Blurry green photo of natural area with supposed black outline of beast apparition

Some search for years to catch a glimpse of the paranormal. It could be a shadowy figure in the night, rustling leaves in the woods or the unnerving feeling of hot breath on your neck.

Individual encounters like these have added up to create the Wisconsin folklore that fascinates and frightens us to this day — passed down through storytelling in whispers or on paper, and now online thanks to high-quality photos and videos the average person can capture with the device in their pocket. This month’s cover story profiles some of the Madison area’s most storied ghosts and creatures that still lurk in the shadows, some that have reportedly been spotted as recently as this summer.