by Catherine Jozwik Mike Huberty, owner of American Ghost Walks, a tourism company dedicated to the paranormal history of the Midwest, has been taking participants on spooky strolls for nearly a …
by Catherine Jozwik
Huberty was born into a family of paranormal enthusiasts, which inspired him to start his tourism business. “I was always interested in ghost stories, UFOs, and other weird tales,” he said. “My family always loved taking haunted ghost tours when we went on vacation.”
This Fate Magazine writer reached out to Huberty to ask him a few questions about his tourism business dedicated to the eerie and macabre.
How and when did American Ghost Walks get started?
I attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and I loved it so much I stayed. My sister, Allison Jornlin, started the Milwaukee Ghosts tour in 2007, and she suggested I start a tour in Madison. In 2010, I founded a tourism company dedicated to preserving local history, folklore, and showing people a great time around the city.
Since then, the company has expanded to become American Ghost Walks, which preserves and boosts haunted history in eight Midwestern cities including Madison, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Dells, Lake Geneva, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Stillwater, and Waukesha.
Why are your tours great for both history buffs and paranormal enthusiasts?
We make sure to differentiate history from folklore and the honest facts from the fun fiction. We can trace every story on our tours to a newspaper article, a book, or an interview with the experiencer. Ghost stories are more fun when they’re real. Ghost walks can also serve as a great way to meet others who share your interests, or maybe your experiences. A paranormal encounter is often isolating, because you don’t think anyone will believe you, or people might think you’re crazy. But these tours are a place where where you can not only learn about the experiences of others and the history of the area, but share your own encounter, and know that other people will understand.
Why is the Midwest the perfect region to study paranormal history?
When you grow up in the Midwest, it’s easy to think of it as a boring place with not a lot of history–it doesn’t have the glitz and glamour of the West Coast or the colonial centuries of the East Coast. But that’s just not true. There is plenty of fascinating history, intrigue, true crime and supernatural folklore right in our own backyard. American Ghost Walks is all about tapping into that, and when you see a city through the lens of the paranormal, you understand it in a brand-new way. Ghost walks are a chance to feel more powerfully connected to your own city, or a city you’re visiting.
Catherine Jozwik is a freelance journalist based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.