A ROAD GAME at Miller Park usually means a stay at the Pfister, downtown Milwaukee's historic hotel, which plays host to most visiting ballclubs. It's got swank rooms, a prime location -- and a major league reputation for spooking its guests. Rumor has it that the 120-year-old landmark is haunted by the ghost of its founder, Charles Pfister, who died in 1927. Sound silly? Tell that to these A-listers.
Bryce Harper, Nationals
One time last summer, before I went to sleep, I laid a pair of jeans and a shirt on that table at the foot of the bed, those things in hotels that you sit on to put on your shoes. I just laid 'em out, simple as that. When I woke up in the morning -- I swear on everything -- the clothes were on the floor and the table was on the opposite side of the room against the wall. I was so flustered. I honestly thought there might be someone in my room. I had no idea what the hell just happened, so I actually looked around, and then I checked to see if the door was still latched, and it was.
I thought someone -- maybe [Jayson] Werth -- came into my room during the night and moved everything around, and I knew Tyler Moore and Lombo [Steve Lombardozzi] were both near me too, but they said that no one had done anything like that. Now, they could be lying to me. That's possible, and no one else seemed to have a weird experience, but it really creeped me out. I went downstairs and changed my room immediately. Different room, different floor. I said, "I just need to get out of that room. I don't want to talk about it, I just need to get out." So they moved me to a higher floor.
Brandon Phillips, Reds
We play Milwaukee a lot, but I remember one time I came into the room and just sat on the bed. Then, for some reason, the damn radio turned on. So I turned it off and got in the shower. When I was done, that motherf---er had turned back on.
Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
Man, I hate when we have four games there. Two, three, anything’s better than four. It’s freaky as s---, with the head-shot paintings on the walls and the old curtains everywhere. It reminds me of the Disneyland Haunted House. The less time I’m there, the better.
Michael Young, Phillies
Oh, f--- that place. Listen, I'm not someone who spreads ghost stories, so if I'm telling you this, it happened. A couple of years ago, I was lying in bed after a night game, and I was out. My room was locked, but I heard these footsteps inside my room, stomping around. I'd heard all these stories about this hotel, so I was wide awake at that point. And then I heard it again, these footsteps on the floor, so I yelled out, "Hey! Make yourself at home. Hang out, have a seat, but do not wake me up, okay?" After that, I didn't hear a thing for the rest of the night. I just let him know he was welcome, that we could be pals, that he could marinate in there for as long as he needed to, just as long as he didn't wake me up.
Justin Upton, Braves
From the minute I walk in there, I'm freaked out. The whole place, the creepy lights on the side, everything. I have to sleep with the blinds open and the lights on. Next time, I'm finding another hotel and paying for it on my own. I can't sleep there.
Pablo Sandoval, Giants
I don't like the ghosts there. In 2009 I went to take a shower, and I remember putting my iPod next to a speaker. When I came out, it was playing music, and I have no idea why. I left the hotel after that. I didn't want to stay there. In 2010 me and Edgar [Renteria] stayed down the street and paid for it on our own. Then last month, I decided to stay there again. I asked myself, Why do I have to be afraid? The only thing I asked the ghosts was to let me sleep. And they did.
C.J. Wilson, Angels
I've had lots of experiences there. I was on the computer one night, doing my typical shtick -- surfing the web, sending an email, editing a photo -- and then all of a sudden the lights started flickering. I'm thinking to myself, I'm going to be so pissed if my computer dies. Then the light just shuts off. And then the TV shuts off. And then the light turns back on, but the light at the front door turns off. I just yelled out, "Really?"
I have this thing with ghosts. Just engage them or confront them. Just say, "Hey, man, I'm here to chill out. I'm just here to send some emails, no big deal. Just leave me alone." So after that, I went back to whatever I was doing on the computer, but then 30 minutes later there's scratching in the walls. Now I'm thinking, Okay, it's the Midwest, there could be a possum or something in the wall, right? That's possible, isn't it? All I knew was that there were definitely noises coming from the wall. I just said out loud again, "Can you please just leave me alone? I'm really trying to work here."
At this point, I'm on edge. I'm literally looking to see if there are people in the hallway, if someone's trying to pull something. We'll do that sometimes -- take a guy's key card and hide in the closet or behind the shower and jump out. But then the lights really start going crazy, and I'm like, "Are you kidding me? I don't want anything from you! Leave me alone! Or write it down. Write down what you want. I can't communicate with you through the lights."
The next day, we all show up at the park, and everyone has this uneasy feeling, like we had bad Chinese food or something. I said to one of my teammates, "You wouldn't believe the s--- that was going on in my hotel room last night." And another guy said, "Oh my god. Are you talking about that s--- you heard?" Everybody had a story. One dude got locked in his bathroom and he had to get the hotel to get him out. Another guy had the lights turn off when he was in the shower. Another guy saw something.
I don't get terribly concerned unless things start shattering in the room, so it was fine. I don't get that much sleep anyway. But you just get a vibe when you walk in. It almost feels like you're in Prague or something: very Gothic, lots of gold enamel, crosswalks and atriums everywhere. Being on the road so much, we're used to a standard cookie-cutter place. But this hotel totally stands alone.
Shane Victorino, Red Sox
C'mon, I don't believe in all that s---. I know one of my teammates freaked out once because the lights were flickering, but it's not haunted. There's nothing wrong with that hotel.