Menomonie, Wisconsin History/nani jean
The small northern Wisconsin town of Menomonie is known for being a relatively happy place, with a rich history and many stories of great inventions that have been created in the town within the last two centuries. Along with all of , there are numerous hauntings and dark folklore tales that linger in and around the city. Some of the most haunted places in Menomonie include, The Devil's Punch Bowl, The Caddie Woodlawn House, as well as the JTC (Jeter, Tainter, Callahan) Dorms, located on the University of Wisconsin Stout Campus. These hauntings have been either personally experienced and passed on from person to person, or they have been professionally documented, but none have caused any physical harm to anyone.
Devil's Punch Bowl
The Devil’s Punch Bowl is a well known scenic area in the city of Menomonie, that was created by glaciers thousands of years ago. Today, it has been made into an easy, yet popular hike equipped with a large wooden staircase that leads all the way to the bottom of the bowl. It isn’t just a recently that the Punch Bowl has become popular, in fact prehistoric people were said to be very present in the area. Scientists studying the Punch Bowl found a few burial sites located near the Bowl, as well as an elk antler armband that was dated to be from somewhere between 750 A.D. and 1208 A.D.. Native Americans were not the only people fond of this land, Samuel Black, a Civil War captain was said to have held many gatherings here with his soldiers.
There are many stories of gnomes, fairies and even orbs of light that call this place home, but in all honesty gnomes and fairies sound a little far fetched. There have been rumors that if one were to go down into the Punch Bowl and talk about the gnomes and fairies as if they do not exist, there is a large chance of your car not starting when you ascend back up into the parking lot to leave. Another reason why Devil’s Punch Bowl is said to be haunted, or as some say, enchanted is that the water that can be collected there from the underground spring stays unusually cold and clear for days after it has been taken from its ecosystem despite all of the bacteria that would usually cause water to become discolored and contaminated.
Caddie Woodlawn House
The Caddie Woodlawn House is around 9 miles out of Menomonie. Just drive south past Downsville, and you’ll see a sign for the park. The original home of young pioneer, Caddie Woodlawn is on the property. There are actually two houses on the property, one white house and an older looking log cabin. Caddie Woodlawn grew up in the log cabin with her four siblings and two parents back in 1857. Due to her various adventures, Caddie became famous through the stories her granddaughter wrote about her, and later published into childrens books.
When looking at the houses, they look nostalgic and homey, but what happened and it still currently happening in them would change that outlook in a second. Today, the property is said to be extremely haunted by a child, who would most likely be assumed to be Caddie herself, but Caddie’s sister, Mary, was sickly and weak and actually passed away on the property and was buried in an unmarked grave near the house. There have been numerous reports of footsteps, children’s laughter and extreme cold spots in the larger White House. When visited, people have had an eerie feeling while walking through each of the houses, and some have even reported seeing a small girl lingering.
JTC (Jeter, Tainter, Callahan) Dorms
JTC is a series of connected University of Wisconsin-Stout dorm buildings named Jeter, Tainter, and Callahan. Built in the mid 1950s, this building is the oldest existing residence hall on the Stout Campus. Countless numbers of suicides and mysterious deaths have occurred inside of this building back when it was a functioning dorm. Today, the building is currently being used for office space for professors that work on the Stout campus. Since it is still occupied majority of the year, there are year round maintenance workers that clean and take care of the place. These workers have been there at all times of the day and night, exposing them to more possibilities for paranormal activity.
There have been reports of voices and footsteps when no one else is in the building but themselves, locks being locked and unlocked for no apparent reason, as well as the kitchen staff reporting voice phenomenon over the radio that sound like someone interrupting their music and objects being moved and hidden in ridiculous places. One time while school was in session, a female student had gone to visit the JTC Dorms, and when she entered the basement, a piece of furniture came sliding towards her and the television turned on and off by itself. The furniture sliding could have been caused by the old and uneven structure of the building, but the TV turning off and on by itself is still unexplained to this day. After this event, some paranormal communicators came to visit the building to try and talk to the spirits that were supposedly haunting the place, and sure enough, there were spirits of old students lingering the halls and basement of the dorm building. They made a very clear point that none of the spirits meant any harm to any of the workers or students that still use the old building, they simply just wanted to stay somewhere that they used to call their home.