Posted Sep. 26, 2003

Ghostbuster brings stories to Appleton


By Jim Lundstrom
Post-Crescent staff writer

Don’t believe in ghosts?

How about angels, Bigfoot or aliens?

Chad Lewis doesn’t care whether you are a believer or a skeptic. He welcomes everyone to his paranormal conference in Appleton Saturday.

“If you’re a skeptic, come along,” Lewis said. “I know a lot of people have left these conferences with a more open mind.”

Lewis, a paranormal investigator from Eau Claire, has planned a variety of topics for conference-goers.

“I have an interest in all the paranormal, and there were no conferences that dealt with fairies, Bigfoot, angels, experiences in consciousness, ghost, urban legends, all that together,” Lewis said. “I set up the conference with myself in mind. So what people are going to hear at this conference is four different speakers on their topics.”

Lewis will give a slide show presentation on haunted locations of Wisconsin.

Tom Franklin, a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, will speak on experiences in consciousness.

“It’s sort of group hypnosis,” Lewis said. “”He uses guided imagery to get you thinking about a place where you feel relaxed.”

Richard Hendricks, who maintains the multifaceted Weird Wisconsin Web site, will speak on “Encounters with Weird Wisconsin Entities: Ghosts, Aliens, Monsters, Fairies.”

“He’ll be talking about aliens in Wisconsin, monsters, fairies, reported Bigfoots, werewolves, spirits, vampires and every other weird, bizarre topic you could think of,” said Lewis.

Registered Nurse Judy Meinen of Eau Claire will talk about cases and experiences with angels and healing touch. She will also demonstrate how to contact a personal angel.

“Thousands, if not millions, of people are experiencing these phenomena, and based on my experience, most of them are average, down-to-earth people, normal people trying to explain something abnormal that has happened to them,” Lewis said.

He said he has been doing paranormal research for the past 10 years, and first became interested in the paranormal as an undergraduate student in psychology.

His undergraduate research focused on two things: If paranormal activity is not happening, what makes thousands of people believe they have had a paranormal experience, and if the paranormal does exist, what implications does that have for psychology?

Lewis found the topic so interesting that he ended up doing his master’s thesis on it.

One of the things Lewis has learned is that people often love legends more than reality.

“I’ve taken a lot of flack from other investigators for debunking famous hauntings,” he said. “A lot of people like the lore of a place being haunted.”

Just recently Lewis was informed of three allegedly haunted locations in Appleton. Two of those he won’t name here, but Lewis has already gone public on the third with a posting on his Web site.

Lewis was told by someone that Secura Insurance Co. on Memorial Drive was haunted by the ghost of a child that drowned in the company pond, and that people have heard the screams of the child and the cries of the grieving mother.

The drowning was supposed to have taken place about 150 years ago.

A phone call to Sandy Wight, Secura marketing director, set the record straight.

To begin with, Secura was founded in 1900, a number of years short of the 150 years in the story.

Its original place of business was in Seymour. It didn’t open at the current location until 1962, which is when the pond was dug.

“It’s a man-made pond,” she said. “We’ve heard no screams. I’ve heard nothing about it before, and I’m in my 17th year here at Secura.”

Lewis has all this on his Web site.

“When you debunk a story, it makes the cases that can’t be explained all the more exciting and fascinating,” he said.

He tells of an Eau Claire man who called him about seeing the apparition of a woman in a particular location.

“In fact, there was a woman murdered there about 30 years,” Lewis said. “I was able to get a photograph of the woman and the gentlemen (more than one man saw the apparition) almost fell over because that’s who they saw.”

He’ll have more stories to share Saturday night at the conference that he said is designed for the general public.

Lewis said too often paranormal conferences get bogged down in academic detail.

“I set up this one with myself in mind,” he said. “People don’t want to get bogged down in the details. They want to know the exciting stuff.

“We’re going to show some of our best cases.”

Jim Lundstrom can be reached at 920-993-1000, ext. 374, or by e-mail at jlundstrom@ postcrescent.com

INFO: 920-731-4141, 715-839-9276 or www.chad lewis.com

Ghostly conference

WHAT: Paranormal Conference

WHERE: Best Western Midway Hotel, 3033 W. College Ave., Appleton

WHEN: 6-9 p.m. Saturday

COST: $10



Designed by Terry Fisk
Copyright © 1999-2002 The Spectator. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 28, 2004

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