The 9 Best Myths and Urban Legends in Wisconsin

Wisconsin was the 30th state to join the union back in 1848. Between now and then many myths and legends have circulated the state. From haunted buildings to mythical animals—Wisconsin has heard its fair share of stories. Here are the best myths and urban legends in Wisconsin.   

1. The Hodag, Rhinelander, WI

The Hodag is Rhinelander town legend. It started in 1893 when early settlers of the town came across a lizard-like beast equipped with large fangs, claws, and piercing green eyes. After sending out an unsuccessful hunting party to slay the Hodag, the town made a hoax about the beast—in turn the town embraced the creature as its new mascot. 

2. Maribel Caves Hotel Hell, Maribel, WI

This haunted hotel is a true Wisconsin legend. The story goes that one of the guests at the hotel went crazy and killed the other residents, eventually committing suicide after. People who visited after the fact would see and hear people in the hotel. Hotel Hell get its name from the blood stained walls after the mass murder that night.

3. Lake Winnebago Water Monster

The Winnebago Tribe would tell stories of a massive fish who inhabited Lake Winnebago. This monster would snatch up deer, elk, and moose. Some say the monster was a large sturgeon who was soon killed by a horned animal, other say its descendants are still swimming around.

4. Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI

Marquette University is said to be one of the most haunted universities in the state. Helfaer Theatre, Humphrey Hall, Johnston Hall, Mashuda Hall, Straz Hall, and Varsity Theatre have had previous reports of hauntings. Most of which have had previous professors or students who have died in the halls.

5. Lake Mendota Sea Serpent, Madison, WI

Bozho is a reported sea serpent who lives in Lake Mendota located in Madison. The snake-like water creature has reportedly over turned canoes, has been spotted by many swimmers, and even disrupted sunbathers. Bozho has never hurt a human and some people like to think that Bozho could be a plesiosaur. 

6. Science Hall, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

The fourth floor of the Science Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus is said to be haunted according to staff members and students. The entire fourth floor is mainly used for storage of the university but there have been multiple sightings of beakers falling off the shelves one-by-one shattering on the floors.

7. Bantley Graveyard, Canton, WI

Ghost sightings are frequent at Bantley Graveyard in Canton. Brakes have been said to have gone out while driving by the graveyard and ghosts sightings have been reported in both the day and night.

8. Vine Street, Eau Claire, WI

A woman between the age of 20-30 reportedly died in Eau Claire after being hit by a drunk driver on Sept. 13, 1986. Rumor has it that every single night in September you can see a woman running on the sidewalk.  When your car is about to pass her she turns towards you and throws herself at the vehicle. When you look back at her, she disappears.

9. Paradise Road, Jefferson, WI

Located in Jefferson, Wisconsin, this road is a hot spot for high school students to do on a weekend. While on the road people have heard screams and people in the woods. It’s been advised to stay out of the woods.

Select a Wisconsin town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Best Things To Do Near You
Enter City / State or Zip code below
Best Places To Go Near You
Enter City / State or Zip code below
Select your town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you:

Adams County

Ashland County

Barron County

Bayfield County

Brown County

Buffalo County

Burnett County

Calumet County

Chippewa County

Clark County

Columbia County

Crawford County

Dane County

Dodge County

Door County

Douglas County

Dunn County

Eau Claire County

Florence County

Fond Du Lac County

Forest County

Grant County

Green County

Green Lake County

Iowa County

Iron County

Jackson County

Jefferson County

Juneau County

Kenosha County

Kewaunee County

La Crosse County

Lafayette County

Langlade County

Lincoln County

Manitowoc County

Marathon County

Marinette County

Marquette County

Menominee County

Milwaukee County

Monroe County

Oconto County

Oneida County

Outagamie County

Ozaukee County

Pepin County

Pierce County

Polk County

Portage County

Price County

Racine County

Richland County

Rock County

Rusk County

Saint Croix County

Sauk County

Sawyer County

Shawano County

Sheboygan County

Taylor County

Trempealeau County

Vernon County

Vilas County

Walworth County

Washburn County

Washington County

Waukesha County

Waupaca County

Waushara County

Winnebago County

Wood County