Have you ever seen a werewolf? Chad Lewis wants to talk

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Chad Lewis

Chad Lewis has at all times been fascinated by folks’s fascination with the paranormal. However he has at all times “performed it straight down the center,” he says. 




If you wish to hear about alien pancakes, a colossal serpent in Lake Mendota, or a haunted bridge simply 25 miles from Madison, ask Chad Lewis.

Lewis has made a profession out of investigating, documenting and questioning accounts of the unexplainable: Tales about paranormal phenomenon, legends which are just a bit too authentic-sounding to be dismissed, and occurrences that simply appear bizarre.

He’ll weave a few of that information into two displays Saturday at Madison libraries, titled “Paranormal Wisconsin” and “Mysterious Creatures of Wisconsin,” and one other in Solar Prairie Nov. 2 discussing “Winter Legends and Folklore.”







Chad Lewis in window

“Folks love being scared in a managed method. It’s the identical motive you go to horror motion pictures, or experience a curler coaster,” says Solar Prairie creator and collector of fabulous tales Chad Lewis.




Lewis’ talks are designed for kids in addition to adults  and draw a superb crowd.

His COVID-era, on-line presentation for patrons on the DeForest Public Library final yr “was one in every of our extra in style digital packages,” stated grownup providers librarian Erin Dedin. “He was a very participating individual  which I do know is difficult to do on Zoom.”

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Lewis just lately returned to Wisconsin from Los Angeles, the place he taped appearances for upcoming TV reveals concerning the paranormal. His twenty sixth e-book on the topic, “Winter Legends and Lore,” is due out in December.

Through the years, he’s seen a fascination with the paranormal develop.







Chad Lewis

Chad Lewis has at all times been fascinated by folks’s fascination with the paranormal. However he has at all times “performed it straight down the center,” he says. 




“I believe we’ve at all times had this curiosity, however now it’s extra acceptable,” stated Lewis, who does some 200 talks a yr at libraries, universities and historic societies throughout the Midwest. “Folks love being scared in a managed method. It’s the identical motive you go to horror motion pictures, or experience a curler coaster.”

“I really feel the identical manner” throughout firsthand investigations, he stated. “If you’re out strolling in a cornfield at midnight in search of a dogman, it’s creepy. you’re in all probability not going to get killed by a dogman. However but, it’s the identical adrenalin that kicks in.”

Wisconsin boy

Lewis grew up in Eau Claire, the place he heard tales of UFO sightings in close by Elmwood. He later went to UW-Stout for his bachelor’s and grasp’s levels in psychology, questioning “why some folks imagine in some of these things, and others don’t,” he stated. “Why can you will have a carload of individuals, and a few of the folks within the automobile will see a UFO and others is not going to?”

For his grasp’s thesis, Lewis wished to review college students’ beliefs within the paranormal. However his professors have been skeptical.







Chad Lewis

Chad Lewis’ experience on the paranormal in folklore and legends has led to 26 books and quite a few TV appearances. 




“Keep in mind, this was 2001-ish,” he stated. “It wasn’t like at this time, when the paranormal is super-popular. Each TV present you activate, there appears to be ghosts or Hairy-man or one thing.”

Finally, Lewis was in a position to conduct his analysis, asking college students in the event that they believed in ghosts, UFOs and the like  and why.

“I believe probably the most fascinating a part of my thesis was the gender variations. I discovered that, statistically talking, ladies have been extra prone to imagine in ESP, telepathy, out-of-body experiences and ghosts  inner issues  than males,” Lewis stated. “The boys have been extra prone to imagine in werewolves, vampires, sea serpents, Hairy-man  issues which are exterior and could be hunted.”

As for his personal beliefs, Lewis has at all times “performed it straight down the center,” he stated.

“At instances, folks have informed me the weirdest tales, and I utterly imagine that they imagine,” he stated. “Whether or not it actually occurred, I don’t know. However they’re 100% sure it occurred.”

Native tales

Madison has its personal paranormal lore. Within the late 1800s and early 1900s, tales of sea serpents in Wisconsin waters have been rampant.

“I’ve collected tales from over 40 lakes, rivers and streams which have had a narrative  or nonetheless do,” Lewis stated.

A 20-foot-long eel-like creature was stated to dwell in Lake Monona within the late Eighteen Nineties. Its counterpart in Lake Mendota was stated to be 40 toes lengthy, with a mouth so extensive a wheelbarrow might match inside  “which meant you might match inside there,” stated Lewis.

In his talks he would possibly recount the well-known story from 1961 of an Eagle River man encountering aliens who gave him pancakes, and a bridge in Evansville coated with graffiti by the kids who’ve gone there to dare a neighborhood ghost.

At the moment, Lewis lives in Solar Prairie along with his spouse, Madison School psychology teacher Nisa Giaquinto, and his 12-year-old son. Even on household street journeys and holidays, he makes certain to perform a little little bit of analysis alongside the way in which  becoming a member of the rising legions of vacationers who hunt down “paranormal tourism,” he stated.

Full of legends and folklore, Lewis’ library packages “are visible street journeys,” he stated. “I discuss a few of the extra fantastical sightings and encounters,” utilizing slides as an instance the locations he’s visited.

“I at all times go away it as much as folks  and I state this originally  that I hope they don’t take my phrase for it both manner,” he stated. “I hope they go and examine and determine for themselves. As a result of that’s half the enjoyable of it  getting on the market.”

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