You’d expect that here in the Devil’s Lake region we’d have a good selection of ghostly tales to tell. We do. The most well-known story tells of a hitchhiker dressed in jeans and wearing an old army jacket walking along highway 12 on the south-west side of town. If you pass him along the highway, he’ll reappear somewhere further down the road. If you stop to offer him a lift, he’ll simply disappear. Today, we’re all wondering how the ghostly hitchhiker will fair now that the old highway has been bypassed!
We also have our own haunted bar in Baraboo which was once a saloon and brothel across from an old railway station. (Fans of Ghost Adventures know all former brothels are haunted!!) The Baraboo Inn on the south side of town is believed to have many active spirits and is a popular spot for ghost hunters who have collected a variety of audio recordings, photographs, and videos of shadows, orbs and so on said to be proof of the paranormal. If you’re interested, you can check out this 2014 video below from Art Davenport & Paranormal Encounters.
Now, My favorite Devil’s Lake area ghost story was published in a 1954 issue of “Fate” magazine called, “Baraboo’s 10 Ton Ghosts”. The article shared stories of ghost elephants who roamed the streets of Baraboo rattling homes and scaring residents and one even smashed a barn! Only in Baraboo, home of the Ringling Bros. Circus would you get tales of paranormal pachyderms!! The Chicago Tribune press service posted a story on Jan 22, 1930 “Ghost Story Stirs Baraboo To A Frenzy”. It was said that the nightly crashes, creaking, and booms of the ghost elephants wandering the streets had folks so scared that they no longer allowed their children to play outdoors! If you can chase down the original story, it’s worth a read!
Are there ghost stories about Devil’s Lake itself? Well, I’ve worked to chase some down over the years and haven’t had the best of luck finding any details. There is the story of the apparition of a Native American who’s ghostly canoe has been seen floating on the lake at night. There are a couple of spooky locations where EVPs have been captured by paranormal investigators. Still, Devil’s Lake seems more a place of hairy creatures, elusive sounds, and sea serpents than one of the ghosts. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some spooky tales out there.
Do you have a Devil’s Lake Ghost story? Please share it in the comments!!