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Woman In The Park

 

This is an event that happened not to me but to my cousin, in Waupun, Wisconsin around the year 2000, during his elementary school years.

He and his now estranged friend were on a late night bicycle ride, sometime between 10 and 12 o' clock at night. As they neared the town park, they noticed the lone figure of a woman seated barefoot under the park pavilion, painting on an easel set up on a bench. As they approached out of curiosity, she noticed and called out to them "hey boys." They engaged her and inquired as to her activities, only to be met with a vague and elusive response. At this point, they noticed the image she was painting was a rather surreal and impressionistic rendering of anthropomorphic suns and stars exhibiting various facial expressions. My cousin describes her retroactively as having a blank and empty stare, a detached, distant, and sing-song-ey voice, and moved in a way that was unnaturally stiff, quick, and robotic. Because of this, he got the impression that she was "soulless" and something other than human. He also describes her as wearing very old, mismatched, and brightly coloured thrift store clothing, like a gypsy. It was at this point that these qualities became apparent to them that they began feeling highly uncomfortable and unnerved, with my cousin specifically recalling having felt a gut instinct that if they were to stick around any longer, something very bad would happen to them. As this fear neared its peak they took off and returned, frightened, to his parent's home, where they described their experience to his father, who dismissed it uninterestedly. They then returned to the park, only to find her gone without a trace.

That last detail is highly inexplicable, as it is rather difficult to leave a place in ten minute's time when one is barefoot, carrying a full art kit, and has no visible means of transportation. The identity of this woman, or entity, to this day remains a mystery.

Does anyone have any insights, ideas, observations, or similar experiences they would like to share to help us out?

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Illuminati322, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Christine_Pandora (1 stories) (80 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-12-10)
http://www.cityofwaupun.org/
If the above link is about the same place you are talking about... Well the home page seems very artistic - "City of Sculpture"...

This is already one thing that is proof against your opinion that the area is "As such, it is the very last place one would expect to find an eccentric artist (there is no arts or cultural community, nor any bohemian sort of environment, there.) So, to encounter someone like that in a park is not only not an everyday experience for that environment, it is a complete anomaly."

I find it is always difficult when posting other's experiences as you personally can not put down all the facts and be certain you have the correct ones when documenting an experience... Possibly if you went back and ruled out any possible explanation you may find out some information that can either confirm the believers of paranormal and researching or you can confirm your cousin's story is indeed backed up with proof or at least proof of you trying to debunk a few things.

Was still a good read! 😊
Argette (guest)
+2
6 years ago (2012-01-11)
Waupun is just over an hour from Madison. Having lived in Madison for a few years, I can tell you that it is home to a lot of characters.

Waupun is home to a prison which might attract some odd visitors.
Vanessanda (3 stories) (226 posts)
+2
6 years ago (2011-12-31)
DeviousAngel

I'd like to get my two cents worth in here and ask a question of you as an artist. Is it normal for an artist to be out in a park that late in the dark? What sort of lighting would she have been using to be able to work?

Illuminati322

How close did the boys get to her if they had such a good look at what she was painting? And with what light were they able to see the painting in such detail, as well as, the expression on her face? I may be wrong but I don't think you can distinguish colours in the dark either.

After telling the dad about a lone (soulless) woman in the park who scared them to death, I find it difficult to believe that the dad allowed them to go back and at that late hour (stranger danger) or didn't at least go back with the boys to investigate. Why would the boys themselves want to expose themselves, AGAIN, to the same danger they sensed only minutes earlier.

I thoroughly enjoyed your own personal experience in the old house. However, no offence meant, but I think that your cousin probably embellished his story and you believed it. Think about it!
bacchaegrl (506 posts)
+1
7 years ago (2011-06-09)
I agree, living people can be weird. Weirder than some of the dead people you read about. I'm also in agreement that the timeline doesn't make a lot of sense. Did the kids talk to the dad for one minute before heading out again? I think there may have been a little more time in there that is unaccounted for. The lady probably left because she was being bothered by some pesky little kids. I wouldn't want any kids bugging me on my late night painting projects, if I ever had any...Finally, Petersspirit, okay, we get it, you're a creative weirdo. But I think, those who are truly weird, never have a clue that they are. The people who are the weirdest are the ones who think they are the most normal.
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+3
7 years ago (2011-06-09)
Illuminati322 - I'm not trying to be argumentative, however, you begin your story by saying in took place 11 years ago when your cousin was in elementary school, which means he was anywhere from 5 to 13. The sighting of this woman took place somewhere between 10:00 p.m. And midnight, which means he isn't sure of the time. So, I'm going to voice my opinion here that based on the age of your cousin at this time and the fact that he isn't sure what time it was, maybe there are other things that aren't exactly 100% positive in this story too.

Like the 10 minute bicycle ride. Is that only 10 minutes one way or 5 minutes? Did that 10 minutes include the amount of time it took your cousin to try and convince his dad that he and his friend might have seen something "paranormal?"

Also, how does your cousin know that she didn't leave when they did? They would had to have looked over their shoulders while riding their bicycles to your cousin's home. I'm just guessing they didn't have their eyes on her the whole time they were gone.

I'm not suggesting your cousin and his friend didn't seen someone. I am suggesting that being out at dark, seeing someone they didn't recognize, who looked "unusual" to them, might have played with their minds a little.
johntravis28 (guest)
+4
7 years ago (2011-06-09)
Now illuminati, before you get all defensive, it seems like you want this to be paranormal. Remember a lot of artists travel around to find picturesque places, which based on your description Waupun sounds like it fits the bill. So she may not have been from the area.

By your description of the park my presumption is it is either Meadowview Heights Park or Dodge park. Both of which could be easily exited in 10 minutes
Illuminati322 (6 stories) (10 posts)
-2
7 years ago (2011-06-09)
One thing I would like to point out to skeptics here is the geographic and cultural context in which the story occured. Waupun is a small town in a rural area, isolated from other towns by long stretches of farmland. It is also overwhelmingly conservative in the whitebread Middle American sense. As such, it is the very last place one would expect to find an eccentric artist (there is no arts or cultural community, nor any bohemian sort of environment, there.) So, to encounter someone like that in a park is not only not an everyday experience for that environment, it is a complete anamoly. Secondly, due to its tiny geographic size and population, it is fairly cohesive and tight knit, with the majority of the residents knowing each other, and no one in town had ever seen nor heard of an eccentric painter in the area.

Also, her packing up and departing the park within the given duration of time is inexplicable, given that my cousin's house to which he returned immediately afterward overlooks the park, the latter being visible from the former. It is a small park encircled by houses within a domestic zone, and as such its entriety can be seen without effort from any point within. My cousin did not see any vehicle whatsoever, either a car or a bicycle, meaning she had to have been moving on her feet. Given this and small geographic range of the area, she would have been visibly walking down one of the sidewalks by the time their return.
johntravis28 (guest)
+2
7 years ago (2011-06-09)
Lyrinth, you are correct... You should trust your gut. And if you feel in danger, high tail it outta there. But feeling uncomfortable around a woman doesn't automatically mean she is a ghost
510mot (3 stories) (262 posts)
 
7 years ago (2011-06-08)
Elementary School years. 10pm or midnight ride. Dad was uninterested.Hmm...does not compute. Was "anthropomorphic" their description or yours? And what is that smell?
Petersspirit (4 stories) (144 posts)
+1
7 years ago (2011-06-08)
Hi Illuminati322,

I do agree with Lynrinth that what comes first in this sharing of your cousin and his friend was the feeling whcih this lady gave them. Also how she moved and the way she appeared to be all together. I paint (impressionistic works) and compose music, I've been weird as long I can remember (if being free is being weird that is) Even when I thought I was normal from time to time the world around me did not think so. Anyhow: liked reading your story. It would still be interesting to see if a paintress used to visit that park to paint in somewhere in the past...

Greetings,
Peter
lynrinth (guest)
+4
7 years ago (2011-06-08)
Trust your gut. Always trust your gut. If your brother felt something wasn't quite right about the woman, and his gut was telling him something bad was about to happen...well, better to trust your gut then wait around to see what would happen. Good story.

This comment from maneater12 is hidden due to low rating. Show comment

Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+1
7 years ago (2011-06-08)
Devious - thanks for the confirmation. I thought I was right, but I've been known to be wrong upon occasion 😆
DeviousAngel (11 stories) (1910 posts)
+6
7 years ago (2011-06-08)
Exactly, Miracles. Those bags can be heavy and cumbersome but you get used to them after a while, and they're like portable black holes. When I was going to art school, we learned to cram everything in as efficiently as we could to make sure we got to and from our classes on time. No joke, in less than five minutes flat we would go from taking up an entire table with our supplies: newsprint, watercolor paper, trace paper, paints, markers, pencils, erasers, rulers and stencil-guides, acrylic spray and lots, lots more--to walking out the door with nothing but a canvas bag and a "tackle box". When I was your age, sonny, we had to haul that mess up and down two flights of stairs to get to our classes with no more than 10 minutes transit time from one end of the building to the other. And that's a true story.

There were plenty of weirdos there too... I was one of them!
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+3
7 years ago (2011-06-08)
Illuminati322 - for all your cousin knows, this woman could have left as soon as he and his friend did. And just because they didn't see any means of transportation doesn't mean she didn't have one. She could also be someone who is very used to carrying her art supplies and can quickly pack everything up and go. In my job, there are sales reps who come in every day carrying huge bags and display cases. They carry them up 14 steps to enter our building and once inside our building, they then carry them down 17 steps to where they need to meet the people they've come to see. They are also very easy to pack up when it's time to leave.

So, my point is, people get used to carrying these bags and are used to packing them up at a moment's notice. I would say an artist's bag and easel would be very similar. Devious can correct me if I'm wrong. No offense will be taken.

I think your cousin and his friend just encountered a real live woman sitting in the park. By the time they got back, she would have had plenty of time to have packed up and left, if she'd left when they did.
DeviousAngel (11 stories) (1910 posts)
+3
7 years ago (2011-06-08)
I am an artist and I can vouch for the fact that we can be complete weirdos at times. I agree with johntravis, this doesn't sound paranormal to me. Just a little brush with an eccentric or otherwise, possibly homeless woman.
Elephante81 (2 stories) (59 posts)
+1
7 years ago (2011-06-08)
sounds like this lady was on one wickedly awesome hallucinogenic 😆
johntravis28 (guest)
+1
7 years ago (2011-06-08)
I'm sorry, but I don't neccessarily see anything paranormal here. It seems to me like they found a lady painting in a park which is quite an every day experience. She might have been eccentric (as a lot of artists are, no offence intended to artists) therefore seemed a bit strange, but I don't see any paranormal element

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