5 Fearful Wisconsin Creatures that Will Keep You Up at Night
Paranormal investigator Chad Lewis details the eerie beings that stalk our state.
With Halloween fast approaching, many believe that the veil between worlds gets thinner and thinner, allowing us to see a glimpse of the other side. Of course that also means the other side can grab a look at us, too! Here are a few of my favorite Wisconsin monsters to watch out for this Halloween season.
1. The Eau Claire Beast
It was around 11:30pm when a local woman got off work and began her nightly commute back home. Her usual route took her straight out of town on Highway 37, a route where she was accustomed to seeing all sorts of wild animals. On this fall night the woman noticed something huge on the side of the road and slowed down, fearing it was a deer or bear. Yet when she came to a stop she was terrified to see a gigantic black dog-like creature staring at her with its blazing red eyes. Overcome with the sense that this monster was out to kill her, the woman quickly sped off to the safety of her home. A similar creature was spotted near U.S. Highway 53 as well, and I have tracked newspaper stories of this monster roaming Eau Claire back to the early 1900s where it was said to have followed several young children home from school.
2. The Mauston Birdman
High in the beautiful bluffs overlooking Mauston is the decades-old legend of a giant bird-like monster that comes out of the shadows to terrify unsuspecting witnesses. One young man told me of his grandmother’s bizarre encounter with a creature that looked like some sort of Frankenstein creation combining the characteristics of a bird and a man. This hideous monster is said to be covered from head to tail with huge round feathers that only seem to increase the beast’s large stature. The monster is also equipped with feet that were “big and thick with claws on the toes.” When I began digging into this case I discovered that over the years several other people had reported an encounter with this mysterious beast. The odd part is that not one of the witnesses had seen it flying.
3. The Steinthal Beast
Today, the tiny town of Steinthal in eastern Wisconsin’s Manitowoc County has all but vanished, but in the 1960s Steinthal was overflowing with curious sightseers looking to encounter the weird monster that was lurking throughout the swampy area. It all began when several teenagers ventured out to the local haunted house – a decrepit, abandoned farmhouse that looked like something straight out of a Hollywood horror movie. While seeking ghosts, dozens of visitors encountered a giant 7-foot-tall hairy white monster. What made this monster stand out from the hundreds of other U.S. monster reports was the fact that it had three eyes, all of which produced an eerie green glow. Tragedy soon followed. While out on a fun monster-seeking night, four youngsters visiting the monster’s supposed lair became so scared that their only option was to flee to the safety of town. Unfortunately, in their hasty attempt to flee the monster they were struck by a drunken driver, and the crash killed three of the kids. To this day, many believe the monster still lurks on the swampy land, grateful that all of the monster fervor has calmed down.
4. The Rock-Throwing Little People of Holy Cross Road
If you venture up north to the town of Fifield, you do not want to miss the chance to stop at Holy Cross Road. The old railroad tracks that cut through the road are thought to be haunted by a woman and her children. The legend states that years ago the family was coming home when the mother decided to try to beat the train across the tracks, a decision that ended up killing her and her children. Now, those who put their vehicle in neutral will have their car pushed uphill over the tracks, but the spirits of those kids do not want to you to suffer their fate. It is also said that if you pick up a rock by the tracks and throw it into the woods, the rock will be thrown right back at you by little gnomes that reside in the woods. Many have claimed that the little people will curse you with bad luck and misfortune if you throw that rock. You have been warned!
5. The Mysterious Phantom Chickens of Chicken Alley
This legend is pretty straightforward: If you drive down the small stretch of rural road near Eau Claire called Chicken Alley you will see phantom chickens dart out in the road in front of you, only to disappear right before your eyes. Some have even claimed to have smashed into these chickens. They got out to assess the damage and spot the roadkill, only to discover that there are no chickens … at least none that are alive!
For more than two decades, Chad Lewis has traveled the back roads of the world in search of the strange and unusual. From tracking vampires in Transylvania and searching for the elusive monster of Loch Ness to trailing the dangerous Tata Duende through remote villages of Belize and searching for ghosts in Ireland’s haunted castles, Chad has scoured the earth in search of the paranormal. Chad, who has a master’s degree in psychology, has authored more than 20 books on the supernatural and lectures extensively on his fascinating findings. Just in time for Halloween, he will hold a discussion titled “Haunted Places of Wisconsin” at 7pm Monday, Oct. 30, at the Chippewa Falls Public Library, 105 W. Central St. Learn more about Chad, his research, and his public appearances at chadlewisresearch.com.