201 8th St Baraboo, WI
RESERVATIONS

Baraboo

Carnival of Horrors Haunted House

The Ringling House Bed & Breakfast and Baraboo Tours will present an all new “Carnival of Horror” Haunted House this year! Be transported to the most frightening carnival in the Baraboo bluffs. This house of horrors will get your adrenaline going, trigger your wildest fears, recall your worst nightmares, and produce blood curdling screams. Do you dare to —step into our lair? There is no escape…

The “Carnival of Horrors” Haunted House Fundraiser

Halloween spirit alive at Ringling House Bed &Breakfast’s “Carnival of Horrors” haunted house.

What better way to scare up money for a great cause than to host a haunted house?
Stuart Koehler and Julie Hearley and a committee of volunteers are, for the second consecutive fall, creating a haunted house in a carriage house behind Ringling House Bed & Breakfast. Their goal isn’t to conjure Ringling family ghosts, but to raise money for improvements to the historic property.
Last year a nonprofit organization, Friends of the Charles and Henry Ringling Estate, was formed to preserve the buildings and grounds once owned by the brothers of circus fame. The one-acre estate includes the main house, which the couple operates as a six-room bed-and-breakfast; the carriage house; a cottage; and a barn. The 1901 Colonial Revival home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“We think – we hope – the community wants this property to stay intact,” Stuart said.
Julie said the nonprofit will remain in place even if the property changes hands someday. “This is designed to protect these buildings as long as they’re around,” she said.
The couple plans to transform the carriage house in an event venue. They foresee hosting theatrical performances and other events attracting groups of 100 to 200 people. “There aren’t a lot of places in Baraboo for those kinds of events,” Stuart said.
Money generated through the Carnival of Horrors haunted house will support that project. Setup work began last month, with the team adding to the maze of horrors it set up last year. Julie said the team needs volunteers to help set up the haunted house and operate it. A crew of 15 is needed to sell tickets, provide security and act as ghouls within the indoor-outdoor haunted house.
Also needed this year are sponsors. The Friends of the Charles and Henry Ringling Estate group is offering sponsorships ranging in cost from $40 to $1,000 in exchange for tickets and prominently displayed gravestones bearing donors’ names. Donors will be invited to a VIP event at Ringling House, featuring personalities from the “Bordello of Horror” television show. Rachel Frank will offer demonstrations of horror-themed makeup and fashion. To volunteer or secure a sponsorship, send email to ringlingfriends@gmail.com.
The VIP event isn’t the only new feature this year. The haunted house is adding matinees for kids, who figure not to get as frightened in the daylight. Carnival of Horrors will be open Fridays and Saturdays starting October 11 from 7-10 p.m. During the final week of October, it will be open Thursday through Sunday, featuring $5 matinees for kids that Friday and Sunday from 2-4 p.m. (Otherwise, the haunted house isn’t recommended for youths under 10). Admission will cost $15 at the door, but tickets can be had in advance for $10 at https://ringlinghousebnb.com/event/, at the Al. Ringling Theatre and at Con Amici Wine Bar,  starting Friday, September 27th.
Last year the haunted house attracted 700 people. This year’s goal is 1,000. Halloween fans came from across the state last year. “That’s a lot of people who probably wouldn’t have come to town otherwise,” Stuart said.

The Deadly Derby Murder Mystery Dinner

The Deadly Derby Murder Mystery Dinner

Sin City Slayer – Murder Mystery Dinner

Casino Style Murder Mystery Dinner

Baraboo Cocoa Crawl 2019

Delectable Drinks and Family Fun at the second annual Baraboo Cocoa Crawl on Saturday, January 26th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm!  Sample delicious and unique flavors of hot chocolate & other treats at area businesses – no two stops will be alike.
Turn your ticket in at the last stop for a chance to win one of two gift baskets, valued at over $100, containing items from participating business.

The Houses that George Built—an Isenberg Retrospect

A few years ago, Margie Isenberg Abel stopped in Baraboo on a trip through Wisconsin, and that trip piqued her interest about her family’s links to Sauk County history. She knew of local kin Jim Isenberg (who is a second cousin), and wanted to learn more. With help from author Jerry Apps, a local Ringling historian, Abel contacted relatives of George Isenberg in Germany. She learned that three of seven Isenberg brothers left the family carpentry business to come to America. Two of the brothers, George and Carl, started Isenberg Brothers in Sauk City before moving to Baraboo. Here they built several landmark structures that, despite being built more than a century ago, remain vibrant institutions.

Early Ringling House 1901

Then about 2 years ago, The Isenberg great-granddaughters returned for a week to Baraboo, intent on researching the indelible imprint the Isenberg buildings left on Baraboo. They came from Kansas and New Hampshire to see the Baraboo Library, the Al. Ringling Mansion, St. John’s Lutheran Church, the Ringling House Bed & Breakfast and the Van Orden Mansion – all built by their Isenberg ancestors.

“They weCarlIsenbergre unbelievable mansions for that time,” said Margie Isenberg Abel, the chief family researcher.

They compared notes with Executive Director Paul Wolter of the Sauk County Historical Society, about the construction company run by their great-grandfather and his brother George.

“They were, bar none, the premier builders of Sauk County,” Wolter said.

 

There were seven sons and three daughters in the Isenberg family. George, being the youngest son, was educated in Germany, and as a youth was apprenticed to the trade of carpenter. In 1885, he immigrated to the United States, and once arriving in Sauk County, he eventually took up residence in Baraboo, where he lived without interruption-although in the interest of his business affairs, he resided for short periods at other places. For three or four years he was employed as a carpenter by his brother Karl, with whom he eventually formed a partnership, and the firm of Isenberg Brothers grew to be one of the leading contracting and building concerns in this part of the state. During this time the brothers erected many of the largest buildings in Baraboo, including all the Ringling buildings, and in 1912 George Isenberg went to Florida, where he erected the winter home for Charles and Edith Ringling.

IsenbergDecendants

 

Margie Isenberg Abel of Kansas, Ann Isenberg of New Hampshire and Carol Isenberg Dillon of Kansas, sitting on the stirs of the Van Orden Mansion, one the homes constructed by Carl and George Isenberg.

 

 

 

Thanks to Ben Bromley of the Baraboo news Republic and the Archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society for Information in the preparation of this piece.

Scroll to top