Chad Lewis is into the paranormal. Big time.
Lewis co-authored the book "Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations" with Terry Fisk, who also lives in Eau Claire.
But we one-upped him. Lewis had yet to hear the story of Charlie the ghost's haunting of the Stone Cellar brewpub in Appleton until we told him.
"We've got a new one," said Lewis, who got interested in why people believe in UFOs and alien abductions as a psychology student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
"I started doing a lot of research and people would contact me and they would say, 'I know this is not really what you're doing right now, but my home may be haunted or I think I may have seen something in the woods I can't explain,'" he said. "So it kind of spiraled from there."
In their book, Lewis and Fisk discuss nearly 100 haunted locations in the state. "We visited close to 400 doing research for the book and narrowed it down to the best 100," he said.
Local haunts include the Appleton Curling Club, where many staff and visitors believe some of the founding members love the club so much they've stuck around even after death.
"One of my favorite is Riverside Cemetery (in Appleton) where you have the gravestone of Kate Blood, who died in the early 1900s," Lewis said. "The story was she murdered by her family and had to be buried in this secluded plot in the cemetery and that when you go there at night, not only will you see shadowy things walking through the woods, but you'll see blood apparently oozing from the gravestone, which is dry to the touch from the people we've interviewed."
The ghost of old man Zuelke also is said to haunt the historic Zuelke Building, and visitors to Good Company restaurant have reported seeing the ghost of a strange visitors roaring the building. Some staff preferred to work only in the safety of the daylight.
"Our favorite part of the book," Lewis said, "is we provide directions for people so they don't need to look around."
Cheryl Sherry can be reached at 920-993-1000, ext. 249, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.