The 10 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 10 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. Slender Man

In 2014 two 12-year-old girls from Waukesha, Wisconsin stabbed their friend 19 times to pay homage to the folklore character Slender Man. The two girls had read about Slender Man on a horror website and claim they would become proxies after killing their friend. Fortunately, the victim survived and the girls are looking to face up to 65 years in prison.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

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