Shane Opatz

Local paranormal expert, presenter and author Chad Lewis has spent the last five years collecting some of the state's most bizarre stories and compiling them into a new book.


Author mines headlines for book


By Brad Bryan

06/12/07 - Leader Telegram


'Hidden Headlines of Wisconsin' might just be the one book the Leader-Telegram doesn't want you read.

How could any self-respecting newspaper print stories about a swordfish being caught in the Eau Claire river, a wild man roaming the nearby woods or Mr. and Mrs. Charles Berg asking police to catch ghosts that shared in their Eau Claire home?

Well the Eau Claire Leader and the Eau Claire Telegram did. Other newspapers did too. But that was 100 years ago and we promise never to do it again.

Local paranormal expert, presenter and author Chad Lewis has spent the last five years collecting some of the state's most bizarre stories and compiling them into this book— however embarrassing those stories may be for the newspapers that published them.

'Every time I thought I had the strangest story, I found another even more bizarre,' Lewis said.

Combing the old Leader files as well as the Milwaukee Journal, the Milwaukee Sentinel, Janesville Gazette and others from 1860 to 1910, Lewis has wangled some humdingers from alligators in Half Moon Lake, to meteors falling in Kenosha, to a flaming sword seen in the skies over Saratoga, to a La Crosse boy who was kicked in the head by a horse and then started barking like a dog.

Could all these strange stories about events in 107 Wisconsin cities be true?

'I have my doubts about some of them,' Lewis said.

After all, he said, despite the technology available at the time, if there was a story about a dog-faced boy, why wouldn't there be a picture?

He also noticed, for example, that the Eau Claire Leader might have a story about an extraordinary event in La Crosse, but the La Crosse paper would have no mention of the event. The same with other papers in other cities.

'Hidden Headlines of Wisconsin' ($14.95) is a jaunty 164-page read that moves quickly with short stories, fact boxes and some unusual Wisconsin photographs.

Lewis said he tried to keep the feel of the stories, but did not change anything in them, or correct any errors.

Although much of the book's research was gleaned by searching libraries across Wisconsin, Lewis says that the Internet is allowing him to work on a similar book about Texas—which he expects to finish later this month—all from the comfort of his home.

This marks Lewis' fifth book. He encourages those interested in purchasing it to look no further than their nearest bookseller. Otherwise, copies can be purchased online at www.unexplainedresearch.com.

Bryan can be reached at (800) 236-7077, 830-5840 or brad.bryan@ecpc.com.



If You Go
Book Signing for 'Hidden Headlines of Wisconsin'

Author and paranormal expert Chad Lewis

Borders book store, 4030 Commonwealth Ave., Eau Claire


Saturday, June 16 at 1 p.m.


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