Muskego — A
photograph of himself standing
beside the grave of his great-great
grandparents and enveloped in a
bluish-white mist that seemed to
have emerged from the grave
propelled Terry Fisk into a career
as a ghost hunter.
He was only a
college student at the time, but he
said the amazing photograph had a
profound effect on him.
"It made me
wonder if it is possible to find
physical proof of the afterlife,"
Fisk said. He returned to that
cemetery night after night, took
dozens of photographs. But the mist
never returned to any of them.
Even so, Fisk and
paranormal co-researcher Chad Lewis
have hunted ghosts in nine states.
Just in time for
Halloween, Fisk, who lives in Eau
Claire, will recount some of the
results of those researches. He will
give an illustrated talk at 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 at the Muskego Library,
W16663 Janesville Road. Admission
will be free, but a donation of a
nonperishable food item for the
Muskego Food Pantry will be
books and counting
Fisk and Lewis
have co-authored five books so far.
The first is "The
Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted
Locations," published in 2004.
Since then, they also wrote ghostly
guide books for
Illinois. They hope that their
Florida edition will be out by the
end of the year. After that, they
will finish a Michigan guidebook and
work on a second volume for
research, they look for places with
long histories of hauntings with
multiple eye-witnesses they could
interview, Fisk said.
"In a lot of
cases, people didn't know each other
and thought they were the only ones
who had these experiences," he said.
Yet they saw almost the same things,
While nearly all
the approximately 75 ghostly
locations in their Wisconsin book
came from interviews with witnesses,
and visiting and photographing the
places, the two researchers got
uncomfortably close to a haunting
It was close to
dark when they stepped off the ferry
onto isolated and deserted Rock
Island off the tip of Door County.
There were no phones, no cars, no
A walk through
the darkened woods brought them to
the foot of one of the oldest
lighthouse in the state. It was
empty and padlocked, and it was said
to be haunted. The researchers were
there to see for themselves.
Suddenly, they were startled by the
sound of a door slamming violently
against a wall inside the structure.
But they were skeptical.
"We thought maybe
the wind blew a door (closed)," Fisk
"But within two
minutes, we heard 'bam,' " he said.
"We knew there was no wind, it was
perfectly calm. And there was no way
somebody was in there because it was
"I tell you, it
scared us," he said. "If something
came charging out of there, we could
only run and wait for the ferry the
But some of the
"hauntings" that Fisk has found have
been pretty benign, even helpful.
The owner of a
bar/restaurant in Balsam Lake in
northwestern Wisconsin credits a
trio of ghosts that he believes
inhabit the place with foiling an
attempted burglary, Fisk said.
About half a
dozen years ago, the door was
jimmied and the bar/restaurant
entered. But nothing was taken - not
liquor, not cash. For some reason,
the burglar had rushed out the back
door. The owner believes the burglar
saw the apparitions that he, his
employees and customers all know.
his work home
With all his
ghost hunting, Fisk wonders if one
of those "ghosts" may have followed
him home. How else could he explain
the strange things that started
happening in the home he and his
wife had occupied for eight years?
It was 2008 when
he and his wife both saw the orange
mist in their living room. They
glimpsed it just in the corners of
their eyes, but when they turned, it
But then they saw
the doorknob turn and the living
room door open wide all by itself,
Fisk said. For months, doors would
mysteriously open. Then the
happenings just stopped.
Jane Genzel predicted the library
audience will enjoy Fisk's
presentation as audiences have liked
visits near Halloween of other ghost
"People are on
the edge of their chairs listening
to every word, they ask questions
and are inspired to relay their own
experiences," Genzel said.
Every year around
Halloween, the library invites those
who delve into the paranormal to
"The cool part
about all these people is they're
not crackpots," she said.