The quaint, yellow building that sits amongst a lush garden of color is mostly known for it’s authentic homemade Italian and Sicilian fare, but to some its walls speaks of a much different tale – especially when it closes its doors every fall.
Since 1993, the Italian Gardens has continued to close its doors for the winter season starting Labor Day weekend through Memorial Day weekend. The only time the building is used in the off-season is for groups and wedding photos. It has been reported by staff over the years that items have gone missing, or are found moved to a very odd and unusual location. Who or what is causing these unexplainable events has remained a mystery all theses years?
A gentleman by the name of George Mauer first built the unique and cozy building to house him on his fishing excursions until the mid 1950s when a meticulous and cordial woman named Anna Hanson purchased the building to house her gift shop.
She opened in 1955 and named the store “By the Way Gardens” gift shop, which operated until the early 1990’s. In it you would find man worldly trinkets and souvenirs organized in a very particular fashion. Upon the passing of Anna Hanson, her children sold the building to Grand View Lodge where it was later converted into a restaurant now known as the Italian Gardens.
Staff have wondered if it was the late George or Anna who still feel a sense of belonging to the building and are to blame for the unexplainable events. Perhaps George is trying to find his tackle box, or Anna is re-organizing her gift shop inventory. By no means are these events scary, but rather mysterious in nature.
To share the charm and imagination of the building, all who step inside during the fall can enjoy the thrill of our haunted adventure. Our staff decorates and reconfigures the building into a spooky haunted house every October. Join us with your friends and family Friday evenings in October. Walks will go every 20 minutes starting at 7:30 p.m. Maybe the reason the hair on the back of your neck rises is not the scares from our costumed employees, but the presence of a real entity. The mystery is yours to solve.