A strange and fascinating show
NEW ULM — The New Ulm Public Library will explore the bizarre side of Minnesota, Thursday, with a special virtual program from author and speaker Chad Lewis.
The program begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and is viewed virtually on Zoom. The event is free, but viewers must register on the library’s website or homepage.
Lewis has traveled the world in search of strange and unusual stories and has been featured on Discovery Channel’s “A Haunting”, “William Shatner’s Weird or What”, ABC’s “Scariest Places on Earth”, and “Monsters and Mysteries in America,” along with being a frequent contributor on “Ripley’s Believe it or Not Radio.” Lewis has previously spoken at the New Ulm Library on Minnesota’s Prohibition era gangsters. His latest program is called “Bizarre History of Minnesota” and will cover a variety of strange stories from the state’s past.
Lewis said he developed the program while researching the haunted history of his home state of Wisconsin. This required going through many old newspapers. In the process, he found and collected weird stories from Minnesota’s past.
The program will include stories of peculiar people, mysterious creatures roaming the area, bizarre deaths, medical anomalies, psychic phenomena and UFOs.
Most of the stories included in the program are from the late 1800s or early 1900.
“I want to make it a time capsule,” Lewis said. The idea was to uncover these forgotten stories.
“These stories are hidden,” he said. Many of these stories have been forgotten and the program helps shine a light on Minnesota’s unusual past. He said there is a never-ending supply of weird stories coming out of Minnesota. The state has countless old legends and weird characters.
One of the oldest stories is about Pepie, the sea monster that lives in Lake Peppin. Lewis said there were newspapers about the creature as far back as 1870, but Native American legends warned of a creature going back further. The most modern story in the program is a UFO citing from 1960s. These stories come from every corner of Minnesota, including a few from south-central Minnesota.
“The program will leave you wondering if you believe,” Lewis said. Most of his stories are taken from news articles appearing in newspapers going as far back as 1870, but occasionally the stories occurred on one side of the state but were reported on the opposite end.
“Did it really happen, or was it a slow news day?,” the author wondered.
To view the Zoom program, register online at the Library’s homepage or Facebook page.