My first paranormal experience with Brule was back in high school. I had friends who went to the old school that’s now a haunted attraction. One night, my friends took me to a place called the Painted House. This was an old, abandoned place on the outskirts of Brule that was filled to the brim with weirdness. In the house, there were paintings of demons and swastikas. There were cages where animals had apparently been kept. The house has since been destroyed, but I never forgot the day that my friend Nate took me to the house. When we got to the house, the wind blew so hard that we could hardly reach the building. I never went back.


Since my high school days, I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time working as a sort of “hobby anthropologist” in my spare time. I’ve traveled all over the world and I’ve spent a lot of time studying humans, particularly altered states of consciousness and spiritual experiences. I got to study folklore in the United States between 2006 and 2010, interviewing people all across the country about their paranormal experiences and researching and writing about my findings.


For folks who are hoping for a lot of windchimes and fruitloops, I can say that in fact, Brule is haunted. But I tend to think every town is haunted. Or at least pockets of every town are haunted. Grown-ups may poo-poo this kind of wish-wash and teenagers may be disappointed by the lack of sensationalism in this claim, but it’s true. Look in your mirror. Let your gaze soften and see what you see. Everywhere is haunted with something or someone. If you allow yourself to believe, you’ll see what’s there. If you don’t believe, you never will.


So is Brule haunted? Yes. Brule is haunted. I’ve had plenty of paranormal experiences inside the school. Often, lightbulbs burn out in batches inside the building when we’re getting ready to leave for a period of time. We’ve seen apparitions, heard voices, had strange electrical phenomena, and felt the presence of negative spirits in the School District 13 school building. We often have ghostly visitors. It’s true. And it makes me happy to have them. This is a school after all and people spent the bulk of their young lives in this building.


Brule is an eerie place after dark. It’s quiet. A sleepy town. From a high place, other nearby cities look like mere constellations, lightyears away. If you want to feel the presence of something otherworldly, this is a haunted city where you can do that with ease. There’s no loud traffic or bright neon lights to detract from the subtle energies making their way from here to there. Just the rattle of cornstalks and an occasional mooing of a far-off cow.