Captain Merry Historic Inn

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This historic inn is believed to have closed, and may now be a private residence. The building the inn was housed in has a colourful past, and is rumoured to be one of the most haunted houses in town. Reports range from sightings of a woman in a black dress to a fast moving male apparition, as well as ghostly voices, disembodied footsteps in a disused tunnel and an unusual presence in a second floor bathroom.

(Submitted by Callum Swift)

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Geographic Information

399 Sinsinawa Ave
Dubuque, Iowa
United States

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42.4916788, -90.64155900000003
Jo Daviess County, Illinois
Nearest Towns:
East Dubuque, IL (0.1 mi.)
Dubuque, IA (1.3 mi.)
Sandy Hook, WI (3.9 mi.)
Sageville, IA (5.4 mi.)
Menominee, IL (5.5 mi.)
Asbury, IA (5.8 mi.)
Kieler, WI (6.5 mi.)
Durango, IA (8.3 mi.)
Dickeyville, WI (9.7 mi.)
Centralia, IA (10.1 mi.)


Please note: It is your responsibility to acquire appropriate permissions before investigating any location listed on this site. Private property should be respected at all times, as should all posted signs concerning trespassing, hours of operation and other local regulations. Many "ghost hunters" have been arrested because they failed to contact property owners and/or local authorities ahead of time.

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Comments (3)

  1. In the 1970’s myself and my family lived in the Merry Building when it was split into apartments. As you look at the front of the building, the big bay window to the left was our first apartment. Some years later they remodeled the apartment across the hall which we moved into, that occupied the right hand bay window.

    Towards the last few years of us living there, we were the only family that occupied the Merry Building. As a kid, it was an awesome place to run around in and play games.

    There was an incident that took place while living there that I believed started my fascination with the paranormal. East Dubuque was hosting their annual “Corn Boil” and it was my parents, my uncle, a family friend and myself that attended. My uncle and friend decided after a while that they wanted to go home, my parents asked that they take me with them while they stayed awhile longer.

    It was still day light out when we got back to the apartment. We were sitting there in silence, no TV or radio on when we could hear what sounded like dress shoes walking on tiling. My uncle sat up and knew that no one else should be in the building if we were the only ones living there. My uncle got up and opened the door and stuck his head out of the apartment and looked around, finally staring at the stairs for a few moments. My uncle quickly called for our friend Tom to come join him out in the hall. Me being a nosey kid, I naturally followed them out into the hall. We gathered out in the hall standing side by side of each other looking at the staircase. It took me a moment to figure out what my uncle was focusing on. About less than half way up the stairs you could hear what sounded like a mans foot steps taking each step in a very slow and lazy fashion. All 3 of us stood silent, listening to the steps slowly making their way to the top. Once the footsteps made it to the top landing, you could hear them walk slowly around the banister and fade away.

    I also recall another time when my uncle, a friend of my moms decided to check out the tunnels that were down in the basement. I followed them down, but I stood in the basement and waited for those 2 and our family dog to come back when they were done. They did not make it down to far when their flashlight cut out and our dog FLEW out of the tunnel and out of the basement, he was to never venture down there again with me like he did so many other times before.

    Again, I loved being a kid and having free run of the Merry Building. There is SO much history to that building that I think we would be silly to think that something did not stay behind with what they probably called home too.

  2. Melissa Culbertson  |  

    The Captain Merry is currently an Airbnb. I work there on the buiness side. We conducted many ghost hunts in the last few years. It’s definitely haunted! I work there, I am Medium. There is always something happening that’s paranormal.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.