New cover by Nathan D. Godfrey

New cover by Nathan D. Godfrey

Werewolf doodle; individual drawings will vary

Werewolf doodle; individual drawings will vary

“The original account of the 1992 bombshell news story that revealed reports of werewolf-like creatures in southeast Wisconsin –The small town of Elkhorn, Wisconsin made national headlines in the early 1990s with reports of a strange, hairy, wolf-headed creature that walked upright and seemed unafraid of man as it stalked the cornfields just outside of town. Journalist Linda Godfrey dubbed the canid sensation “The Beast of Bray Road” after the location of the first reported sightings. Two decades and hundreds of nationwide sightings of similar creatures later, no one has ever proven whether the beast is a flesh-and-blood canine or will-o-the-wisp, demon dog, or a magical werewolf. But the author provides plenty to chew on, with sightings of related creatures, Native American connections, historic lore and a keen-eyed look at possible explanations.”

So many people have asked me for a new print edition of the Beast of Bray Road ever since the former publisher popped a silver bullet in it, that I finally decided it was time for the creature’s return. I’m so glad and excited to announce that the Beast is now indeed back! In concert with Dystel & Goderich Literary Management and Amazon, here is the link! The interior includes the entire contents of the first book–photos, art and all. The cover, however, is brand-spankin’ new, and was created by my son, Nate, an artist who has contributed his work to some of my books and also History Channel’s Monsterquest for the American Werewolf episode.

To celebrate, I have a special FREE offer for those who would like my autograph with the book; until December 25, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to me and I’ll send a hand-autographed sticker decorated with an originally drawn “werewolf doodle” that can be applied to your book’s inside front page. One sticker per envelope, and please specify if you wish it inscribed to anyone or would like a special (tasteful only) phrase included. Mail to me at Linda Godfrey, PO Box 702, Elkhorn WI 53121. Offer starts immediately! (You can also mail the whole book with return postage and suitable envelope.)


By Cédric Boismain from France (centaure agonisant) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Centaurs, or creatures with the torso and head of a human and the lower part of a horse, occur in art and literature from very ancient times, but are today most commonly associated with Greek and Roman mythology. Nonetheless, I received a report this week from a woman whose co-worker urged her to call me after she told him about the encounter she and a friend and their siblings had as children. It occurred on the outskirts of southern Richmond, Virginia, in 1966 when she was 8. The now 54-year old former IRS employee and Greyhound bus driver spoke by phone with me on Sept. 1, and she seemed as serious and credible as any eyewitness I’ve ever talked to.

“I remember the sighting vividly,” she said. She and her friend, along with a few younger siblings, had sneaked out to play in a nearby four-acre park and rec area at dusk one summer night. A creek ran through the acreage, and the group followed a path from their apartment buildings through a tree line that opened onto the play area. The children had been there only a short time, however, when they heard a familiar sound that the writer described as between a movie-style, ghost-like moan and the whinny of a horse. They’d often heard the same thing from inside their apartment. Her parents always tried to blame it on a nearby trucking company, but the trucks were most active in the daytime, she said, and the weird moan was only heard at dusk and night time.

She looked around and saw a tall, dark figure watching her from about a block away. It looked human from the top of its head to the bottom of the torso, she said, but the rest of it resembled the bottom part of a horse — horse legs, hooves, tail and all. It was too dark to see its face, she said, but there were no ears and the head area looked much more hairy and shaggy than the smoothly furred remainder, but she knew at once that no human could imitate the thin legs with hooves. “This was not someone dressed in a costume, this thing was real. It was a creature. It was alive,” she said.

As soon as the beast noticed she was watching it, it began to run toward her, the human-like “arm” limbs being held in a bent position with elbows slightly to the side. She shrieked, grabbed her four-year old brother, and the whole group began running for the tree line with the creature in pursuit. It sounded like the beat of horse hooves even on the grass, she said. When they reached the tree-line that marked the edge of the park, she turned around to see where the creature was. It stopped too, about half a block away, its rear end and haunches partially turned as the torso and head twisted to watch her. She estimated it stood about seven to eight feet tall. The small group continued beating a hurried path to their home. Their parents, naturally, did not believe them but she says her friend and brother still talk about it with her to this day. She added that she was not one to believe in ghosts and never had any other weird or paranormal incidents.

Jacob Jordaens [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Half man, half horse? The creature the children saw in Richmond reminded me of classic depictions of a satyr, or goat man, although those are always two-legged. And satyr reports are a bit more frequent. Many parts of the US have their own goat man legends. I also receive an occasional deer man report. In both types, it sometimes happens that the witness will see one of my sketches of the upright wolf-like creatures I more often investigate, and will say, yes, that’s it! So perhaps some cases are examples of mistaken perception, but this writer was quite sure there was a total of six limbs.

So what, then, to make of a centaur report I received last May? This incident happened around 1970 in Arizona, between Sierra Vista and Benson, as two young men drove along Hwy. 90. They were forced to stop when their car’s engine suddenly stalled, and got out to take a look. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong, so they got back in and were sitting there when they heard the sound of hooves running right at them. They turned to look out the rear window, and there saw a “half man, half horse creature rear up and start smashing in the back end of the car with its front hooves.” There was no mention of separate arms, so I’m not sure about that point. His friend began screaming to get them out of there, and the driver’s frantic efforts to restart the engine somehow worked and they sped away. The driver told his parents when he finally reached home, and recalled that his mother said, “What were you doing that caused the devil to show you that demon?”  One family member added they remembered that the back of the car was deeply dented all over as if someone had been banging it with rocks.

One more came to me yesterday, except this was from a woman who was driving with her son on a mountain pass in the western US eight years ago. She wrote: This happened on the summit of Bridge Creek between Inchelium and Nespelem, Washington. It is on the Colville (Arrow-Lakes tribe) reservation. I was told by some of the elders that there has been sightings of a “deerman” who has been seen near Nespelem. The elders say that when he is seen, it’s a sign that the person is going to die. I don’t know anyone who has seen him, but I’ve heard stories. I’ve never heard of an elk man before. What my son and I saw was a herd of elk, and in the middle of them was one that from the neck up was a man. He was reaching up into a tree. There was no way it was a costume. He was ugly and had ratty black hair and a bare chest.  It was only for a brief second that we saw it but it was long enough that we both looked at each other and said, “Did you just see what I saw?”

I agree that her sighting is different than a “deer man.” Elk are MUCH larger, and it’s unusual to hear of such a creature traveling with a group of ordinary animals.

Perhaps I’ll hear more from others. Do these sightings relate in any way to those of dogmen? Perhaps. Centaurs, elk men and dogmen — none of these seem like normal animals, or even aberrations of natural animals. There are many speculative possibilities. For now, I’d simply like to thank those who shared these sightings for giving us the opportunity to ponder them.

Anyone who follows my blog or other social media knows I do a lot of radio. Talking to hosts and listeners about wolf-like creatures, Bigfoot and other weird phenomena is something I never tire of. However, with my latest book due at the publisher by summer’s end, I imposed a radio moratorium on myself for most of July and August. With that manuscript now safe in the hands of my editor at Tarcher/Penguin, I’m so glad to be back on the chat lines, starting this evening…

and then this Friday evening August 28, Paraversal Radio with Kevin Malak:


Then Tuesday, September 1 at 9 pm Central with host Tim Maile on Fringe Radio;


There are several more for early September, and also Art Bell’s new Midnight in the Desert Show, on a date I can’t yet disclose but will announce here as soon as I’m allowed!


Looking forward to chatting about some of my latest findings and field work!

(Not a Milwaukee lion) By K Fink (NPS) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The past week’s sightings of one, possibly two mountain lions in the city of Milwaukee have captured the media limelight across the nation. The Milwaukee Lion or Lions (as one witness claimed to have seen two) have been skulking around Milwaukee’s north side, giving police the slip after allegedly ripping the head off a house cat and prowling in people’s back yards.

I’m not surprised; mountain lions have been sighted all over Wisconsin in the past few decades–long after they were supposed to have been eradicated in this state–including my own neighborhood eight miles north of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, just two years ago, when my husband was nearly attacked by one in our back yard! He had walked outside after dark and ended up walking backwards back to the house, yelling and waving his arms and kicking at the animal which was only a few feet away from him. Luckily it ran back in the woods when he reached the house. He also saw it at close distance the next morning, and so did two neighbors on different ends of the street. None of them reported it.

Also, A person I know whose family farms east of Elkhorn told me that a another family member observed two mountain lions checking out their livestock this past spring. They didn’t report it. I also saw many dozens, perhaps hundreds, of wht looked like fresh mountain lion prints (5 inches, no claw marks, correct shape) in the snow on a path I was hiking with friends in the northern part of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, Southern Unit, this past February. It was not a long hike!

Godfrey measuring possible cougar prints in Kettle Moraine Feb. 2015

Godfrey measuring possible cougar prints in Kettle Moraine Feb. 2015

Nor is this the first time one has been reported in the greater Milwaukee area. The Waukesha Freeman ran an article by Kollin Kosmicki in its Good Morning Today section July 13, 2005 titled, “Is There a Mountain Lion in Waukesha?”  The sighting had been made June 1, 2005, by Phil Buteyn in Minooka Park, only 30 yards from the path he walked with his grand daughter. Buteyn, a retired school teacher, was adamant that he identified the animal correctly, having seen it from a relatively short distance in good, daylight conditions. Kosmicki said Local DNR warden Kyle Drake noted there was also a sighting reported in Pewaukee in fall, 2004.

Many will remember the cougar shot in Chicago’s Roscoe Village area in mid-April, 2008. That animal was traced through DNA evidence back to Wisconsin and specifically southeastern Wisconsin, including the area north of Elkhorn in Walworth County. Another was killed in Morrison, Illinois on Nov. 26, 2013, 130 miles west of Chicago. Both cougars were thought by most wildlife authorities to have migrated from the Black Hills area, looking for mates and new territory. I think it’s very possible the present Milwaukee sightings hail from that same source, although it’s also very possible it was an escaped, illegal pet. It’s been about ten years since a Wisconsin State Patrol officer told me he stopped a car whose driver was transporting three cougar cubs in the back seat!

I do have a huge file on cougar sightings elsewhere in the state–a stunning amount of them–within the past several decades. I’m in the final week before the deadline for my next book or I’d be compiling them all here right now, but I promise they are next. That’s why I added “Part One” to my title here. I believe cougars are not as rare in Wisconsin as people think, but they are under-reported. And in the meantime, I’m waiting along with everyone else to find out what happens in Milwaukee. Judging by what’s happened in Illinois, it may not be pretty.

Oklahoma Pterosaur


A few days ago I received the following report from an Oklahoma family. The father and his 12-year old daughter, Nu, had a daylight sighting of what they thought looked like a pterasaur, and each of them drew a sketch of what they saw. The dad wrote the following description:
 “My daughter and I saw a featherless bird without a tail on Saturday 09/27/2014 between 10 am to 10:15 am. The sighting was about 3-4 seconds. I spotted the creature first and told my daughter “hey what’s that.” She caught 3 seconds or so of it. My daughter knows birds and she can tell you about birds in good detail. She told me that the bluejays were sounding an alarm call at the time.
It was a clear beautiful day. Maybe a few fluffy clouds here and there.There was no flapping and it flew (glided) from SE to NW towards the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge.  It looked black or dark brown. It had no tail but the feet were behind and I thought you could see toes or knuckles pointing up. If you put both of your hands like open fists straight behind your back – that would be like it.  The feet were in line with the wings from my angle.
I did not get a good look at the head and so I am not sure if it had an appendage or bump on the back but it gave me the impression it had some thing but it was not obvious.  It seemed big – between 6 – 8 ft maybe. It wasn’t a hawk or a vulture. I would say it was 2 1/2 times bigger than a adult vulture.  It was about 60 Feet away. If you look straight ahead and lift up your right arm and raise it above your vision (where you can no longer see it without moving you head)  that would be the angle.
We live near lake Overholser in Oklahoma City. We are located just west of 23rd and Council.”
Nu’s mom, Maggie, added the following:
“My daughter and husband said it was close enough to tell it had no feathers, The most surprising thing was there was no tail!  We have hawks outside and turkey vultures and they come in low sometimes and you can see the 2 tone feature patterns. Even far away the feathers are clear.This thing they said had no tail, no feathers and was structured differently from other flying animals. My daughter says it did not look like a bat as they are here as well.”
I thought they did a very good job with the descriptions, especially with the sketches, and thank them for coming forth with their sighting.


This one is a shot I took of the pterosaur reconstruction at Chicago's Field Museum. There are many known varieties of the order Pterosauria, which lived during the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods.

This one is a shot I took of the pterosaur reconstruction at Chicago’s Field Museum. There are many known varieties of the order Pterosauria, which lived during the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods.

I was delightfully surprised today when giant bird witness John Bolduan send me the link to a video he self-recorded in which he recounts his excellent sighting of a huge, stork-like bird in northern Wisconsin. I met him on-site and measured the road which the bird flew over at low altitude–it ranged between 20 and 22 feet. John said the bird’s wingspan was at least that wide if not wider. His is the first encounter detailed in American Monsters; a History of Monster Lore, Legends and Sightings in America, and I’ll be talking about it tomorrow as part of my talk at the Milwaukee Paracon June 6 at 5 pm. A big shout out to John for providing this amazing reference for his experience.

copyright Linda S. Godfrey all rights reserved, no use without permission

copyright Linda S. Godfrey all rights reserved, no use without permission

Sure, it has monsters. But the astounding beauty and diversity of the landscape around the west central midsection of Wisconsin is as remarkable as the wide range of unknown creatures that seem to inhabit it. My previous post focused on the hairless creature legend of Hillsboro; the two accounts I’ll highlight here are located slightly west of that area, near Tomah and Westby. Both cases are especially apropos to summer road trip time, since the creatures involved seemed to home in on the witness’s cars!

The “Big Bird of Tomah” was spotted by a now-retired, male medical worker driving south on his way from Black River Falls to Tomah one morning around 1999-2000. He was nearing the north side of Tomah on US Rte. 12 when something large and black swooped across his windshield–it was a black, feathered bird with a body he described as about six feet long, and a wing span he estimated at twelve feet. He said it was close enough that he was able to look it in the eyes as it passed him. He did not recognize the species. Luckily, the bird kept going, and so did the man. He told some co-workers but as usually happens in these cases, was disbelieved.

Just for comparison, that side of the state is also known for the sightings of a giant, stork-like bird near Hayward, the Man-Bat of La Crosse, and a flying Lizard Man seen by a state patrol officer and a group of construction workers near Medford. I also have a report of a man-sized bird seen standing on a bridge near Neillsville, on or near Ho Chunk land.

The “Westby Wolfman” report came to me just a week ago but occurred in 1990-91. The witness wrote:

“I saw a wolf figure that ran and stood on two legs, but it would have been in 1990 or 1991. It was outside of Westby, Wi on County Road P around 4:30 to 5:00 in the morning. I think it was in the spring of the year. I was on my way to work. It ran from the side of the road and charged into the driver’s side door of my car. Thankfully the window was up. I saw his face clearly. I stepped on the gas. It scared me.

“Although the whole thing happened so quickly, it was early in the morning and still dark outside. It had a wolf face. It was on two legs. It did not look like a costume. It was taller than the car I was driving. I would guess it to be maybe 6 ft tall. It had black fur, maybe dark gray. Where it came from on the side of the road, there was a bridge and a trout stream. It did not dent my car. Trust me, I looked. When it charged the car it hit hard.

“Years later I confided to one of my clients about the incident. She told me there was a book I needed to read. It was your book. When I saw the sketches in the book, I realized it was the same as I had seen that morning. I never heard of any other sightings in that area, but perhaps there were and they were too afraid to say anything either. I never reported it because I didn’t think anyone would believe me.”

There have been many other strange creatures spotted around this area of the state—kangaroos, Bigfoot, and lake serpents to name a few. It’s an extremely scenic part of the state to visit even if you only see known animals, which can be just as exciting in their own right. Summer Road Trip Rating: Five Screeches! * * * * *


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