Phantom elephants wandering Brackett Avenue, a ghost jogging near Vine Street, vanishing werewolves and other mysterious reports from Eau Claire residents will be retold at Saturday's 14th annual Unexplained Conference.

Started by Eau Claire native Chad Lewis, 34, the conference gathers a group of Wisconsin authors to recall their investigations into the paranormal.

"This year I decided to do it a little bit different," Lewis said. "They're certainly a little bit darker than most of my presentations, that's for sure."

During his half-hour presentation, Lewis plans on rattling off about 20 tales of ghost sightings and any historical facts that could have inspired them. Most will be related to a murder or tragic death, but he said he wants to keep the stories focused on reports of ghost sightings and not the grisly details of the deaths that supposedly inspired them.

Linda Godfrey will use her half-hour of presentation time to tell stories on strange creatures reported in Wisconsin.

She's been reporting sightings of a man-wolf since she wrote an article about an account in 1992 while working at a weekly newspaper in southeastern Wisconsin. She has since written two books on her research. Godfrey's been featured on 10 TV documentaries including an episode of the History Channel's MonsterQuest entitled "American Werewolf."

"I do believe there is some unnaturally behaving canine," she said.

An Eau Claire man reported seeing a different creature during the afternoon in 2003 that had some wolf characteristics, Godfrey said.

The man claimed to see a tall, heavyset creature with oily black skin, large claws and the face of a wolf without ears. When the man grabbed for a nearby baseball bat, the creature turned and vanished.

Lewis' research partner, Terry Fisk, will discuss different religions interpretation of the afterlife and then review recent studies of near-death experiences, psychic phenomenon and out-of-body experiences.

Paranormal investigators Noah Voss and Kevin Nelson plan on an open question-and-answer session of their research into phenomenon ranging from UFOs to bigfoot.

"Wherever the audience questions take us, that's where we'll go," Voss said.

Voss, 30, of Sun Prairie has been investigating strange phenomenon since he was 8 years old and visited a friend's house to try and hear disembodied voices of ghosts using a tape recorder.

In those decades, he said he's had a fair amount of experiences that he could not fully explain.

Voss and Lewis both say research in the paranormal continues to be popular through new cable TV documentaries and series.

"This is what I do full time now," Lewis said.

Saturday's conference is intended for both believers and skeptics alike, Lewis said, and to give people something spooky to see around Halloween.

"They see the fun and adventure in it, especially at this time of year," he said.

Dowd can be reached at 833-9204, 800-236-7077 or