This past weekend I talked with Allison Jornlin of Third Ward Haunted History Tours in Milwaukee. I had taken one of her first tours in June of 2008 and wanted to check in with her and hear how her tours are going now.
Allison told me “there are several different spots on the tour and it is a walking tour.” I asked her how ticket sales were this year. She said “This year has been very busy” and added that both her 7:00 and 9:00 tours were sold out for Saturday night. It took Allison three years of investigating the stops on her tours. It was then that she felt ready to do start Third Ward Haunted History Tours.
I found out that Allison is in her fifth year teaching 4th graders. She has a B.A. in English and worked as a web designer for 10 years before going back to school and getting her teaching certification. “I am interested in Milwaukee’s community events” Allison said. I told her I was probably going to go to the Iron Cupcake competition at the Harley Davidson Museum on Sunday. Allison said she is a vegan and has been to the Iron Cupcake event before.
We got back to talking about her interest in ghost hunting in Milwaukee.
“In the future we might offer training for paranormal investigations. It doesn’t meet all the rigors of a normal investigation. It would be more about training on equipment” she said.
“People bring their ghost stories to me” Allison continued, “and we do joint investigations with a paranormal group in Milwaukee. I do the history research and they do the investigation with the cameras and recording equipment. The investigations are offered to the community free of charge.”
I asked her if she has ever seen a ghost. “No. I keep trying though. I saw a tray of dishes fly off a shelf but I wasn’t looking directly at it when it happened. I knew it was on a level shelf. Later on in the night it had moved a yard away but then it flew off the shelf.” I asked her where this had happened. She said it was at a former restaurant in Mequon that is unoccupied now. She would not give me the name of the restaurant for fear it would hurt the owner.
Allison had a difficult time doing the Friday night tours because of her teaching job. She decided to hire her nephew, Michael Jornlin, age 22, as a ghost tour guide last summer, mainly for the Friday night tours. “Michael has acting experience and is reliable and trustworthy” Allison said. “Sometimes I go with him and sometimes we go alone” she added. “There is a problem across the country with tour guides taking over tours and leaving them in the dust. You know you can really trust family” Allison remarked. I guess that all depends on who in in your family tree. Allison must have a good family.
Allison wanted me to know that the tour is not the same every time. “We add in new stops and we work on new stories all the time.” When asked if they take people inside any of the sites on the tour, “its all exterior” she said.
I asked her what happens if it rains. “If it is pouring then we don’t go out. If it is drizzling we’ll still go. The tours go rain or shine within reason. The tour is 1 and 2/10 of a mile. It last roughly 90 minutes. We have the stop in the middle at Bella’s Coffee Shop” Allison stated.
For more information you can go to Milwaukee Ghost Tours and Investigations at http://www.milwaukeeghosts.com