America’s Most Haunted and Cursed Town, Black River Falls

America’s Most Haunted and Cursed Town, Black River Falls


The US is full of towns said to be cursed and haunted, and one of the places in America with one of the most unsettling, bizarre and evil, dark history is Black River Falls, Wisconsin.

Cursed town?

Can a town really be cursed? It seems so.

There are numerous cases of strange and bizarre phenomena happening on Indian land. Such is the case with Black River Falls, Wisconsin.

It rests atop land that originally belonged to the Ho-Chunk Indians before they were driven out by European settlers.

a dot on a map of WI representing where Black river Falls is

Sitting 39 miles northeast of La Crosse, Wisconsin is the small, quaint village of Black River Falls. The region was officially founded as a town in 1839 by a man named Jacob Spalding, who was a local sawmill operator.

In fact, the sawmill industry was booming at the time, which led to settlers coming to the town in droves.

Dark turning point

For half a century, Black River Falls was thriving.

But then beginning in the last decade of the nineteenth century, a dark cloud seemed to hover over the town.

From 1890 through 1900 Black River Falls went from an idyllic spot to a cursed town, spinning out of control in a downward spiral of horrors.

Disaster struck, calamities occurred and chaos erupted.

The town was struck by incidents involving deranged mayhem and murder. Some people devolved into insanity and others committed suicide.

Host of horrors

The bizarre change in the town would almost have one believe a host of demons had arrived to deliver horrors upon the area.

In fact, whispers and rumors abounded around the town that the misfortunes and sufferings inflicted upon the area were the result of people dabbling in witchcraft and black magic.

For a decade, the town experienced a host of horrors.

A major flood ravaged the area. There was an outbreak of epidemic disease. The very mood of the town changed.

Random fighting and violence among the residents erupted. Things only got worse as the madness descended into downright evil.

Is there evil at work?

It was more than just paranoia about dark supernatural forces affecting the town. The fact was, evil was happening and an outbreak of mania and madness had occurred.

Murders were taking place regularly, as well as twisted mutilations. It seemed like Black River Falls was unraveling at the seams.

The sanity of the residents was disintegrating. Many townspeople were claiming they were being tormented by demons or witches.

In one example of madness, a woman had set herself on fire in order to try to get rid of a sore on her back.

A farmer, believing his farm had become possessed by Satan, decapitated every chicken on the farm then burned all of the structures down. Another farmer blew off his own head with a stick of dynamite.

A woman convinced she was being stalked by “devils,” took her three children out to late St. Croix and drowned them one by one.

Two young boys ran away from home, killed a farmer, and took over his farm, then killed a police officer attempting to investigate.

A drifter invaded a house and killed the entire family in their sleep, and then shot himself in the head. Delinquents were roaming the area slashing the throats of cows at various farms.

There was a serial arsonist loose in the town burning down structures.

The stories of murder and mayhem go on and on, case after case of madness, as if the whole town had been stricken by mass hysteria.

Black River Falls: Wisconsin Death Trip

As inexplicably as the weirdness began, a short time after 1900, whatever evil had gripped Black River Falls simply dissipated.

The above cases and many more disturbing incidents were chronicled in the 1973 book entitled “Wisconsin Death Trip,” by historian Michael Lesy.

There is also a documentary by the same name based upon the book.

Black River Falls today

Whatever plagued Black River Falls, Wisconsin in the late 19th and early 20th centuries seems to have moved on.

Today, it is once again a peaceful area and home to a population of roughly 3,600 residents.

However, due to its bizarre history of strange phenomena, hauntings, and madness – Black River Falls still draws paranormal investigators.

In addition, to this day, there are still some who report residents experiencing hauntings, presences or other unexplained phenomena.