Madison: Haunted with romance

Brighid Monahan, Staff Writer

The Halloween spirit is all about fright, skeletons, ghosts and costumes, but rarely do we associate Halloween with love.

However, two lovers purportedly haunt one of Madison’s historical sights.

It all began when a boarder at the American Hotel fell in love with a hotel waitress in the summer of 1868.

The more time Lewis D. Frost and Rachel Simpson spent together the more heated the passion between them became, and they would sneak away at night to meet in private.

The hotel – now the American Exchange Bank – is the second oldest building on the Madison Square, built in 1838. On Sept. 5, 1868, the American Hotel on the corner of Pinkney and East Washington Avenue went up in flames.

The lovers had met for a late night rendezvous when one of them knocked over the oil lantern and set the hotel ablaze, burning both of them alive.

People say that some nights, if you look into the upper windows of the old hotel, you can still see them in passionate embrace, doomed to haunt the building forever.