Paranormal at the library

Published 4:57 pm Saturday, October 23, 2010

Books about the paranormal by author Chad Lewis were on display at the Austin Municipal Library Friday afternoon where Lewis gave about a 40 minute presentation on what he's investigated in Minnesota. - Eric Johnson/

Paranormal investigator Chad Lewis has hunted for the weird and abnormal across the globe for the past 16 years. He first got a taste of the strange growing up in Wisconsin, where he said he lived near several UFO sites.

Now, the acclaimed author and investigator tours across the country, giving speeches and making presentations on some of the interesting stories he’s found. He stopped by Friday at the Austin Public Library to present the most haunted locations in Minnesota.

“I got interested in what makes people believe in the unusual,” Lewis said.

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Lewis made a presentation based on his 2005 book, “The Minnesota Road Guide to Haunted Locations,” which gives directions to about 60 or 70 haunted locations across the state, from Winona and Rochester to near the Canadian border—which is significantly pared down from the almost 350 locations Lewis said he investigated for the book.

There are places like an old school in Albert Lea or a private residence in Austin, where at night one can hear the sounds of children running up and down the stairs, which Lewis said the book covers.

Lewis said some of the best experiences he’s had in his career have been learning about the ways different cultures interpret stories. For example, while people in America see vampires as looking like sexy supermodels, people who live near Transylvania fear vampires as cruel, ugly, terrible demons.

Sometimes, Lewis has found people to take spirits in stride, like the faeries in Ireland.

“I’d walk into a pub and ask people, ‘Where are all the goblins and gnomes in this area?’ and they’d ask me, ‘Which ones?’” Lewis said.