Ghost 'guide' authors map the back roads to adventure


By Alicia Spates, Staff Writer


01/11/08 - Herald & Review

There's much to be explained about the unexplained, but authors Chad Lewis and Terry Fisk are doing the best they can - one state at a time.

After releasing "guides" on South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, Lewis and Fisk, paranormal investigators for Unexplained Research LLC, have released a publication that may be of interest to Central Illinois residents.

"The Illinois Road Guide to Haunted Locations" explores paranormal sites ranging from supposedly haunted bridges, homes, theaters, cemeteries and roadways to two Decatur spots, Greenwood Cemetery and the Lincoln Square Theatre.

"We weren't really going to do Illinois for a while," Lewis said, but they received multiple requests from people wanting to read about certain haunted Illinois locations. "So we said, 'Illinois has to be next.' "

The book contains more than 50 locations from about 40 cities around Illinois and includes directions, eyewitness accounts, ghost lore, photos and investigations.

"What's unique about this book and the other books is that we travel to the places we talk about," said Lewis, a resident of Eau Claire, Wis.

He recalls traveling to Decatur last summer to research for the book.

"So many Decatur residents knew about the stories," he said. "I was surprised of the people who not only knew the stories but could tell their own stories and have an open mind about it."

Lewis said he learned much about the vast history of the paranormal in Decatur, but they were only able to fit two sites in the book.

"We narrowed it to two because we wanted to include the whole state," he said. "Every area seems to be included, which is what we wanted.

"I enjoyed the town of Decatur, and there's definitely some haunted history there."

The next state the twosome plan to write about is Florida, with an upcoming trip planned. "It will be interesting to see how the ghost stories change from the Midwest to the South," Lewis said.

He added that they have received an overwhelming response toward the guides.

"A lot of people like the outdoor cases - a back road they've never been on. Maybe they'll explore and want something to happen or may not want something to happen," he said with a laugh.

"The books are about ghosts and hauntings, but they're also about adventure," he said. "We want people to pick up the guide and explore their state - have an adventure in their own back yard."

Alicia Spates can be reached at aspates@herald-review.com or 421-6986.

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