“For the last 13 years, I’ve been traveling the globe looking for werewolves, vampires, crop circles, UFOs, alien abductions, and of course, haunted places...” — Chad Lewis

Author unearths haunted tales


By Chantel Balzell - Daily News staff -


10/25/06 - The Daily News

From unexplained cold spots and white mists appearing in photos to reports of ghostly figures, sometimes even in the form of dogs and gnome-like creatures, author and paranormal expert Chad Lewis unearthed his research to locals during the Rhinelander District Library's 2006 author series.

“For the last 13 years, I've been traveling the globe looking for werewolves, vampires, crop circles, UFOs, alien abductions, and of course, haunted places, which we're going to look at tonight,” he said.


Lewis, co-author of Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations, focused his presentation on reports of paranormal activity in Wisconsin.

These sites include the La Belle Cemetery in Oconomowoc, the Riverside Cemetery in Appleton, the Lakeview Cemetery in Eau Claire, Nelson's Hall in Door County, the Maribel Caves Hotel in Manitowoc County, Little Bohemia in Manitowish Waters, the intersection of French Ally and Chicken Alley in Green Bay, St. Peter Cemetery in Stevens Point, the Bloody Bride Bridge in Stevens Point, Devil's Punch Bowl in Menominee, Graceland Cemetery in Mineral Point, the old schoolhouse in Caryville and more.

According to Lewis, many accounts of ghosts have occurred at cemeteries and bridges because they represent a portal between the living and spirit world.

Probably the most compelling story was the haunting of Elk Lake Dam near Eau Claire. Two men claimed they saw a glowing woman dressed in white. Lewis began discussing the case at conferences, and a man confronted him, stating that he lived in the area during the 1970s and that he recalled a young woman being murdered there. After doing some research, Lewis discovered that a woman named Mary had been killed in 1974 while she was hitchhiking to graduate school from Minneapolis to Chicago. Her body had been severely stabbed and beaten, and dumped on the side of the road.

Lewis investigated the site, equipped with a camera and accompanied by a friend and psychic named Aaron.

“What we didn't know at the time was that many people were having trouble with the bridge,” Lewis said. “Construction workers would bring equipment in and it would stop working or it wouldn't start.”

Coincidentally, Aaron's camera didn't work once they approached the site where Mary was killed, but it did work before and afterwards.

“As we were leaving Aaron said he thought that Mary was trying to follow us home or back to the university, and he was spooked, he didn't want to leave until she quit following us,” he said.

Lewis showed some photographs that he took when Aaron believed Mary was following the two, and a large glowing mist or fog brightly appears in the picture.

“I'll let you decide whether you believe Mary was really trying to follow us home,” Lewis said, concluding his encounter.

After Lewis spoke for about an hour, audience members shared their personal ghostly encounters.

One woman who formerly resided near Saint Mary's Church claimed she used to hear dresser drawers open and shut and mysterious knocking at night. One evening while playing hide and seek with her children, the family witnessed a child-sized sweater glowing on the staircase.

“I really do believe that this place is haunted, and I've heard that other houses in that neighborhood were haunted, too,” she said. “I really did experience that stuff, but I wasn't scared.”

Lewis was the seventh lecturer in the Rhinelander District Library 2006 author series, which is funded by the Northern Arts Council and the Rhinelander District Library Foundation. The event drew a large crowd of which one-third had never visited the library, and many were from surrounding areas.

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