I've never been a huge fan of the paranormal, yet somehow I am always roped in to going on haunted adventures. Anything ghostly, paranormal, unexplained or eerie is just not for me. However, I am not going to deny the adrenaline rush I get every time I go on one of these ghost hunts. There is just something about the idea of something so unexplainable popping up right in front of you that makes these excursions so frightening, but nonetheless, exciting. There are many resources out there that paranormal junkies can go to in order to find haunted attractions near them.
However, half the time these lists are compiled from urban legends and myths and end up resulting in a waste of time and no experiences involving the supernatural. The list I have compiled of haunted locations in Wisconsin come first hand from people that have actually experienced their own personal fright nights at each and every one of these locations.
These are their stories. DUN DUN DUN.
1. Bodega Brew Pub, La Crosse
The Bodega Brew Pub, which is located in downtown La Crosse, is over one hundred years old. Because of this, it is no mysteryto me why this building would be considered haunted by many. Legend has it that a previous owner hung himself there in 1901 and ever since, employees and customers alike have seen apparitions, heard different spooky noises and felt an overall eerie feeling from the moment they walk in the door. A current employee of the pub stated that when she is in the basement of the establishment by herself she can hear voices talking and women's heels walking around on the wood floor up at the bar.
2. Christie Bridge, Christie
The Christie Bridge, also known as the "Charlotte Mills Bridge", is located in Central Wisconsin in an unincorporated town named Christie. This story of this haunted location dates way back to 1907, when a woman named Charlotte Mills took her own life by jumping off of this bridge. This is a hot attraction for many high school students in the surrounding areas because something scary is always bound to happen while visiting the bridge. Apparently, the best way to secure your chances of seeing Charlotte are by parking on the bridge and turning all of your lights off. As soon as you turn your lights on, Charlotte's figure will appear on the edge of the bridge. Although I never saw the ghost herself, sitting in a dark car in the middle of the night on this haunted bridge sent chills up and down my spine. There is no doubt in my mind that there was an unknown presence there with my friends and I that night.
3. Meridean Boat Landing, Caryville
Caryville is known as one of the most haunted small towns in the Midwest because of the supposed haunted cemetery, schoolhouse, church and boat landing. There are many stories behind why all four of these locations in Caryville are haunted, but I will just focus on one, the story behind the haunting of the Meridean Boat Landing. The history of this boat landing includes a girl named Mary Dean that haunts this location because it was the sight of her suicide many years ago. Along with Mary Dean, there is said to have been a sanitarium that used to be near the boat landing run by a doctor that owned several vicious dogs. These dogs are now known as "The Hellhounds" of the boat landing and can be heard howling on a foggy night by the boat landing. If you hear their howling, it has been said that Mary is just right around the corner. When I was in middle school, a couple of my friends and I ventured up to Caryville to see for ourselves if these urban legends were true. Before getting stopped by the police and being told we needed to leave because we were trespassing, we took a walk down to the haunted boat landing. Although I never saw an apparition, things felt very eerie and cold down there and we could hear dogs howling in the near distance.
4. Grand Theatre, Wausau
The Grand Theatre is only one of the many haunted locations in Wausau. However, it seems to hold the most concrete paranormal stories. Reports have flooded in over the years of actors who have performed at the theatre as well as members of the audience that have seen this ghostly figure hanging out on stage, on the wings and in the balcony. This man has been identified as Larry Beltz, who was a former stage manager at the theatre that passed away over a decade ago. A few ballet dancers that performed at the Grand Theatre a few years back stated they always saw a man watching them from the balcony during their rehearsals. Don't worry ladies, it was just Larry!
5. St. Joseph's Hospital, Marshfield
St. Joseph's Hospital was founded over one hundred years ago, so the haunting of this location doesn't surprise me either. It doesn't appear that the whole hospital is haunted, but rather, just the 4 West Wing. A former employee of the hospital stated she has seen a man in a black robe wandering the halls and going in and out of patients' rooms. This same man has reportedly been seen by many other employees and patients as well. The reasoning behind the man in the black robe's appearance has not yet surfaced.
6. Forest Hills Cemetery, Wisconsin Rapids
I know what you are probably thinking, "What cemetery ISN'T haunted?" and you are probably right, but this cemetery makes the list anyway on account of the freaky things that have happened here. According to a woman that frequents this cemetery searching for the supernatural, she always hears voices calling her name and babies crying in the infant section of the cemetery although no one is ever in sight. Others have experienced the same thing, along with seeing apparitions staring at them from across the cemetery.
7. Vine Street, Eau Claire
This one seems iffy, considering vine street is not a small dead end road in Eau Claire. However, there are many reports of a woman that is always jogging on that road, even during the bitter cold months of Winter, that will dart out in front of cars then mysteriously disappear as soon as the drivers slam on their brakes. A few friends of mine that attend UW-Eau Claire have encountered this woman on separate occasions and they both said that when they looked in their rearview mirror/hopped out of their cars to see if the woman was alright, she was no where to be found.
8. Highway 66, Stevens Point
To Stevens Point residents and UW-Stevens Point students, this story is either known as completely falsified just to scare people or it is known as something they experienced and saw with their own eyes. It depends on who you ask, but I have heard plenty of stories from UW-Stevens Point students about this location indeed being haunted. Legend has it that many years ago a woman was killed in a car accident on this road the night of her wedding. She is now known as "The Bloody Bride" who roams the side of the highway late at night in her bloody wedding dress.
9. Wood County Insane Asylum
It is not a myth that there were terrible practices used on people with mental disorders in the early to mid 1900's. A few of these practices used at the old Wood County Insane Asylum included electroshock therapy, ice water submerging and different bleeding practices. These were all conducted on patients so they could rid them of disorders including but not limited to depression, schizophrenia and even homosexuality. It has been said that these patients roam the premises looking for revenge on the medical staff that did these horrible things to them. There have been reports of apparitions, strange bell noises as well as strange whispers that appear to come from thin air.
10. Coate Hall-UW La Crosse, La Crosse
This haunting seems to be under wraps and not many people have publicly reported on the eerie things that have happened in Coate Hall, one of the dorms on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus. I lived in this dorm my freshman year of college, and I can promise you that there is something going on there involving paranormal activity. I lived in the 3A Wing of Coate Hall and lost many nights of sleep because I was terrified of the stories of all the scary encounters the girls in my wing were experiencing. From eerie messages being written on the walls of these girls' dorm rooms, strange apparitions in the bathrooms late at night and the unexplainable noises that could be heard in the wee hours of the night, there is no doubt something spooky was going on there. I am so glad I'm out of there, good luck to you UWL freshmen of Coate Hall!
To all the avid ghost hunters, I wish you luck on your endeavors trying to find these paranormal creatures.