Iowa is known for
a lot of things.
There is Iowa: the ever-important caucus state. There is Iowa: the wholesome land of hogs and corn.
And at Johnston's Simpson Barn on Oct. 24, there will be Iowa: the place where monsters really do live in the closet.
Paranormal researcher Chad Lewis is visiting the area with the help of the Johnston library foundation to host a "Haunted Tales of Iowa" event. Lewis will provide photos, case histories and eyewitness accounts of spine-tinglers like the Cursed Angel of Council Bluffs and the Hanging Ghost of Davenport.
was first put together when Lewis
co-authored the "Road
Guide to Haunted Locations" book
series, for which the state of Iowa
has its own entry.
Lewis' investigative work for Unexplained Research L.L.C. has also led him well beyond the boundaries of the United States in order to track vampires in Transylvania, search for the Loch Ness monster and pursue ghosts in Ireland's castles for more than 14 years.
"We believe Chad Lewis will appeal to a wide audience of young adults and adults," said Johnston librarian Willona Goers. "We especially hope a number of teens will attend since this is a great way to help celebrate Teen Read Week."
Lewis has been
investigating the paranormal as a
full-time job for three years and
said he gets 200 e-mails a week from
people with new stories to tell. Add
Halloween to the mix, he said, and
there is even more interest.
"People who aren't necessarily believers in the paranormal tend to decide to check it out this time of year," said Lewis, 35. "I try to separate fact from fiction and I want people to go to these places to make up their own mind."
Lewis holds a
master's degree in applied
psychology from the University of
Wisconsin-Stout and has been
featured on the Discovery Channel's
"A Haunting" and ABC's "World's
Scariest Places." A native of Eau
Claire, Wis., he first cut his teeth
on the paranormal due to his boyhood
home's close proximity to Elmwood,
Wis., and its rash of UFO sightings
in the 1970s and '80s.
"I went from looking at why people believe in paranormal events to an interest in what is actually happening," Lewis said. "After 14 years of this I'm left with more questions than answers. But I do believe something is going on out there."