A guide to ominous Oshkosh

Ghost hunter shares insight on ghoulish premonitions


by Jenna Klesit, of the Advance-Titan


10/18/07 - Advance - Titan

Visions of apparitions and supernatural occurrences are not hair-raising events for Chad Lewis, a ghost hunter who came to campus Wednesday night.

With Halloween just around the corner students and community members were offered a glimpse at Wisconsin’s paranormality presented by the University Speaker Series. Lewis talked about his ghost hunt searches in his presentation in the Reeve Memorial Union Ballroom titled “Wisconsin’s Most Haunted.”

Senior Deanna Engelmann said she was interested in the subject of the presentation.

 “I was curious,” Engelmann said. “I believe in ghosts and spirits and life after death.”

 For 14 years Lewis traveled to various locations to investigate cases of the paranormal and investigate reports of ghosts and haunted locations. He earned a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Lewis said there are many haunted locations in Oshkosh. Ghostly hooded figures are said to surround the grave of Kate Blood in the Riverside Cemetary. Blood supposedly killed her husband and children, Lewis said. After Lewis investigated, he found out the claims were false and clearly marked on Blood’s husband’s grave is a date of death much later than hers.

Visitors of the cemetery also reported seeing ghostly images of children. When Lewis investigated, psychics who were not told where they were going accompanied him. Right when they arrived they said they felt the presence of the child ghosts, Lewis said.

Staff members and visitors to the New Moon Café have reported seeing an apparition of a bellhop dressed in 1900’s attire who died in a fire. When one approaches the figure disappears, Lewis said.

Two years ago Lewis investigated a case about a haunted residence hall room at UW-Oshkosh. A student claimed to be woken by a cold chill. The student heard someone walking around the room and on one occasion was pushed out of bed. The student requested a room change, Lewis said. Lewis would not reveal which residence hall or room the occurrences took place in.

“How much do you really know about the history of your dorm room?” he asked. “You might even be sleeping in the haunted dorm room.”

Lewis said there are a number of dares that go along with the haunted locations. A young woman drowned in a lake near her grave at La Belle Cemetery in Oconomowoc, and if a person sits behind a plot near her grave marker they will be able to see the recreation of her death, Lewis said. Blood Cemetery in Stevens Point is also said to be haunted by the ghost of Calvin Blood, a Civil War deserter. The dare is that if a visitor breaks off a tree branch in the cemetery, Lewis said, “You will eventually die.”

Sophomore Nathan Werner said he learned about the state’s history from Lewis’s presentation.

“There’s a lot more haunted places in Wisconsin than you think,” he said.

University Speaker Series Chairperson Abby Schultz said Lewis’s presentation was a part of the speaker series for a variety of reasons.

 “I think it is something that is of interest to the students whether they believe or not,” Schultz said. “It also gives a little bit of Oshkosh history.”

Approximately 100 mini-pumpkins were given to students to decorate and enter into a contest where they could win assorted door prizes, Schultz said. Lewis judged the best pumpkin decoration and the winner was Jori Sigler’s pumpkin decorated with a black cat and moon. She won a copy of Lewis’s book, “Wisconsin’s Road Guide to Haunted Locations,” where Lewis compiled his discoveries of haunted places throughout Wisconsin.

The next speaker in the series is Loung Ung who will discuss her life as a Cambodia refuge Nov. 14 at 8:00 p.m.

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