1880s, and is rumored to be actually haunted by the Milton family. As the story goes, in October 1943 Mr. Milton came home drunk after losing his job and threatened his family with a shotgun. The gun went off accidently, killing one of the children. To cover up his crime, Mr. Milton killed the other 5 members of his family, and then killed himself with the shotgun.
Several attempts to renovate the apartments where the murder suicide occurred have all failed, as work was undone overnight, and new construction destroyed. A team of fiver paranormal investigators went through the building and concluded “There is no doubt the Mar’s building is haunted.”
So, of course, it is an excellent location for a haunted house.
The Haunted House is located on the second floor, and the line is outside, on the north side of Historic Mitchell street, west to 8th street then north. The area is roped off, and costumed performers are outside for both the people waiting, and passing cars. There is ample free parking on Mitchell, 7th and 8th streets.
When you are allowed to enter, you walk up a narrow set of stairs, usually past people coming out from their trip through. At the top of the stairs you give the number in your group and pay ($12 each, which is an excellent price), and once a large enough group is together, you are allowed to enter.
The interior of the house follows the theme of the murder suicide from 1943, with an excellent cast, dark rooms, shaking floors and walls, and loud noises. There are also a few just creepy moments with the staff.
The haunted house itself takes about 30 minutes to go through, and the waiting time varies considerably. The second weekend of October the wait was perhaps 5 minutes. There is no VIP option, so if you want to see an actual haunted house, you are going to have to wait in line.