The world of digital creators is inspiring, immense, and sometimes overwhelming. I’ve recently entered this world, and while it’s been fun, I see how often smaller accounts get overlooked in lieu of the more popular ones. This is expected. So, I wondered how I could help my fellow creators gain more notice since we are all doing our best to inspire the world around us–and a little recognition goes a long way.
Thus, I bring you the Creator Corner, where each month features one of the hundreds of spooky creators out there. This month we’ll focus on Dairyland Frights, a paranormal podcast highlighting creepy history and tales from the Midwest hosted by John Radtke.
I had the privilege of doing an episode collaboration with John, and it was a great experience. John is passionate, knowledgeable, and kind. His content is spooky, funny and focuses on lesser known paranormal tales.
There are two things in the world that John loves most: the Packers and the paranormal. He has a podcast dedicated to each. John began Dairyland Frights to honor his interest in all that is mysterious, eerie, and unknown.
John’s interest in the paranormal began when he was about ten years old. John would often visit his grandmother who lived in an old, creepy, and somewhat disheveled farmhouse in Iowa. It was in that farmhouse where John would often hear footsteps, see doors open, and hear voices. As you’d expect, his experiences were often dismissed and attributed to the farmhouse’s aging nature, but that didn’t deter John; he would stay up for hours a night listening to all the footsteps and voices.
John’s mother also influenced his interest in the paranormal. He grew up seeing his mother get lost inside the world of the supernatural through books. One of his early memories is of his mother reading a book on the Summerwind Mansion. It was a famously haunted estate located on the shores of West Bay Lake in Wisconsin. It was built by the elite in the early 20th century as a fishing lodge. In 1916, the property was purchased by Robert Patterson Lamont, a former US Secretary of Commerce. Unfortunately, the mansion burned down in 1988, but the land and ruins are said to still be haunted.
This story along with John’s personal experiences with the paranormal is what got him “hooked,” and he’s been a loyal spooky enthusiast ever since.
John launched Dairyland Frights last year. He was inspired by his hometown and experiences, and decided to focus on tales that are off the beaten path. Tales such as those from the obscure Hummel Park, in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a park whose entrance sign resembles that of a gravestone. As you enter, you are welcomed by trees which bow over, supposedly made that way by the many hangings committed by mobs in the early 1900s — people claim to still hear the screams of those who passed. That’s not the scariest part. There is allegedly a family of albino cannibals who live in the park. People that have gone missing within the park are said to have been taken by this cannibalistic family.
As if that wasn’t creepy enough, one of John’s favorite haunted locations is the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. It’s one of the West’s most prominent and luxurious hotels. However, behind all the grandeur and history there are tales of ghosts. This hotel is haunted, haunted. So much so that even big, strong, muscular athletes that stay there often freak out and opt for an early check out.
But there is one more thing about John that I think you’ll enjoy. John, like so many of us, is a fan of the Amityville horror tale and home. Though he believes the story is fake, it didn’t deter him from keeping an eye on out for the sale of the property where these alleged murders occurred. One year, the home went up for sale and John decided he was going to buy it. He spoke to the realtor, who lamentably admitted the home was never haunted. John was ready to buy his plane ticket to check out the home in New York, but Mrs. Radtke said nope, and I don’t blame her. Sorry, John.
John does a fantastic job at researching and shining light on stories like those I shared, along with other lesser known, chilling Midwestern tales and history. He hopes that by sharing these stories, he inspires listeners to have an open mind and to start a discussion around the paranormal. And he hopes to do so in a way that is wholly enjoyable and fun.
Be sure to check out our episode collaboration featuring the Congress Plaza Hotel located in Chicago, IL.
You can listen to Dairyland Frights anywhere were podcasts are streamed. Episodes air weekly on Sundays, and he encourages people to reach out and share some stories with him.