If you thought small towns were boring…
On Tuesday, May 13th, a vampire attacked a group of musicians in my town.
A man by the name of Scott Mehtala, 23, claimed he was a vampire when being arrested for assault and battery charges against guitarist, Nik Slimp.
Slimp’s band, American Fangs, had been playing in the local La Crosse Center, which Mehtala described as filled with “normals.” A “normal” is anyone who is not a vampire. In case you needed clarification.
After the show, Mehtala picked up a barricade and hurled it through the band’s tour bus window. When confronted by the guitarist, Mehtala punched him in the face. Slimp is reported to have a chipped tooth and required stitches. No confirmation has been made whether he was turned into a vampire or not. But if so, I suspect the chipped tooth is going to make dinner a messy one.
Police picked up Mehtala, who was high on heroin truthfully, and suffering from vampire attacks that were imaginary. Claiming the headlining band, Hollywood Undead, was actually a group of vampires forcing him to act out destructive behaviors like rip off a side mirror of a random vehicle.
The vampires made me do it…
New paranormal trend unearthed as Mehtala reportedly kept whispering to the police “Where are your tattoos?” No previous information about the fad of vampire inking is yet known.
Fortunately for Mehtala, if a vampire attack was to ensue, he confessed to police that his “super human hearing” would save him. He would be back in tip top shape in no time.
All he needed was a nap.
For the full article in the La Crosse Tribune click here.
What do you think? Is La Crosse, Wisconsin the new Mystic Falls? Should I start stocking up on garlic and wood stakes?
And where ARE your tattoos?
In keeping with the week’s trend, featuring Wisconsin writer Jay Gilbertson, I’m sharing my favorite guilty pleasures of my home state!
1. Four Seasons
For all it’s snowy faults, Wisconsin has some beautiful springs, summers, and falls. My favorite season of them all is autumn. It has a wide range of colors that for at least a few weeks make our entire state look golden.
2. Cheese Curds
A Wisconsin summer staple, cheese curds of many forms and flavors can be found at almost any restaurant or festival in Wisconsin. After all, we are the Dairy State. In their raw state, they are essentially the firm portions of soured milk, and they squeak when you eat them. Nowadays you can get them in a variety of cheese and seasons; they are mainly found in cheddar and mozzarella, and sometimes infused with dill, jalapeno, garlic, sundried tomato etc.
More often found at the carnivals is their fried version. Breaded and fried to perfection, then served with ketchup, ranch, or marinara to taste. Delicious and not good for you, but so worth it!
3. The Green Bay Packers
Cheese curds aren’t the only reason we’re called Cheeseheads! I didn’t start out a football fan, but you’ll probably learn to love it. We have too many sports bars and wing nights to escape it! Plus, now that I’m a football watcher, I love razzing Mark and Pam when their teams lose! Sorry guys!
4. Chris Farley
One of best people to come straight from our capital! You all know him from Saturday Night Live and films like Tommy Boy, Chris Farley isn’t so much a guilty pleasure, as he is a comic god. When you watch the first clip, go at least 2 minutes and 18 seconds in, it’s my favorite part.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that Wisconsin is the place for festivals. Every town in this area has some sort of weeklong festival during the summer. Just in my area there is Riverfest, Sunfish Days, Butterfest, Apple Fest, Cranberry Fest, the Beer and Cheese Festival, the Folk Festival, the Outdoor Shakespeare Festival, the Storytelling Festival, the Jazz Festival, Irishfest, Freedomfest, and let’s not forget Oktoberfest, America’s largest beer drinking/brat eating German heritage festival, second only to Germany’s actual Oktoberfest.
6. MST3K’s Joel Hodgson
First off, if you know what MST3K stands for, you are awesome in my book! If not, it means Mystery Science Theater 3,000, and it’s an old show set in space where one man and several robots are trapped and forced to watch terrible sci-fi movies. However, they make the movies bearable by talking over the films and having their own dialogue or commentary. Joel Hodgson is one of the hosts, and he came from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Check it out!
7. Urban Legends and Ghost Stories
Linda Godfrey wrote a whole book about the strange things in wisconsin, it’s called Strange Wisconsin, which is actually the sequel to Weird Wisconsin. Catchy! I was born in what Godfrey describes as the Circle of Strange. It’s theorized by Godfrey that my hometown area is known for multiple werewolf sightings! I blogged about it last summer when I met her at the library, Into the Strange: Wisconsin’s Paranormal. Local lore to my new home digs include the Legend of Bat Man, and I guess there’s also a Lizard Man. For more personal stories about ghosts, check out my October archives, I shared a new ghost story each week!
Have I convinced you to come to Wisconsin yet? C’mon! We can eat cheese curds and watch movies then go werewolf hunting in the woods!
What are your favorite guilty pleasures about your home state?
Hello my Hauntings! Welcome to the first of Wicked Wednesday’s Ghost Story series. Every wednesday I’ll share a personal story about my encounters with the paranormal, and I plan for them to get progressively creepier as the month goes on.
So today, we’re doing a bit of a montage. I’ll share with you some of the spooky moments of my past, and if you’re comfortable, and open-minded, I’d love your thoughts and stories as well. Let’s get started!
Most of you are familiar with the 1999 film by M. Night Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense. A brief summary is a young boy is able to see spirits who don’t know they’ve died, and by helping them, he is able to help a downtrodden childhood psychologist. The very telling scene of the film is when Cole, the boy, admits to Dr. Malcolm that “I see dead people.” Chilling and honest at the same time, if you ask me.
My stories are nothing so dramatic. For one, I can’t pay people (let alone professionals) to listen to my problems, though I’m sure I’d benefit from it. And second, I don’t see dead people consistently. I just see them sometimes. The following is a composite list of the some of the strange, unexplainable, and honest situations I’ve experienced.
The Painted Pebble: This story isn’t scary, so much as unexplainable. My grandmother passed away when I was five years old. I don’t think I understood what death meant for many years later. Because I have so few memories of her living, most of my connection to her came from sleeping with the stuffed animal lamb that was in her hospital room when she passed, visiting her grave with my mother, and leaving a painted pebble on her tombstone that I painted with her favorite colors, pink and purple. I was probably between 6-8 years old, and friendship pebbles were all the rage at school. I made this one for my grandmother and left it atop the gravestone. For over a year, that pebble never left my grandma’s burial site. No matter when my mom and I went, that pebble was still painted and sitting on her tombstone. Now, science isn’t my strongest subject, but I’m wise enough to know that between Wisconsin thunderstorms, tornadoes, and oh gosh, I don’t know WINTER, that pebble should’ve lasted all of week or two at most before the paint washed off or a lawn mower pitched the thing several yards away. I believe it was a token of love and friendship that my grandma kept to let me know she still thought of me.
The Feeling of Not Being Alone: Twice I can recall being in my family home, up in my room and stopping whatever I was doing at the time because I “just knew” I wasn’t alone. The first time I experienced this phenomenon, I was reading on my bed, when I felt the weight at the end of the bed sink down, like someone had just sat next to me. It was so physical that I looked up, expecting to see someone. I stared at the space at the foot of my bed for a few moments before saying aloud, “I know you’re there.” I then felt a finger run up my big toe. A few weeks later, I was again reading in my room. Same thing. I strongly felt I was not alone in the room. This time I asked the spirit if they intended harm or good to me. At that moment I felt the most reassuring hug around me, warm and comforting. I’m sure many of you are reading this and thinking I’m plain batty for believing. But I have done some research on the subject. Most paranormal investigators can agree that a person’s openness to experience is key in what they will or won’t perceive. But take a smaller, more common example like deja vu’ or coincidences. A lot of us have either experienced or know someone else who has where you could finish a person’s sentence, hear the phone ring and know who is on the other line, have a dream and foresee an accident or a new baby. We don’t usually discredit those little signs that present themselves, but when a person starts talking out loud to an invisible person in their room, they’re crazy. Somehow, the line between acceptable and possible paranormal activity is quite gray to me, meaning I believe anyone has the potential to experience things like I described, but not everyone is willing.
The Old Man and His Dog: A tedious and yet annual event in my town is college moving day, and the landlords around here have conveniently scheduled move in day to be 2 weeks after move out day. So for 14 days or so, college kids around the city find storage bins, garages, and trailers to stuff their belongings into and crash on couches until their new leases begin. I was staying at my boyfriend’s house during this time, while he was away visiting family. I had heard from his roommates that the house was haunted, but never before seen or heard anything. During my stay, I woke up early one morning with the heightened sense I was not alone. When I looked down at the foot of the bed I saw an old man with a plaid flannel shirt standing up with a black dog beside him. I knew he didn’t intend any harm, but it was a little freaky. I did have to get up and turn the lights on.
These are just a few of my paranormal experiences. If you ‘re craving more, check out my post on Paradise Road, a real Wisconsin Urban Legend. I list my many ghost sightings there.
Want to know more about coincidences? I recently read The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield and did a book review about his theory of humankind becoming more in tune with our coincidences.
Please share with me your thoughts and stories about the spirit world. Has anything like this happened to you?
As always, Happy Halloween! See you Friday for another guest post blog hop with the Life List Club, costumes not necessary…yet.
True story: Just drive over the third knoll in the road and park your car. Look in the rearview mirror and I swear you’ll see bodies hanging from the trees.
Urban legends. We’ve all heard them. The stories about Mr. Rogers being a marine sniper. What, he isn’t?! The Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary bathroom trick. The Candy Man? We’ve all grown up with our versions of urban legends.
Because there’s nothing to do in Wisconsin, because I went to Catholic school, because I have an overactive imagination Eh-hem, because my childhood friends were experts at uncovering mysteries, I know quite a few urban legend stories. My favorite is Paradise Road.
Paradise Road is the real name of a windy street in Jefferson, Wisconsin, coincidentally my hometown’s neighboring city and longtime sports rival. The road is long and narrow with an S-shaped curve near the end, and surrounded by heavy woods on either side and a few scattered houses that never have their lights on…(ok, I’m playing into the urban legend with the lights part!)
The Truth Behind Paradise Road
The newsworthy story is that Paradise Road is indirectly the setting of the Diane Borchardt Murder Case. In April of 1994, Diane Borchardt, a teaching aide at Jefferson High School convinced three teenage boys, Doug Vest, 17, Josh Yanke, 16, and Michael Maldonado, 15, to murder her husband for her. After a tumultuous marriage, Diane and her husband Ruben were getting a divorce. Rumors include he was seeing someone else, but his two children from his first marriage say the fighting began long before the divorce began. Borchardt convinced the young male students she was being abused by her husband and promised them $20,000 from the insurance money along with her wedding and engagement ring and two cars. On the day of the murder, Borchardt packed up the two dogs and headed to her in-laws alone for Easter. The boys snuck into the main level of the house and woke Ruben who had moved into the basement while divorce proceedings began. They shot him twice which woke his son who rushed downstairs to find his father slumped over a chair. The murder trials began and Vest eventually confessed after receiving no payment from Borchardt. Vest, Yanke, and Borchardt herself are all doing life in prison, and Maldonado received 18 years. The home where Ruben and Diane lived and the murder took place was on an intersecting street with Paradise Road.
Two years after the murder, the Diane Borchardt story was made into a TV movie starring Ann-Margret in the main role. The film was called Seduced by Madness. Other noteworthy performances in the film include Peter Coyote, Tobey Maguire, and Freddy Rodriguez. While the film is based mostly on truth, the depiction of Jefferson, WI as a graffiti-painted, gang trodden town with palm trees is FALSE.
The Not So Grounded Truths Behind Paradise Road
Some of the legends surrounding this creepy street include the introductory mention of driving over the third bump in the road to find bodies hanging from trees.
Inexplicable radio frequency issues that begin and end on the street’s path. It’s totally haunted.
Historical practices of witchcraft in the woods.
Undocumented mentions that it was part of the Underground Railroad.
My Experience Encountering Paradise Road
As I said before, my friends and I had a knack for
getting into trouble, going wherever ghosts might be researching the haunted places or urban myths of our southeast midwest town. The following is a recap of what I’ve witnessed while traveling down Paradise Road (and believe me, we went more than once). I am willing to admit that the frenzy of legend surrounding this street may have toyed with my gullible and willing mind, but I’m also pretty honest, and had friends with me who witnessed the same things I did. With that said, you may take it or leave it.
- Dense layers of fog that parted exactly when we approached the street.
- Having walked the whole street’s length, I was aware of a shadow floating on the opposite side of the street keeping our pace. This was at night, and I tested to make sure it did not belong to any of us.
- A friend and I both witnessed shadowed figures climbing the trees.
- Upon a random stop in the car, our headlights shown directly on the most intricately carved eye on the side of a tree.
- Having thought we parked in front of an abandoned house with no lights on, a friend witnessed a hand pull back a window curtain and disappear again.
We quickly became enthralled with this place that held so much sinister energy. We took it upon ourselves to interview the people that lived on Paradise Road and wrote about it in the school paper. When we began the interviews, hardly anyone would talk to us. One of the houses we went to was still burning peat for heat in the house. And both vehicles we were using nearly got stuck in the mud while at one of the houses. Most of the residents claimed urban legend. The police continue to patrol the street on Halloween as it’s become a popular place for teens to go seeking a good scare.
I just happened to google Paradise Road and was able to find this image from moonslipper.com, an awesome paranormal blog of the author’s own encounter on Paradise Road. Click the image or link to hear her story.
Paradise Road: Fact or Fiction
I can’t say with any proof that Paradise Road is legitimately haunted. I do know what I’ve seen, and that’s enough to make me think this spooky street has a vibe I don’t want to mess with much. It’s creepy, that’s a fact. But I probably wouldn’t have gone there in the first place had it not been for small town urban legends. I’m glad I did.
What urban legends did you have growing up? Did you investigate? Did you ever play Bloody Mary? I totally did. Scared the crap out of myself, and then nothing happened. Still, I’m not about to play it again anytime soon.
Strange Wisconsin. You could call it that. And Linda S. Godfrey does. She’s the author of the midwest collection of Weird Wisconsin, Strange Wisconsin, and Strange Michigan. Godfrey started out as a reporter and cartoonist for a newspaper, but always had an interest in the mysterious. Her journey into the strange began when a few Wisconsin citizens started reporting werewolf sightings in the town of Elkhorn. (I think I went to Girl Scout camp there.) Considered out of hand and nonsense, no other reporter would touch the story, but Godfrey thought if there was a beastly animal loose in the neighborhood, the people deserved to know. So began the interviews with witnesses of The Beast of Bray Road and Godfrey became the expert of paranormal Wisconsin.
Here is a sketch of the beast Godfrey drew after tallying the descriptions around town. If you ask her where she stands on the explanation behind such a creature, she’ll tell you it’s firmly in the middle. We simply don’t know. She has coined the term “canid” to describe a canine hominid, saying it’s possible a breeding species has kept itself hidden in the pockets of Wisconsin’s wild until now. We’ve only really inhabited our state for 200 years. It could be evolution that caused the animal to become bipedal over time. But there are accounts of sudden manifestation and telepathy that cause skeptics to wonder. Is this mythological animal suddenly real? Where did it come from? Who sent it?
Some Native Americans believe the animal to be from the spirit world. And one correlation Godfrey discovered is that the majority of these ‘werewolf’ sightings occurred in close proximity to Indian effigy mounds. There are more effigy mounds in our part of the country than found anywhere else. These mounds are assumed to have been used for burial or other ceremony, but their true meaning is unknown. Some mounds that have been shaped like a man with antlers were thought to represent a holy man, but could it have been pointy ears? Is it the same creature people are seeing today?
Godfrey was in my town several months ago, speaking at the library. I stayed afterward to chat with her about her experiences and tell her a few of my own. When I told her the name of the town I grew up in, her eyes widened. “That’s in my book!” she exclaimed and immediately started assaulting the poor young librarian trying to help her handle the book sale table. The girl was trying to grab the book Godfrey wanted to show me and find the map she was looking for. “It’s near the front! Then use the glossary! Give me it!” I couldn’t imagine what was so important about my little hometown that she would yell at this poor girl. “The Circle of Strange!” Apparently, my town makes up one of the four directional cities that encompasses what Godfrey calls the Circle of Strange. This circumference holds the most sightings of werewolves and other eerie things than any other. Huh? Who knew?
I’m not going to tell you I’ve seen a werewolf. I never have. But I have witnessed my fair share of Wisconsin’s paranormal. I guess it’s a hazard of the neighborhood when you live in the Circle of Strange. What do you think? Hoopla or happening?
For more great posts on the paranormal, check out these blogs by:
Terrell Mims Werewolves – Monsters of the Church? Learn the origin of the werewolf!
Manon Eileen Weird Phenomenon: Lake Eerie Lights View footage of the strange orbs over another midwest landscape, Lake Eerie.
Chelsie Matthews from Three Ring Mom I Do Believe in Spooks! I Do! I Do! I Do! Chelsie relays the haunted happenings in her home and they’re starting to freak her out!