There’s that chill in the air, football season is upon us, and Olive Garden is already pushing the pumpkin cheesecake. I won’t utter the “f” word, but I will say that around this time of year, we love to hear a scary story or two. Wisconsin storytellers have passed down some fabulous urban legends. Here are eight of our favorites:
1. Boy Scout Lane
Up in Stevens Point, there is an isolated road. So the story goes, in the 1950s or 1960s, a group of Boy Scouts is killed. One version of the story has the troop leader killing all of the children. In the other account, one of the boys drops a lantern, causing a forest fire that kills all of them. People who have visited the area report feeling being watched, seeing a light, hearing twigs breaking under foot, or seeing childlike handprints on vehicles.
2. Rhinelander Hodag
According to legend, a Wisconsin man caught one of these creatures in the 1890s and more of them roam in Rhinelander. The hodag is a tortured beast, aware he is ugly and spends lots of time crying about it. If a hodag is coming after you, be aware that only three things will apparently kill it: chloroform, dynamite, and lemons. Hmmm....
3. University of Wisconsin Mass Murder
So the legend goes, a famous psychic predicted on a talk show that there would be a mass murder at the university, resulting in twelve students dying. This was right around Halloween, and students freaked out and hardly anyone came out to party. Well, some students didn't take the prediction seriously. The party went well, but in the morning, twelve students were discovered to have been brutally murdered.
4. Antigo Alien Encounter
In 1974, there were numerous supposed sightings of UFOs in Antigo. It's still not totally clear what happened, but one woman apparently interacted with an alien. Mrs. H, who owned a bar and restaurant, was shocked when a funny looking little man walked into the joint and started talking in very quick English about Medford and the whole world lighting up, and left in a flash.
5. Abominable Snowman
The year was 1998, and two teenagers were walking along when they heard a terrifying scream. When they realized the creature was in pursuit, they began running as quickly as they can. Apparently, one of the boy's mothers corroborated the report and said she heard a very odd sound, saying it sounded like a train was coming by.
6. Phantom Man on Highway 12
Trips to Baraboo are generally full of fun and shenanigans. But while driving through this area of Wisconsin, some people have reported seeing a hitchhiker in a tattered green army jacket. When people pass him, and look back in their rear view mirrors, the man is gone. No one has actually picked this man up, but he remains on the side of the road waiting for a ride.
7. Bloody Bride Bridge
So the legend goes, a bride was killed on her wedding night. But she continues to haunt the area, sitting in the backs of cars, visible to drivers in the rearview mirror. According to legend, years later, a police officer hit a woman and went back to help her. When he ran back, no one was there.
8. Siren Bridge
This one is grounded in reality. A family was driving over the Siren Bridge when the car went through the guardrails, resulting in everyone in the car drowning. But many motorists who have driven through the area reporting hearing a child's voice over the radio: "Mommy, help me, I can't get out."