The Beast of Gévaudan is a name given to man-eating wolf-like animals that terrorized the former province of Gévaudan (modern day département of Lozère), in the Margeride Mountains in south-central France from 1764 to 1767.The beasts were sometimes consistently described by eyewitnesses as having formidable teeth and immense tails. Their fur had a reddish tinge, and was said to have emitted an unbearable odor. They killed their victims by tearing at their throats with their teeth. The number of victims claimed by the beasts differ according to source, however, de Beaufort (1987) estimated a toll of 210 attacks resulting in 113 deaths and 49 injuries. Ninety-eight of the victims killed were partially eaten. Author Brockis claims 25 women, 68 children, and 6 men were killed, with over 30 others injured. An enormous amount of manpower and resources was used in the hunting of the animals, including the army, conscripted civilians, several nobles and a number of royal huntsmen. All animals operated outside of ordinary wolf packs, though eyewitness accounts indicate that in some instances they were accompanied by a smaller female which did not take part in the attacks. The story is a popular subject for cryptozoologists and conspiracy theorist.
In other cases, descriptions of the Beast varied so much that most researchers believe there had to be at least two of the creatures, if indeed the panic wasn’t causing the populace to incorporate almost any large animal into these sightings. The color of the Beast’s fur was especially variable. Sometimes it was red, red with a large gray patch, or red with faint stripes along the back. Other times, it had black and white patches spotted over its body, with no trace of red. Rarely, it had colors or patterns that didn’t incorporate red, black, or white. If you add up all the differing descriptions and then create a composite description out of those characteristics that are mentioned with consistency and by the most witnesses, then the Beast would look something like this:
The Beast is a quadruped about the size of a horse. It reminds witnesses of a bear, hyena, wolf and panther all at once. It has a long wolf-like or pig-like snout, lined with large teeth. The ears are small and round, lying close to the head. The neck is long and strong. The tail somewhat resembles the long tail of a panther, but it is so thick and strong that the Beast uses it as a weapon, knocking men and animals down with it. Anyone struck by the tail reports that it hits with considerable force. The feet of the Beast are the hardest to describe. Some say that it has cloven hooves, or that each digit is tipped with a hoof. Others say that the claws are so heavy, thick and formidable that they merely resemble hooves.
Since there do not seem to be any more sightings of animals like the Beast in France, or any historical precedent for animals like it in that area before the first sighting, it is a hard creature for cryptozoologists to tackle.
The Gévaudan attacks were not considered isolated events. A century earlier, similar killings occurred in 1693 at Benais, in which over 100 victims, almost all of them women and children, were claimed by a creature described as exactly resembling the Gévaudan Beasts. Four decades after the Gévaudan attacks, more attacks occurred between 1809 and 1813 in Vivarais, when at least 21 children and adolescents were killed by another beast. From 1875 to 1879, more attacks occurred in L’Indre. All these killings, including the Gévaudan attacks seem to have occurred mostly in four year periods. Attacks by wolf-like creatures continued to be reported in France up until 1954.
If there was a real animal behind these sightings and reports, it is obscured by a great deal of folklore. Locals believed it was a werewolf, or, more specifically, a sorcerer who shapeshifted into a monstrous predator in order to feed on human flesh.
The first attack that provided a description of one of the creatures took place on 1 June 1764. A woman from Langogne saw a large, lupine animal emerge from the trees and charge directly toward her, but it was driven away by the farm’s bulls.
On 30 June, the first official victim of the beast was Jeanne Boulet, killed near the village of Les Hubacs, not far from Langogne.
The beast also seemed to target people over farm animals, reportedly having an aversion to cattle; many times it would attack someone while cattle were in the same field.
Hunt for the beasts
Death of the first beast
On 12 January 1765, Jacques Portefaix and six friends, including two girls, were attacked by the Beast; they drove it away by staying grouped together. Their fight caught the attention of King Louis XV, who awarded 300 livres to Portefaix, and another 300 livres to be shared among the others. He also directed that Portefaix be educated at the state’s expense. The King then directed professional wolf-hunters, Jean-Charles-Marc-Antoine Vaumesle d’Enneval and his son Jean-François, to kill the beast. He had taken a personal interest in the attacks. They arrived in Clermont-Ferrand on 17 February 1765, bringing with them eight bloodhounds which had been trained in wolf-hunting. They spent several months hunting wolves, believing them to be the beast. However the attacks continued, and by June 1765 they were replaced by François Antoine (also wrongly named Antoine de Beauterne), the king’s harquebus bearer and Lieutenant of the Hunt. He arrived in le Malzieu on 22 June. On September 21, 1765, Antoine killed a large grey wolf measuring 80 centimetres (31 in) high, 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in) long, and weighing 60 kilograms (130 lb). The wolf was called Le Loup de Chazes, after the nearby Abbaye des Chazes. It was agreed locally that this was quite large for a wolf. Antoine officially stated: “We declare by the present report signed from our hand, we never saw a big wolf that could be compared to this one. Which is why we estimate this could be the fearsome beast that caused so much damage.” The animal was further identified as the culprit by attack survivors, who recognized the scars on the creature’s body, inflicted by victims defending themselves.
The wolf was stuffed and sent to Versailles where Antoine was received as a hero, receiving a large sum of money as well as titles and awards.
However, on 2 December 1765, another beast emerged in la Besseyre Saint Mary, severely injuring two children. Dozens more deaths are reported to have followed.
Death of the second beast
The second beast was last sighted alive at Sarlat, a prehistoric cavernous region just outside Gevaudan, on 4 August 1767. The killing of the creature that eventually marked the end of the attacks is credited to a local hunter, Jean Chastel, at the Sogne d’Auvers on 19 June 1767. Later novelists (Chevalley, 1936) introduced the idea that Chastel shot it with a silver bullet of his own manufacture. Upon being opened, the animal’s stomach was shown to contain human remains.
Controversy surrounds Chastel’s account of his success. Family tradition claimed that, when part of a large hunting party, he sat down to read the Bible and pray. During one of the prayers the creature came into sight, staring at Chastel, who finished his prayer before shooting the beast. This would have been aberrant behavior for the beast, as it would usually attack on sight. Some believe this is proof Chastel participated with the beast, or even that he had trained it. However, the story of the prayer may simply have been invented out of religious or romantic motives.
Identity of the beasts
The wolf shot by François Antoine on 21 September 1765, displayed at the court of Louis XV
Various explanations were offered at the time of the attacks as to the beast’s identity. Suggestions ranged from exaggerated accounts of wolf attacks, to a werewolf, all the way to the beast being a punishment from God. Jay M. Smith, in his book Monsters of the Gévaudan, suggests that the deaths attributed to the beast were more likely the work of a number of wolves or packs of wolves.
Another explanation is that the beasts were some type of domestic dog or crosses between wild wolves and domestic dogs, on account of their large size and unusual coloration. This speculation has found support from naturalist Michel Louis, author of the book La bête du Gévaudan: L’innocence des loups (English: The Beast of Gévaudan: The innocence of wolves). Louis wrote that Jean Chastel was frequently seen with a large red coloured mastiff, which he believes sired the beast. He explains that the beast’s resistance to bullets may have been due to it wearing the armoured hide of a young boar, thus also accounting for the unusual colour. He dismisses hyenas as culprits, as the beast itself had 42 teeth, while hyenas have 34.
(Above Photo: Mesonychids are a group of extinct ungulates that were predators. The ungulate group is one of the largest and most successful branches of mammals. Typified by hooves and sometimes by horns or antlers, today these creatures fill most of the existing niches for large herbivores all over the world. But, long ago, not all ungulates were herbivores.)
Certain cryptozoologists suggest that the beasts might be surviving remnants of a Mesonychid seeing how some witnesses described it as a huge wolf having hooves rather than paws and it was larger than any normal sized wolf, whilst others still believe it was a hyena.
An African Striped Hyena
Though wolves in the wild usually avoid contact with humans, they will attack livestock when their natural prey runs out. Conversely, the beasts themselves were said to have preferentially taken human victims, ignoring the livestock present in the area. Some experts, however, state that wolves at the time may have been more aggressive than their modern-day counterparts, saying that today’s generation of shy wolves is the result of natural selection favoring animals which were less prone to attacking humans with firearms.In areas of the modern world where wolf attacks are still a regular occurrence, the afflicted communities are usually poverty-stricken with a general lack of predator control technology, mirroring the situation of the Gévaudanais of the 18th century. A Fennoscandian study on wolf attacks occurring in the 18th–19th centuries indicated that until the 20th century, wolf predation on humans was an occasional, but widespread feature of life in Europe. The study further showed that similarly to the Beast of Gévaudan, victims of wolf attacks were almost entirely children, and in the few cases when an adult was killed, it was almost always a woman.
Wolf-dog crossbreds were usually noted as not sharing their wolf parent’s fear of man. In many cases the resulting adult crossbred may be larger than either of its parents due to the genetic phenomenon of heterosis.
Still, some believed the animal to be mythical. Most mythical animals that are taken seriously by cryptozoologists have some sort of history that indicates that there could have been a breeding population from ancient times. Single animals are hard to handle from a cryptozoological standpoint. On the other hand, all available evidence seems to indicate that, if the Beast was real, there were at least two of its kind. If we wanted to, we might be able to presume that a mated pair or small pack migrated hundreds of miles to reach France from some area where such creatures did have a history, or that they were secretly or inadvertently transported by humans. Such speculations are far-fetched, but they would be necessary for most cryptozoological analyzations to succeed. The other alternative would be to presume that these creatures had been living secretly in France since ancient times without making a splash on local folklore, which doesn’t make much sense for a supposed undiscovered species.
It would be nice to be able to declare the Beast of Gevaudan a hyena, a bear, an escaped lion, or something like that, but in order to do so we must disregard witness testimony. Of course, in this case witness testimony is so riddled with the supernatural that we would have to disregard some of it anyway, but if we accept the core description of the Beast as having any validity, we must also acknowledge that the creature described doesn’t match any known animal. Parts of it match wolves, hyenas and panthers, with hyenas probably being the best fit, but we run into serious problems when we try to bend witness testimony to fit a known animal. Unless we toss it all out as superstition, we end up with a Beast that certainly seems cryptozoological in the best sense of the word: it’s a genuine puzzle.
As you can see, there are many explanations for the Beast of Gevaudan. Scientists run from one explanation to another as fads come and go. Almost everything that is remotely conceivable has been proposed as an explanation. This post has been limited to a discussion of the more likely prospects as viewed by the science of cryptozoology. There are other explanations rooted more in fields other than cryptozoology, such as the study of folklore and hoaxes. For example, the fictional movie Brotherhood of the Wolf presents an elaborate explanation for the Beast that manages to neatly tie up most of the loose ends that frustrate scientists, by proposing that it was all an elaborate hoax.
The Dwayyo or Dewayo is a mammalian said to be hairy, have a bushy tail, and is sometimes bipedal. At times it has features similar to a wolf but with the arms, stance and stature of a human. The first mention of the name ‘Dwayyo’ comes from a sighting in 1944 from an area in Carroll County, Maryland. Witnesses heard the creature make ‘frightful screams’ and there were footprints attesting to the claims of the sighting.
The creature had first come to prominence after a story ran in the Fredrick News Post in November of 1965. Reporter George May wrote in the article, “Mysterious Dwayyo Loose in County” that a young man, named anonymously as ‘John Becker’ heard a strange noise in his backyard which was situated on the outskirts of Gambrill State Park. Upon going out to investigate the noise he initially saw nothing, so he headed back in. It was then that he caught site of the creature. Something was moving toward him in the dark, Becker was quoted that “It was as big as a bear, had long black hair, a bushy tail, and growled like a wolf or dog in anger.” The thing quickly moved toward him on its hind legs and began to attack him. He fought off the creature and drove it back into the woods, later calling police to report the incident.
In the summer of 1966, the creature was again sighted on the outskirts of Gambrill State Park. A man only referred to as ‘Jim A.’ encountered the Dwayyo as he was heading toward a camp site. It was described as a shaggy two legged creature the size of a deer that had a triangle shaped head with pointed ears and chin. It was dark brown in color and when approached it made a horrid scream and backed away from the man. Jim described it as having an odd walk as it retreated, it’s legs, “stuck out from the side of the trunk of the body making its movements appear almost spider-like as it backed away”.
In the Fall of 1976 another sighting of the Dwayyo took place in Fredrick County near Thurmont, between Cunningham Falls State Park and Catoctin Mountain National Park. Two men drove off route 77 and unto a private road so they could ‘spot deer’ by their headlights in order to see how thick the native population had become before deer season. To their surprise, they did not catch a deer in their lights but instead a large animal ran across the front of their car. They described the creature as, “at least 6 ft tall but inclined forward since it was moving quickly. Its head was fairly large and similar to the profile of a wolf. The body was covered in brown or brindle colored fur but the lower half had a striped pattern of noticeable darker and lighter banding. The forelegs (or arms) were slimmer and held out in front as it moved. The back legs were very muscled and thick similar to perhaps a kangaroo. This was not a hominid type creature; it did not have the characteristics of an ape. It was much more similar to a wolf or ferocious dog however it was definitely moving upright and appeared to be adapted for that type of mobility. I was particularly impressed by the size and strength of the back legs, the stripes on the lower half of the body and the canine-wolf-like head.” - from The Michigan Dogman: Werewolves and Other Unknown Canines Across the U.S.A.
Later in 1978 two park rangers were near the Cunningham Falls area when they encountered “a large hairy creature running on two legs”.
Paranormalist Robin Swope relates an anecdote from a witness who says she was driving on Coxey Brown Road near Myersville, Maryland late in the summer of 2009 when she had an strange feeling. It was as if she was being watched. The road was lined with trees, she was on the outer edge of Gambrill State Park, and the forest was beginning to grow thicker. According to her, as she turned on Hawbottom Road, where her friend lived, the feeling became overwhelming. The hairs on the back of her neck rose in terror as she sensed the unseen eyes upon her. She wanted to stop the car and take her breath, she was afraid that she would veer off the road and hit a tree because she her nerves were getting so unsteady that she began to shake. But she knew that whatever was watching her, and following her was out there, and she took what little comfort she had by being safer inside her rust rotted car. Still, to prevent a wreck, she slowed down as she headed south, and that was when she saw the creature.
At first it was a blur to the right of her periphery vision. Something that was moving through the trees, a shadow that flickered as it went in and out of sight on the edge of her vision. It was a brown smear of color that popped out in contrast to the dull dark grey trees that she passed.
Whatever it was, it bobbed through the underbrush and between the trees to keep pace with her car. She thinks at the time, she was going around 25 miles per hour. She then slowed down once more to take a good look to her right, and make sure that she was not seeing things. As her car slowed to a crawl, the brown blurry smear of color seemed to bound out of the woods closer to the road. With a massive leap the hazy color became flesh as a huge dog-like animal on two legs emerged from the foliage.
The fangs are burned into her memory. Huge fangs from a mouth grimaced in anger and hate. She could feel the fangs as if they were ripping her skin while the creature stood there panting on the side of the road. Drool dripped from its huge mouth as she heard a loud growl, and she looked into the dark eyes. Darkness took up its entire eye, there was no white at all. It was if she was staring death and hell head on in dizzying madness.
Then it leaped, arms outstretched with claws grasping the wind. Instinctively she stepped on her gas pedal with all her might. The squeal of her tires seemed as if her car too was screaming in horror at the thing that emerged from the dark looming forest.
She did not look back. She didn’t want to know if the thing was following her. She didn’t feel the eyes upon her anymore. She was too shaken to really feel anything at all. When she made it to her friends house, she sat in the driveway shaking as she looked around to make sure the creature had not followed her there. The house was also in the woods, at the opposite side of the State Park. When she felt safe, she made a mad dash for her friend’s door, and banged on it frantically.
He did not know what to make of her story. The witness knew he did not believe her. He had lived in the woods all his life, and had never encountered what she had seen. He assured her that it must have just been a dog, perhaps a rabid one at that. Her mind was playing tricks on her. But the young woman knew what she had seen that late summer day. It was no dog. It was something out of a horror movie come to life before her eyes. Though she told nobody what she felt it really was, she called it a werewolf. That is until after she did some research in the local college library and came up with the name that others had called it when they too saw the forest come alive. She had encountered the Dwayyo.
Sources naturalplane.blogspot.com/2011/09/dwayyo-maryland-dogman.html, examiner.com - Pastor Robin Swope Cryptid Chronicles readers, please share your thoughts!
Listen to a special ‘Werewolf Edition’ of Ken Gerhard’s podcast - Search for Hidden Beasts, an official radio show hosted by American cryptozoologist and monster hunter, Ken Gerhard, who was honoured to have Linda Godfrey as his special guest, the preeminent expert on American werewolf reports, a prolific author/researcher/artist… Ken and Linda discuss a vast array of cryptids, including the Beast of Bray Road, the Beast of Gevaudan, the Briggs Road Man Bat… and all types of Fortean weirdness!!
Linda Godfrey is a really nice person who really puts a mountain of work and research into her investigations, definitely check out her werewolf books if you can! She will be at www.creatureweekend.com at Salt Fork State Park, Cambridge, OH May 18-20 so if you can make it, PLEASE come back and tell us about it!!
Mr. Gerhard is one of my favourite cryptozoologists and field researcher heroes, so I hope you go and support his radio show!
Mrs. Delburt Gregg of Greggton, Texas, told of her encounter with a shapeshifting creature in the 1960 issue of Fate. The other surveyed sightings below are of creatures that looked like man-wolves but no one have seen one becoming another. Mrs. Gregg did not see a man turn into a wolf but she has actually came closer then anyone else in telling a tale that sounds like a chapter from a werewolf novel than a real life experience.
Mrs. Gregg said that one night in 1958 when her husband was on a business trip, she moved her bed close to a screen window hoping to catch some cool breeze from a thunderstorm brewing on the south western horizon. She heard a scratching sound from the window shortly after she fell asleep. In a flash of a lightning, she saw a huge, shaggy, wolf-like creature clawing at the screen and staring at her with baleful, glowing, slitted eyes. She saw its bared white fangs.
The creature fled from the yard into a clump of bushes as she leaped from her bed to grab a flash light. Mrs. Gregg said “I watched for the animal to come out of the bushes, but after a short time, instead of a great shaggy wolf running out, the figure of an extremely tall man suddenly parted the thick foliage and walked hurriedly down the road, disappearing into the darkness.”
2 - WISCONSIN WEREWOLF SIGHTING
Mark Schackelman was driving east of highway 18 near Jefferson, in southeastern Wisconsin on an evening in 1936 when he saw a figure digging in an Indian mound. He saw a hair covered creature that is over six feet tall with both ape-like and dog-like features with pointed ears standing erect. Its hands have shriveled thumb and a forefinger on each and also three fully formed fingers.
Schackelman went back to the sighting the next evening hoping to see the creature again and he did. The creature was making “neo-human” sounds with a three syllable growling. Years later, his son who is a Kenosha newspaper editor, wrote that his “father’s first thought was that it must be something satanic.” (In southeastern Wisconsin, several decades later, equally enigmatic beast would figure in a host of reports as described below).
3 - WEREWOLF CREATURE IN OHIO
Between July and October 1972, a number of residents of Ohio allegedly saw a werewolf-like creature. Some people reported encountering a six to eight-foot tall creature that a witness described as “human, with an oversized, wolf-like head, and an elongated nose.” Another said it “had huge, hairy feet, fangs, and it ran from side to side, like a caveman in the movies.”
4 - WEREWOLF ATTACK REPORTED IN NEW MEXICO
Four Gallup, New Mexico, youths allegedly encountered a “werewolf” along the side of a road near Whitewater one day in January 1970. One witness reported “It was about five feet seven, and I was surprised it could go so fast. At first I thought my friends were playing a joke on me, but when I found out they weren’t, I was scared! We rolled up the windows real fast and lock the doors of the cars. I started driving faster, about 60, but it was hard because that highway had a lot of sharp turns. Someone finally got a gun out and shot it. I know it got hit and fell down, but there was no blood. I know it couldn’t be a person because people cannot move that fast.”
5 - NAVAJO SKIN-WALKER
Skin-walker is another name for a werewolf that the Navahos of the southwest. In 1936, in Yale Publications in Anthropology, anthropologist William Morgan recounted an interview with a Navaho identified only as Hahago. Hahago said of skin-walker “They go very fast.They can go to Albuquerque in an hour and a half” - a four-hour trip by automobile, according to Morgan. 6 - RED EYED WEREWOLVES OF PENNSYLVANIA
In the fall of 1973 western Pennsylvania played host to dozens of reports of strange apelike creatures, sometimes seen in association with UFOS, said to have (in one witness’s words) “fire red eyes that glow in darkness.” To be seven to eight feet tall, and gives off a strong unpleasant odor. “Another type of creature” investigator Stan Gordon noted, “was said to be between five and six feet tall. It was described as looking just like an extremely muscular man with a covering of thick dark hair. Again in these reports, the arms were very long and hung down past the knees. This creature appeared to have superior agility exceeding that of a deer. From footprints discovered, the stride of creatures varies between 52 and 57 inches. In these reports there was no indication of odors.”
7 - WISCONSIN WEREWOLF ATTACK
On October 31, 1991 at 8:30pm, a woman drove on Bray Road near Delavan, Wisconsin which is approximately thirty miles south-southeast of Jefferson (site of Schackelman encounter in 1936), felt her right front tire jump off the pavements if it had hit something. The woman stopped her car and looked into the misty darkness and saw a dark hairy creature with a bulked-out chest racing towards her. She went back into her car and tried to speed away when the creature leaped onto her trunk. The creature eventually fell off from the trunk because the trunk was too wet to have a firm grip. Later, the woman returned with a friend and they had a glimpsed of a big form rising from the side of the road.
8 - WISCONSIN WEREWOLF ENCOUNTER
Lorianne Endrizzi had a similar encounter as above in the fall of 1989. She was driving on Bray Road, a half a mile away from the above encounter, where she thought it was a person kneeling in a haunched position at the edge of the road. She slowed down and to her surprise, the figure stared at her at no more then six feet across the passenger side of the car. The figure was covered with grayish brown hair, with big fangs and pointed ears. “His face was long and had a snout, like a wolf.” She told reporter Scarlett Sankay. The figure’s eyes glowed in the darkness and they were a yellowish-gold color. ‘The arms were really a kind of strange; jointed like a man or woman would be,” she said. “He was holding his hands with his palms upward. The arms were muscular ‘like a man who had worked out a little bit.” The backed legs looked like they were behind him, like a person kneeling.” The sighting lasted about 45 seconds and she had no idea what the creature could have been until she saw an illustration at the library of a werewolf.
9 - WEREWOLF SIGHTING
Around that same time as above in Elkhorn, near Delevan, a dairy farmer named Scott Bray saw a “strange looking dog” along his pasture on Bray Road. It was bigger and taller than a German shepherd, it had pointed ears and hairy tail, with long, scraggly grayish black hair. It is “built heavy in front - a real strong chest.” In the soft soil nearby he found enormous footprints which is four to five inches in diameter.
Cryptid Chronicles readers, what do YOU think??
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Bipedal Canine Cryptid Reported Near Taylors Falls, Minnesota
I hope that someday Cryptid Chronicles will be so popular that people send me classic Dogman/Manwolf sighting reports like this one sent to Lon Strickler for his Phantoms and Monsters blog, which I am a huge fan of.
From what I have read and know about there have been sightings of bipedal canids all over the country, but particularly existing in cluster in Michigan and Wisconsin. This specific sighting happened close to the Minnesota/Wisconsin border so, it could fall right into the sighting cluster in that area.
Anyway, here is the report:
I received this email last night. It was forwarded by a witness in Minnesota who describes a bipedal canine cryptid. I have not discussed this incident with the witness so I’m presenting the sighting ‘as is’:
Hello - I was steered to you by a man I know up north from here. He said that you are interested in these things so I figured I’d send an email.
I live in Taylors Falls, Minnesota and I was driving north on Wild Mountain Rd. around 7 am. on Jan 2nd. I was heading for the ski area when I saw some kind of animal running in the field towards the river. I pulled off the road and grabbed my binoculars. It looked like a large wolf but it was different. By that time some guy in a truck pulled up and was wondering what I was looking at. I told him that I think there is a large wolf in the field. He got out of the truck and asked to use the binoculars. He said he didn’t think it was a wolf and that it looked like it was chasing something.
We stood for a few minutes watching. It would run into the woods then pop back into the field for a bit. The light was getting better so I grabbed my parka and started to walk closer to get a better look. The other guy said he had to leave but did say again that he didn’t think it was a wolf.
I was about a 1/2 mile from the ski area near one of the trail roads. I started to walk towards the river. I was about 100 ft from where I saw the animal from the road when I heard an owl screech coming from the woods to my right. On the edge of the woods this huge dog came running out of the trees. The best way to describe it was that it looked like a big hyena but it ran on two back legs and bent over. It had wooly black hair all over it’s body and a long thick tail. It must have weighed 200 lbs or more. I’ve been in the woods all my life and have never seen anything like this. It looked over at me but continued to run from right to left in front of me. It also made a steady loud panting sound as it ran.
I turned on a pivot and ran out of there hoping this animal wasn’t going to chase me. When I got to the car an old man had pulled off and standing there watching me. He wondered what I was doing. I yelled at him to “get the hell out of there” and said that a monster dog was out there. I think he believed me because the look on his face showed fear like he knew something was really out there.
I didn’t go to the ski area, instead I went back home all shook up and asking myself what I saw.
I read the stories about the Michigan dogman and something you had about one being seen in Wisconsin. What do you think this was? It was no wolf or any other animal native to the area.
Please don’t use my name if you pass this along. This is my work email, I can send you another later.
The guy who sent me your email address told me that there was a sighting last year just west of Duluth. He said it was a hunter that came across it while tracking a deer he had shot. I don’t know the details but if it looked like the animal I saw I’m sure he got the hell out of there.
Posted by Lon Strickler for Phantoms and Monsters Jan. 12, 2012
Cryptid Chronicles readers, what do YOU think?? Have any of you ever had a similar sighting??
In early 1900, stories of large dogs or wolves began to surface with the townsfolk of Bertram and the surrounding communities. Soon after, a small group of rail workers simply disappeared. Could it be the wolves?
These stories in Bertram are not surprising as stories of the Converse Werewolf had started back in the 1880’s South of Bertram in Bexar County.
Bexar county is known as old time ranching county. and since ranching is nothing less of tough and often dangerous work, being strong and confident was next to having a good horse. You needed to be strong. In other words, you had to be a real man.
One ranchers son was fifteen years old and was on the verge of his sixteenth birthday. As a last rites, the father sent his son out in the wilderness to bring home a dear for the rest of the family to eat.
He was told not to come back until he had a deer.
Several days passed, and the son hadn’t returned. The father, somewhat embarrassed that his had failed the test, finally relented and gathered a search party that consisted of his neighbors.
A few hours into the search, they heard a noise of in the woods. The rancher went running off in that direction, thinking it was his son.
And he was right… at least about his son being there. But it wasn’t his boy making the noise.
What was making the noise was an eight-foot tall creature that looked like a direct cross between a wolf and a gorilla. And it was in the process of devouring the rancher’s son. The rancher opened fire, as did the rest of the search party. But it was far too late. The rancher’s son was long dead.
The rancher quickly plunged into a depression. He left the rest of his family and eventually stopped eating. He died soon afterward. Some say it was too much on the man’s soul, seeing his son devoured like that.1
In Kimble County, just 120 or so miles from Bertram, the story of tombstone carver N. Q. Patterson whose rock carving of one particularly large image, a face with broad nose, glinting eyes and snarling mouth with long, fang-like teeth made people take notice.
What did the face represent? Some have said the face reminds them of a wild bear. Some believed, for years, the carving was made by Indians. But according to local accounts, the face was indeed carved by Patterson. Who or what it represented is still anyone’s guess.
In the what-it’s-worth department, some say there is legend around parts of the Hill Country that tell of an old Indian man who would change his shape in order to avoid capture by calvarymen stationed in the area. Legend has it that when cornered, the old man would assume the shape of a wolf and attack his pursuers, often resulting in death or serious injury.2
But by the 1920’s, all stories of wolf-men in the Central Texas area had all but disapeared. A final sighting in the late 50’s 300 miles from Bertram is the last we see of this type of sighting.
On a July night in 1958 Mrs. Delburt Gregg was getting ready for bed in her Greggton, Texas, home when she glanced out the window. Thunderstorms were on the way. When a sudden flash of lightning illuminated the countryside she saw a horrific sight outside her open window. It was a “huge, shaggy, wolf-like creature” that was clawing at the screen and glaring at her with “baleful, glowing, slitted eyes.”3
Ken Gerhard has a new article updating this case at SA Current, published April 9th, 2012 as follows:
Searching for the Converse Werewolf
While to most, the full moon represents frantic driving and unpredictable behavior, to those in the business of ‘monsters’ it is significant for an entirely different reason — lycanthropy, i.e. werewolves. Now, before you place the butterfly net over my head, please be advised that, while generally perceived to be strictly, fictional creatures from literature and fairy tales, modern accounts of these terrors do exist. Most notably, Wisconsin’s Beast of Bray Road, described by eyewitnesses as displaying the characteristics of a large wolf stalking the local forests and corn fields in an upright posture. During 2008, I had the distinct honor of traveling to France for a History Channel television special where I investigated The Beast of Gevaudan, which was alleged to have attacked hundreds of simple farm-folk during the late 18th century. Evidently, the notion of real werewolves has been around for a while.
Few San Antonio residents, however, are aware that the nearby community of Converse boasts its very own man-beast legend. According to the story, which I’ve found attributed to the 1800s and as recently as the 1960s, a local rancher instructed his teenage son to strike out to shoot his first deer (as a passage to manhood, no doubt). The youth was reluctant to bloody his hands, but begrudgingly obeyed his father’s command and journeyed to a wooded place known as Skull’s Crossing. He soon returned home trembling with fright. He explained to his father that he had run across an animal that resembled a werewolf. Thinking that his son was merely making excuses, the rancher forced him out again, stating that he should not return unless he had managed to bag some game. After the sun had set, the father became concerned and set out to locate his missing son. It was then, according to the tale, that the man spotted the lifeless body of his offspring in the arms of a creature that stood eight feet tall, combining the features of a wolf and a gorilla.
Being that the moon was in a full phase this weekend, I decided to head over to Converse to mount my own werewolf hunt (sans the silver bullets). I first stopped at the local City Hall and library to seek more information. But due to poor planning on my part, both had closed early for Easter Weekend. So, I instead decided to search the area around Converse City Park, the only area that remains largely undeveloped with the potential to hide such an elusive creature. I found the park to be quite charming and serene, with colorful wildflowers and fluttering butterflies in abundance. However, my search of the muddy banks of a small lake did turn up one intriguing bit of evidence, an enormous canine track, displaying long claws and pressed an inch into the ground. Admittedly, the spoor more than likely belonged to a very large dog. Still, I like to imagine that behind the legend of the Converse Werewolf lies, perhaps a tiny shred of truth. — Ken Gerhard
Top Illustration Credit: Weird Texas: Your Travel Guide to Texas’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. Second Illustration Credit: Werewolf Lurking by chriscalf chrisscalf.deviantart.com/art/Werewolf-Lurking-173947720
Sighting of a wolf-like creature over Cannock Chase have continued to flood in, with eyewitnesses claiming to have seen the fabled beast near to Huntington woodland.
Readers say they have spied a creature they believed to be a wolf near woodland off the Stafford Road.
The sightings follow a raft of eyewitness reports claiming to have seen the creature in undergrowth near Pottal Pool.
“I was walking my dog near to Broadhurst Green and I believe I saw something that could be described as a wolf,” resident Mark Sutton said.
“It was not a panther and it was too large to be a dog. It was walking through the bushes without a care in the world.
“It was about 50 metres away from us, but it didn’t seem fussed.
“It disappeared back into the Chase. I’m sure a lot of other people would have seen it. It wasn’t trying to stay hidden.”
Over the past 20 years, many people have claimed to have seen a big cat prowling Cannock Chase, fuelling speculation a panther roams the area.
But the recent sightings seem to suggest the fabled Chase Panther could belong to the wolf-family.
Last week resident Peter Derbyshire also said he saw a wolf-like creature while driving near Pottal Pool.
“I was driving through the trees in the direction of Stafford when I saw something dark moving amongst the bushes on the right hand side of the car,” he said.
“I slowed down to get a better look. It was probably about 80 metres away. It was aware I had slowed down, but did not seem too fussed. It disappeared into the bushes and I lost sight of it.
“It was definitely not a cat, it had more of a dog’s characteristics. It had a long nose and sharp, pointy ears.”
Sightings of ‘Wolf-Like’ Creatures and Rumors of Underground Cavemen in Staffordshire, UK
A tribe of subterranean creatures who surface on Cannock Chase to hunt for food could be behind a rash of ‘werewolf’ and Big Foot sightings near Stafford.
And the mysterious beings could also be responsible for a string of pet disappearances, it has been claimed.
West Midlands Ghost Club, our area’s top paranormal investigation group, say they have been contacted by a number of shocked eye-witnesses who claim they have come to face to face with a ‘hairy, wolf-type creature’ at the beauty spot.
A scout leader and a local post man are amongst the ‘credible’ witnesses to contact the club. Theories behind the sightings range from a crazed tramp to aliens.
But now another paranormal expert has put foward the theory the sub-human beast is not a werewolf at all - but a Stone Age throwback.
The investigator, who wishes to remain anonymous, told us: “Strange sightings in this area have been made over many years by civilians, military, police, ex-police and scout leaders on patrol.
“Some incidents have been reported and logged but others not - some people don’t want to be classed as ‘mad’.
“The strangest rumour has come from a senior local resident who believes the mysterious intruders to be subterranean,” he told us.
“The creatures have made their way to the surface via old earthworks to hunt, for example, local deer.”
And, on the surface, the far-fetched tale could be easily dismissed. However, our expert added: “It’s a fact that there has been significant mining activity under Cannock Chase for centuries. And it’s a fact there is a high rate of domestic pet disappearance in the area - especially dogs off the lead…just ask anyone who walks their dog near the German War Cemetery…”
Nick Duffy, a lead member of West Midlands Ghost Club, told us he was intrugued by this new theory: “It’s as likely as any of the others - so it could well be,” he said.
Copyright: Sunday Mercury
Cannock Man Reports Horrifying Encounter With Unknown Creature
After recent events worldwide regarding Bigfoot, interest in Cannock’s very own alleged sasquatch has heightened, Sunday Mercury was approached by a Cannock resident who claims to have had a very strange encounter over in the Staffordshire forest… we haven’t published their name at their request.
“Last year around June time, me and two other friends were supposed to go to a 24-hour basketball event for charity. Us being lads we decided to skive and go and sit down the lane in my car, and do what typical teenage lads do.
“Anyway, so me and two others were parked up in a little pull-in, down a lane in Gentleshaw not too far from Burntwood, Cannock. We were parked in this pull-in facing the road, with trees either side of us, and a gated-field behind. It was around two o’clock in the morning and we had the interior light on in the car, when my friend in the front passenger seat said he could see something moving outside, on the right side of the car.
“We turned off the interior light to get a better look and could definitely see something moving in the trees in the distance. Our first thoughts were a person or an animal, all we could see was something large moving around. This thing must have been about 10-15m away. (I didn’t exactly have time to measure!) I turned the car headlights and hazard lights on, to see if I could see anymore. This thing was the shape of a human, but stood about 7-8ft, it was hard to tell with it being dark and such a distance away.
“At first sight it was crouching, not completely to the floor, but approx half way and facing directly at the car. It was too dark to see whether it was staring at us, but im guessing it was! As soon as it realised we had seen it, it stood up straight, hesitated and ran towards us. Well as you can imagine I wasn’t sticking around. This thing was definitely not human, it was huge! It wasn’t just tall, but broad and stocky too. I haven’t got a clue what its face was like, or its skin or fur, or whatever it had. It wasn’t light enough.
“My back passenger darted to the other side of the car, and nobody said a word. As it came towards us it was rustling big bushes, shaking pretty big trees, it was just like in a horror movie. I drove out of the pull-in and turned left down the lane, this thing was keeping up with the car, but in the trees. I was trying so hard not to look in my mirrors, but I could see it in the corner of my eyes, I don’t know whether it was flying or jumping or what.
“Its strength and quickness was unbelievable. Obviously I wasn’t thinking that at the time, I just wanted to get the hell out of there! I drove to the bottom of the lane doing about 80mph, and it just vanished as soon as I came up to a pub at the bottom of the lane. I didn’t stop until I entered a residential area.
”The fear was unreal, I have never been so scared, and didn’t think I would ever experience anything that would scare me so much. I felt physically sick, cold and shakey. I just didn’t want to believe what I had seen. None of us discussed it, I think we were all in denial! I completely blanked it from my mind after that, and didn’t discuss it again untill 3 days ago, when the front seat passenger brought it up in conversation, and now I can’t forget about it.
“I hate re-living it, but I thought I would let others know of my experience. I’m not asking you to believe me, because to everyone else it probably seems so far fetched, but I know what I saw and so do the other two lads. Im not at all saying I saw “bigfoot” but I know 100% this thing was not human. I know other stories say the thing they saw had red eyes, but I didn’t see red eyes, I wasn’t close enough to see. Glad I wasn’t too.
“What haunts me now, is… What would its face have looked like? Where is it? It must have been watching us, and what would it have done if we didnt get away?”
Strong, lean muscles strain under dark fur. Teeth and fangs flash beneath demonic eyes. A growl emerges as he rises to stand on his hind legs, stretching to more than 7 feet tall.
He is the Dogman, a legend of the vast Michigan woods, described with remarkable consistency by hunters, farmers and even the occasional motorist in reported encounters that date back centuries.
Dogman may not be as well-known as some other hairy, scary creatures likely to be represented in Halloween costumes, but he is pure Michigan and will soon be coming alive on the silver screen.
The cryptozoological beast, a creepy combination of the two species that gives the Dogman his name, is the subject of a made-in-Michigan movie coming in 2012 titled “Dogman.” It stars former “According to Jim” star and Cadillac native Larry Joe Campbell.
“Because Michigan is largely rural and there’s a lot of wide open spaces and people tend to spend a lot of time communing with the outdoors, it gives rise to these kinds of legends and stories, just because of the connection people have to their natural surroundings,” said Steve Cook, production director of WTCM-FM (103) and —AM (580) radio in Traverse City, and an expert on the Dogman.
The 52-year-old Traverse City resident also is the modern-day father of the creature.
In 1987, Cook wrote a song about the legend to play for listeners on April Fools’ Day. But when it aired, Cook’s half-fact, half-fiction ditty was no joke to many who heard it. Calls and letters began pouring in, as listeners shared stories of their encounters with a similar beast — Michigan’s Bigfoot, the Wolverine State’s Chupacabra.
One of them was Robert Fortney, who said he saw it in the 1930s while fishing the Muskegon River near Paris. When a pack of wild dogs approached him on the bank, Fortney fired a shot from his .22-caliber hunting rifle to scare them away.
“All the dogs scattered out of the way, except a very large black dog with blue eyes. It stood and looked at him for two minutes. He was amazed by fact this thing was standing there looking at him on two legs,” Cook said of Fortney’s account. “He claimed he never told anyone in his family or friends about it, because he thought he was crazy. When he heard the song, he thought, ‘Wow, there’s really something to this, I really saw what I saw.’ He claimed (it) up until the day he died. That was the first of a more or less avalanche of reports we’ve received over the years.”
Until that point, Dogman had been local folklore.
The Odawa called him Wendigo and the French explorers, aloup-garou, according to a documentary Cook later made after collecting material that included this diary entry by a Comstock resident in 1857: “Near the barn, it stood as if a man, yet it bore the countenance of a grey wolf.”
More modern accounts include that by a vanload of hippies who said they were harassed by the Dogman near Cross Village in 1967.
Police took an incident report in 1987 from people who said they saw such a creature in Luther. There are photos of something from the U.P.’s Garden Peninsula in 1968 and Onaway in 2004 and unexplained tracks discovered in the Waterloo Recreation Area in Chelsea in the late 1980s.
“I made it up completely from my own imagination as an April Fools’ prank for the radio and stumbled my way to a legend that goes back all the way to Native American times,” Cook said.
The song now goes into the station’s play rotation every year around mid-September and also has been aired as far away as Arizona and Tennessee and on Armed Forces radio in Japan and Germany.
Cook said profits of almost $60,000 generated by his song and documentary have been donated to animal rescue charities.
“I’m tremendously skeptical,” Cook said of the legend, “because I’ve sort of seen the way folklore becomes built from the creation of this song to what it’s turned into … but I do believe people who think they saw something really did see something. I also think the Dogman provides them with an avenue to explain what they couldn’t explain for themselves.”
Filmmaker and Ann Arbor native Rich Brauer, 57, who finished shooting “Dogman” in September, said: “Every culture has a mythical woodland creature that they blame stuff on. I don’t know what it is about people that they want to blame stuff on something like that. There’s an inherent imagination that people have, especially when they go in the woods and start to hear things and their hair stands up on the back of their head. … It might turn out to be a chickadee on a stick, but up until that moment, it was something huge.”
Janet Langlois, a folklore expert at Wayne State University, said that as far back as Greek mythology humans have been drawn to tales about “people who cross boundaries, like centaurs. We’re drawn to them and frightened by them. It points out how complicated the relationship humans have with other nonhuman animals or creatures. We’re always fascinated by creatures.”
Big picture, she sees a larger purpose in such legends that cross cultures and time periods.
“It can range from simple entertainment to other complex, philosophical ideas about the universe,” Langlois said. “I tend to think stories, even though they’re simple and incredible, are building blocks of thinking about the nature of the universe.”
Story by Zlati Meyer Detroit Free Press Staff Writer
National Geographic claims it’s NAVAJO COPS series has captured the sounds and VIDEO of a mysterious Bigfoot-like creature that the local Navajo call “The Howler” also known as the Skinwalker.
NAVAJO COPS’ premier episode “Eyes of the Howler,” shows the reservation’s tribal police force investigating reports of a mysterious sounds from a creature called “The Howler.” Some on the reservation claimed the howling came from a Bigfoot, others said it was a Skinwalker – a malevolent, werewolf-like Navajo spirit.
The Navajo Nation police department makes it a policy to investigate supernatural encounters… though according to the National Geographic Channel, their “Eyes of the Howler” episode has the best video and audio evidence of the mysterious being.
The episode shows Navajo Cops pursuing reports of the creature deep into the back-country, where a SWAT team encounters the disturbing howls (caught on audio) and track the noise to a cave – where video reveals a disturbing set of red-rimmed eyes…
For those interested, this episode will air Monday March 19, 10 pm.
According to Loren Coleman who posts at Cryptomundo, further details are coming in: “this from an individual involved: “I’m supervising producer on the series. I wasn’t with the crew that shot the Howler footage… but I can tell you that cameramen and producers were thoroughly spooked. Not only did they hear the weird howling -which freaked them out – they all saw this pair of eyes watching them from a small cave… and the eyes disappeared by the time the police arrived there. I don’t know how to explain the phenomena (and there may be dozens of ‘ordinary’ explanations) but I do know that the traditional Navajo officers were convinced they had encountered, heard and seen a Skinwalker, with the results caught on tape.”
Here is how the program is being promoted on the NatGeo schedule site:
“10:00 PM to 11:00 PM Navajo Cops: Eyes of the Howler “Navajo Police Officers mount a new hunt for The Howler a mysterious creature believed to have killed dogs and livestock. Some of the elders in the community suspect it might be a Skinwalker, while others insist that its the Navajo version of Bigfoot. As they sweep through a remote canyon, the heavily-armed cops actually hear the chilling sound caught on tape and they think its coming from a cave high in the cliffs. Have they finally tracked down the elusive Howler?”
Cryptid Chronicles Readers, I want to hear your comments and feedback after you watch the show! Please come back and share your opinions!
This cryptid gets a spot on the list for a few reasons: 1). It’s from Wisconsin, which just seems weird. Nothing about Wisconsin strikes terror into my heart, but apparently they have a beast. 2). It’s got an awesome alliterative name. The Beast of Bray Road sounds very badass. 3). It’s basically a straight-up werewolf. That seems unoriginal at first, but how many cryptid stories have the guts to just go right to “werewolf”? In truth, some of the reports from the 1980s suggest more of a Bigfoot type creature, or even just a crazed bear, but some describe a giant, upright, seemingly intelligent wolf creature. One witness saw a wolf creature with muscular arms, “jointed like a man’s,” holding food with its palms turned upward. The Wisconsin Werewolf!
Incidentally, the name “Beast of Bray Road” makes me think, for some reason, of the Bay City Rollers, which brings to mind an image of rollerskate wearing disco werewolves. This is turn brings me to the realization that somewhere there is a Hollywood producer utterly bereft of ideas (more than one, probably), sitting there working on 300 Part 2: 600!, or a gritty, angsty remake of My Mother the Car, when instead she could be pushing a rollerskate wearing disco werewolf project. This is why I don’t believe in god.
Photo Credit: In April of 1992 a national tabloid had a mystery out of Wisconsin splashed across its headlines. In a segment called “The Beast of Bray Road” Reporter Art Hackett set out to confirm the sightings of a “Wolfman” in Walworth County. He tracked down those residents quoted in the tabloid to document the story of a hairy man like creature lurking around Elkhorn.