Whitewater, Wisconsin has a most colorful history, a history that inspired the name of local business Second Salem Brewing Company. The guy working the brewery the day I stopped by explained to me the town’s history and directed me to its most famous (or infamous) landmark, the “Witch’s Tower” of Starin Park. What it seems like to me is that some students at a local school, the Morris Pratt Institute, were, as were a good many people in the late 1800s, caught up in the Spiritualist movement. The school *did* teach Spiritualism, and this, combined with the superstition of the locals, led to the rumor that Whitewater was rotten with witches. These witches, it was said, would congregate around the old water tower in Starin Park and perform their unholy rites. There were rumors of witchcraft trials (undocumented), graverobbing, etc. Supposedly a woman was lynched, hanged from the Tower. The town’s three cemeteries form a perfect triangle on the map, which many believed to be a sigil or glyph, and there are supposedly tunnels running beneath them, connecting them with several buildings in town and on the University of Wisconsin campus that used to be part of the Morris Pratt Institute. The area today is rife with reports of paranormal activity, especially the area that lies within the triangle. There is even supposed to be a NECRONOMICON-type spellbook kept under lock and key in the basement of the University library that if read will drive the reader to madness and or suicide. All of this lore led to Whitewater being labeled a “second Salem,” after Salem, Massachusetts and its own history with witches.
Whitewater is also the hometown of Bloody Mary. Yes, the same Bloody Mary who has inspired so many urban legends. Mary Worth is believed to be interred in Oak Grove Cemetery in Whitewater, one of the three graveyards that create the aforementioned triangle. She is also said to be buried in lots of other cemeteries, too, but a specific tomb in Oak Grove is alleged to be Ms. Worth’s not-so-final resting place.