There are a few monsters that we’ve come to safely believe are pure fiction. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc. All of these are figments of creative imagination, right? They don’t actually exist…. do they?
Well, there are a few people in Wisconsin that might challenge that notion. You see, Wisconsin is known for something other than their beautiful Dells, football, and cheese. It also just so happens that Wisconsin has its very own werewolf legend, and there are those that believe that this beast is very very real.
In the small town of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, something is amiss. Starting in the late 1980s, people have reported seeing a creature that stands upright like a man, with the body like that of a bear, and the head of a dog or wolf. There have been many sightings through out the years, and they continue to this day.
Linda Godfrey, a reporter for a Wisconsin newspaper, was assigned the task of covering the story of this mysterious creature. At first skeptical, she quickly became convinced that the eyewitnesses were truly seeing something that was beyond conventional explanation. She has since become a dedicated researcher into the so called “Beast of Bray Road” (named after the quiet street that intersects an area of many sightings) and has written several books on the topic.
The Beast of Bray Road – Tailing Wisconsin’s Werewolf by Linda S. Godfrey
I first heard about this Wisconsin werewolf when I came upon an interview with one of the eye witnesses. The man’s name is Steven Krueger. He was working as a contractor for the highway department at the time. On the night of November 8, 2006, he was sent out to remove roadkill from the highway. As he was driving along, he spotted a large dead deer that was not a part of his reported inventory. Inspecting the carcass, he noted that it was likely a fresh kill, and decided to pick it up anyway. He threw it into the back of his pickup. The deer was extremely heavy, and it took some effort for him to hoist it into the truck bed.
Leaving the tailgate open, he went around to the cab of his vehicle to take some notes. As he sat there with the cab’s interior light on, he felt the truck shake. He was startled for a moment, and then decided that it must have been the wind. He went back to his notes. Soon after, his truck began to shake again, this time violently. When he looked into his rear view mirror, he saw something he would never forget. A creature with its arm outstretched, reaching for the dead deer. Krueger stared at the beast in shock for a few seconds, and then drove away in fear.
This is his description of what he saw, according to Linda Godfrey’s website, BeastofBrayRoad.com:
“It had pointy ears, triangular shaped,” he said, “and they looked like big wolf ears standing up on end. That was the main feature that made me realize it was not a bear. It had a longer muzzle than a black bear, and its head was more like a wolf than a bear. It almost looked like a very large black bear standing on its feet, if you took a wolf’s head and enlarged it and set it on the bear’s body.” Krueger guessed the creature’s height at six to seven feet, but only was able to see it from the chest up. The fur was about two inches long, black, and fairly smooth, he said. “I know it wasn’t Bigfoot.”
Mr. Krueger is not the only witness who has gone on record with his account. The TV show MonsterQuest on The History Channel featured the story of the Beast of Bray Road, and interviewed several eye witnesses. An investigation was launched, and all of the witnesses were subjected to polygraph tests to determine if they were being truthful about what they saw. Interestingly, the administrator of the tests concluded that there was not evidence to suggest that any of them were lying or fabricating aspects of their stories.
Artist’s rendering of the Beast kneeling
There have been many theories as to what the Beast may be. Some say it is Sasquatch. Some say it’s an overgrown feral dog or wolf. This doesn’t seem to account for its upright stance. Others claim it is just the misidentification of a bear. It is important to note here that bears are extremely rare in this region of Wisconsin.
In my research, I came across an extinct creature called an Amphicyonidae. This creature, also known as a “bear dog”, lived from 9-37 million years ago, and had the body of a bear, but more closely resembled a canine in the snout and ears. I found it interesting to learn that such a creature really did exist at one time, as it seems to closely resemble the eye witness accounts of the Beast of Bray Road. Is it possible, or should it be considered, that maybe there lives a small remnant population of this creature in the woods of Wisconsin? Some hypothesize that small pockets of prehistoric creatures still roam the earth in isolated areas. I find the whole scenario so intriguing.
The legend has gained some popularity in the mainstream. Many TV shows have explored the topic of this alleged werewolf in America. There has even been a rather silly horror movie created about the Beast. Check it out in IMDb.com: The Beast of Bray Road (2005)
Below is a link to a clip from Fox News. Sean Hannity has been doing a weekly feature where he details conspiracy theories, and he recently covered the legend of the Beast of Bray Road. It is informative in its interviews with Godfrey as well as a couple of eyewitnesses, including Steven Krueger.
In my view, the world is a mysterious place, full of more than we can ever comprehend. New creatures are being discovered every day, and it is possible that somewhere out there, in the dead of night, an unknown specemin is stalking the woods, and the people who live in Elkhorn, WI will likely be erring on the side of caution, just in case.