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3 Spooky Places in Wisconsin to Visit Any Time of Year

    For someone that doesn’t believe in the paranormal, I spend a lot of time with my friends visiting supposedly haunted, or otherwise spooky, places. For the past two years my close friends and I have spent a significant amount of time traveling to haunted places in Wisconsin. While most have ended up being a little disappointing, these three places have definitely creeped me out. So, if you’re looking for a good scare during any season, try visiting one of these spooky locations.

Weary Road: Evansville, WI

I spent the first half of my childhood growing up in Evansville, and the legends of Weary Road terrified me. While the story seemed to change every time someone told me about Old Man Weary, it still scared the crap out of me. It is said that Old Man Weary was accused by the townspeople of being a pedophile, but he was never proven guilty. Parents decided to take matters into their own hands, burning his house down, with him and some children inside. While this sounds suspiciously similar to the plot of Nightmare on Elm St., and there is no one that actually died in a house fire on Weary Road, go to this quiet narrow country road alone at night and you might begin to worry Old Man Weary isn’t just a legend. If a most-likely-fake story about Old Man Weary doesn’t creep you out, someone did actually die on the road while car surfing. When my friends and I visited Weary Road we didn’t have any directly paranormal experiences. It’s quite possible that you have to grow up in Evansville and be a little gulible to actually find Weary Road that scary. My childhood friend Brandi, who also grew up in Evansville, and I refused to get out of the car while the rest of our friends got out to investigate. Regardless, Weary Road definitely looks creepy and is still worth a visit.   

Paradise Road: Jefferson, WI

The legend surrounding Paradise road, similar to Weary Road, feels a little far fetched. The story goes that three sisters who had been accused of witchcraft were hung from the trees on the road. While I have my doubts about the truth in that story, Paradise Road is definitely the creepiest place my friends and I have visited. The road is lined with densely packed trees and is extremely dark at night. It is truly in the middle of nowhere. My friend Champ, who was driving, pulled over and shut off his car in the darkest part of the woods. We rolled down the windows and took a moment to just listen. I absolutely detested this idea because I was afraid his car wouldn’t turn back on and we would be stranded. However, as we sat there I heard some sort of inhuman noise. I immediately started yelling at Champ to turn his car back on and start driving. My friend Grace was very mad at me because she was not able to hear the noise because of my yelling, but I was not interested in finding out what that noise was coming from. While you could easily explain away the noise I heard as some sort of wild animal, it was nonetheless creepy, and if you choose one place to go on this list, I would definitely recommend Paradise Road. 

Sanatorium Hill/Lake View Woods: Madison, WI

    While Sanatorium Hill is now mostly known as a great place to go sledding in Madison, it used to be home to the Lakeview Sanatorium, a treatment center for people with Tuberculosis. The building currently belongs to the Department of Health and Human Services, but the spookiest part of this location is the woods behind the building. The Lakeview Woods was home to tunnels where workers stored and moved bodies before burning them in the crematorium. There are boatloads of different paranormal experiences that have been reported within these woods. Hair pulling, apparitions, general feelings of unease and feeling as though you are being stalked are common sensations. When my friend Grace and I visited these woods we both felt as though someone was following and that we could hear the clunk of heavy work boots behind us. At first I thought the sound was coming from us, but when I looked at the shoes we were both wearing it became clear that neither of our pairs of Birkenstocks were capable of making that kind of noise. When I realized I couldn’t rationalize the sounds and it felt as though we were the footsteps were getting closer, I panicked and ran the rest of the way out of the woods.

As you may have noticed, the fact that I don’t believe in ghosts is rendered a little ironic since I am also clearly extremely scared of them. But whether or not you believe in ghosts, visiting any of these places is a great way way to bond with your friends any time of the year. Going on these trips is one of the ways I have stayed so close with my friends from home, and they’re something I look forward to every time we are all home on a break. Some of my favorite memories are going on trips to places like these with my best friends, even if we went home without any (legit) paranormal experiences.

Brittany Huff

Wisconsin '22

Brittany is a sophomore at UW-Madison studying Psychology. In her spare time, she enjoys making vegan baked goods, drinking coffee, watching horror movies, and talking about her cats. You can keep up with her on Instagram (@_brittanyhuff).
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