The town of Menomonie is rich with history due to the booming lumber industry it once housed. But rich history and ghost tales often go hand in hand. The Dunn County Historical Society just hosted its second annual Ghosts of Dunn County event in which the Johnsdale Paranormal Group presented their discoveries from their investigation of the Wilson Place Mansion. Whether you believe in the stuff or not, it does send shivers down your spine to think of it! So if you’re looking to get in the Halloween spirit, here are a few of Menomonie’s most haunted locations to keep an eye out for!
The Mabel Tainter Theater
This beautiful building looks as if it has been trapped in time, and the castle-like exterior just screams “foreboding.” It was built by Captain Andrew Tainter, of the Knapp, Stout & Co. lumber company, to memorialize the loss of his nineteen-year-old daughter Mabel, who had a strong passion for the fine arts. Among the well-known reports of seeing appartitions in windows and hearing disembodied voices, are also personal tales that are certain to make you weak at the knees. A frequent concert location for the University of Wisconsin-Stout Jazz Band, some of its members have gone out of their way to avoid the back dressing rooms due to a heavy feeling of claustrophobia, which is often correlated with the presence of spirits.
Jeter-Tainter-Callahan Residence Hall
Jeter-Tainter-Callahan is the oldest residence hall on the Stout campus. This is especially apparent when you consider the building’s slanted foundation, which makes it unfit for student dorming. There have also been many eery reports of unexplainable experiences within the hall’s confines. Staff and students have reported doors unlocking and locking randomly, feeling watched in the halls, and electrical mishaps with radios and televisions. One student even reported a chair sliding across the room and hitting her, which a staff member tried to blame on the poor foundation. Last year, a group of students admitted to feeling watched while working on a school project and hearing the sound of a radio that never seemed to get louder or quieter, no matter which direction they travelled. Many of these incidents are attributed to the building’s age, but we will leave the speculation up to you! Right now, it’s being used for office space for many professors due to the current renovation of Harvey Hall.
Wilson Place Mansion
Home to many of Menomonie’s historic greats, you can find this beautiful building near North Campus. The mansion is open for historic tours, but many people neglect to realize it’s lesser-known history. Many guests and staff workers have reported certain smells appearing out of thin air and seeing a white, womanly figure near the room in which one of the residents supposedly died. This was, indeed, the place investigated by the Johnsdale Paranormal Group, who could not reach a definite conclusion on the hauntings without spending more time investigating. However, they did share observations of “phantom smells” such as cigar smoke and floral perfume. Also, they believe that upon their suggestion to leave the building they caught an assumed female voice on their recording equipment repeatedly asking them to stay.