Menomonie, Wisconsin History/Ari noelle

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Sign in front of the Wilson Place museum, downtown Menomonie
Sign in front of the Wilson Place museum, downtown Menomonie.
Stage in the Mabel Tainter Theater where multiple hauntings are recorded happening.
Stage in the Mabel Tainter Theater where multiple hauntings are recorded happening.

Hauntings have been prevalent in Menomonie, Wisconsin.[1]Living in Menomonie, you have probably heard  all the ghostly stories that come with this town’s history. Whether it’s a short walk to the Mabel Tainter or Wilson Place or a short drive to Elk Lake Dam or the Caddie Woodlawn Park, Menomonie is full of secrets and hauntings in its history and even today. These old sites are just a few of the many Haunting places in the Menomonie area. Although it impossible to know if these places are haunted or not, there is no doubt that Menomonie is full of interesting places that will make your skin crawl when you visit them. there are many reports that say a lot of the same occurrences from many witnesses that have happened in a specific place. These hauntings make for interesting stories that people will pass down for years to come.[1]

Mabel Tainter Hauntings[edit]

The Mabel Tainter Theater[2]  was built in 1889, as a memorial for Andrew and Bertha’s daughter Mabel Tainter. Mabel died at the age of nineteen. Her death report said she died of “cancer of the side” some believe that this may have been a ruptured appendix, while other theorists say it may have been a botched abortion that her father made her go through with. Whatever the reason for Mabel’s death her parents felt the need to build a grand memorial for their beloved daughter. (Stout and About, 2012)[3] The theater and community center at the time showcased activities that Mabel loved. The theater is still used today for student and professional productions, students can also take tours of the Mabel Tainter, including a ghost tour around Halloween.  

Through the years there have been many reports of paranormal activity happening within the Mabel Tainter.[4] These reports come from both the staff and community members alike. Many reports from staff name a woman that they have seen roaming the building wearing white, she is assumed to be Mabel herself checking up on the theater. Also community members have claimed to see a woman in white going into the building at night, long after the building is closed.  Other reports have revealed lights turning on by themselves when the building is locked up at night and footsteps on the stage when no one is in the building. (Unexplained Research, 2009[5]; Her Campus, 2014)[6] Although to some these hauntings are disturbing, the ghosts in the Mabel Tainter seem to be harmless.  

Wilson Place Hauntings[edit]

The Wilson Place is a historical site which has been home to many famous people to Menomonie. The Building has been redone several times to fit the wants of the families living inside of it. Today visitors can have a detailed tour of the home as well as a look into the past to learn about the different generations and families that were apart of the beautiful mansion. (Dunn History)[7]

Although the past of the Wilson Place is intriguing the death in one of the rooms and the aftermath, even today, is most intriguing of all. According to rumors inside one of the rooms of The Wilson Place a woman died, now her spirit is trapped in the old house and cannot escape. Visitors who have toured the house have often admitted to catching a glimpse of this woman as she makes her way through the house and into the room where her death is recorded to have happened. Other visitors say they have felt cold walking only into that room and have felt the presence of someone who was not there. (Her Campus, 2014)[6]

Elk Lake Dam Hauntings[edit]

Elk Lake Dam is a short drive and is just on the outside of Menomonie in Dunn County, WI. This place is said to be the site of a horrific murder in 1974. A young woman named Mary k. Schlais was picked up by someone while hitchhiking in the Minneapolis area. Mary was headed for Chicago and was discovered in Elk Lake after a neighbor called the police when they saw a man dumping her body. Mary was repeatedly stabbed by her killer and that appears to be her cause of death. (Unexplained Research, 2004)[8] The killer was never found and the case still remains open today as there are no new leads.

The paranormal activity that has happened along the dam and the bridge going over it are some of the strangest in the Menomonie area. Multiple people have reported seeing a woman standing on the bridge and when they look again, she disappears, also many have claimed to see a “shadowy” person running along the river under the dam. Another person reported having a vision of throwing a bag into the river, while standing on the bridge. While another report came from two men who reported seeing a “glowing white woman” while sitting near the dam. (Unexplained Research, 2006)[9] Strangest of all; however, happened in the Fall of 1994, when a lady named Virginia Hendricks, who lived only a little ways from the dam, claimed that Mary came to her house everyday at the same time to talk and eat food with Virginia. Virginia was the only person who could see this young lady; and the description that Virginia gave, fit the description of Mary perfectly.

Caddie Woodlawn Park Hauntings[edit]

The Caddie Woodlawn Park is about 9 miles out of Menomonie and is home to some interesting history. The house was lived in by John Woodhouse, his wife and their five children. This house was the setting for the popular book Caddie Woodlawn that was written by Carol Ryrie Brink but was about the stories of her grandmother, Caroline Augusta. (Dunn County Historical Society)[10] Today this park is open for people to visit at most times of the year.

According to reports this park is haunted by Mary Woodlawn who died at a young age and her body lies under an unmarked grave on the property. Mary; however, only haunts the white house that is on the property. There are many reports of cold spots and people claiming to hear footsteps where people are not permitted to go in the house. (Her Campus, 2014)[6] Also on this property there have been reports of children’s laughter coming from the house when no children are present. (Stout and About, 2012)[11]

External Links[edit]


ghosts of america[13]

her campus[6]

unexplained research[14]


  1. Google. (2015) Google [Website]
  4. Menomonie, Wisconsin History/SLAIRS
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3