Webster resident is into paranormal
Eau Claire – Have you ever seen a ghost?
Have you wondered whether stories of Big Foot
or UFO sightings are true or just a bunch of
bunk? Have you heard about mysterious
formations in fields that are known as crop
investigations of a former Webster resident
into unusual happenings, his involvement in a
weekly TV show and twice-weekly call-in radio
program and now co-authorship of a book, are
attempts to either validate or disprove these
Hearing from Terry Fisk
don’t know if you remember me, but I used to
live in Webster," Fisk wrote in an e-mail
to the Leader. "I currently live in Eau
Claire and work as a paranormal investigator
with fellow investigator Chad Lewis. Together,
Chad and I have investigated Wisconsin Bigfoot
sightings, crop circles, UFO reports and other
strange anomalies. We are recognized as the
state’s experts on Wisconsin ghosts and
since he was a kid, Terry Fisk has been
interested in the paranormal, in things
happening that are out of the ordinary. As a
boy, Fisk read every book he could find about
UFOs and other such topics. When he got older,
however, he lost some of that interest.
"Saying you wanted to grow up to be a
ghost hunter wasn’t a realistic career
goal," Fisk commented, realizing there
would be no money in doing that.
lived in Webster for 10-12 years, working as a
commercial artist. When he moved to Eau Claire
about 10 years ago, he heard about the
conferences related to paranormal topics that
a fellow named Chad Lewis was putting on. Fisk
attended one of the conferences about the same
time as he purchased a digital camera.
took that digital camera along on a visit,
with his brother, to the cemetery in Polk
County where their great-great-grandparents
are buried. Fisk’s brother took a picture of
Terry standing next to the grave. Great was
their amazement to see what turned up on the
of ghostly mist were coming out of the graves.
The visit took place in the daytime. No one
was smoking a cigarette. There was no fog or
mist in the air. There was nothing in the area
that could have produced that mist.
The interest in investigating supernatural
happenings that was so strong in Fisk’s
youth came quickly to the surface. He is now
coauthoring a book on the subject and is part
of a biweekly radio talk show and a weekly TV
show with Lewis. Not only do the two men do
shows on ghostly topics, the shows originate
from the historic Banbury Place in Eau Claire,
a former tire plant that is known to have its
own share of ghosts.
About Chad Lewis
investigator Chad Lewis grew up in Eau Claire.
He studied psychology as an undergraduate at
UW-Stout and earned a master’s degree in May
2002 in the field of applied psychology. His
master’s thesis dealt with adults who
believe in the paranormal.
have been investigating (the paranormal) for
10 years now," Lewis said. "My
brother had a ghost experience when he was
young and lived in a place where a man
committed suicide. That sparked my
doing the weekly television series on CTV-11
(with Lewis as the host, Fisk the director),
the two collaborate on The Unexplained, a
live, two-hour, biweekly radio program. The
program can be heard Mondays and Thursdays
from 10 p.m. to midnight on WOLF 108-FM out of
Eau Claire. National syndication may come
about later this year.
108-FM came on the air July 28, 2003 as a
nonprofit business charity. "The station
exists for the sole purpose of bringing radio,
the way it used to be, back to the
community," said the station’s
originator, Wolf Snider.
show is on the air seven days a week, 24 hours
a day, with live volunteer disk jockeys 14
hours a day.
managed retail stores and owned two successful
Internet companies in the Chippewa Valley
before he went into running a radio station.
"Now I am just a poor radio man," he
station got its permit to broadcast in 2001,
but Snider didn’t have a location. He
approached Jack Kaiser and Bill Cigan, owners
of Banbury Place. The two men not only spent
over $15,000 to build a studio, they offered
Snider a year’s free rent. "You don’t
find (many) truly generous people like Jack
and Bill," Snider said. "We are
happy tenants of Banbury Place."
A ghost haunts the station
Place has a history, a haunted history of its
own to tell. There are tales of possible
hauntings by people killed accidentally in
machinery at the former Uniroyal tire plant.
One gentleman, who was growing marijuana as
well as running a computer business in rented
space in the complex, was electrocuted when he
tried to hook up an air conditioner for
temperature control. His body wasn’t found
for two weeks afterward. "We believe this
is the person who has been haunting this area.
On two occasions, people have seen a ghost in
the studio," Snider related.
A former disk jockey reported seeing a man
with a red shirt looking through a window
while the disk jockey was working. Snider was
the only other person in the studio at the
time, and he was wearing a black shirt.
Not only did the ghost with the red shirt
appear suddenly, but he seemed to come right
through the window and the air, so the story
goes. "What was that?" the startled
disk jockey said.
and Fisk are checking out the Banbury Place
stories, getting documentation and talking to
eye witnesses to unusual occurrences there.
The Lewis and Fisk investigative team
need to know that there is serious research
going on in this field," Lewis said. When
he first started in the paranormal field, he
wanted to hear what the experts had to say
about the subject. Because of the lack of
local opportunities to do this, he decided to
bring experts in to talk at conferences. That
was between seven and eight years ago. The
conferences are geared for the general
population, and they attract as many as 250
people. The next one is scheduled for April 24
in Stevens Point, with a second to be held
Aug. 29 in Janesville.
reported that most of the inquiries and
e-mails he receives involve the ghost
phenomena. These are normal people, usually
credible people who want to remain anonymous
but who had had something bizarre happen or
believe it happened to them.
Web site, at http://www.chadlewis.com,
averages about 1,500 hits each month. Fisk is
the Web site manager.
weekend during the summer of 2003, Lewis and
Fisk traveled around Wisconsin investigating
occurrences that have been reported to them.
They are collaborating on a book, A Road Guide
to Haunted Places in Wisconsin, which is to be
published later this year.
Examples of investigations
strangest, but not the most unusual case,
involved the old Caryville Schoolhouse in Dunn
County, which is known as the Spring Brook
School. Stories say that a young boy who
attended school there died at his desk under
mysterious circumstances. One version of the
story is that the little boy refused to go
home to his abusive father. The boy hid in the
schoolhouse on a chilly winter night. The
teacher found his frozen body at his desk the
next morning. Another version is that a
preacher killed all the school children, then
hung himself in the school belfry.
the Lewis/Fisk investigation, nothing of a
paranormal nature was substantiated. The
investigation showed that a 7-year-old boy who
had attended the school died of bulbar polio
at Luther Hospital in Eau Claire. The
examining physician found nothing mysterious
or unexpected about his death. There was no
evidence that his father was abusive or that a
preacher ever committed murder or suicide in
and Lewis have investigated between 250 and
300 sites in Wisconsin that are rumored to be
haunted. They eliminated some of them
completely after checking out the facts and
talking to the people in the area and finding
out they never heard the stories or anything
about such events happening.
some places, we can say, ‘Yes, there are
several people who can report on haunting
activity, multiple witnesses or (stories) that
have gone on for a long time," Fisk said.
two went to Mayville, three hours from Eau
Claire, to investigate the report of crop
circles in a wheat field that appeared
mysteriously overnight. As the story goes, an
older, retired gentleman got up one morning as
a storm was coming up. He went into his shop
where he saw his neighbor’s wheat fields
form into three circles. Fisk and Lewis
interviewed this witness and took wheat
samples that were sent away for analysis. They
talked to a meteorologist in Eau Claire and
noted that the formations seemed to be related
to the storm. The circles were still there two
weeks after the storm.
and Lewis investigated a Bigfoot sighting in
Cumberland and spoke with several witnesses
who reported seeing footprints. They tried to
track down a photo that supposedly had been
taken. Residents spoke of hearing scratching
around their house and seeing claw marks, all
at the same height and in a vertical line.
People were missing animals. The investigators
found no footprints nor other evidence of
they go around the state, the two men are
trying to find places to visit where they can
maybe have a haunting experience. "If you
are afraid of ghosts, the best place to hang
out is with ghost investigators. We never see
them," Lewis said.
people who say they have knowledge that ghosts
are here, I say, ‘Where did you get your
information,’" he commented. The
research that he and Fisk are involved in is
science-based research. They are not running
around with a crystal ball. What they are
doing is taking reports of out-of-the-ordinary
incidences and doing some very careful
checking to see if they can determine that the
reports have any truth to them.
of his training in psychology, Lewis is
trained to watch for eye contact, body posture
and whether a witness to whom he is talking
shows signs of nervousness, indicating the
validity of what they are saying.
The Midwest’s only paranormal radio talk
Unexplained radio talk show, which Fisk said
is the Midwest’s only paranormal radio talk
show features Wisconsin guests and topics but
also includes big-name guests, well-known
authors in the field and physicist Stanton T.
Friedman, who is known as the biggest name in
the unidentified flying object field.
world-famous psychic Peter James called Fisk
and requested to be on the program. James has
been featured on the television series
Sightings numerous times. He is on schedule
for the May 17 radio show.
"Our radio topics are diverse and include
everything from UFOs to ESP, from Bigfoot to
little green men; (and) from Buddhism to
nudism," Fisk said.
and I take the middle ground when it comes to
the paranormal," he continued.
"Unlike closed-minded cynics and
closed-minded believers, we take the approach
of open-minded skeptics or agnostics. We try
to maintain an open mind, but not so open that
our brains fall out."
People mainly interested in ghosts
all the bizarre happenings that occur, people
seem to be the most interested in anything
involving ghosts, according to the experience
of Lewis and Fisk.
could do this full time all year around and
never run out of cases," Lewis said.
"People believe they are the only one who
had a ghost experience, like nobody is having
that experience. People are starting to feel
more comfortable coming out and talking about
(the experience), knowing they are not being
criticized, that they are not crazy.
we can’t find any evidence to substantiate
claims, it doesn’t mean it isn’t
happening. It means we haven’t been able to
confirm (the happening). There is still
bizarre activity going on and other phenomenon
happening there," he said.
Note of interest: In May, Lewis will be on
location at Dracula’s Castle in
Transylvania, Romania. Fisk will be hosting
the show in Eau Claire, talking live with
Lewis in Transylvania. Vampires are the topic
of this show. Fisk will be interviewing an
authority on the subject. The show coincides
with the release of the new Dracula movie, Van
Helsing. The schedule for the shows can be
accessed on the Internet at http://www.chadlewis.com/radio/schedule.html
Listeners can hear the actual show on the
Internet at this site.