A Haunting in Wisconsin, Part I

By: Josh Poirier


Eagle River, Wisconsin is a really great town. There are a lot of cool, old shops, plenty of good cabins and camping spots along beautiful lakes, and at least one ghost. The summer after my sophomore year of high school, my best friend Jake’s parents were kind enough to let him bring me and our friend, Brad, along on their family vacation up north. They rented a huge cabin, large enough to house the Holzhauer clan (Jake, his parents, and his four sisters), plus each of the friends that the kids brought with them. The cabin was fairly old and provided a commanding view of the lake with its huge windows and position atop a large hill.

We arrived late and only had time to explore the house a bit before bed. Everything seemed normal, except for one small door in the back of the basement. The knob appeared to be painted shut, and a note left by the owner read simply, “Do Not Open.” Of course, we immediately attempted every possible way to open the door, but, with no luck, we went upstairs and went to sleep. Jake and I each took a bed, and Brad slept on the floor near the closet. The next morning, Jake’s oldest sister, Alyson, was furious, accusing us of trying to scare her the night before. She claimed that as she and her friend, Rachel, were in bed, the door to their room opened slowly and then quickly slammed shut, seemingly by itself. We assured her that the three of us slept through the night, but no one believed us, so we were scolded and told to stop screwing around.

After our argument that morning, the rest of the day turned out great. We drove into the upper peninsula of Michigan and went to see the Paulding Light, a famously strange light that floats around the sky above the woods at night. Getting back late, Brad and I each hopped into bed, with Jake taking the spot near the closet this time. As we were laying there, trying to fall asleep, we were having a little fun by trying to scare each other. Brad and I kept telling Jake that while we were gone, someone most likely broke into the cabin and was hiding in the closet, waiting to grab him as he closed his eyes. Not five seconds after we had made the claim, the light in the closet came on. Jake let out a shriek and jumped into bed with me. We all stared, dumbfounded, waiting for our murderer to reveal himself, but nothing else happened. We got up to investigate, and found the one light switch firmly in the off position and no one in the closet. We wiggled the switch until the light finally went off, and then tucked ourselves into bed, laughing nervously, and blamed old wiring. Jake decided to sleep head-to-foot with me.

I woke up a little later, groggy and staring towards the middle of the room. I’ll never forget the moment I first saw it; the image is forever seared into my brain. An unnaturally tall woman with wild black hair, baggy, milk-white skin and a tattered gray dress floated gently in the middle of our room, staring out the window, towards the lake. She turned and looked at me, her eyes pupilless, her mouth a mess of rotted teeth. I let out a scream and bolted up in bed, wildly feeling for the light switch. As the lights came on, she vanished, and I began to calm down. I have a history of night terrors, so I suspected that I had merely dreamed the whole thing. I felt like an idiot, and quickly apologized to Brad and Jake, explaining what I had seen. When I looked back at Jake, his face was drained and his eyes were wide. In a shaky voice he explained that he had just had a dream that a woman had been in our room, staring out the window. We flew out of bed and the three of us spent a sleepless night in the living room, huddled together with the lights on.

To be continued in Part II


5 thoughts on “A Haunting in Wisconsin, Part I

  1. What I found most interesting about your encounter is that when you saw the woman in the bedroom you immediately attributed it to your past with night terrors. It is our natural tendencies as humans to regret what seems supernatural out of fear that these beings truly exist in our world. I fully believe in ghosts, yet I have never seen one, maybe felt one but it is still unclear. I wonder if my belief in ghosts would result in fully excepting the presence of who if i ever did or if I too would attribute it to something else like my imagination.

  2. Wow, what a tease – I really want to find out what happened haha. Where were Jake’s parents during all of this, and how did your scream not wake them up? The fact that the closet light flicked on right after you were joking about it is extremely creepy. Could it be that the ghost in the cabin was trying to communicate with you guys, suggesting that it is a sinister spirit in likening herself to the “murderer” hiding in the closet that you were joking about?

    Looking forward to part 2!

  3. This super extremely creeped me out. I don’t believe in ghosts or the supernatural but stuff like this really makes me uncomfortable. Especially because I have had experiences similar to this that I have chalked up to my eyes playing tricks (I have extremely poor vision) or just perhaps a blurred line between a nightmares I frequently have and reality. I feel like it’s almost less comforting to have more people around. If I was alone I would brush it off as something harmless but when other people experience it too, that’s when stuff gets real. I wonder if the experience, especially the escalation, would’ve been different had you been alone, had you brushed it off.

  4. It is hard to discern between reality and dreaming, in general, however when horror is involved, this becomes even more of a challenge. I wonder whether it was the fact that you guys were intentionally trying to play up the horror of the situation, initially by scaring each other, that made you both fall asleep with similar scary images in your mind, or whether it was actually there? This post, like many others on the blog, questions the power of coincidence.

  5. This is definitely a creepy story! I found that the most interesting part of this story was the fact that not only you saw the ghost, but also your friend had a dream depicting the same woman in the same scene that you had witnessed. It’s crazy to me how quickly it changes from fun to scare each other to having that same scariness become reality. I can think of a number of times where I tried to scare others and ended up scaring myself so badly!

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