Woodville Cementery in the town of Linwood is the burial place of Calvin Blood. Many ghost stories have been told about the area. Stevens Point Journal file photo

Conference to be a haunting event

For anyone who has ever heard something that went bump in the night or came face to face with the ghost of a dead relative, the Country Springs Hotel will be the place to be later this month.


The Strange Stevens Point Unexplained Conference will bring together a panel of ghost experts, werewolf hunters and crop circle enthusiasts April 22.


"I've always had an interest in the afterlife and the paranormal ... it was simply a matter of faith," said Terry Fisk, "And now there is some scientific evidence to support the reality that things happen to people that we can't explain."


Fisk studies out-of-body experiences and past lives. He pointed to a study done of people who had out-of-body experiences after nearly dying.


"When they awoke, they were able to describe in detail things that went on in the hospital room and outside while they were laying dead on the bed," he said. "They were talking about things that they saw that they shouldn't have been able to."


Fisk and his colleague Chad Lewis travel around the Midwest to investigate claims of UFO sightings and haunted places.


"I try to approach each case with an open mind," Lewis said. "There are plenty of hoaxes out there, but there are some places I've been where it is just creepy. I wouldn't classify it as evidence -- it's all subjective -- but there is a certain feeling that something else is going on. We may not find the answer, but we can't rule anything out.


Lewis wrote a book just over a year ago detailing some places in Wisconsin that are supposed to be haunted. Some locations detailed in the book are in Portage County. One place is Boy Scout Lane in the town of Linwood. According to a local legend, a group of Boy Scouts haunt the road at night carrying lanterns. Supposedly a boy was murdered by his bus driver on the road. Another claim is that an entire Boy Scout troop was murdered on the road.


The street was named because of its use as a Boy Scout camp, and there is no record of any disappearance.


Another location that's supposed to be haunted is a bridge on Highway 66 that crosses over the Plover River northeast of Stevens Point. The small bridge is named "Bloody Bride Bridge," because legend has it that a young bride was killed there in a car crash on her wedding night. Some say that if you drive across the bridge at night and look in your rearview mirror, you will see her in your back seat wearing her wedding gown.

The conference is a way to bring believers and non believers together, Lewis said. He has been speaking on the topic of aliens and ghosts for about 10 years. He has met people from all walks of life at his seminars, but one trait holds true throughout the audience.


"The people who come to these conferences are normal, rational, logical, intelligent people," he said. "They are not crackpots. They are afraid to tell people what they saw because they are afraid people will think they are crazy."


Former journalist and current author Linda Godfrey started out as ardent critic of the unexplained before doing research for a story on werewolf sightings in Walworth County.


"I was a complete skeptic when I first started looking into this," she said. "But over the last 10 years I have talked to so many people who I trust. There is something to it."

Godfrey has written several books on the subject of werewolves including, "The Beast of Bray Road, Tailing Wisconsin's Werewolf" published by Trails Books in Madison.

"Wisconsin seems to be the epicenter for werewolf sightings across the country," Godfrey said. "More often than not people see them from their cars. They are usually up early going to work or still out late from the night before.


"I am not sure we are dealing with the Lon Chaney character changing by the moonlight," she said. "From what I've been told the most logical answer is that it is a part bear part wolf creature. There are no reports of the creature ever hurting anyone. It can be intimidating, threatening and very aggressive, but I am more scared of serial killers."


Thornton can be reached at 345-2257 or at pthornton@cwnews.net

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