In the film classic
“Blithe Spirit,” a medium hosts a séance and
entreats a spectral entity to confirm its
presence by knocking: “Once for yes, twice for
In 14 years of
chasing everything from ghosts to unidentified
flying objects, Chad Lewis has heard nary a peep
from his intended quarry.
“I have traveled to
some of the most paranormal places in the world
and I have yet to have a personal experience,”
said Lewis, who is from Wisconsin when he’s not
traveling here and there lecturing on, or
looking for, the strange and unusual.
The closest he’s
come to confirming a paranormal encounter was in
a graveyard in Wisconsin.
“The psychics we
brought along did not want to go in, which for
us made it a lot more interesting,” Lewis
reported somebody grabbing their equipment. When
the photographs were developed, we got strange
mists or fogs that were not there when the
photographs were taken,” he said.
Lewis gets 200
e-mails a week from people purporting to have
had an experience from beyond the pale.
He said he
encounters people who want to believe something
strange is happening to them and “those who
really do experience something and can’t explain
Lewis said ghost
stories far outnumber UFO accounts.
“That doesn’t mean
people aren’t seeing UFOs, they just aren’t
reporting them as easily,” he said.
A talk Lewis plans
to give Nov. 7 at Minnesota State University
Moorhead will include a ghostly tale about
Moorhead High School and a spooky story about
MSUM’s Weld Hall, the setting for the lecture.
“It seems you can’t
throw a rock in the United States without
hitting a haunted university,” he said. “Every
university has at least one or two ghost
permeate all cultures and sometimes what is
considered hooey today was accepted, once upon a
time, as true, or at least not that outlandish,
said John Sherman, a retired MSUM English
professor and an expert on folklore.
“Fairy lore was
apparently taken very seriously for several
centuries as something strange but still within
the realm of human experience, with all sorts of
sightings and stories and so on,” Sherman said.
Sometimes, he said,
far-fetched claims cannot easily be dismissed.
“Flying saucers are
a pretty good example,” he said. “In some cases,
you’ve got multiple credible witnesses,
including things like radar.
“So there’s a
phenomenon, you just don’t know what the
phenomenon is. You don’t necessarily have to
believe it came from (the star system) Alpha
On the other hand,
he hinted, you don’t have to believe it didn’t.
“I think the world
is a little weirder than it appears to be,”
Sherman said. “I have no trouble with believing
the current state of human knowledge is not
complete and there is probably a good deal more
to be discovered than has been discovered to
“What happens when
we die? I certainly don’t know. Are we alone in
the universe? That curiosity of wanting to know
these answers keep me moving,” he said.
If you go
- What: Chad
Lewis,co-author of “The
Minnesota Road Guide to Haunted Locations”
Glasrud Auditorium, Weld Hall, Minnesota State
- When: 8
p.m. Nov. 7.
- Cost: free.
Readers can reach
Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555