Whispers of local ghost
stories may grow louder as Halloween approaches.
Some are right here in Marshfield, where residents'
Book World, the old county hospital that was located
in what is now
Norwood Industrial Park and Casa Loma Fine Dining &
"There are some local legends about the restaurant
here. At one time there was a tunnel connecting the
old cheese factory to the house next door," said
Jayson Carrington, dining coordinator at Casa Loma.
"The story has it that the tunnel collapsed on a young
girl, tragically ending her life right under the
"Her name is Annie, and that is still what we call
When Terry Fisk hears
these stories, he tends to check out all of them,
regardless of how outlandish they sound. He and Chad
Lewis - both of the Eau Claire-based business
Unexplained Research - authored "The Wisconsin Road
Guide to Haunted Locations," from Unexplained Research
"It doesn't take that long to figure out whether it's
just a legend or
we need to spend more time with it," he said. "A lot
turn out to be
Fisk said he researches old newspapers, death records,
court cases - many ghost stories originate from
murders or suicides - and other
If a story checks out, the team then heads to the
equipment that tests physical properties such as
electrical, magnetic, radio wave or temperature
At Book World, which previously was a barber shop,
Lewis said he tested the building and found something
"We found a spot in the middle of the store where the
barber shop would have been and picked up on the
equipment that it was much colder than any part of the
store," Lewis said. "We looked for obvious vents or
anything that would lead to that, but we couldn't find
Things just don't get cold without reason, he said.
"A lot of people tend to think when there's a haunting
or a ghost, often a cold spot is correlated with
ghostly activity, but for me, it's just something
unexplained," Lewis said.
Lewis and Fisk also have visited Casa Loma and hope to
test it with
equipment sometime in the near future. In their book,
they documented their investigation of Charlotte Mills
Bridge in Christie.
They are also mapping haunted areas in other states,
including Minnesota and South Dakota.
Different states have different legends. In Wisconsin,
many of them
swirled around the Chicago mob bosses, like Al Capone,
who were known to hide out in Wisconsin. Minnesota has
similar legends, Fisk said. South Dakota has the
legends of mining towns such as Deadwood, a city that
was the subject of the HBO series by the same name.
As more people become interested in the unexplained,
businesses such as
have tapped into the demand for ghost-seeking
equipment, Fisk said.
Matt Conn can be reached at 384-3131 or 800-967-2087,
ext. 328 or at
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