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Wisconsin Werewolves

One of the first Wisconsin werewolf sightings occurred in 1936. A man named Mark Schackelman reportedly encountering a talking wolfman just east of Jefferson, Wisconsin on Highway 18. As he was driving along the road one evening, he spotted a figure digging in an old Indian mound. He looked closer and saw that the figure was a strange, hair-covered creature that stood erect and stood more than six feet tall. The face of the creature boasted a muzzle and features of both an ape and a dog. Its hands were oddly formed with a twisted thumb and three fully formed fingers. The beast gave off a putrid smell that was like “decaying meat”.

Schackelman returned to the site the following evening, hoping for another look, and this time, he actually heard the creature speak in what he described as being “neo human”. The beats uttered a “three-syllable growling noise that sounded like gadara with the emphasis on the second syllable.” Schackelman was a religious man and after spotting this obviously “evil” creature, he began to back away from it and to pray. Eventually the creature was lost to sight.

But did it turn up again? In 1964, another man, Dennis Fewless, had a similar sighting less than two miles away. Fewless was driving home around midnight from his job at the Admiral Television Corp. in Harvard, Illinois. After turning onto Highway 89 from Highway 14, his headlights caught an animal running across the road in front of him. It was dark brown in color and he estimated that it weighed between 400 and 500 pounds. He also described it as being seven or eight feet tall. It ran across the highway, jumped a barbed wire fence and vanished. Fewless returned to the spot (in the daylight) hours to look for footprints or other evidence but the hard, sun-dried ground offered nothing. They did find where the corn had been pushed aside as the beast entered the field though. “I was awful scared that night,” Fewless told author Jay Rath. “That was no man. It was all hairy from head to feet.”

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In 1972, a werewolf returned to Wisconsin. One night, a woman in rural Jefferson County called the police to report an attempted break in at her home. According to an investigation conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, she said that the intruder was a “large, unknown animal” that had come to the house and had tried to get in the door. The creature departed but returned again a few weeks later and injured one of her farm animals. The account stated that the creature had long, dark hair, stood about eight feet tall and walked upright like a man. Its arms were long and it had claws on each hand. After trying to enter the house, the beast went out to the barn and attacked a horse that was stabled there. It left behind a deep gash on the animal that stretched from one shoulder to the other. A footprint left behind was more than a foot long. Bigfoot investigators dismissed the report, saying that a Sasquatch would never be that aggressive. But what about a werewolf?

Perhaps the most celebrated and strange werewolf reports of recent years again come from Wisconsin and involve what has been dubbed the “Bray Road Beast”. The first public sighting of the monster occurred on October 31, 1999 when 18 year old Doristine Gipson of Elkhorn was driving along Bray Road near Delavan. As she neared the intersection of Hospital Road, she felt her right front tire jump off the ground as if she had hit something. She stopped the car and peered into the darkness to see a dark, hairy form racing toward her. She jumped back into the car and was attempting to drive away when the beast jumped onto her trunk. Luckily, it was too wet for the creature to hang on and it fell off onto the pavement. Doristine returned to the site later on that evening with a young girl that she was taking out trick-or-treating and saw a large form on the side of the road.

She told about her encounter the next day and as word spread, more local people began to step forward with their own encounters with the beast, dating back to 1989. One night in the fall of that year, Lorianne Endrizzi was rounding a curve on Bray Road (just a half mile from the site of the later incident) and saw what she thought was a person hunched over on the side of the road. When she slowed down, she took a closer look at the figure on the passenger side of the car. She was no more than six feet away from it at the time. The sighting lasted for about 45 seconds and she stated that she clearly saw a beast with grayish, brown hair, fangs and pointed ears. “His face was … long and snouty, like a wolf”. The creature also had glowing yellow eyes. She reported that she had no idea what this thing could have been until she saw a book at the library that had an illustration of a werewolf in it.

Around the same time period, a dairy farmer from Elkhorn (near Delavan) named Scott Bray reported seeing a “strange looking dog” in his pasture near Bray Road. He said that the beast was larger and taller than a German Shepherd and had pointed ears, a hair tail and long gray and black hair. He added that it was built very heavy in the front, as if it had a strong chest. He followed the “dog” to a large pile of rocks but the creature had vanished. He did find that it had left behind huge footprints though, which disappeared into the grass of the pasture.

The sightings continued and added up to a number of bizarre encounters between 1989 and 1992. The creature resembled no known animals, but alternately was compared to dogs, bears and wolves. According to Jerome Clark, Dan Groebner of the International Wolf Research Center in Ely, Minnesota stated that the creature could not be a wild wolf. To further complicate matters, all sorts of other sightings in the region also began to pour in, including Bigfoot-like creatures, animal mutilations and men in black. As seems to be the chaos during most Fortean flaps, all matter of high strangeness began to filter into the area.

Pictures Of Bray Road