State’s Urban Legends: Wisconsin

My sister resides in Wisconsin these days. And if the good people of the state haven’t been punished enough, check out these urban legends they have had to deal with. None of them are very cheesy.

C’mon now, at least I didn’t say they weren’t very Gouda…

Rhinelander Hodag

This legend got its start back in the late 19th Century. Eugene Shepard claimed he saw one in 1893, claimed he “captured” one in 1896 and put it on display at a fair. The “creature” was kept sedated so it was always sleeping.

The Hodag of Wisconsin.

The Hodag.

Of course, careful examination of the exhibit revealed the wires that moved the “creature” and the fraud was exposed. Shepard admitted to the fakery and that should have been that.

But the Hodag wasn’t about to drift off into obscurity. By the late 1920s it was said it had a frog’s head, saber-tooth tiger fangs, thick legs, huge claws and a long tail. But despite its fearsome appearance, it never seemed to threaten people. Aside from a skunk-level smell if you got to close.

As far as the town where the legend was born, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, it has fully adopted the legend. Statues adorn the town and the Hodag is the high school’s mascot.

Boy Scout Lane

The name of the road is certain. That Boy Scouts were involved is also certain. But as far as what exactly happened on this road? Well, legends disagree. There was a bus crash. The bus driver went mad and murdered the scouts. One even says the boys walked into the nearby woods and simply disappeared.

If you pay the area a visit, it is said, you might see a body swinging in the trees. You might even encounter a set of hand prints the size of a child.

Antigo, Wisconsin UFOs

Wisconsin UFO story.

Did Ford Prefect visit Wisconsin in 1974?

Back in 1974 Antigo, Wisconsin had a spate of UFO sightings. The most notable story came from a bar and restaurant owner.

She claimed an alien man walked into her place one evening. He spoke English, spoke very rapidly and mentioned the entire world was going to light up. Then he vanished in a flash of light.

She never mentioned if he was carrying a towel or not. Apparently, the name of the bar wasn’t 42 either.

About the author

Richard Paolinelli