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W-File: gh_newlondon2.html

Type: Ghost
Location: New London (Town of Lebanon), Wisconsin

Source: The The Appleton Post-Crescent web site.


Thu 19-Oct-2000

Waupaca County 'haunted' house lays claim to real ghosts


Apparitions add to home's seasonal attraction

By Susan Squires
Post-Crescent staff writer

TOWN OF LEBANON -- On late October evenings, giggling youngsters stand in line outside the abandoned farmstead at N6449 County T near New London, waiting their turn to step inside the house of mild horrors Connie Moravec and her sisters have orchestrated to titillate their guests.

In what were once a living room, parlor and kitchen, spiders descend on command, phantom hands clutch at unsuspecting arms and witches tend a billowing cauldron.

Out back, ghouls manufacture coffins in a converted chicken coop at the edge of a foggy cemetery where a group of devilish caretakers stand guard.

Starting at dusk, from this Friday until Halloween, six tour guides, dressed in witches' garb, simultaneously lead groups of young children and their adult escorts through the downstairs rooms. The guests -- 2,000 last year -- seem too distracted to notice that the "haunted house" is haunted.

While the harmless spooks delight the Halloween visitors downstairs, "Brenda" paces the floor upstairs.

"That's what the girls I work with call her," Moravec said. "You talk about the stuff that's happened here, and they call me the 'ghost lady.' "

For most of the 10 years she lived in the house, Moravec was oblivious to Brenda and the phantom company she keeps. She blamed her cats for the creaking, crashing and footsteps she heard. Eventually, she banished the cats, but the noises persisted.

"You're the only soul in the house, and you'd hear the floor in the kitchen creak in the same place it did when you were walking on it," Moravec said. "Then, whoever it was walked right past me, up the stairs, and it was like, hooooly cow.

"Once, I was upstairs in that bedroom, digging around for something, and I could hear somebody else digging through papers, not more than a foot away from me."

A friend told Moravec he's encountered a small boy, who appeared to have a tear running down his cheek. Others have felt a strong male presence at the top of the stairs.

Brenda, however, is the most regular manifestation -- a young girl with long, sandy hair, who, to those who have seen her, seems to limp.

"My girlfriend stayed over one night, and she appeared at the doorway to her," Moravec said.

Other people have seen her looking out the window. Moravec has tried to find out who the girl might have been, and what binds her to the house, but the building is at least 150 years old and witnesses are long expired.

Moravec's attitude toward the apparitions is live and let live (or whatever), and she tries not to rile Brenda and company, hoping that, in exchange, they won't raise a ruckus when she occasionally has a few thousand more earthly ghouls stop by for a visit.

"I don't care if they live here. We can all get along on the property," Moravec said.

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