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12 Horrifying Tales And Legends That Prove Wisconsin Is A Creepy Place

Updated March 30, 2020 39.4k views12 items

Wisconsin, a state known for its dairy products, is also home to many eerie urban legends and ghost stories. Among these creepy Wisconsin stories is the tale of the Rhinelander hodag, a cryptozoological nightmare beast Sasquatch would probably run scared from. Ghost stories from Wisconsin include haunted bridges, a jogging spirit, and even a tombstone that bleeds. These popular Wisconsin urban legends are sure to excite and terrify. 

  • The Rhinelander Hodag

    Photo: Unknown/Public Domain / Wikipedia

    According to Wisconsin lore, the Rhinelander hodag is a creature found in the northern area of the state, usually around the city of Rhinelander (hence the creature's name). The hodag has a long tail with spears on it, a frog's head with an elephant's face, sharp claws, short and stumpy legs, and the back of a dinosaur. Its diet allegedly consists of white bulldogs. The hodag is reported to be extinct, as the last one was captured and dynamited to death in the 1890s. Given their elusive nature, however, there may still be other hodags out there. 

  • Highway 12 Hitchhiker

    Photo: garrettc / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    A phantom hitchhiker haunts a section of Highway 12 in the appropriately named Baraboo, Wisconsin. He looks to be from the 1960s, complete with faded jeans and a green army jacket. His hair is dark and long, and he has a beard.

    People have reported seeing him trying to hitch a ride, and then – after they pass him by – a mile down the road he reappears. When people actually stop to give him a ride, he vanished into thin air before reaching their vehicles. Little else is known about this mysterious spirit, but he appears not to be malevolent. 

  • Antigo Alien Encounter

    Photo: kevin dooley / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Strange lights were seen in the sky several days prior to November 17th, 1974; the date of the Antigo, Wisconsin alien encounter. A woman, Mrs. H, was working in a local bar when an unusually short man appeared. She described him as "bouncing" on his way in, and mentioned his burlap jacket and creepy white teeth.

    She believed that he was an alien, because of his odd behavior and the way that he insisted the lights she and others had seen in the sky were caused by a meteor. After asserting this several times, he walked out of the bar and vanished into the night. 

  • Siren Bridge

    Photo: juanignaciosl / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Siren Bridge is close to Siren, Wisconsin, and home to a creepy family of ghosts. As the story goes, a family was driving home one day when they crashed, went through the guardrail, and died before help could arrive.

    People traveling over the bridge (located on County Highway B), still hear them screaming for help. Even creepier, sometimes people hear a child's voice, crying out for her mommy over the radio of vehicles crossing the bridge.