Thursday, April 16, 2009

Werewolves In Wisconsin?

I've just finished reading a really interesting book. Linda S. Godfrey's, "The Beast Of Bray Road" investigates reports from Wisconsin of hairy, upright walking creatures that appear to have canine features. These "dogmen" or "werewolves" have apparently haunted the cornfields and backroads of southeastern Wisconsin for the past eighty years.
The sighting that inspired Godfrey to write her book took place in the fall of 1989, along Bray Road, in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

Lori Endrizzi was the manager of a cocktail lounge called The Jury Room in Elkhorn. At 1:30 in the morning, while driving home from work along a desolate stretch of Bray Road, she came upon a strange sight. On the side of the road, apparently eating roadkill, was an animal, about the size of a man, covered in long, brownish gray hair. She described the creature as manlike, but with a head resembling that of a wolf. Rather than standing on all fours, it was kneeling, and using its arms and hands as a person would. Ms. Endrizzi noted that it had long claws and that its eyes glowed in her car's headlights. She later visited her local library to do some research and came across a drawing of a werewolf. With its human-like body and wolfish head, this was the closest thing to what she had seen that night.

A few years later, a similar sighting occurred. In October, 1991, Doris Gipson hit something with her car, while driving at night on Bray Road. When she got out of her car to look for what she hit, she was surprised to see a large, wolf-like creature running toward her. She barely made it back into her vehicle and pulled the door shut before it caught up with her. Gipson described the animal as larger and more muscular than any dog she had ever seen. When she arrived home and inspected her car, she found claw marks on her back bumper.

I find all these accounts fascinating, but for me, the most interesting and scariest incident related in the book was one dating back to 1936. Mark Schackelman was the night watchman at St. Coletta's convent just outside of Jefferson, Wisconsin. While patroling the convent grounds late one night, he came upon a strange sight. Atop a Native American burial mound on the property, knelt a hairy, upright being, clawing at the dirt of the mound. The creature fled as Schackelman approached.

The following night, Mr. Schackelman returned to the mound at midnight and again saw the creature atop the mound. This time, however, the being did not flee, but stood up on two legs and stared him down. The watchman estimated it to be roughly six feet tall and noted that it gave off a strong odor of rotten meat. Mr. Schackelman felt in fear of his life and began to pray. The beast glared at him, and uttered three syllables, which sounded like: "ga-da-ra", in what the witness described as a "neo-human voice", before growling and slowly walking away. When asked whether he thought the being was an animal or something better defined as "supernatural", Schackelman reportedly said: "That thing came straight out of hell."
Interestingly, Gadara was the name of the place referred to in the Bible, where Jesus cast a demon out of a possessed man who had been living among the tombs there.

The book is packed with recounted tales, legends, sketches and eye witness accounts of wolfish encounters in Walworth County over the years. It's a great read if you are intrigued, as I am, by the unexplained. I recommend reading it with the lights on!


  1. there are strange things out there and they do go bump in the night.......maybe tonight.....haahaahaoooooooooooooh. jc says sleep tight

  2. I got scared just reading your post, so there's no way I could get through the book. My husband works a lot of nights and sometimes I can imagine all sorts of scary things. I'm sure I saw this creature looking in my kitchen window the other night. I think I'll cross off Elkhorn, Wisconsin on my list of top ten places in the US to visit.
    Hugs, June

  3. Hi Deedee
    Sounds like an interesting read, like you say though, with the lights on. I can just about manage Harry Potter lol.
    Hope you had a lovely Easter.
    Warm wishes
    PS Thanks for leaving me a lovely comment.

  4. Mmm, I think I agree with June and it's probably one of those books that's going to stay on the bookshelf! And I'm definitely not visiting Elkhorn Wisconsin - ever! Hugs to you Vxx

  5. Thanks for the ride on the Wayback! I remember hearing about "The American Werewolf in Wisconsin" story years ago. (I'm a Wisconsin native now living in Madcity.) When Godfrey (whose vanity plates use to read "BRAY BST", BTW) spit out a book, we were sure a made for TV movie would follow-- maybe pull Harrison Ford from his Last Crusade, or Mel Gibson from his second Lethal Weapon? We were thinking BIG back then! LOL! A friend of mine's dad had a small plane that he took us out on one night, so we could scour Lake Geneva corn fields and farm land from the air in search of any sort of beasties. LOL! The plane engine probably tipped off any otherwise roaming around wolfmen. Heck, I hadn't considered that till now! LOL!

  6. Hi again Deedee, I have an award for you over on my blog so swing by to collect it/them! Hugs to you, Vxx

  7. Hi Jack - Yeah, I love strange stuff.

    Hi June - I can relate - I don't like being home alone at night either!

    Hi Julie - So glad you're blogging again...I'll be stopping by regularly!

    Hi Veronica - Thank you! I'll stop over shortly...

    Hi Sparkle - Yes, apparently there was a movie in the works at one point(starring Mick Fleetwood, no less!) but it never came to fruition. Who knew the midwest was such a hotbed of paranormal activity?!

  8. How did I not know about this?? I have lived in WI for most of my life and had never heard of it. I will definitely have to do some research, how very interesting!

  9. hey Deedee my name is amanda i just recently herd this on the radio and reading your report who new this supernautral activity exsited here in the united states i think its cool and scarey at the same time but i dont want to run up on this creature ever good luck with your research hope you fine something you can show the world what they dont know people dont belive in this stuff but i do thank you...p.s good luck with ur reasearch

  10. My brothers two friends where out late at night behind a house one rented right next to Paradise Springs on hwy N in Eagle WI, and they came face to face with the beast, unearthly tall, glowing eyes---they ran into the house got guns and shot into the woods. It was gone. They where, burying a horse that had died, aptly named He-Devil. The white horse they where burying was very old and had worked at an Eagle WI trail stable for many many years. The tennant of the rented home had purchased the horse from the trail stable many years before. My step brother's daughter was very young, (maybe 4 or 5) when she went hysterical in my mom's car screaming "Shark monkey! Shark monkey!!! Clearly frightened by what she had seen on hwy 59, just about a mile past hwy n.