Posted on March 13, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
As a Wisconsin native I’ve heard more than a few local legends and campfire tales about haunted locations throughout the state. I’ve always had an interest in haunted houses and picked up the Road Guide for more information on some of the interesting stories I’ve heard.
The Road Guide is well written and it shows that some research went into each of the locations featured throughout each chapter. A typical entry will feature a photo of the location, brief driving directions, a bit of ghost lore (i.e. what sort of ghostly activity is rumored to haunt the place), some local history and lastly, details about the investigation into the haunting. Not every entry follows this exact format; some of them have section switched around a bit or include extra notes on the topic. Generally, however, the book is easy to read and the information is offered in a useful format.
There are over 90 locations detailed in this book. Plenty enough to keep any “ghost hunter” interested for some time. I’ve been to the Sheeley House (page 45) in Chippewa Falls many times over the years. There are a couple of other locations detailed in the book that I’ve either been to or at least heard stories about and it is quite interesting reading the details of the author’s investigation into the haunting.
One of the great things about this book is the mix of historical locations with new sites that have only recently started to gain a reputation for being haunted. Throughout the book you’ll find some great information on the culture and history of Wisconsin. By reading the history of Little Bohemia in Manitowash you’ll discover that John Dillinger and his gang managed to escape capture after a brief shoot-out. The Grand Opera House in Oshkosh certainly has plenty of history, dating back to 1883.
The authors are precise in their investigations and do not embellish their findings. They mention when they do not experience anything paranormal at locations and detail conversations with local residents. They are also quite helpful with notes on private property (do not trespass) and changes that have occurred to locations such as new construction.
The Road Guide is a light read with plenty of useful information. It certainly could have used another round of editing before publication however. The mix of typos and other errors are not enough to ruin the work, but they do occasionally make an entry more difficult to understand. Still, this book is a useful tool for anyone interested in studying the “ghost lore” of Wisconsin and can be a great guide to some of the state’s more interesting locations.