(WFRV) – Every time Halloween rolls around, eerie tales, urban legends, and unexplained first-hand paranormal encounters creep out of the woodwork- and this year seems to be no different.
Local 5 got to chat with Fond du Lac resident, Tracy Qualmann, whose passion for seeking out the paranormal has led her to experience a variety of chilling, and also strangely exciting, supernatural encounters – take a look!
Historic Galloway Village
First built in the 1800s, the Galloway House, located in Fond du Lac, looks like it hasn’t aged a day. Through the centuries, the house, which was originally owned by Edwin Galloway and his sister, was faithfully preserved and expanded to become what it is today – a gorgeous Victorian mansion, with a few hidden secrets.
In 1954, the Fond du Lac Historical Society took ownership of the mansion and made it the center of the well-known Galloway Village. The Galloway Village is made up of many historical landmarks that were moved from their respective locations into the village making this space a hotbed of rich history. However, where there’s history, there are stories, telling tales of ghosts and eerie paranormal activity circulating the Historic Galloway Village.
And these may be more than just scary stories. Fond du Lac County Historical Society Executive Director, Ben Giles, confirmed with Local 5 that ‘spooky experiences’ have taken place at the Galloway House and Village, but declined to divulge any further details.
Luckily, Qualmann, said she has had ‘a number’ of paranormal encounters while at the village and was even willing to share one encounter in particular that still haunts her to this day.
Qualmann took us back to the day where she and three other people were in Miss Margie’s Dress Shop, which is located inside the Galloway Village, attempting to make contact with whatever was in the building.
We were using some tools to connect and were getting some pretty good feedback from whatever is in the building. I was asked to ask a few questions and dialogue with whatever was there.”Tracy Qualmann
During this time, Qualmann said she started asking questions out in the open and shortly after began feeling an extreme amount of pressure on her chest.
[I] was literally gasping for air.”Tracy Qualmann
Qualmann chose not to talk further about that frightening experience, but what she shared was enough for Local 5 to dig deeper into Miss Margie’s Dress Shop and its origin story.
According to the Fond du Lac County Historical Society, the dress shop is from the late 1800s and was the home of John Chafaris. The shop currently displays the tools of the dressmaker’s trade as well as offers clothing exhibits representing styles from the 1890s to the 1900s.
While we weren’t able to find any information on mysterious fires, strange deaths, and/or eerie stories trailing Miss Margie’s Dress Shop, because it has been so well-preserved, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary that the spirit of John Chafaris may still be lingering.
St. Peter’s Chuch
St. Peter’s Church in Fond du Lac may be housing more than just the father, son, and holy spirit.
According to Tracy Qualmann, one of her several unexplained encounters with the paranormal happened while in this building.
Qualmann said the encounter happened in 2020 while she was exploring the church with a medium, who Qualmann says was reportedly sensing a lot of paranormal activity taking place in the building.
She kept seeing and hearing a little boy, but he wouldn’t talk to her. So, she asked me to try to engage…I was about to become a grandma to a little boy; she thought we might connect.”Tracy Qualmann
Qualmann says at that moment, she began trying to make contact with the little boy, however, her attempts were unsuccessful. That is until she was suddenly overcome by an enormous amount of happiness.
I couldn’t stop smiling…Like those big smiles when you’re overjoyed about something. I couldn’t explain it.”Tracy Qualmann
Qualmann again tried asking questions, and this time there was a response.
I asked ‘how old are you?’. My friend who was there jumped and was startled. She asked me, ‘Did you hear that?’, I replied ‘no.’ She said, clear as day, she heard a little boy say, ‘I’m 4’.”Tracy Qualmann
Qualmann, then asked the embodied voice if it could show her that it was in the room with them, and what came next no one expected.
I said to the little boy, ‘Can you show me that you’re here?’. That is when I felt little fingers on the back of my leg, tickling me. It was wonderful!”Tracy Qualmann
While Qualmann recalls this paranormal encounter as being ‘wonderful’, we’re not sure many people would feel the same way. Then again, not many people can say they have experienced something quite like this.
Freedmill Bar & Grill
Looking for some delicious food and spirits? Feedmill Bar & Grill in Knowles might be just the place for you. First opening its doors in 1994, this bar and grill not only offers patrons a bite to eat and a friendly atmosphere but on occasion can offer guests an experience they will never forget.
Over the years, stories have circulated of mysterious things happening within this small-town eatery.
One of these stories comes from Tracy Qualmann, who says she has recently had an encounter with the paranormal within this restaurant, that wasn’t so wonderful.
According to Qualmann, earlier this year she was asked by the owner of Freedmill Bar & Grill to visit the business with a medium.
So, naturally, Qualmann’s love for all things paranormal took over and she and a medium made their way to the bar and grill. However, what Qualmann didn’t know was that her time in the restaurant would be short-lived.
Qualmann explained that while she and the medium were in Freedmill Bar & Grill’s basement, she felt something grab the back of her shirt.
Something grabbed the back of my shirt, pulling it back aggressively.”Tracy Qualmann
And that aggressive tug was enough to send Qualmann running out of the bar & grill.
I jumped, almost hitting the ceiling -old basements are low- and ran.”Tracy Qualmann
It is odd that someone like Tracy Qualmann, who has had a variety of paranormal encounters throughout her life, would be so startled during this moment that she ran out of the building. It raises the question of what was it about this specific paranormal encounter that shook her to her very core.
This story is part of a Local 5 Halloween series which includes the following blood-curdling stories:
- Paranormal Encounters: Chilling stories from The Berlin Tannery
- Paranormal Encounters: Chilling stories from The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley
- Paranormal Encounters: Chilling stories from Hotel Retlaw