Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Haunted Summerwind

If one goes looking for ghosts in Wisconsin the name Summerwind always pops up.

This mansion was located on the shore of West Bay Lake for 72 years. It burned down in 1988 after it was hit by lightning. Despite this fact, many still have questions about this place and its ghosts.

This mystery began in 1916. Robert Lamont was working as Secretary of Commence in Herbert Hoover’s administration when he bought an old fishing resort along the Michigan border near what is today the town of Land O’ Lakes.

The property came with a hunting lodge and several smaller cabins. Lamont turned this property into a comfortable summer home. He had 4 new fireplaces built with two forty-foot chimneys. He had a grand terrace added and expanded the size of the home.

He had steam heat put in and had servant quarters built. He named his new retreat, Lilac Hill.

Lamont was the first of several owners that realized that the property was haunted. One day hearing noises in his kitchen he discovered what he thought at first was an intruder.

He shot at the person twice. To his amazement this figure then vanished as he watched it.

Lamont along with various of his guests also were overwhelmed with a feeling of a "flight response" when they spent time on the homes' second floor.

After fire
In the 1930s Lamont’s family sold Lilac Hill after his death. Many felt they did not want to deal with the properties ghosts any longer.

In 1941, a family named Keefer bought the property. They were soon to regret this purchase. They spent the next 30 years trying to get rid of it. They sold it five different times only to have the new owners return it to them within days of their purchase. One disaster after another happened to each new owner--it appears the ghosts were unhappy.

In 1972, Arnold and Ginger Hinshaw purchased the property now known as Summerwind. They moved in with their 6 children.

They immediately started to notice odd activity. In the evenings as they ate dinner the family often saw a lady wearing a white dress dancing in their living room. Also a window in the master bedroom would open on its own.

Ginger started to redecorate the home. She threw out an old lace curtain that hung between the home and the servant’s house several times only to find it hanging once more in its original spot.

Several of the Hinshaw’s new appliances, including a water heater and pump broke down only to start working again several weeks later. The couple became frustrated when local repairmen refused to step foot on the property.

One day as Arnold went to enter his car it caught on fire mysteriously.

One of the most disturbing incidents happened when the family pulled out a large drawer in a linen closet upstairs to find a dark open space. They discovered a mummified corpse with shriveled limbs and dark hair hanging from its skull.

The couple decided to just leave it--not wanting to stir up more activity.

The activity in the home eventually took a toll on both Arnold and Ginger. Arnold felt driven to play the family organ each evening--his music became more frenzied as time went on.

He eventually stopped working on the house and had to seek professional help.

Ginger found that she became overwhelmed with feelings of despair. Soon after the family moved out, Arnold and Ginger divorced.
The Milwaukee Journal, 1985
In an odd twist to this story--Ginger’s father, Raymond Bober, purchased the property. He intended to turn the large home into a bed and breakfast.

Ginger’s parents and brother Karl also experienced the strange activity. The lace curtain continued to appear and the master bedroom window continued to open.

Karl often heard his named called out when he was alone in the home. The family also heard phantoms gunshots in the kitchen.

Ginger remarried and returned to help her family restore the home. She decided to show her parents the corpse but it had mysteriously disappeared.

The Bobers also discovered some kind of time and space distortion. They would measure a room one day only to discover that several days later it had shrunk or expanded in size.

Photographs they took of various rooms would often reflect furniture that was no longer there.

What is left of Summerwind.
Today, thrill seekers still enter the property in hopes of seeing ghosts. All that remains is part of the foundation, the chimneys and weeds.

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