Jerry Brillowski was intrigued by
what he heard Saturday at Devilís
Lake State Park.
"This was just a real interesting
event," said Brillowski, 53, a
Baraboo native who now lives in
Texas. "As a kid growing up in the
1960s and the 1970s, my father used
to take me to what is now called the
Old Baraboo Inn. He never mentioned
any ghosts being there, but maybe
that was his way of protecting me."
Brillowski was one of about 100
people who attended the "Bizarre
Baraboo" presentation given by Chad
Lewis, a psychologist and a
paranormal activity hound from Eau
Claire. The event was held at the
parkís Northern Lights Amphitheater.
"We live in one heck of a weird
state, but I love it," Lewis said.
Lewis chases the unusual and
strange, and has traveled around the
globe to find it. He said has found
most of it right here in the Badger
"We have a werewolf running around
in Elkhorn. A vampire in Mineral
Point," he said. "And then we have
these phantom kangaroos that seem to
pop up and quickly disappear in
Lewis said a lot of paranormal
activity has been documented in
Baraboo and its outlying areas.
He spoke of a 10-year-old girl, who,
in 1910, saw a creature in the woods
covered in fur that followed her
home. When the creatureís footprints
were checked, its tracks were twice
as big as her fatherís shoe prints.
Lewis spoke of "strange balls of
colored lights" appearing in a
Portage cemetery. He also said a
woman who appears to be from the
late 1800s has been spotted pushing
a stroller on the sidewalks in
"This is the kind of stuff I seek
out and enjoy looking for in our
state," he said.
In Baraboo there once lived a
Ringling Brothers Circus employee
who, after taking up residence in a
small shack in town, was blamed for
kids going missing.
"During the investigation,
childrenís bones were discovered in
a nearby well," Lewis said. "When
law enforcement tried taking this
man into custody, he committed
suicide. And now, today, many years
later, people say they hear screams
of young children coming from that
Lewis also spun the tale of the
"vanishing hitchhiker" on U.S.
"I have heard people tell me of a
man wearing an old U.S. Army jacket
from the 1960s trying to get a ride
and when they pass him on the road
the people see him again," he said.
He said there is still the tale of a
serpent living in Devilís Lake.
"This tale has been told since the
Native Americans were here and it
continues today," he said.