Dairy State Dracula

Sink your teeth into the legend of Wisconsin’s Mineral Point Vampire 

Quotes sourced from wisconsinology.com. Graphic created by Liv Klassen.

It’s no secret that the Midwest comes up with weird stuff. I mean, some of the most famous “world’s largest” thingamabobs are found right here in the Corn Belt. But another fascinating feature to the Midwest are the urban legends that lurk in the dark. 

Example: Mineral Point. It’s an old mining town in Wisconsin, about two hours west of Milwaukee, not far from another Midwest curiosity, the House on the Rock. It was settled by people coming from Cornwall who left behind life in the United Kingdom to seek their fortunes in the U.S. It’s a town steeped in history—and mystery. Including one involving the so-called Mineral Point Vampire.

The story goes like this. On the evening of March 14, 1984, reports came in of a strange man lurking in the Graceland cemetery, over on the western outskirts of town, next to the county fairgrounds. Officer Jon Pepper arrived on site and, according to an interview he gave with the Wisconsin State Journal, came across “a huge person with a white-painted face, wearing a dark cape…6-foot-3 and ugly.” Pepper chased after the figure but soon lost it after it jumped a 4-foot fence. This might have seemed like a harmless prank—until 23 years later when more reports flooded in about a similarly paleish ghoul. 

On March 14, 2004, reports came in of someone sitting in a tree next to an apartment complex, jumping out to scare anyone who came near them. But when police arrived on the scene, the perpetrator had vanished. When inspecting closer, they found footprints that mysteriously ended at a 10-foot concrete wall. 

Four years later another sighting was reported, this time by a couple who were fishing. On July 11, 2008, the couple spotted something underneath a wooden deck. At the time they believed it to be an animal. So they stomped at it in an attempt to scare it away, but then they came face to face with a lanky, pale figure. The couple defended themselves, throwing a flashlight at it and then running off. When police arrived, they (again) couldn’t catch this creature of the night. 

Since then, the “vampire” has remained in the shadows. No new sightings have been reported, but that’s not to say people haven’t been trying. Paranormal investigator and urban legend fanatic Taylor Nicole, who shares her spooky journeys with her 135.5K followers on TikTok, ventured to Mineral Point back in 2022 in the hopes of catching footage of the vampire. Unfortunately, she didn’t see any pale faces. But that didn’t extinguish her obsession with urban legends. 

“I love reading about urban legends, and that’s exactly why I was drawn to this story,” Nicole says. “The area of Mineral Point is full of unexplainable paranormal, extraterrestrial, cryptozoology stories. When someone mentioned the vampire story, it opened up so many more legends for me to investigate.”

And it’s not just Nicole who has this fascination. Social media has taken a newfound admiration for the creepy and crawly legends that have withstood the tale of time, like the supposedly haunted ax murder house in Villisca, Iowa, or the creepy Homey the Clown from Chicago. People travel far and wide in hopes of catching sight of these legends. But what is it about them that attracts people? Blog reporter Frank Anderson might just have the answer. 

“If you have a good story, you’ll always gain traction,” Anderson says. “All these myths and legends start somewhere. I was drawn to [urban legends] as a young person, so I can see why younger people are fascinated by these urban legends. More people eat this up—it’s nuts.”

Anderson runs the blog Wisconsinology, a site dedicated to the history and stories of America’s dairy capital. While Anderson doesn’t believe in the Mineral Point Vampire, he can see why others do. One such example he pointed to was the legend of the LaCrosse Moth Man, another rendition of the internet’s favorite tall winged creature. Anderson points out that early European settlers who were unfamiliar with the terrain might’ve just mistaken Wisconsin’s Indigenous great blue heron for a tall Moth Man. 

“Especially in Wisconsin, a lot of people come here not knowing the typography and most haven’t seen some of the animals we have here,” Anderson says. “If you look closely at some of these legends, they have some basis in the creatures around here.”

Of course, we now can discern a heron from the Moth Man but some people still run with the tall tale—and that doesn’t explain away Mineral Point’s vampire. So, if these legends are simply born from mistaken identities, what is it about them that draws us in?

“For me, personally, reading up on folklore and legends has become a method of escapism from frightening things happening in real time around the globe,” Nicole says. “I think it also adds a bit of mysticism to everyday life. Learning about the legends of your region and how far back many of them trace makes you wonder just what is out in the wild that has yet to be discovered.”


  • Victoria Soliz

    As one of the Senior Editors for Urban Plains, I pull from my wide range of experience. From Allrecipes’ recent Editorial Apprentice, YourTango’s Editorial Intern, and my many years of work with Drake Magazine, I’m passionate about the way our words make us feel! I love telling stories. A fun fact about me is that I hope to one day blend my love of storytelling and my love for horror into one as a career one day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *