Theatre rumored as one of region's haunted sites,
paranormal researcher says
can be a mysterious cold draft blowing from seemingly
nowhere, or it can be an unexplained knocking noise
coming from a tilted gravestone.
If a person is lucky — or unlucky, depending on
one's opinion — one might even see something that
can't be explained.
The talk about ghosts, ghouls and other supernatural
beings heats up around Halloween, but studying the
unexplained is a continual process.
Chad Lewis, an Eau Claire native who has been studying
the paranormal for several years, gave a slideshow
presentation Saturday night at the Holiday Inn, 205 S.
Barstow St. Lewis gave a short history of paranormal
sightings, along with photographs of supposed
In his presentation Lewis outlined several haunted
areas in Wisconsin, including some in Eau Claire. He
mentioned UW-Eau Claire's Kjer Theatre, Lakeview
Cemetery near Half Moon Lake and Fire Station No. 10.
While he hasn't investigated Kjer Theatre, Lewis said
there are rumors about the theatre being haunted by
founder Earl Kjer.
Jody Sekas, assistant professor of music and theatre
arts, hasn't seen any evidence of Kjer being haunted,
but he isn't ruling out the possibility.
"It seems like every theatre has (a ghost),"
Sekas said. "I prefer to believe the stories.
It's safer to have a healthy dose of respect."
Aside from Kjer Theatre, Lewis has visited the other
haunted places in Eau Claire, and he experienced
things that people often associate with paranormal
In Lakeview Cemetery, Lewis investigated a grave he
said was associated with a knocking sound.
While in the cemetery Lewis heard the knocking as it
had been described to him — seeming to come from a
grave that had been pushed over on an angle.
Lewis took pictures of the gravestone's area, and some
of the picture depicted a white form when developed.
He didn't explain the white form's existence.
He only said the whiteness wasn't there when he took
the pictures and there was no problem with the film or
pictures when he had them analyzed.
He also told stories of other supposedly haunted
places in the area, including JTC Hall at UW-Stout and
the Elk Creek Dam, west of Eau Claire.
Lewis told a story about two students who were sitting
by the dam.
One student turned around to look behind him, then
turned back toward the water before saying to his
friend, "There's a glowing, green woman behind
His friend responded, "I know, but I'm not
Lewis said he doesn't try to draw conclusions when he
investigates a haunted location; he just wants to rule
He added that he wants people to come to their own
"At this point, we have more questions than
answers," Lewis told the audience. "I don't
try to tell people what something is. I just try to
tell them what it is not."