Wednesday, 28 August 2019
The Beast of Bray Road
Evil fictional werewolves are barking at the moon in the films, “An American Werewolf in London,” and “An American Werewolf in Paris,” but did you know many people believe one is roaming the wilds in real life in the northeastern parts of America? There have been sightings by people who lived to tell the tale of the Beast of Bray Road for many years (and maybe some sightings by those who didn’t live to tell the tale!).
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 label it as a Sasquatch 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 that do not fit with the chosen hypothesis. First of all, there are those 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.
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 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.
There are numerous native American reports of a werewolf-like creature in this area that stretch back centuries. Modern following of the beast came after an initial report in 1936 by Mark Schackelman.
Schackelman worked as a security guard at the Saint Coletta Convent when he was on his way home from a long night shift. He was on a stretch of road east of Jefferson County when he noticed one of the Native American Burial mounds to the west.
He slowed the car down slightly when he caught a glimpse of a shadowy figure standing near the burial site. He realized that the figure was enormous – well over 7 feet tall.
He pulled the car over to take a closer look and a strange rotting smell hit his nostrils. The creature seemed to be digging into the burial mound looking for something.
The sight became too much for Schackelman and he jumped back into the car and drove off as fast as possible.
After dwelling on what he had seen for a few days, Schackelman decided to return to the burial site to see if he could find any evidence.
When he got back there he was shocked to see that the creature was still roaming around the area. He got a little closer this time and saw that it had a humanoid body with a wolf’s head.
It’s hands and feet looked human but they had a sort of twisted feature to their digits. It wasn’t able to talk – it only grunted at Schackelman. He bravely stared down the creature for a couple of minutes before it ran off into the nearby wilderness.
Many years past before the next sighting of the Beast. In 1964 the beast was apparently spotted near the same burial ground and in 1972 a woman reported it outside her house. On this occasion she was petrified of it trying to get into her home and harming her family.
On October 31st, 1989, Doristine Gipson was travelling down Bray Road when she heard something slam into the side of her car. She pulled over and got out to examine the damage to her car.
The car seemed in decent enough condition so she had a little walk around to see if she could locate a dead animal. She noticed a large animal about 50 feet away from her location making a mad dash for her. She quickly jumped back into the car and sped of into the distance.
She didn’t get far before this strange creature somehow landed on the back end of her vehicle but fell off due to the speed.
When she arrived home she quickly called upon one of her neighbors to tell them what had happened. They both examined the car and found large gashes to the bodywork around the trunk area.
Doristine Gipson’s encounter seemed to spark off a tidal wave of sightings and a few weeks later 24-year-old Lorraine Endrizzi reported an incident.
She was also driving down Bray Road when she noticed a strange animal crouching at the side of the road. She slowed down to get a closer look and was horrified by what she saw.
Up until 1989, sightings of the Beast were relatively rare. However, during the period from 1989 through 1991, this cryptid became much more visible. It is hard to know if this was due to an increasing population in the local area or if perhaps they were multiple beasts prowling through Elkhorn. The increase in reports is also linked to the fact the local media mentioned an encounter a woman named Doristine Gipson had with the Beast, which seems to have made several people feel more comfortable sharing their story.
Gipson’s story was particularly terrifying because the Beast appears to have been planning to attack her physically. She reported feeling a jolt against one of her tires while driving home on October 31 which prompted her to stop her vehicle and get out to look around for any injured animals. Suddenly, she caught sight of a large beast sprinting toward her, and she scrambled back to her car. Gipson said that as she was driving away, the beast threw itself onto the back of her vehicle but was unable to hold on.
After hearing Gipson’s story, Scott Bray revealed he had an encounter in 1989 similar to what happened in 1972. Once again, the beast left a large footprint behind, and there were multiple occurrences on Bray’s property located on Bray Road, which seemed to indicate the beast had been nearby.
Shockingly, there were three other reported sightings in 1989, making that year more prolific than the several decades preceding it. The first of these three additional incidents involved a man named Russell Gest who became terrified after seeing a humongous creature he described as standing upright like a bear but having canine features.
Local bar manager Lori Endrizzi drove past the beast in 1989, and she stated its eyes were glowing even though her headlights were not shining on them. Initially, she thought someone was kneeling in the road, but once she got within 6 feet of the beast, she was able to recognize distinctive features such as fur, pointed ears and fangs
The next incident involved schoolchildren, and it reached the ears of adults after bus driver Pat Lester overheard Heather Bowey talking about it. According to Bowey’s version of events, she and some friends were on their way home after playing when they spotted what they believed was a large dog walking by the creek. The children called to the dog because they wanted to pet it, and they were shocked when it turned out to be a beast which stood up on its hind legs and began charging at them. Fortunately, everyone was able to get away safely, but it is a virtual certainty their encounter haunted their nightmares for many years.
From 1990 to 1991, there were several reported sightings of random creatures which appeared bear-like or wolf-like. Mike Etten, a local dairy farmer, saw a creature in March 1990 he initially thought was a bear. However, it was acting in an unusual manner and was sitting like a raccoon while holding onto its food with its front paws. Etten acknowledges he had been drinking at the time of this sighting but thinks his intoxication was the reason he tried to rationalize what he saw was a bear instead of the Beast. Etten finally came forward with his story after hearing so many other reports.
The beast was covered in brownish grey hair and had long fangs protruding from it’s mouth. It’s head looked like a wolf’s head with large pointed ears sticking out the side of it. She also claimed that it was extremely well built with a heavy muscle tone.
So we are at a point when we should ask if there is more evidence than only witness sightings ?
The answer is yes and it comes in the form of
The Gable footage:
A short film was released online in 2002 and initially listed as actual footage from the 70s. The three minute and 31-second clip is very grainy and showcases people having fun on snowmobiles. Near the end of the clip, a creature appears and lunges at the camera. The original Gable Film has been widely debated, and people claim it contains either the Beast of Bray Road or the Michigan Dogman.
It was stated in 2010 on the show “Monster Quest” that the first Gable Film and the second one released later on were hoaxes, but it is impossible for anyone other than the people directly involved to know if this is true. What we do know is any video footage of a supernatural creature is subjected to intense scrutiny by the public, and it’s possible the person in possession of these films decided to state publicly they were a hoax to stop answering constant questions about the apparent werewolf they had captured on film.
Until 2003, the beast was always seen as a solitary creature. Everything changed when Katie Zahn and a few of her friends spotted a group of three creatures picking up water from a river and drinking out of their hands in a way consistent with humans instead of animals. Zahn stated all three of the creatures appeared to be wolf-like, and she and her friends ran away after the beasts stood up, turned around and looked at them. If this account is accurate, it helps explain why the beast has been seen so many different times. After all, it would be much more difficult for three werewolves to hide than just one.
In 2006, DNR worker Steve Krueger had a terrifying experience while working on Holly Hill Road in Wisconsin. The cab of the truck he was driving started shaking suddenly, so he looked into his rearview mirror to see what was happening. Krueger told the local NBC affiliate he saw a large creature with a big snout and black hair most likely between six and seven feet tall. Krueger was able to shake the Beast out of the back of his pickup truck by throwing his vehicle into drive and quickly accelerating.
Around the same time as Krueger’s sighting, there were two young boys playing on a trampoline on Holly Hill Road, who reported seeing a hairy monster emerge from the nearby woods. Each of the 2006 reports was investigated by Linda Godfrey, and she stated she believes the Bray Road Beast is real and is possibly a Timberwolf that has adapted or evolved in a very unusual way, perhaps with the assistance of the supernatural.
It is easy for skeptics to claim all these sightings are some mass delusion, but this doesn’t explain the physical evidence left behind in some cases. Additionally, it is important to note most of the stories have remained consistent even when there has not been any news coverage. The obvious reality is that there’s no good reason to doubt the Beast of Bray Road exists. Therefore, it is important to be careful anytime you find yourself near Elkhorn, Wisconsin, and make sure you take a camera with you so you can try to capture the beast on film.
So what did you think of these sightings, what do you think is out there let me know your thoughts in the comments below
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