Our privacy policy has changed. By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Dismiss

Visitors claim old glue factory is haunted

Oct. 16, 2008

Most of the former Peter Cooper Glue Factory on Fifth Avenue in Oak Creek burned down more than two decades ago, and what remains — set back several hundred yards from the road, behind a locked, chainlink fence that warns, “No trespassing” — is not an impressive sight.

At more than 100 years old, the massive brick building appears dilapidated, with smashed windows and crumbling concrete. Surrounded by other businesses that have since closed up shop, too, the rest of the site looks just as forlorn.

But it is not those images that draw curious visitors. Rather, it is the promise of what they might see or hear or feel; the promise of something ghostly lurking near the site that could leave them screaming or fleeing in terror.

Urban legend has it that as many as 30 employees died while working at the factory. Many were murdered. Some, perhaps, were turned into glue.

Sherry Strub, author of “Milwaukee Ghosts,” has heard a variety of haunted tales about the site, which she recounts in her book.

“You’ve got one story that will say two people died there, and you’ve got another story that say 30 people were murdered there,” Strub said.

The Oak Creek Historical Society’s collection of mostly newspaper clippings and old photographs of the glue factory and surrounding community, formerly Carollville, does not include any mention of employee deaths.

Despite the lack of historical basis, a common thread is the sense of evil and danger perceived by visitors who have ventured into the building, Strub said. For those who are inclined to believe, that means something.

“When you have groups of people that come away with the same story time after time after time … there has to be some basis to it,” she said.

Haunted or not, the property’s trespassing signs should be taken seriously. The site is dangerous, Oak Creek Police Chief Thomas Bauer said, and his department follows strict orders from the property owner to arrest anybody found on the property.

— Julie Becker, Staff Writer

Community Watch

» Roundup of Memorial Day events in suburban Milwaukee and Lake Country 5/27

» Festival Foods proposal advances in Hales Corners with panel's support Updated:  5/26

» Warrior Dash obstacle course coming to The Rock Aug. 13 5/26

» 2 men sentenced in attempted carjackings in Greenfield, Oak Creek 5/25

» Classes resume at Franklin High School following evacuation Updated:  5/25

» Franklin High School wins awards for "Fiddler on the Roof" 5/25

» View some Art in the Park in Oak Creek May 28 5/25

» Boerner Botanical Gardens hosting Herb Fair May 28 5/24

» Greendale's Canterbury Elementary enters recycling contest to win new playground 5/24

» Oak Creek boys track team stays on task, win sixth SEC outdoor title 5/24

» Initial Reaction: Talking with star Waukesha soccer players Dani Rhodes, Emily Cervantes Updated:  5/24

» Franklin boys tennis team dominates SEC tourney 5/24

» Big bats land Oak Creek softball team SEC title 5/24

» Steady Franklin golfers claim Southeast Conference title 5/23

» Grease fire damages oven at Franklin bakery 5/20

» Five places to go to let your dog off the leash this summer 5/19

» Reptile Day returns June 12 at Wehr Nature Center 5/19

» Oak Creek stuns Whitnall, 12-2, in battle of softball powers 5/19

» Crash closes portion of Highway 100 in Hales Corners May 18 5/18

» Oak Creek approves $13 million financing help for Ikea store 5/18

» Franklin girls soccer team finishes second at Kiel tournament 5/17

» Why did IKEA choose Oak Creek? Location 5/17

» Oak Creek to honor veterans May 30 5/17

» Initial Reaction Podcast: A chat with award-winning sportscaster Dennis Krause Updated:  5/17

» Oak Creek's Marwin Evans signs with Green Bay Packers 5/14

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Best Summer Ever

 

We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

CONNECT