So we all love a good scary story this time of year, and Wisconsin is home to a lot of them. Ghost stories, strange creatures, even our own werewolf. So I had to ask, what’s the most haunted thing you remember as a kid?
I’m originally from Wisconsin Dells, and while we have a couple different alleged hauntings, one sticks out in my head. It revolves around a road between Wisconsin Dells and Baraboo called “Ringling Road”.
Located just off of County A between the Dells and Baraboo, Ringling Road is very obviously named after the Ringling Bros, as Baraboo is a famous place in the world of the Circus. It’s actually also very short, maybe only a mile or so long. But this one little road has a lot of stories from the locals. I can remember a lot of kids in my school talking about this, and it was a pretty popular place to go check out for young people.
The finer details of the story escape me at the moment, and if I’m being honest, I think I’ve heard several different versions. But the general gist goes like this. At the end of the road, you can jump over a fence (into private property), and after a short walk, you happen upon an old shed and an old well. Apparently, a crazed woman drowned her child in that well, and then hung herself in the shed.
I wish smartphones had existed when I was younger so I could have taken a picture of the place. It was actually a pretty eerie place to be, so I can understand how the stories started. It’s said that sometimes you can see the ghost of the woman hanging in the shed, and if you put your head in the well, you can hear ghostly moans coming out of it. The road to the place also seems to be haunted, as sometimes strange occurrences can happen on the way there. People have reported car trouble, and inexplicably going into the ditch.
I’d been out there on numerous occasions, and while I can say I’ve experienced some strange things, I have to chalk most of it up to being young, and also sometimes inebriated. Let’s face facts, when you’re young, you tend to drink before you check out a place like this, and that can definitely add to the chills of it all. I can say that I never saw the ghostly woman, nor did I stick my head in the well to hear the moans. I mean, can you blame me? Who wants to stick their head in an old well at night?
Now I’m gonna be upfront and honest. I don’t believe in ghosts. But I do believe that people believe they experience strange things, whether that thing actually happened or not. Besides that, I still find ghost stories fun. After all, it’s fun to be scared. That’s why we tell these stories to begin with. It’s difficult to track down the origin of this story. Some even claim that one of the landowners nearby (again, this is on private property) made the story up to keep people away. But why make up a story to keep people away when something like that is more likely to attract people onto your property? This is real life, not Scooby Doo. So perhaps the origin of this story will remain a mystery. Still a fun thing in my past to have experienced.
So how about you? If you’re from La Crosse, what kind of spooky stories have you heard here? If you’re originally from out of town like I am, what kind of stories have you heard where you grew up?
I certainly love hearing them.