Anderson was alone in her newly purchased bar at about
1 a.m. two years ago. She became sweaty mopping the
floor, so she sat down for a break. Suddenly a cold
gust of air hit her.
turned around to see if the window was open, but it
wasn't," Amy said. "Then I saw him -- he was
very short. He didn't have a face per se, but I could
tell it was facing the basement."
says she saw a ghost that night.
was not see-through or anything," the owner of
Amy's Ritz at 114 W. River St. in Chippewa Falls said.
"I wasn't afraid; I just sat and blinked."
then turned back away for a couple seconds and looked
back to the spot, but the figure was gone.
absolutely positive of what I saw," Amy said.
"I wasn't tired and I hadn't been drinking."
told her father, John Anderson, about it. He didn't
discount the possibility it was true. Especially after
he had a similar encounter of his own.
was working late one night, alone in the building. He
came out of the kitchen, picked up a box and started
to walk with it when he noticed a customer standing on
the north side of the room.
was a really short, completely brown man," John
said. "I thought 'That isn't right,' so I
stopped, poked my head around the corner for a second
look, and he was gone," John said. That was about
two years ago.
will have owned the building for three years in
January. Both sightings took place within the same
six-month period during the first year of the
building's purchase. No ghost sightings have happened
since then, or before then.
was down there for 20 years and never saw anything
like that," previous owner Chuck Peloquin of
Chippewa Falls said.
who hear the Andersons' ghost tales react different
want to see it," said patron Patty
"Pit" Roeske, laughing.
of the bartenders refuses to go into the basement,
even if she needs something down there.
for Amy, she wasn't afraid then and she's not afraid
been kind of hoping to see it again," she said.
there have been no more sightings of the small figure,
strange things happen on a regular basis. Objects
don't always stay where they were placed. And the door
to the upstairs apartment seems to lock on its own.
many occasions Amy was locked out of her apartment
when she herself hadn't locked the door. Her boyfriend
thought she was crazy until it happened to him one
skeptics must admit it's likely that some type of
strange event occurs during paranormal activity. But
for an explanation, one needs to rely purely on theory
investigator Chad Lewis explains several theories that
may account for what Amy and John Anderson saw. Lewis,
a 29-year-old Eau Claire man, has investigated 250-300
paranormal cases in the last 10 years.
possibility is residual haunting.
hauntings are described as glimpses of a person or an
event that occurred in the past but is somehow being
replayed, much like a movie, in front of the witness,
possible she or her father were going through a
situation that allowed them to see or experience some
ghostly or paranormal activity," Lewis said. In
other words, their minds were open to receive unusual
not known why some individuals are more receptive to
paranormal activity than others. One idea is that if
people believe it can happen, they're more likely to
experience it because they're more open to it.
more what's inside of you than anything," Lewis
Anderson echoes that idea.
do think if you believe in that kind of stuff you're
more likely to experience it," she said.
hard to say which theory could be specifically applied
to the sightings at Amy's Ritz. Little has been firmly
established about the building, but Lewis is planning
to investigate after he can piece together the
exist of the building from 1886, so the structure is
at least 117 years old, Peloquin said. It was made
into a tavern sometime around 1933. Chuck owned the
building for 20 years and his father, Swede, owned it
for 19 years prior to that.
about a building's history often reveals situations
that may be used to better understand ghost sightings.
For example, someone who died in the building may come
back to haunt if they're unhappy with something that's
going on in the present.
sure there are stories that could be told about things
that happened on that street," Peloquin said.
Lewis has visited more suspected sites of paranormal
activity than most people, he doesn't consider himself
are really no experts in this field," Lewis said.
"I am very skeptical of those people out there
telling you that they know all the answers."
eventually plans to investigate Amy's Ritz, along with
numerous other locations in Chippewa Falls. He's still
in the preliminary stages of gathering information,
don't expect the investigations to come to any
piece of evidence gathered just leads to six or seven
more questions," Lewis said. "We end up with
more questions than we do answers."
Candice Novitzke at firstname.lastname@example.org