Was It A Spook?
Eau Claire Leader | September 26, 1906
At Park Place Thursday night, as Ralph Atkinson and younger Fletcher, son of Dr. Fletcher, were discussing a new kind of rubber band, that sends peas and pellets with an unerring certainty into the corners of eyes, ears, and etc., their ears were assailed with a terrible clash, and most unheard of noise. Ralph dashed back into the house, and Fletcher fled in all directions. Having fastened the doors the young major ran for the Leader office with “Oh pa!” this and “Oh pa!” that. “Well my boy,” was the reply, “If it is as bad as that, we’ll just take Officer Johnson with us, and we three will be in Park Place in a jiffy, and the ghost or whatever it is had better shuffle off again.”
Owing to over-crowded Interurbans that memorable fair day and night, the Third ward cars were putting in “dead-licks” to make up time, but they couldn’t go too fast for our purpose. On the way up Policeman Johnson remarked: “I never had no faith in ghosts.” Conductor Roy Vaughn differed with him materially, and was on speaking terms with a respectable elderly ghost and a couple of goblins near the corner of Bellinger and Randall. After putting his car in the barn and on his way to his home, especially during the dark of the moon, it was Roy’s custom to whistle most of the way in order to keep his courage up. Arriving at Park Place, as soon as the stable lantern was obtainable the following was the order of procession.
Chad’s Take: An extremely bizarre article, at least I think it is.
After having pored over this article several times I can honestly say that I have absolutely no idea what is taking place. I can somewhat make out a foggy ghost story hidden somewhere in the last few sentences of the article, but all of the “Oh pa, well my boy,” writing certainly threw me off the case. After a few hours of deciphering this article I finally determined that something paranormal was thought to be taking place on the corner of Bellinger and Randall Streets. Talk of ghosts and goblins seemed to be quickly spreading around the ninth ward.
The talk of bizarre activity taking place in the ninth ward area triggered my memory of a previous article I wrote here titled “Poisoning must stop,” which detailed the problem of some unknown source poisoning the neighborhood pets, which ended up killing numerous cats and dogs. Perhaps the poison was actually meant for the ghosts and goblins, not the harmless critters roaming the ninth ward. And maybe this article somehow ties into a larger ninth ward conspiracy involving mythical creatures, phantom animal killers, and meandering spirits. But then again, I still really have no idea what the hell this article is about.
Keep an eye out…
I know there are plenty of you out there who think about UFOs pretty much year round, but with Halloween fast approaching, many people who’ve never even seen an episode of The X-Files start getting alien-obsessed. Well, both of you groups should like this …
Hurtling towards us at the speed of awesome is UFO Wisconsin’s more or less interactive “UFO Reports by County” map. It details Wisconsin UFO reports. By county. The last sighting they have for Eau Claire County is 2005, but Chippewa County has an ’08 sighting.
I believe all the reports listed are made directly to UFO Wisconsin and they’re … well, many of them sound kinda crazy. They’re just straight up reports from people like you and me, and they run the gamut from “weird lights moving fast in the distance” to “aliens visit my backyard all the time.” For me, believability isn’t really part of the equation. It’s just fun to hear your neighbors talk about this stuff.
UFO Wisconsin has a book out with a forward from our good buddy Chad Lewis, who does this terrific blog.
Photo: Historical arcive photo, downtown Eau Claire, looking west from East Side Hill
In a move that’s sure to elicit “in your face” style showboating, Eau Claire has lowered its crime rate while violent crimes have increased slightly in Chippewa Falls, Altoona, and Menomonie. Based on recently released statistics by the Office of Justice (awesome business cards), Eau Claire has improved in all areas. Comparing 2008 to 2007, EC showed large decreases in both auto thefts (98 in 2007 versus 59 in 2008) and violent crimes (only one murder, and 56 aggravated assaults compared to 72 the year prior). While crime fell in Eau Claire, the state overall, and even the nation overall, violent crimes increased a bit in surrounding communities (Chippewa Falls, Altoona, and Menomonie). These towns had slight increases in robberies, rapes, assaults, and arson. In fact, car thefts more than doubled in Chippewa Falls, soaring from six cars to a whopping 13.
In a recent phone interview, Eau Claire told Volume One, “I’m not a hero here. Just doing my job, trying to keep safe. But I’m really proud of my auto theft decrease.” Eau Claire added, “In your face, Chippewa Falls.”