Love all things scary and spooky? With Halloween just around the corner, here are a few of the myths and legends from the Stevens Point Area. Beware, these stories are not for the faint of heart.
Club Forest Bar in PloverTop
The Club Forest Bar in Plover has a long and strange history. According to previous owners, the bar has a colorful past. Rumored to have been a brothel and to be visited by the likes of Al Capone and John Dillinger. Although the bar's brothel and gangster days are long over, they believe the building is haunted by a spirit from this era.
They claim the bar is visited by a former caretaker named Melvin. Sadly, Melvin was shot defending a woman from an unruly customer, and that he may still be looking for the woman. Incidents like jukeboxes turning on and off, television volumes being turned all the way up, and bar stools flying across the room are most common when there is a man with a loud or forceful voice on the premise. Despite the spooky occurrences, they say Melvin is welcomed (and is even mentioned on their menu).Information gathered from "Central Wisconsin Sunday" from February 20, 2011, titled "From Gangsters to Ghosts" written by B.C. Kowalski. Photo Credit: @clubforestbar
Perhaps the most haunted places in the Stevens Point Area are the haunted bridges: Red Bridge on Casimir Road, Black Bridge, and "Bloody Bride Bridge" on Highway 66 near Jordan Park. According to local legend, a bride was killed on her wedding night at this location, thus giving it its name. The first encounter of the ghostly woman was by a police officer, who thought that he had hit the woman, got out of his car to investigate, and found nothing...so he thought. As he re-entered his police vehicle, he locked eyes with the woman in his back seat! Since this encounter, the bride is said to haunt all three bridges, especially late at night and during the winter months.
Since all three bridges are popular for fishing, fishermen on the waters late at night often have experiences with the bride, and many local residents have their own stories about the location. Passing through this location during the day will be encounter-free, but beware visiting at nighttime when she is on the prowl!Information gathered from "Weird Wisconsin", written by Linda S. Godfrey and Richard D. Hendricks page 216. Photo by Bob Mosier
Boy Scout LaneTop
The story of Boy Scout Lane is known by most locals, but its trustworthiness is questionable. Legend states that a group of boy scouts disappeared on the site many years ago. It is debated whether the boys were murdered by their bus driver, slowly disappeared one by one, or accidentally started a forest fire from a lantern they were carrying and perished. Despite the myths, there has never been a reported disappearance of the boys. The location actually gets its name because at one point the Boy Scouts of America purchased the land in hopes of it becoming a boy scout camp. This never happened, but the name stuck.
Today, people often report seeing lights like lanterns bobbing through the forest then disappearing, their car having children's handprints on it after driving in the area, and some even report seeing a bus in the area that eventually disappears. Do not go to Boy Scout Lane to investigate this for yourselves-- the property that the lane is on is privately owned, and the homeowners near the property have full rights to contact the police on unsolicited visitors. In this case, rely on the urban legends to scare you enough!Information gathered from here. Photo Credit: @twohalvesofasoul
The Cottage CafeTop
The Cottage Cafe in Plover is a well-known haunted location in the area and has a strange history to match. The building was built in the 1850s, had 12 previous owners, and has been everything from a private residence to a hotel to restaurants. Long ago, the Sowiak family resided in the building. Although they never publicly talked about the house being haunted, one of the children of the family remembers being scared of one of the upstairs bedrooms. Before the Sowiak family, the Pierce family lived in the building. James Pierce, the father, was a deacon of the local church and outwardly talked about the evils of alcohol. This became apparent when the building was home to the Sherman Restaurant, where glasses would fly off of the bar. Renovations to the building allowed for the ghostly residents to stir up trouble, including slamming doors, shattered windows, flying plates, and more happening on a daily basis in the restaurant.
Today, the building is for sale and the Cottage Cafe is no more. However, the past owners of the Cottage Cafe are sisters who are paranormal investigators and have said that the ghosts are friendly and always welcomed in the building.Information gathered from here and the Cottage Cafe's Facebook page.
Looking for more spooky fun?
Each October the Portage County Historical Society hosts a Murder on Main Street Walking Tour as well as cemetery tours led by local cemetery researcher Jen Brilowski. A spooky Halloween activity to try is Feltz Haunted Corn Maze ,where you must navigate the corn field with ghosts, ghouls, and goblins hiding around every corner. Then, keep exploring more seasonal events in the Stevens Point Area.