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One witness described the creature he saw as resembling those in the movie, “Dog Soldiers.”

Two detailed and interesting dogman reports showed up in my e-mail this past week; one from New Jersey and another just a couple of hundred miles north of that near Bancroft, Ontario. Both occurred in 2015. They’re also both quite lengthy and the submitters asked me to withhold their names. I am still communicating with the writers about certain usual questions, but here are (still subject to change) my somewhat abbreviated versions of their reports:

The Weird Wolfman of Worthington State Park, New Jersey

A 55-year old man who works as a physical therapist, does not drink and says he has never had paranormal experiences decided to walk his malamute dog in Worthington State Park on August 23, 2015 at about 12:30 am on a bright night. The weather had been too humid and warm for the dog in the daytime, he said, and they had set off on a pleasant park trail with no problem viewing their surroundings.

Suddenly he spotted something strange as they neared a pond. There were two figures; one lying on the ground and the other crouching over it. As he watched, the crouched figure rose onto its hind feet. He quickly pegged the prone figure as a dead deer, but squinted at the now upright beast to identify it. He quickly ruled out another deer or a bear.  Its large head featured tall, pointed ears and a long muzzle, and he described its torso and upper legs as “densely muscular,” with a thin waist. “I was an avid bodybuilder for years,” he said. “The creature’s physique resembled a ‘roid-rat,’ as we called them.”

He also noticed that it walked on its toe pads as a canine does, and estimated the creature weighed something over 200 pounds and stood at between six and seven feet tall. He noted that the creature seemed poised and balanced on its hind legs, “as if to step over the deer and deliberately, adroitly, attack.”

The well-trained malamute had been sniffing intently as it waited for a cue from its owner, and did not quibble when the man backed carefully away until they reached a spot where they could safely run to the car.

“The creature is out there!” he wrote. “I do not know what I saw as far as an exact species, but I absolutely know it is something that is not recognized by professional zoology. Again, it was real but also surreal at the same time.” He did not notify park authorities, and now walks his dog near home.

Odd Ontario Canine

A man who went fishing for brook trout alone on the night of July  7th, 2015 near Bancroft, Ontario, found much more than he bargained for as he returned to his cabin via a gravel road. It was light enough out that he could see fifty feet ahead of him even without his truck headlamps on when he saw what he thought was a person standing in the middle of the road about 20 feet away. He slowed down and flicked his four roof lights on.

“It was a creature about seven feet tall, black with greyish-silver parts, hunched over with a dead rabbit in its hands,” he wrote. “Yes, hands with fingers and claws as far as I could tell. Its feet seemed to be bent backwards. It turned its head and shoulders and looked right at me. I could see its yellow eye shine.” [Typical for canine eyes, I might add.]

He could also hear it growling at him in a “low, low” tone that made the hair stand up on his neck, and at that point stomped on the gas in panic, half-bracing for impact and closing his eyes for a brief second. The creature either jumped to the ditch or laid down to let the truck, which rides 22 inches off the ground, roll over it. The man saw nothing in the rear view mirrors, however, and just kept going. He compared the creature to those in the movie, Dog Soldiers. But the episode was not over.

He made it safely back to his cabin and sat down trying to calm himself, when he heard something large walking around outside his cabin. He thought there may have even been two of them but wasn’t sure. He had a cell phone but did not have signal coverage. He did have the presence of mind to put it on camera setting and then aimed it through the slats of his window shutters. It took 3 photos of something that admittedly looks like a shadowy, dog-shaped head. I am awaiting permission from him to share those pictures.

After spending a long, anxious night, near dawn he finally thought of turning on his vehicle alarm from inside the cabin in hopes it might scare the creature away. As the alarm beeped, he made a mad dash for the truck, jumped in and drove for home, a five-hour-plus trip. He says he still has bad dreams about it.

Many thanks to both of these witnesses for sharing their experiences!

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(original art copyright Linda Godfrey 2012)

Reports of unknown canids don’t stop just because I’m busy making seasonal appearances. So when my publisher,  Tarcher/Penguin, asked me to write a Halloweenish guest blog, I saw a chance to reveal a few of my recent faves:

Werewolves, as I like to say, are not just for Halloween anymore. But comes October’s end, our thoughts turn naturally toward monsters and the macabre.

My own thoughts turn that way year ‘round; I’ve stalked, investigated and written about wolf-like, upright creatures for the past two decades. I believe that amid hundreds of reports of fanged, shaggy manimals must lie at least a fleshy gobbet of truth. And if all the incidents cited in Real Wolfmen; True Encounters in Modern America, aren’t enough to convince readers that something spooky this way trots, consider the many new reports that have poured in since the book’s September debut.

The horrific encounters come from ordinary citizens across the US and Canada. While a few eyewitnesses report creature behavior that smacks of the supernatural, most sightings describe what might be a natural canine that inexplicably walks or runs on its hind legs — and sports one nasty attitude.

I pawed through the most recently reported cases to choose six unforgettable meet-ups between real humans and real wolfmen. The reports below are abbreviated, but I still advise reading them in a brightly lit room with the front door securely shut. The creatures seem as curious about us as we are about them, and more than one witness has reported the harrowing sight of a furry face pressed against the windowpane.

Real wolfmen? Ask these people who’ve seen them:

Polk County, Florida: Highway horror describes what three family members felt in two separate encounters several years ago. First, a husband and wife spotted a seven-foot tall, wolf-like creature standing upright on the roadside as they passed it in their van. They didn’t slow down. A relative later saw a huge, muscular wolf-like creature that gave him an “evil feeling” just west of Orlando! (No, it wasn’t Mickey Mouse.)

Sparta, Tennessee:  A teenager and her older brother on a sunset drive to the grocery store in 2003 forgot about the groceries as an upright, shaggy-furred, wolf-like creature weighing several hundred pounds sprinted across Simpson Road about fifteen feet in front of their Honda Accord. “It was a strange experience I will never forget,” she wrote.

New York state, central: A veteran police officer recalls a childhood encounter with a dark-furred, wolf-headed creature that he and some friends saw “sitting” on a log in some woods at dusk. They thought it might be a human in a dark cape – until it turned to glare at them and they saw its pointed ears, snout and fangs! The officer has since investigated huge, bipedal wolf prints in the same area.

Southern Indiana: A man and woman had just crossed the Ohio River driving north from Owensboro, Kentucky, in 2010 when they had to swerve to avoid hitting an upright, “emaciated and very riled wolf-like creature.” Before speeding away, the driver locked eyes with it and said he felt that the beast was both intelligent and dangerous. It snarled at them as they passed. “I was really fearful, so we left,” he wrote.

McHenry, Illinois: A woman driving home from her mother-in-law’s funeral one April night in 2002 was approaching a roadside cemetery on State Hwy. 31 when she noticed glowing eyes to her left. Next, a dark shape rose onto its hind legs and ran in front of her car, forcing her to brake. It paused to turn and snarl at her before running off into the cemetery. The beast stood taller than her six-foot high truck, she said, and it looked like a “walking wolf.” She called the experience “surreal.” Her husband slept through the whole thing.

Kilgore, Texas: Driving home at 5 am in light rain on a rural road near Kilgore, a thirty-five year old oil dispatcher slowed for a curve when some type of upright animal appeared in his high beams. It had a large, wolf-like head and carried a yearling deer! It growled aggressively at the man, who estimated its height at over six feet. “The thing scared the crap out of me,” he said. “I know what I saw and would put my hand on the Bible to it and take a lie detector test.”

There are more — the pony poacher of Alberta, Canada, the Ohio shadow wolf and the Hawaiian helper dogmen – to name a few. If these witnesses are to be believed, it’s an alternative zoo out there: a zoo that roams uncaged. Happy Halloween!

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