My family moved to a house located 2 blocks from Riverside Park in Wausau, WI in 1989... The summer before I was to enter the second grade. Being that the park was close, the neighborhood kids and I spent most of our summer vacation there - playing tag, fishing, and bike riding. There is a bridge that connects the main park to another section called Ferns Island, obviously the name because that area is surrounded by water. The water, of course, is jet black... either polluted or evil. The kids refused to go to that section of the park because it's the most haunted.
The story went that hundreds of years ago, a witch inhabited the park area... There was a boy who was fishing in the area and fell in river then drowned. The townspeople blamed the witch and burnt her tiny hut. A bloody battle rose between the witch and the townspeople. Bodies of those townspeople were thrown in the river... Finally when the battle ended, the townspeople buried the dead and left that area... The witch disappeared but its spirit still roamed the park. (I never investigated the story to confirm it's originality.)
My cousins had an experience at Riverside once. One night the cousins were hanging out with friends in the parking lot, standing outside their cars and talking. The only source of light was the vehicle headlights. All the park lights were dead. Gang members once infested the park and the city just gave up on cleaning it up. The group heard slurping sounds and splashing water. They looked toward the river and saw a dark figure hunched over near the riverbank as if peeling and eating something. The figure turned around and a pair of red eyes looked stared back at them. As the figure walked closer, the group jumped into their cars and drove off, never looking back. They told this story to my father. The next morning my father went to investigate. He came back with a report that there were open crayfish shells and a decaying fish on the riverbank but nothing more.
The next story comes from my older brother - CK. CK worked the second shift and he got off work at midnight. Having such a work schedule, for weeks he hasn't seen his buddies. So during one of his breaks, he called his friends and set up a time to hang out that night after work. They choose Riverside to meet up since it was close to where the friends lived and his workplace.
After CK got off work, he drove pass IGA, a supermarket, where he saw his buddies in the parking lot loading beer to the back trunk of their car. CK waved to them, the guys waved back. CK went to Riverside to wait for the guys. He parked close to the riverbank, rolled down the driver's side window about an inch then pulled down his seat and laid down looking at the night sky in his car. All of a sudden he sees a woman with flowing blonde hair running past his car. She then came up to his window and tapped on it. CK got up and asked her what she wanted. At first CK thought the woman was a victim of rape because her clothes were ripped and her hair was distressed.
The woman was in hysterical mode and crying, she slid her fingers through the driver's window opening and told CK, "Everyone's dying, you have to help me! An old witch is down there, she's killing everyone, she killed my family, it's so bloody down there." She wiggled her fingers toward CK.
Thinking she's just another nut, CK quickly closed his window... The woman jumped back. CK then backed out of the parking lot. Just as he was doing so, his buddies drove in the parking lot and the woman walked in-between the vehicles just as they were passing each other. CK got out of his car and ran toward his friends. The woman was nowhere to be found. "Did you see her? Tell me you saw her!" CK shouted at his friends. "Who?" they asked... "That woman, she ran right in between our cars just as you guys were coming in," CK said. "We didn't see anyone..." was the guys' response.
Then CK said, "Man, what took you guys so long? You guys were just at IGA, it only takes 2 minutes to get here." The guys looked at each other and said, "What are you talking about? We were NEVER at IGA, we came from the East side. We had to go pick up some stuff at my house." CK and the guys looked at each other and left home. They never, ever met up at Riverside again.