The ghost of "Old Man Weary" who is
said to haunt Weary Road near
Evansville has attracted thousands
to the area in search of thrill.
Legend has it, an old man said to
have once farmed the surrounding
land, appears to some who have seen
him walking on the side of the old
As soon as drivers get closer to the
strange man, he begins to look
transparent, fades and then suddenly
"He does not look like you and I, he
appears to be wearing clothes from
the 1800s to the early 1900s," said
paranormal researcher Chad Lewis.
Lewis, who authored a number of
books as part of his business
Unexplained Research, will present
the tale of Weary Road and hundreds
of other unexplained stories of the
area Monday, Oct. 18 at Matheson
Memorial Library, 101 N. Wisconsin
St. in Elkhorn at 6:30 p.m.
While Lewis will have copies of his
works available for purchase and
signing, including "The Wisconsin
Guide to Haunted Locations," he said
his presentation will only in part
include information about the book,
and would instead focus mainly on
some of the most haunted places in
the state - many of which are not
included in the book.
Stories of the unknown from across
the entire state will be presented
by Lewis complete with photos, case
history, eyewitness accounts, ghost
lore, and directions.
And throughout his presentation,
Lewis is eager to hear stories from
the audience - whether it be to
share history of researched
locations or an eyewitness account
of something strange.
"There are a lot of places right in
the area known to be haunted," he
In Elkhorn for example, neighbors
along Peck Station Road claim to
hear the sound of a train running
through, and even in some cases
vibrations on the ground.
"The train line no longer exists,"
he said, adding that he hopes to
hear from locals who may be able to
provide some insight about it.
He is currently investigating a
local private residence that he said
has paranormal activity including
strange wrapping on doorways,
objects moving mysteriously and
sudden changes in temperature.
Lewis' job is to sort fact from
fiction, he said. He and partner
Terry Fisk visit sites where
paranormal activity is said to
exist. They then dig up local
history and interview people in the
area before presenting their
The effort, he said, is not meant to
turn skeptics into believers - "it's
to let them make up their own
Lewis, who carries a master's of
science degree in applied psychology
from the University of
Wisconsin-Stout, has been
researching paranormal activity for
As a native to Eau Claire, the bulk
of Lewis' research has taken place
in Wisconsin - a state he said never
runs out of strange stories -
however his work searching for the
paranormal spans across the world.
Six years ago he spent three weeks
tracking vampires in Transylvania,
Romania - one of the scariest places
he said he has ever been.
"It's so wooded and secluded there
with no electricity and people still
travel by horse and buggy - the
whole atmosphere is really creepy,"
he said, adding, "It's easy to let
your mind get carried away there."
Outside of the U.S., Lewis has also
spent time chasing the Chupacabras
in Puerto Rico, searching for the
elusive monster in Loch Ness, and
hunting for ghosts in Ireland's
One of Wisconsin's scariest places
is near Manitowoc - JFK Prep in St.
The vacated and dilapidated
buildings on the grounds of the old
Seminary were said to have housed
nuns and priests who had
inappropriate affairs with one
another, and abused the children
under their watch. One nun allegedly
hung herself, and a number of
aborted babies resulting from secret
affairs were allegedly thrown into
nearby waters. Reports of crying
children and babies who were
supposed victims are said to haunt
the grounds today.
Another well-known spot in Wisconsin
that is believed to be haunted is
Dartford Cemetery in Green Lake.
The ghost lore says that an Indian
chief from a tribe who lived in the
area drowned when he was drunk and
attempted to swim across the Fox
River on a dare. A mausoleum in the
cemetery is said to contain the
bodies of several children from the
same family who all died from polio.
Those daring enough to sit on the
mausoleum risk being pushed off by
ghosts, Lewis said.
Lewis and Fisk's investigation of
the cemetery's haunting revealed
that like many myths- the facts have
been embellished or are found to be
untrue all together.
The last chief to rule the Green
Lake area was Chief Highknocker,
according to Unexplained Research.
His death certificate lists his name
as Dick Highknocker and records the
cause of death was accidental
drowning. There is no evidence
alcohol was involved.
What is more, contrary to the myth,
there are no children buried inside
the mausoleum. It contains the
remains of a man named Jackson
Walker, Unexplained Research found.
In the case of Weary Road, tales of
Weary murdering his family and
another that says the Weary family
killed wanderers who stumbled upon
"Of course none of those stories are
true," Lewis said, adding that the
bulk of his research reveals that
the true history is not "quite as
exciting" as the legends
"But they are fun," he said.
His book "The Wisconsin Guide to
Haunted Locations," was inspired not
only by his desire to find the truth
- but also his desire just to
seamlessly find the places he heard
"We found out that a lot of the
history was made up and that the
directions to get there were not
helpful," he said.
In addition to the Wisconsin guide,
Lewis published books in Minnesota,
Florida, Iowa, South Dakota and
While readers may not be treated to
an eye-witness account of the
paranormal when using his road
guide, Lewis said those who do would
be in for an adventure.
"(The book) offers part adventure,
part paranormal," he said, "maybe
you won't see something, but you
will have a fun time exploring
places in Wisconsin."
In addition to the road guide books,
Lewis and Fisk have published works
on UFOs, haunting associated with
gangsters and compilations of bazaar
newspaper headlines that reveal the
weird histories of states included
Wisconsin, Texas and New York.
His lectures, presentations and
written projects keep him busy year
round, though in October, when
everyone is looking to be spooked,
Lewis said there is a much larger
demand for his services.
On any given day, he will get 200
e-mails from individuals asking for
him to come investigate their
Because he cannot fulfill every
request, he said nationwide, he taps
into the network of paranormal
groups who can follow up in places
he cannot travel to.
Those places he does visit, receive
his services free of charge, he
said. If someone charges for such a
service, Lewis advises you should be
skeptical of their credibility.
His book sales alone, he said
supports his research.
Much of that research can be
obtained on his website, where he
also invites readers to chat about
their paranormal experiences at
Lewis has been featured on the
Discovery Channel's "A Haunting,"
ABC's "World's Scariest Places," and
hundreds of radio interviews, TV
appearances, and newspaper articles.