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Real-life ghost stories for Halloween in St. Croix Falls

Michael Norman, author of "Haunted Heartland," is coming to Festival Theatre in St. Croix Falls, Wis., to read from his book at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30.

The evening will consist of an hour-long reading by the author and a book signing. There will be books for purchase as well. The book features real-life accounts of haunted houses, ghosts, mysterious lights and more.

Norman, the emeritus professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, has written six collections of American supernatural stories. This is the second edition of "Haunted Heartland" and Norman says it contains a lot of original stories as well as a few new ones.

Norman originally wrote the book in 1985 with Beth Scott. After she died, he worked on this edition.

"Haunted Heartland came about simply because no one had ever written about haunted stories from the Midwest," Norman said.

"The approach we took was a journalistic one. We hear the story, the circumstances, and then we leave it up to the reader to decide whether it's true or not."

When asked whether he believes the stories, Norman's response was equally journalistic.

"I believe that people believe in what happened to them. I leave it up to them to tell the story.

"A lot of times I was the first person they ever told the story to outside their family. It's sort of like seeing the yeti or the abominable snowman or a UFO — people were afraid that they'd be made fun of."

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at www.FestivalTheatre.org, by emailing festivaltheatreboxoffice@gmail.com or by calling the box office at 715-483-3387. Seats will be filling up fast.

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