Delve into paranormal at free lecture Monday


10/06/06 - Marshfield News-Herald

MARSHFIELD -- When considering the scenic beauty and culture of Wisconsin, one rarely takes into consideration cursed schoolhouses, hellhounds, shadow demons and gnome sightings. An evening with Eau Claire paranormal investigator Chad Lewis could change that.

Lewis will give a lecture on Wisconsin's most haunted places at 7 p.m. Monday at the Marshfield Public Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Lewis is the author and co-author with Terry Fisk of a number of books on the subject of the paranormal, including "The Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations," which reads like a study in folklore, a campfire story marathon and the ultimate road trip reference book for connoisseurs of the weird.

The cases are as varied as Wisconsin weather. Haunted cemeteries? There is probably one closer to you than you think. Vampire sightings? Sure, one of those. Statues that come alive? Yep, we got all that and more here in the Dairy State.

Wisconsin has been called one of the most haunted states in the United States, and Lewis seems to agree.

"I think it is because there are so many good researchers here that we dug up these stories that may remain hidden in other states," Lewis said. "Also, I believe that people in Wisconsin feel comfortable telling others what they saw, whether it is a ghost or UFO or Bigfoot. There is something about people in Wisconsin that is straightforward and mostly honest. Others believe that the land of Wisconsin is just a magical place, filled with mystery and intrigue."

Besides being an author and investigator, Lewis also is host of "The Unexplained" radio program and public access television show. And like any paranormal investigators worth their weight in orbs and ectoplasm, Lewis and his co-author and radio show co-host Fisk keep a balanced skepticism along with a believer's hope.

The impressive thing about their book is the credibility. The investigations are detailed and professional without falling into cheap sensationalism or blind gullibility. In his introduction to "The Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations," Fisk admits he is still not sure whether ghosts exist.

What inspires Lewis and keeps him on his chosen course are the same questions that have had mankind pondering throughout the ages.

"I was an undergrad studying psychology, and I was interested in the same questions humans have asked themselves for years," Lewis said. "Are we alone in the universe? What happens when we die? Have we really discovered every animal on the planet? I started investigating UFOs, and when I talked to people they would bring up other paranormal topics, so my interests opened from there."

More information on Lewis and his investigations into the paranormal can be found on the Web at www.unexplainedresearch.com.

Troy Schoultz is a columnist for the Marshfield News-Herald.

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