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Haunted Fox Cities: Part II

The Fox Cities is brimming with otherworldly activity, if you’re willing to keep an open mind and open eyes. Check out these stories about local haunts. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to take a visit and experience the paranormal. 
Note: Please do not trespass or cause any damage to any of the places you may visit. Respect the incredible heritage we have!
Ladies of LawrenceblvckhrnhpWhat if your school was haunted? Lawrence University in Appleton embraces the deep history of the campus and even holds a paranormal tour of the campus. The tour takes participants through the history of the campus and chronicles the paranormal tales associated with the university. Students have seen ghostly apparitions in Orsmby Hall and a ghost that doesn’t leave his seat in Memorial Chapel. People have heard unexplained sounds and shadows in Cloak Theater and there have been strange lights flickering in Stansbury Hall. But most unsettling of all are the stories of security guards witnessing a woman dressed in white dancing in a circle at the Cloak Theater and vanishing without a trace just as quickly. May Day celebrations on campus used to take place in what is now the Cloak. Individuals would dress in white and dance around in a circle. If you find yourself walking the campus at night and you feel a chill in the air, whatever you do, don’t turn around.

School Skipping Specters

Back in high school, we all thought about cutting class. But what if playing hooky meant that not only did you not show up for class, but the only place you did turn up, was dead? There’s a rumor that Menasha High School has an interesting architectural feature — tunnels that connect the school to Butte Des Morts school. These tunnels were supposedly used in the 1940s as a way of protecting students and staff in case of a nuclear attack. According to legend, during a drill four students were trapped in the tunnels while trying to skip school. There are reports by students of feeling a strange presence when they go near the basement. Some say that they have heard the sounds of people pounding on the doors and yelling for help, as if trying to escape.

Road to Witches

There’s a road in between Ripon and Rosendale that, if you’re looking for it, can open your world to many strange occurrences. At the intersection of Highway 44/49 south of Ripon & Hwy KK, go east on KK about 1.9 miles, then turn right on Callan Road. On this road you’ll find an old run down house that has been sitting on the side of the highway untouched for centuries. Legend says a witch once lived there and many people have experienced strange lights and sounds on this stretch of road. Make sure you have a full tank of gas if you plan to take a Sunday drive this way, because you wouldn’t want to get stranded here.

A History of Paine

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From the outside, the Paine Art Center and Gardens looks to be a charming center for the arts. What you may not know about the mansion that sits on the corner of Hwy 21 and Algoma Boulevard in Oshkosh is that the history of this lavish building is rather sordid. Construction of the estate began in 1927 by couple Nathan and Jessie Paine utilizing the Paine Lumber Company for much for the elaborate woodwork. Construction was halted during the Great Depression due to the struggling economy. Although the building was eventually completed, the Paines never moved in because it is said they received multiple death threats from their underpaid and overworked employees. In fact, no one has ever lived there. According to staff and visitors alike, the door to the mansion’s attic will mysteriously open and after-hours footsteps can be heard on the second floor. Tour guides have said that there have been times during a tour when a disembodied voice will chime in to give more detail on the history of the building. (Not all ghosts have to be scary, some can be rather informative.)

—By Rebecca Turchan & Andrew Scholz

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