Editor's note: "Gimme 5" is a
five-question interview on topics of
How did you become interested in
I really got interested in the question
of why some people believe in the
paranormal while others do not. This
curiosity led to me study psychology in
college, and the interest in the bizarre
just blossomed from there.
Does the Chippewa Valley have a
particularly strange history compared to
I think the Chippewa Valley has more
than its fair share of compelling
characters, legends and places. With a
past filled with explorers, lumbermen
and pioneers, it is hard not to find
weird and fun stories littered
throughout our past.
In your opinion, what is the weirdest
event in Chippewa Valley's history?
There are so many amazing stories from
our past that it is really hard to pick
one. With that being said I really enjoy
the story of the unknown wild beast
causing terror in Eau Claire from 1908.
The reason I love this mysterious
creature prowling the streets and
killing farmers' livestock is that every
year I continue to receive reports of
this unknown creature, and no one seems
to know what it is.
Have you ever found something in the
Chippewa Valley that really scared you?
Many cases from the Chippewa Valley have
both scared and intrigued me. For
example there is a haunted dam right
outside of Eau Claire where a woman was
murdered. The problem is that in order
to get down to the water you have to
pass through a wooded area that provides
the perfect eerie backdrop to the
haunted location where many people are
too afraid to venture.
What do you say to skeptics who dismiss
I would suggest that skeptics and
believers come to a presentation and
then make up their own mind. I think
that part of the fun and excitement of
this presentation is deciding whether or
not you believe that these things take
place, all the while showing you that
strange things may lurk in your own
- Troy Espe