Werewolf of Defiance
DEFIANCE Ohio. - Some people here are jokingly referring to
it as the case of the werewolf. But Defiance police are serious about it.
Three persons have told police that they saw a large beast
that resembles a werewolf lurking along railroad tracks near
downtown Defiance in the last week.
In each case he was spotted
during the early morning hours, and one man, a train crewman
switching trains, said that he was approached from behind
and was struck on the shoulder with a piece of 2-by-4 lumber.
But when be ran the "werewolf" also
disappeared into some nearby brush.
In the other reported incidents the "werewolf" was
seen by another train crewman about 3 a.m. Police say the third
report came from a motorist who said "it" ran in
front of his car about 4 a.m. and then quickly disappeared.
"We don't know what to think." Chief Donald Breckler
said. "We didn't release it (to the news media) when we
got the first report about a week ago. But now we're taking
it seriously. We're concerned for the safety of our people."
Chief Breckler said that descriptions
of the "werewolf" given
by the three persons (police are not giving their names) that
spotted him are similar. But he admits in each case the description
"Very hairy" is the first description given by each
person who saw the "werewolf." The chief said that
he thinks that a person is wearing some disguise such as a
mask. "But there is a lot of natural hair too," he
"I'm inclined to think it might be a local person," Chief
Breckler said. "None of the other area towns have had
anything like this. And in each case he has been seen in the
same area of our town."
Chief Breckler said that the creature
wears dark clothing and at first reports described him as
ranging from 7 to 9 feet tall. "But that was a little exaggerated," the
Two of the trainmen that reported seeing
the "werewolf" work
in the area during the early morning hours. Both of them are
from Toledo. The third complaint came from, a local grocery
store employee, Mr. Breckler said.
"If his motive is robbery then he is not picking on the
type of person that would have a lot of money," Chief
Breckler said. "We don't know what his motive is." A
railroad agent at the Norfolk & Western depot on Fifth
Street here said that "the switching crewmen from Toledo" are
the only persons that have spotted the "werewolf."
The agent, who did not identify himself, said that none of
the other crewmen in the area seemed disturbed by reports.
"We don't think it is a prank," Chief Breckler said. "He's
coming at people with a club in his hand. We think it's to
the safety of our people to be concerned."
Creature Described As Having Fangs
Two N&W brakemen, interviewed at the railroad's Sumner
Street yard today, said the creature "had huge hairv feet,
fangs, and ran from side to side, like a caveman in the movies."
Ted Davis and Tom Jones, crewmen on
the N&W local freight
which serves Defiance on an overnight run, said that the large
figure, which they said was between 6 and 8 feet tall, has
appeared twice under a full moon.
"When, we leave here the moon is usually about a quarter
full, but about 4 a.m. when we're working Defiance, the moon
is full," Mr. Davis explained.
The creature was first seen July 25, and then again last Sunday,
both men said. When he first confronted Mr. Davis, the creature,
ran away before he (Mr. Davis) could say anything.
"I was connecting an air hose between
two cars and was looking down. I saw these huge hairy feet,
then I looked up and he was standing there with that big
stick over his shoulder. When I started to say something,
he took off for the woods."
Both Mr. Davis and Mr. Jones saw the bluejean-clad figure
again last Sunday morning in the yards. The creature was standing
in some weeds near the main track.
"At first I thought the whole thing was a big joke, but
when I saw how hairy and woolly it was -- that was enough for
me," Mr. Jones said.
He had laughed at Mr. Davis earlier in the week, but said
that when he could account for all the railroad workers at
the time, he knew it was not a crewman's joke.
When they took off, Mr. Jones said, he and Mr. Davis also
heard screams from a car stopped on a nearby road.
"That thing's going to hurt somebody someday," he