Geneseo, Ill. -
Hauntings, happenings and hair-raising events are Chad Lewis’ forte.
Lewis, a paranormal investigator, lecturer, author and co-founder of Unexplained Research LLC, will present a program on crop formations, the unexplained and the paranormal at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Geneseo Public Library.
The program is free and open to the public, but advance tickets are necessary and are available at the library’s circulation desk.
“I grew up not too far from Elmwood, Wis., where a famous UFO sighting took place,” said Lewis. “In high school, I decided to go there and investigate it myself. The case was really big in the 70s and 80s, and it got me started on UFO research.”
Fascinated in the paranormal ... and individuals’ reactions to it, Lewis received an undergraduate degree in psychology.
Though his initial research focused on UFOs, Lewis said in the course of his research, he would be approached by people with other aspects of the paranormal.
“People would come up to me and say, ‘I know this isn’t what you’re doing, but I think my home may be haunted,’ or ‘I saw something unexplainable in my backyard,’” he said.
After earning a master’s degree in applied psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Lewis said his paranormal research “went from there.”
A host of both “The Unexplained” television and radio programs, Lewis has co-authored the “Road Guide to Haunted Locations” series, written the “Hidden Headlines” series and been featured in several video documentaries.
He works with BLT Crop Circle Investigations and is a former state director for the Mutual UFO Network.
Initially, Lewis, who co-founded Unexplained Research with Terry Fisk, said his research focused on the Midwest. “We started in the Midwest because, distance wise, it was the places we could travel to,” he said. However, his work has now taken him worldwide.
“I’ve hunted for vampires in Transylvania (Romania), Loch Ness in Scotland and El Chupacabra in Puerto Rico. This year, I just finished a book on Florida, so I’ve traveled quite a bit,” said Lewis.
“For me, the adventure and the excitement of the trip is as much a part of the investigation as the investigation itself,” he said.
As a paranormal investigator, Lewis said he enjoys meeting people and hearing their stories.
“You meet people who’ve had an experience, but haven’t talked about it in 30 years because they just didn’t think anyone would believe them,” he said.
Lewis said his presentations are for believers and skeptics alike. “I think a lot of people are surprised by my presentations. They think I’m going to try and tell them what to believe. I just present the best evidence and research I can collect and let people make up their own minds.
“Those who are really curious and think the program sounds like fun will be the type of people who won’t be disappointed by the program,” he said. “This time of year, people just like weird stories. It should be a good, fun, spooky night.”
Lewis’ presentations last about 45 minutes with a question and answer period to follow.
“People come in with stories they want to share, because they’ve never known who they can tell their stories to,” he said.
Lewis said he hopes participants will leave the presentation knowing “They’re not alone ... they’re normal, rational people who are having these experiences.”
He also hopes participants will leave “knowing their own backyard might be a little stranger than what they’d thought.”
“I hope people will jump in their cars and take trips to see some of these places and discover things for themselves. It’s the adventure that makes this fun,” Lewis added.
For more information about Lewis’ upcoming presentation, contact the Geneseo Public Library at 944-6452.