Elk Lake Dam

Location:  Elk Creek, Dunn County, Wisconsin


The Reputed History:

A young woman hitchhiking across the state of Wisconsin was murdered near Elk Lake Dam, and her ghost haunts the area near the bridge and the dam.


The Investigation:  

Mary K. Schlais was found murdered February 15th, 1974.

A man driving a gold or orange compact car was seen pushing the body of Mary K. Schlais from the vehicle onto a township road about 13 miles east of Menomonie in Elk Lake. 

Police believe Mary was hitchhiking and was picked up by someone in the Minneapolis (MN) area. She was to have left for Chicago around 10:30 a.m. morning on Friday February 15th . Her body was found three hours later in Elk Lake, which would not have left much time for a delay in her trip.

Police were called by a local neighbor who upon driving towards his home saw a man dumping something on the side of the road. The witness went to his home which was several blocks away and immediately called the police. When the police arrived the man was gone. The witness was unable to provide a license plate number from the vehicle, however he was able to give a description of the man and the vehicle.

No backpack or books were found at the crime scene. 

Mary K. Schlais

Murder Suspect

This case is considered a cold case, meaning that new leads have not come in, yet the case is still open. As of today the murderer has not been arrested. There are several details that cannot be released to the public due to the status of this case.

The Reputed Phenomena: 
  • The ghost of the young woman was seen along the river under the dam.
  • A vanishing lady has been spotted along the road near the bridge.
  • There are stories about a vanishing hitchhiker.
  • A shadow person was seen running down the bank under the bridge.
  • While standing on the bridge, one person had a vision of throwing a bag down into the water.
  • Virginia Hendricks (died Feb. 1995) lived near the dam and claimed that Mary would visit her on a regular basis.   Mary was described as wearing a pink angora sweater and white capri pants. She was pretty, in her early 20s, had shoulder-length blond hair, and identified herself simply as "Mary."  It was believed that Mary" was an apparition because she would appear at the same time every morning and afternoon walking through Virginia's garden and tapping on her window. Virginia would bring food out to her. Mary always wore the same clothes, always showed up at the same time each day, and nobody but Virginia could see her. This happened during the Fall of 1994.


The Investigation:  
  • Two men were sitting by the dam.  One turned around to look behind him, then turned back toward the water before saying to his friend, "There's a glowing, white woman behind us."  His friend responded, "I know, but I'm not turning around."
  • According to Dunn County Sheriff John Kaanta, Mary was not wearing a pink sweater and Capri pants when she was found. She was also found nearly mile from the bridge. She had been repeatedly stabbed, although police determined she had not been sexually assaulted. 
  • It should be noted that Sheriff Kaanta does not believe the place is haunted and had not heard reports of it being haunted until we contacted him in 1999. However, many residents in the area had heard reports of the bridge being haunted. 

Instrument Findings:

  • EMF Meter:  Normal
  • IR Thermal Probe:  Normal
  • Photographic:  Anomalies
  • EVP:  Negative

Designed by Terry Fisk
Copyright Unexplained Research. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 28, 2004