10 Chippewa Valley Haunts
paranormal investigator Chad Lewis shares some of the Chippewa Valley’s most chilling legends
Chad Lewis has been exploring claims of the paranormal across the Chippewa Valley, the Upper Midwest, and beyond for the better part of two decades. Lewis, the author of numerous books about the unexplained, offers some of the most unsettling stories he’s encountered from our neck of the (potentially haunted) woods.
1. Elk Lake Dam
Elk Lake - Hunched on the hillside of Elk Lake, this secluded dam is haunted by the ghost of a young woman who was brutally murdered and dumped near the dam. The killer has never been caught, and numerous witnesses report seeing the woman walking through the woods eternally searching for her killer.
2. Kjer Theatre
UW-Eau Claire - At this theater, both the actors and the audience are treated to more than just plays. Many witnesses report seeing the ghost of theater namesake Earl Kjer sitting in his favorite seat, just as he had done while he was alive. While working late at night, several janitors have reported seeing Earl disappear right before their eyes. It also seems that Earl still wishes to assist with the productions, as his ghost will often tamper with the lights, props, and curtains. When you visit this theater, you may want to make sure you are not sitting in the seat reserved for the ghost of Earl Kjer.
3. Lakeview Cemetery
Eau Claire - A popular dare in Eau Claire is for brave souls to walk alone through this haunted cemetery during the evening. Those with enough courage to accept the dare have reported seeing strange glowing lights, disembodied apparitions lurking behind gravestones, and mysterious noises that cannot be accounted for.
4. James Sheeley House Restaurant and Saloon
Chippewa Falls - When this soon-to-reopen historic eatery and tavern was operating, workers reported seeing the misty apparition of a woman believed to be the ghost of former resident and owner, Ms. Sheeley. Bartenders closing up at night report hearing their names being whispered by an unknown source. And during renovation, mysterious footprints appeared on the staircase when the varnish was drying overnight.
5. Caryville Road
Caryville - If you happen to pass through this secluded road, be prepared to see the ghost of a young boy, phantom cars, a vanishing hitchhiker, a hanging priest, and a haunted cemetery. If you do visit Caryville, make sure that the supernatural hellhounds do not follow you back home.
6. The Ritz Tavern
Chippewa Falls - The owners reported seeing the ghost of a strange, short man. A cold chill ran through them as they tried to determine if the “thing” they were looking at was a ghost or some type of supernatural creature. When the bar is busy, customers talk freely about the ghost. However, when the crowd thins out, many are suddenly reluctant to talk about the ghost with the belief that it may be lurking nearby. Beware: The beer served in this bar always comes with a cold chill.
7. Devil’s Punchbowl
Menomonie - Nestled in the dense woods near Menomonie, reports of shadowy figures, unusual floating balls of light, and unexplained noises originate from this popular spot. Many visitors have had to leave the punchbowl due to fear. If you are brave enough to venture to the punchbowl, bring your camera, as not long ago a woman and her son were quite shaken when they saw a terrifying gnome-like creature standing near the brush.
8. Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts
Menomonie - The ghost of an unknown woman still haunts this historic building. Many employees have witnessed a ghostly apparition of a woman roaming the halls. During rehearsals, actors report seeing a ghostly apparition sitting in the empty theater. One employee was so terrified after seeing the ghost that he quit his job the next day.
9. Stones Throw
Eau Claire - Both staff and patrons have reported strange events taking place at this downtown tavern. One evening while closing up the bar for the night, an employee jokingly said “everybody out.” Just then, a ghost of a man stood up, put on his jacket, and disappeared into thin air.
10. Green Eyes Bridge
Augusta - It is said that in the late 1800s a man brutally butchered his family. Police found their skinned remains hanging in the family barn. The deranged man fled police by taking his life at the end of a rope on a secluded country bridge. Since that time, those visiting the bridge report seeing the man’s glowing green eyes staring at them.