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The Beast of Bray Road is a hairy humanoid with canine features that was sighted near the towns of Delavan and Elkhorn in Wisconsin, mainly during the 1990s. It was labeled a Werewolf in local folklore, however most cryptozoologists have labeled it as a Bigfoot in order to avoid dealing with the scientific absurdities involved with werewolves. However, some people think that it is a cryptid canine instead. Some researchers consider the Beast of Bray Road to be identical to a kind of Wisconsin Bigfoot named the "Bluff Monster" or the "Eddy". Other names that have been applied to the Beast of Bray Road include the "Bear-Wolf" and the "Indigenous Dogman".

The Beast of Bray Road counts as the most famous of modern American werewolves. It has been in the media regularly since the first sightings were publicized, and even had a low-budget movie based on its legend. Because of the numerous witnesses who have claimed to see this creature, the evidence supporting the Beast of Bray Road is far greater than the evidence supporting almost any other werewolf legend. Cryptozoologists, of course, do not generally take shapeshifters seriously unless they are fringe cryptozoologists who hold more of a paranormal view of things. Therefore, as with other werewolf reports, there is a tendency to force the evidence into a more acceptable interpretation, discarding whatever circumstances and details of witness testimony do not fit with the chosen hypothesis. First of all, there are those who try to hold up something far more normal than the creature as it is described by most witnesses. Some say that all this fuss must be based around an escaped pet wolf, a large feral dog, a bear, or some other creature that is known to exist.

Origin[]

Elkhorn residents believe that the creature is satanic in nature. Many residents report that satanic rituals were very popular in the late 1980s to early 1990s. John Fredrickson was called to the site of multiple animal mutilations. In one case, multiple animals were discovered, and the local police wrote it off as an animal graveyard. John believed that the animals suffered a more horrible death, as he inspected and found many of the animals were missing organs. The location was bulldozed before any investigation was made.

John Fredrickson, the Walworth County humane officer and the one in charge of investigating the strange sightings, said it was mostly teens doing these rituals, but in other counties, it was more prominent with older adults. He later found out from higher law enforcement that Walworth County was one of the three most notorious counties for satanic rituals.

There are many Native American beliefs that would fit the Beast of Bray Road but there are no local Native American legends that specifically connect them to the Beast of Bray Road.[1]

Description[]

The Beast of Bray Road is a bipedal canine that is 5 to 7 feet tall. It has brownish gray fur with glowing red eyes. It walks around on its hind legs but is also known to get on all fours when it has to sprint. Reports about the claws differ with some saying it has 3 claws with a pinky and a thumb and others saying it has 5 claws. It is strongly associated with fog and people report it having a foul smell.

First-Hand Sightings[]

On an unspecified day in May of 2020, Lake Geneva resident Ron Rice claimed that he had traveled to the town of Lyons to deliver a load of fertilizer to a farm on Highway 36, a job that he performs on a regular basis. While sitting in his truck on the farm's driveway after having completed the delivery, Rice looked to the side and noticed a strange figure standing at the edge of the treeline approximately 150 feet away. Rice described the creature as standing nearly seven feet tall and being covered in coarse brown hair. The creature picked an unidentifiable object off the ground and retreated into the foliage.[2]

Dogman sketch2

"a sketch by Linda Godfrey based on Lori's description"

On a late fall night in 1989, at around 1:30am, Lori was driving home via Bray Road. As she was driving she noticed a figure on the side of the road. The figure was facing away from her and she could see the pointed ears. As she kept driving she was able to see the front of the figure. It was a creature with dark brownish-gray fur. The creature was kneeling and she could see its large claws. The claws were holding a chunk of a flattened animal, roadkill. She believes the animal was the size of an average human, 5 feet 7 inches and roughly 150 pounds. The creature had glowing eyes as the headlights of the car shined on it. The creature was not scared and tracked Lori's car as she drove away. [3]

[4]

On October 31, 1991 Doris was driving home on a smoggy day. While on Sitler Rd, now called Hospital Rd, she felt that her tire lifted of the ground. She drove for 50 feet until she pulled over to check her tire. She thought she'd hit a small animal and it had got stuck in her car so she got out to investigate. She didn't see anything at first, so she went to go check the back of her car. As she was walking toward the rear of the car she saw a creature charging straight at her. It was a beast bigger than her with a hairy chest. She barely made it into her car and quickly stepped on the gas rushing out of there. She doesn't remember how it was running the only thing she remembers is the chest heaving as it was running and its steps getting louder as it was stomping on the pavement.

She saw the creature again at a different time that isn't disclosed. After picking a friend up from a party, her friend pointed at a creature that was stalking the side of the road. Doris didn't turn to look and instead stepped on the gas to get out of there as quickly as possible.

After inspecting her car, a blue Plymouth Sundance, she noticed what looked like claw marks on the back of the trunk. Linda Godfrey, the author of the book, confirms that there were some markings but could not tell what they were from.

[5]

In late December 1990, Heather had an encounter with the creature. Heather's mom, Karen, also remembers that day. Karen recalls that Heather came home scared, saying she saw what looked like a dog until it stood up. Heather explains that she and her friends were sledding. When dusk rolled around, they saw a large dog-like creature. The creature had silver-colored fur with brown patches, and its face was shaped like a coyote's. The creature looked at Heather and her friends, who, while looking at the creature, slowly backed away, not wanting to turn their backs on it. The creature then started chasing the kids and got about halfway to their house before stopping and going back into the cornfield. Russell Gest, who was one of the kids with Heather, also confirms the story.

[6]

Tom and his friend Chris Maxwell from Illinois had gone to a wedding reception in Genesee Depot in August 1992. Chris was staying at Jellystone Campground near Fort Atkinson, and Tom was driving him there. There was a thick fog on the road, and as Chris was driving, he hit something. He thought he had hit a mailbox, so he backed up. After realizing there was no mailbox, he saw that a big, hairy creature was walking and reaching out to them. He had the car window open and said he could smell a horrible odor, like a skunk. The creature had whitish-gray fur and other parts of it, presumably, were black with streaks. It reached out and scratched the side of his car.

[7]

Second-Hand Sighting[]

Dogman Sketch

"a sketch by Joe Shackelman base on Mark's description"

Joe Shackelman claims his father, Mark Shackelman, saw the creature in 1936. Mark was working as a night watchman at a Catholic convent called St. Coletta, two miles east of Jefferson, Wisconsin. One night, he found the creature on top of a Native American burial mound. The creature appeared to be clawing the ground but quickly left after noticing Mark. Mark returned the next day to look for clues and said he saw marks on the earth made by three claws. He went back the next night at midnight, armed with only a flashlight. That night, Mark saw the creature again, scratching the ground by the burial mound. The creature noticed Mark and, instead of running away, stood up and faced him. The creature was over six feet tall, covered with dark or black hair, and gave off a bad odor like rotting meat. It groaned something that sounded like “gadarrah.” It seemed to have a neo-human voice and made eye contact, according to Mark. The creature then slowly walked away, leaving Mark alone.

In 1972 David claims to have worked as a DNR agent. He got a call from a woman who lives two miles from St. Coletta's grounds. She claims to have seen a strange ape like figure walking in her farmyard. David drove out there to investigate but didn't find any trace of the creature. Two weeks later the woman called again saying the creature walked up to her front porch, rattled the screen door, and left a slash mark seven feet above the ground (on her house I assume). It then proceeded to go to her horse shed and put a 30-inch gash in the horse's neck and left.

The story is told by David Gjetson and the woman's identity was never found out.

    Evidence[]

    A retired high school teacher who moved from Illinois to Elkhorn, Wisconsin, claims that one day while cleaning up roadkill, he found a raccoon and took it home. He placed it in a hole on his property line. A couple of days later, he discovered the raccoon had been cut open from the neck to the abdomen. He later found a badger and put it in the same hole, but then noticed that the raccoon had been moved 20 feet away from the hole. He set up a camera to see what was causing the strange occurrences. He then placed a deer roadkill on his property and arranged the cameras to catch any activity. He claims to have seen strange flying objects and lights around his property. One day, he noticed the deer was gone. When he checked his cameras, he saw that the deer had been taken by what appeared to be a mist. He also found tracks and made casts of them.

    Lee4

    picture showing right before the deer is taken.

    Lee5

    picture of the tracks

    Lee6

    An associate of Lee holding a cast of the creature's footprint

    Lee7

    Side by side comparison of wolf (left) to beast of bray road (right)

    [8]

    [9]

    On January 29, 2020, Danby Morgan was driving down Weeks Road, which is a mile away from Bray Road. He claims he took a picture of what looked like a wolf walking on its hind legs and showed the picture. The picture is widely believed to be fake for a couple of reasons. The right arm of the wolf looks like it’s a skeleton or rod. The stomach looks unnatural, as it should be lower due to gravity if it is walking on its hind legs, and the creature appears to be in motion, yet the arms and legs don't have motion blur, which leads people to believe that the creature is still.

    Hoax

    a picture of the creature

    [10]

    Explanations[]

    According to this interpretation, the werewolf-like characteristics are due to mistaken observations or sheer panic that causes exaggeration of the animal's true features. Others think that it is all an hallucination, or that a costumed prankster is behind it all. For those who believe that the Beast of Bray Road is something out of the ordinary, but not something as radical as an actual werewolf, cryptozoology is a natural place to turn for possible candidates. Several distinct cryptids, namely the skunk-ape (an odd relative of Bigfoot), the waheela (or bear-dog) and the canine-like shunka warakin, have all been mentioned as possibilities for the real identity of the Beast of Bray Road. All of these creatures would fit with some of the sightings, but none of these cryptids could account for all the sightings. We would still have to throw out some sightings, or we would have to assume that some witnesses were mistaken in their descriptions or that not all witnesses were seeing the same creature. The last main explanation used for the Beast of Bray Road is that at least two different creatures were being seen in the same area at the same time, and they ended up getting placed under the same label even though they should have been studied separately. It is possible that all of these were ordinary beings, such as wild dogs and costumed pranksters. It is also possible that one or more of these creatures was a genuine cryptid or mystery animal of some type, perhaps a new species, or perhaps only a subspecies or some non-native animal secretly released in Wisconsin.

    The common speculation online is that it's a bear with mange. Black Bears are common in northern Wisconsin but not so much in southern Wisconsin. It is possible that one has wandered all the way south as there have been some sightings of bears in southern Wisconsin. That being said mange is not commonly associated with Black Bears in Wisconsin. Although it is common for bears to have mange in Pennsylvania and New York as of 2023 the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has reported that there have been no sightings of Black Bears with mange. The closest bear to be reported with mange was in the lower peninsula of Michigan in 1984 which is separated from Wisconsin by Lake Michigan.[11][12]

    In Popular Media[]

    - The Beast of Bray Road was featured in an episode of Lost Tapes where it is attacking a group of militia soldiers and a reporter.

    Beast Mode Boss

    The Beast of Bray Road from Lost Tapes

    • The design of the Beast of Bray Road in this episode wasn't werewolf-like as the legend goes, and instead looks like a messed up hybrid between a Sasquatch, a wolf and the skull of some kind of lizard or even a sheep.

    - It has also been featured on Monsters and Mysteries in America and Monster Quest.

    2005

    - There was also a feature film about it: Beast of Bray Road (2005).

    - it was also investigated on Expedition X.





    Gallery[]

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