thing I recommend is: Bring someone with
Chad Lewis says about hunting for
know. Lewis, who lives in Minneapolis
and Eau Claire, and co-author Terry
Fisk, of Eau Claire, have written and
published "The Wisconsin Road Guide to
Haunted Locations" (2004), "The
Minnesota Road Guide to Haunted
Locations" (2005) and "The South Dakota
Road Guide to Haunted Locations" (2006).
be done any day," Lewis said. "Our main
goal is to do every state."
has long had an interest in things that
go bump in the night. For his master's
degree in applied psychology, he studied
people's beliefs in the paranormal.
And in the
past 13 years, he estimates he has been
to 2,500 sites where something weird is
supposed to have taken place, including
Area 51 in Nevada, Scotland's Loch Ness
also has a longtime interest in the
paranormal. When he joined Lewis
checking out sites in Wisconsin that had
reputations for being haunted, they
often found themselves getting lost.
They decided a guidebook was needed for
the sightseer searching for spooks.
state, the authors solicited tips of
good places to explore. They researched
historical records and traveled to each
location to interview local residents.
They also sometimes tried to capture
paranormal activity at the sites with
video recorders, cameras and
electromagnetic field detectors. Lewis
said the two have logged about 50,000
miles a year for their investigations.
what I mainly do right now," said Lewis,
who was a grant writer for a nonprofit
Minnesota guidebook includes segments on
haunted restaurants, theaters, mansions,
hotels and even a Laundromat and a
skating rink. But there are also lots of
spooky outdoor sites for the fresh-air
ghost hunter. For example:
in the Lakeside Cemetery in Coleraine,
the reputed resting place of a witch
whose headstone supposedly moves around.
Haunted train trestles
in Moose Lake on the Willard Munger
Sturges Park in Buffalo,
reportedly home of the ghost of a
wealthy pioneer man and where strange
glowing balls of lights and bathroom
mirrors defaced with blood have
supposedly been seen.
Dead Man's Trail
in Thief River Falls, where Indian
spirits are supposed to wander.
Montgomery Golf Course
in Montgomery, where gravestones are
located at the first hole.
where a windigo, a cannibalistic Indian
spirit, is said to roam.
Washington Street Bridge
in Minneapolis, legendary for supposed
spirits of suicide victims.
Minnesota State Fairgrounds,
where a phantom pig is said to haunt the
swine barn and a bird that is the
reincarnated spirit of a former Fair
worker supposedly visits the Ye Old Mill
guides describe what the authors found
and give directions for readers who
aren't content with giving themselves
goose bumps in their armchairs.
large segment of the population that
wants to go to these places. They want
to experience something first-hand,"
something's going to happen. Maybe not,"
Lewis said. "I recommend people be
patient. I compare it to fishing. It's a
lot of sitting around and waiting. But
you're not going to find anything unless
you have your pole in the water."
says to take a companion with you. Then,
if something spooky happens, it's less
scary and there is someone to
corroborate the ghostly goings-on, Lewis
said. A camera can be helpful, as well
as "a sense of curiosity." But don't
trespass and don't cause any damage,
they've sold about 25,000 copies of the
Wisconsin guide and about 6,000 of the
Minnesota guide. "They've been runaway
successes," he said.
He and Fisk
are also planning to publish books by
other authors, starting with a guide to
UFOs in Wisconsin.
of his searching, Lewis said he has yet
to see a ghost. He's not even sure he
believes in them.
know. I believe people believe they've
seen them," he said.
strange things. Experienced strange
things. Heard strange things," Fisk
most unusual, he said, was seeing a
nebulous orange presence that appeared
in a room at the same time a door
mysteriously opened on its own.
didn't happen during one of Fisk's
ghost-hunting expeditions. "Actually, it
was in my own home."
can be reached at
Numerous versions of "Road Guide to
Haunted Locations" by Chad Lewis and
Lewis and Fisk will appear at "The
Unexplained Conference" at 7 p.m. Oct.
14 at the St. Cloud Civic Center, 10
Fourth Ave. S., St. Cloud. Admission is