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Archive for the ‘wolfmen’ Category

“There’s no plainer way to say it: I write about monsters.

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Illustration by Lucia Calfapietra for Read It Forward.com 2019

As in wolves that walk on their hind legs, Bigfoot, and man-bats—the spooky stuff that pounding hearts and cold midnight sweats are made of. Upon learning what I do, most people assume I’m 6-foot-3 and spend my time clomping around forests with a rifle and a rucksack, hunting for phantom animals. They’re always disappointed to learn I’m closer in size to a Hobbit than I am to Paul Bunyan and that I carry a camera rather than a machete. (I do clomp around in forests every chance I get.)

Some expect me to resemble a woodsy goth. “You look like you could be somebody’s mom,” I’ve heard young fans moan. I am indeed the mom of two somebodies, and happy for it. But the fact that I seem so ordinary may be why every interview I’ve ever had starts with something like, “So how did a rather short art teacher/journalist from Wisconsin turn into a werewolf investigator and author?”

Truth? It’s not just about the monsters. It never has been just about the monsters, as much as I adore their rippling, furry muscles and their fangs all-a-glisten with viscous drool. No, there’s something more intrinsic, something monster-like that we’re all on watch for in this world because we know it exists even if we won’t admit it. Stories and folk tales are full of this mystery factor, and they can serve to make us aware there’s a monster in everyone’s life. But sometimes the monster just stands and introduces itself.

It surprised me as much as anyone when, in 1992, I wrote a newspaper article on an alleged werewolf-like creature seen by eyewitnesses outside a small town in Wisconsin, and the story blew up worldwide. The universe then turned its astonished, glowing eyes my way, and the “hunt” ended up taking over much of my life. Somehow the creature just never seemed as strange to me as it did to most other people, and I credit a few special childhood books that I believe helped make it so.

One of these books made me decide at age 3 that I wanted to be an artist and writer, but again, it wasn’t for the love of bears, ghosties, or wolves jeering at little pigs in fragile houses.

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This book’s protagonists were two feisty kittens named Hush and Brush, who invented every color ever seen by men or angels and went off to paint the world. I remember begging my mother to read it over and over because this story, Margaret Wise Brown’s 1949 The Color Kittens, showed me both the power of words and the miracle of color. It was as close to a religious experience as most 3-year-olds can have. And I’m not even a cat person.

Despite that fact, it was another cat tale that would give my world its second wakeup call. At Herbert V. Schenck Elementary School in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1957, I was 6 years old, lying on my kindergarten nap-mat waiting for the teacher to read us something dull. Then she announced the day’s story: The Cat in the Hat, by a man with the funny name of Dr. Seuss.

Cat? Hat? I perked up, and by the time she’d finished the first couple pages I was entranced in a state of joyful shock—not only at the rhymes but at the audacious rhythm, the unsentimental artwork, and the ludicrous Cat, who seemed more sinister than saccharine. Most riveting was the scary premise of the story: Mother leaves two children alone, extremely weird character enters the home, wreaks havoc, calls in two even stranger characters that go wild on the place, and then somehow the whole mess is cleaned up and the mother never finds out. Only the goldfish knows.

The teacher had read us many books, but this one felt completely new. I didn’t realize at the time, of course, that this was exactly what Dr. Seuss, aka Theodore Geisel, had been going for when he was asked to create a children’s book that would make young kids want to read. But it worked on me. I felt the power. The Cat was a creepily benign monster, and I understood that intuitively, as young children do.

There have been other books that opened unexpected worlds. One of my favorites, by Katherine Gibson Isobel Read, was simply called Fairy Tales. Its cover illustration showed a small group of children sitting at the feet of a storytelling elf, watched over by an enigmatic and beautiful fairy. The back cover completed the scene with a high hill topped by the requisite castle and towers. I looked at this illustration so long and often that I wore the binding off the book.

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My drawing of a rather stately fairy and elf quartet done in 3rd grade, age 9.

I didn’t believe fairies were real, but I wished very hard that they were. My sister and I invented a make-believe fairy universe of beings that lived in the clouds by day and danced in streetlights at night. They had magnificent wardrobes of gowns and tiaras, and left their tiny, polished teeth in a nearby quarry where we would spend hours hunting for small quartz pebbles. This world was strangely devoid of monsters, though there are many adult folk traditions that see fairies in an ominous light.

Together these books fused art, words, and unknown creatures into a corner of my youthful mind that always made me think, What if? Their message was a promise that though strange things may happen, and that these things may bring disorder to our lives—and though there may, indeed, be monsters—we’re strong enough to face the unknown beasts, clean up the messes, and leave some beauty in the world.

It was for the love of those books that I dared to write about werewolves, and still do.

See this and other essays at Read It Forward.Com!

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I’d really rather stay on the viewer’s end of the binoculars when folks are discussing cryptid or unknown creatures, but this article “Do You Have a Werewolf Problem?” by the Trib’s Chris Borelli places me firmly on the “focus–zoom in–speculate” side of field equipment and monster tales. It’s a fun piece of writing (although I’m pretty sure I said the 60# deer left NO drag marks, and how is just turned 68 “nearly 70?”) but overall it’s a good representation of the last 27 years or so, and I’m very grateful to Chris, Chad Lewis, and Loren Coleman for their kind remarks and analyses. Stacey Wescott also created some inspired visuals that help tell my unexpected tale.

I would also be remiss if I failed to thank an alligator that recently kickstarted the whole thing by showing up in the Humboldt Park lagoon, sending Borelli in search of explanations.

The alligator also had impeccable timing as my new book, I Know What I Saw, was just released July 16 and I’m speaking and signing books in Chicago at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square July 25, 2019 at 7 pm. And no, I was not the one who put the alligator in the water. But as I’ve learned from this occupation–and preoccupation–of mine, strangeness is everywhere, and once in a while it does you a kind turn or two.

Here is the link to chomp onLindaTribStone: https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ent-linda-godfrey-cryptozoologist-0725-20190724-fcoddjwfwzg7fne6ljmldutaae-story.html

 

 

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I Know What I Saw is now out to be seen! 

This week, starting 7-20-2019 also see Inside Edition.com‘s  rerun of their original vintage episode of the Beast of Bray Road, plus a more current interview they did with me a few weeks ago to update the old beast. Next week, watch for a full feature story in the Chicago Tribune in the online section and then the print version on that Thursday.

Also new indie film out this fall, RETURN TO WILDCAT MOUNTAIN; Wisconsin’s Black Panther Nexus.  (click to see trailer and watch for release news, or see Facebook @whitelhasa’s Return to Wildcat Mountain page.) 

 

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This sightings report arrived last week via e-mail, and is yet another example of eyewitnesses around the globe claiming to have seen werewolf-like creatures. I haven’t received any from Finland before this, so it was a welcome surprise. Both the witness and the person who wrote the story out for her desire anonymity, so the writer refers to her friend by the pseudonym, “Aino.” She also included a map of the general area. In her own words:

I wanted to tell you a werewolf sighting my very good friend had when she was a kid. This happened in Finland. I will tell the story in as much in detail as possible, but I don’t want to reveal my friend’s identity. What I can tell about my friend, she doesn’t like to share her encounter with others. I’m one of the few – if not honestly the only one – to whom she has told her story. I have known my friend “Aino” for almost 20 years. She has told me this story a few times and it never changes.

This incident happened when Aino was 8-9, so around 1995-1996 in North-East Finland. I have added here a map of the sighting’s location.

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Her family has lived in the same place for 300 years. The house is big wooden house with two entrances on both ends of the house. There’s an old barn and a shed in the front yard, and a traditional old Finnish sauna next to a lake. The house resides next to a lake, surrounded by hay and rye fields. In a small distance, there’s a thick spruce forest. The area is very, very rural with only a few tens of people living in it. Most of the forest and the nature overall around the area is untouched. If it matters, my friend’s family back then had a horse, cats and also apparently chickens. She’s told me that when she was young, they had many animals like cats, chickens and goats. I can assure that they had horses and cats back in 95-96, but I assume they also had chickens when this incident happened.

As the house and the area is old, there’s lots of unexplained activity in there. She also saw a leprechaun inside her house when she was 6 years old, and that sighting lasted for many minutes. As the bodies of dead ones were stored in the shed over the winter for a burial in spring, there are ghosts and other entities there for sure. Her grandfather passed away in front of the stairs leading to the second floor, and my friend says she always felt uneasy around that spot – a way before she was told how her grandfather had died on that spot.

Because my friend has seen and experienced things in the house and around it, she kind of brushed the encounter off as one of these odd phenomena, even though it really scared her (as did the leprechaun). Even today, she’s sensitive to unseen things and has a keen sense of people, being able to tell their true nature and past with one glance only.

It was daytime during summer, if I recall the season correctly. My friend and her mother were at the lake shore next to a sauna, her mother doing some housework there and Aino playing and helping her out. Aino’s mother asked her to fetch a bucket from the house, and Aino ran through the short hay field, where they used to cut hay for their horse. It’s about 50-60m (59-65yd) long naturally formed pathway from the sauna to the house. She ran to the house’s right side, where the pathway to sauna through the field begins, but stopped at the corner of the house abruptly. She said there was a grey werewolf standing in the front yard, in a broad day light. It looked exactly like a classic werewolf, with a hunched posture, grey fur, wolf’s head, standing on its hind legs. It didn’t see my friend or make any sound. Just stood there. If I recall right, my friend said that he was lighter grey in color.

Naturally Aino got really scared! She slipped hastily inside the house from the right side’s door (they have another door on the left side of the house). She sought the bucket while hunching down, scared the werewolf would see her. She found the bucket and stayed in the living room, squatting under a window, too scared to go out. She waited for a few minutes, because she couldn’t let her mother wait for the bucket for a long. She peeked out from the window to the front yard, but didn’t see the wolf anymore. She carefully looked out from the door, too, scanning the whole yard carefully, because she was scared the werewolf was still hiding somewhere. When she couldn’t see or hear anything unusual, she took off and ran as fast as she could back to her mother. She didn’t tell her mother about this, as she thought mother wouldn’t believe her.

I have been interested in the paranormal and cryptozoology for 27 years. I have read about many experiences taking place in Finland, but this is the one and the only werewolf experience I have encountered here. I’m interested in to find out if there are other encounters like this in this country. I know werewolves were a big thing in Estonia during The Witch Craze.

I love the fact that this family had lived in their house for 300 years, and also that this was the first upright canine story I’ve heard that happened near a sauna. Finland does have some history with werewolf beliefs, as the writer says. Here is one brief site https://www.werewolves.com/vironsusi-the-werewolves-of-finland/  for starters.

Finland also has a long history of sharing their great outdoors with natural wolves that–like any wild animal– can be frightening at times. Although most wolves avoid human contact, in 1976 some packs were daring enough to threaten children walking to school in one eastern location, and vehicles had to be provided to keep the students safe. The surrounding  regions of Scandinavian and Russia are similarly associated with both mythic and modern day representations of wolves. Thanks to our Finnish friends for sharing their own story here.

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Witness sketch, submitted by Nick Gluchman

“I never heard of the Bray Road Beast until 2007 or 2008,” wrote a northern Wisconsin man named Nick Gluchman who lived in southern Walworth County until 1994. “I thought I was the only person to see it until I heard about it on TV. The minute I heard Elkhorn mentioned I felt exonerated. I’ve only told maybe four people what happened and you can imagine the responses I got. I was 34 when it happened, I’m now 65. I figured I better tell my story while I’m still above ground.

“It all starts the end of November 1987. I lost my temper and punched a door. By December 2nd my arm was swollen and turning colors, time to go to a doctor. I woke my wife up and headed toward Lakeland Hospital [outside Elkhorn, Wisconsin]. It was a clear night and and a large moon. My wife was asleep next to me as we headed north on Hwy. 12. I was in the right hand lane, well north of Lake Geneva, at 60 mph, no traffic at all, when I saw something running along the right-of-way fence which was ten to fifteen feet off the shoulder, four or five hundred feet ahead.

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Diagram contributed by witness Nicholas Gluchman

“As I got closer, I thought it must be a bear, then I was confused. My bright lights were on, and I could see it was large and running on two feet so I punched it and zoomed in on it. When I was within about 100 feet it abruptly stopped and froze in its tracks. Immediately I pulled onto the shoulder and slowly moved towards it, maybe five mph. I was within twenty to thirty feet and stopped. I still couldn’t make out what it was, it was completely lit by my lights. It looked like a pile of fur coats.”

“All of a sudden it started rising. I could see massive legs, gigantic calves and thighs, hairy butt cheeks, no  tail. It was still facing north, torso bent forward at the waist, about eighteen inches. I couldn’t see its head yet, now I’m really scared, must be a Squatch. I flashed my lights at it. It rose up further and without moving its feet, turned slowly at its waist to its left to look at me…

“Its legs were still bent at the knees, still leaning forward and already over six feet tall. I was mesmerized. It turned around to face me, it was no Squatch! Let me say at this point it never stood totally erect or stopped leaning forward throughout the experience. It had no facial hair although the head was covered in hair, all around face was clean. No wolf head. Wolf ears with a tuft like a lynx, large eyeballs, slightly jaundiced with what looked like red spider veins surrounding pupils. They were bulging out of sockets slightly glowing from within, like it had a light bulb in its head.

“It had a short muzzle, maybe an inch and a half, not like a dog all skin, not covered in hair. Bright pink, human-type mouth, two or three times wider than a person’s, outlined in red like lipstick. No hair on chest, two nipples visible, sparse hair on stomach, all pink. Super six-pack abs, no visible reproduction organs. Very long arms, with very long fingers that tapered to points, arm in begging position like a dog but out to side. Fingers pointing down and could see some pink on palms. I wasn’t able to see feet.

“The torso was short…this animal was a lot more legs than torso. The muscles in arms and chest did not match the awesome-looking legs. The thighs were about twenty inches front to back, calfs were cantaloupe size. Enormous!

“This animal looked at me with extreme hatred and malice. As its face contorted, its mouth opened in a sardonic sort of smile. The corners of its mouth went almost from ear to ear. Its mouth opened about four inches. It didn’t have canine  teeth, more like large shark teeth . These teeth were for removing large chunks of flesh, not puncturing, in my opinion.

Instead of standing erect to look at me, it had to tilt its head way back to see me. I don’t think it was capable of standing totally erect. Its chest was heaving up and down with large blasts of vapor from its nose and mouth. It was tired of flight and ready to stand its ground and fight. It was moving its head back and forth to the right shoulder, then left. I’m sure it was making some kind of sound or howl. The windows were up and I couldn’t hear. I’ve never been that scared or more fascinated. I didn’t want to blink for fear of missing something. My heart was beating hard. We just looked at each other, I figure about thirty seconds or more. I was in a trance-like state.

“My foot unintentionally relaxed off the brake pedal and the truck eased forward a few inches. Instantly it jumped straight up and landed on the other side of the right-of-way fence. The fence was fifty inches off the ground. I know this because erecting fences is what I did for a living. It cleared it with a couple feet to spare. It took a final look at me. I started yelling for my wife to look and shook her, as it ran in a zig-zag pattern for the tree line, which was about 100-125 yards away. Linda, it ran at a speed no biped will ever achieve. It was cartoon-like; it was a blur. No animal on earth runs a zigzag pattern, they run straight for the woods. [His wife did not wake up in time to see it.]

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Diagram submitted by Nicholas Gluchman

“That animal, in my opinion, had human intelligence, like it thought I had a gun. If I thought someone was going to shoot me that’s what I’d do. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about this, for the last thirty years. My description of the animal is spot on. Everything I’ve told you is the truth. I feel great getting this off my mind. I’ve learned one thing from this: There are things that go bump in the night.”

It thought it was better than me…

I talked to Nick later and he added a few more details about the creature’s facial expression. He said,
“It thought it was better than me; it had a human aspect in its face.” He also added that he felt the creature weight was about 400 pounds and that it stood six and one half to seven feet tall and would be taller if it it had been standing straight up. The eyes with red veins glowed yellow, he said, and the hair was dark to light brown and stiff, and the ears were upright like a German shepherd’s.

Regarding its movements, he said, “When it was running and came to a stop, it tucked its arms in, bent its head down and made itself small. “It didn’t know I saw it,” he said. And he emphasized that the evasive running pattern was made with sharp turns, not circles (see his drawing of this.)

Nick also said that he was uncertain that the month of the incident was November, so he asked Lakeland Hospital to check their records for the night his arm was treated and it was December 2, 1987, just as he had said.  That was four years before my original article on The Beast of Bray Road was first published.

Nick added his own drawing of the creature which does look much more like a canine than a Bigfoot. The exact location must have been about four miles from where Hwy. 12 crosses the southwest end of Bray Road in Elkhorn. It may have been heading from the Lake Como area just north of Lake Geneva.

There are a few things such as the shorter muzzle and heavier weight that are a bit out of the norm for dogman descriptions, but nothing that hasn’t occasionally been mentioned elsewhere. His report is one of the most detailed I’ve ever received, and I think the location is close enough to the other Elkhorn area sightings to count this one as an official “Beast of Bray Road.”

I’m glad he decided to share it after 30 years, and I can’t help but wonder how many other untold sightings are still out there waiting to be heard.

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Illustration Update: On July 2, this witness sent me a sketch by her artist son, Marc, and I’ve added it below. He did a great job, and her only notes on it were that it needed the “mane” around the neck and shoulders and also more varying lengths of fur. She said both his drawing and mine looked much like what she and her friend had seen. Here is what she described:

Time and time again, Michigan dogman sightings seem to center around the mid-Eastern area of the state, near the huge Manistee National Forest. Some of the best known sightings in that area include those near Reed City and Big Rapids featured in the TV show Monsterquest, and in nearby Luther, where owners of a family home returned from vacation to find canine claw marks in the house’s siding seven feet off the ground, and large canine prints on the ground.

Shelby, a small town in Oceana County that lies halfway between Ludington and Muskegon, is only a couple of miles from the western edge of the forest, and six or seven miles from the Lake Michigan shore. In February, 2009, at about 11:30 pm, recently retired law enforcement officer Laura Love was a passenger in a car headed north on Highway US-31 near the West Webster Road overpass. Her friend,“C,” was driving. In Laura’s own words:

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“We were just talking about general things…there was a small truck in front of us, no other traffic on the road, in either direction. The road itself was mostly clear, but did have areas of snow/ice spots. The weather was cold but there was no snow falling, and it was a cloudless night.

We saw a large, tall, dark, and oddly shaped creature run out from the left side of the overpass and hit the rear quarter panel of the small truck in front of us, causing the truck to fish-tail. Luckily the small pickup did regain control, but it didn’t stop to see what collided with it. If anything, it seemed to speed up as if it got a view of what hit it, and wanted to get the heck out of Dodge.

It looked like a giant dog or wolf. It was bipedal, not on all fours. It was at least 7-7.5 feet tall. It had a kind of mane around its head ( much like a lion’s mane) the hind legs looked like dog legs when they are up on two legs…like the knees are backwards, which seemed more pronounced as it was running across the two-lane highway left to right. The front legs were swinging freely as it ran.

The face was definitely canine, much like a collie face….elongated with a snout and nose protruding from the face. The mouth was slightly opened as it ran…and the creature was covered by longish dark hair, but in varying lengths. It had pointy ears that seemed to be more on the top portion of its head rather than on the sides. We watched as it ran off to the right side of the highway and disappear into the small trees and weeds along the road. It seemed to pay us no heed whatsoever, as if it was unconcerned that we were fast approaching it.

‘C’ kept driving, but was silent.

I asked her “Did you just see….?”

She replied, “Yes, I did.”

I said, ‘OK.’

We drove the next ten minutes in silence until we got to my driveway.

We went into my house and I made us some tea. We sat and discussed what we had seen. I am not sure if it was a relief to have the other confirm what was seen, but we agreed on all aspects that I have described.

I was concerned about her trip back to her house, as she naturally was… so we decided she would call me from her cellphone and we would talk as she drove so if anything happened I would know as it happened, and she gave me frequent location updates as she drove. Thankfully she made it home without incident.

Our encounter was brief, but it was fully illuminated, affording us a good profile view of the creature. We have always heard the stories, but normally from someone who knew someone who knew someone that saw something. Now, I can honestly say, WE saw something, and it wasn’t a man in a costume, nor a large dog nor wolf… it was a dogman. I can still see it clearly in my mind’s eye like it happened just last week.

Thank you for replying back, it was nice to see an actual email from someone…

I am fine with you sharing my encounter. I am also fine if you want to share my name…  I retired from law enforcement 2 years ago, so I am not worried about the backlash anymore.”

 

There are a couple of aspects to this sighting that make it quite remarkable. There is the “mane” or thick hedge of fur around its neck and back. This feature is not found on all upright canines but does get mentioned from time to time and is something that shows up in wolf populations as well.

The real shock factor of this sighting, however, is that the creature actually bashed into the truck just ahead of the two women, nearly sending it veering off the road. It seems odd that something with such obvious power and control of movement would hit the truck accidentally. From listening to Laura’s description of its trajectory, the move seems purposeful to me. My mind then goes toward what might happen if such a vehicle left the pavement, which Laura described as icy in patches, and rolled or was otherwise damaged. Would the creature have stayed on site to check out the truck’s occupants?

 

We will never know, of course, but since we truly don’t know yet how these creatures view humans and what their true intent may be, it’s not unreasonable to ask these questions. In the meantime, I’m thankful that both Laura and her friend made it home safely.

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A recent podcast to air June 15 https://freedomufos.com/the-english-page/dtv-dimensions-tv

Pour accompagner cette super Lune, j’accueillerai demain soir Linda Godfrey sur DTV Dimensions TV, qui nous parlera de cryptozoologie, de Dogmen / loups-garous et autres créatures réellement rencontrées et répertoriées, et des portes interdimensionnelles qu’ils empruntent! 😉 Je vous réponds tout de suite à l’avance pour celles et ceux qui vont demander comme à chaque annonce, et qui ne connaissent pas ma chaîne DTV, ce sera en Anglais, en VO, et il n’y aura pas de traduction ni de sous-titres en Français sauf si une/un volontaire s’y colle 😉
https://freedomufos.com/the-english-page/dtv-dimensions-tv/

Linda Godfrey is my guest, from Wisconsin, USA
in this 6th Show on DTV Dimensions TV
Real dogmen / wolfmen sightings & other cryptid creature encounters, secret portals & interdimensional doorways
Linda will speak about the dogmen / werewolves / wolfmen sightings and encounters, we’ll also discuss mystical, legendary, cryptid creatures, and their secret portals and doorways to travel through dimensions

Friday June 15 2018
At 12:30PM Pacific / 3:30PM Eastern US / 8:30PM GMT UK / 9:30PM Paris on DTV

Linda Godfrey

Linda S. Godfrey is an Author, investigator and artist, one of America’s foremost authorities on modern-day monsters. She wrote 17 books on strange creatures, phenomena and people, on werewolves, hauntings, and the paranormal, including

Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America, American Monsters: A History of Monster Lore, Legends, and Sightings in America, and Weird Michigan.

She has appeared on many national TV shows such as The History Channel’s Monster Quest, Inside Edition, and Sean Hannity, and has been a guest on radio shows such as Coast to Coast AM.

Her latest book:

Monsters Among Us ; An Exploration of Otherworldly Bigfoots, Wolfmen, Portals, Phantoms, and Odd Phenomena

She is especially well known as an authority on the upright canine known in Wisconsin as the Beast of Bray Road, in Michigan as the Dog Man, in other places as Skinwalker, werewolf or a dozen other names. She appeared in, co-wrote and co-produced the History Channel’s Monsterquest episode, « American Werewolf, » based on her book « Hunting the American Werewolf » and also appeared in the show’s season 4 finale.

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