Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Famous Local Halloween Legend

This first photo has nothing to do with the Bray Road legend. Pure gratuitous atmosphere. If ever there was a spooky cemetery, this is it. So, if you're in the mood for a scary tale--read on.


(Click to enlarge)

Skywatch Friday (really Thursday) again. Click the badge to see skies all over the world.


When I first heard the story of the Beast of Bray Road it really sent goose bumps down arms. Walworth, Wisconsin isn't very far from me, maybe 50-miles or less. In the 1990's mysterious sightings were frequent and the people who claimed to have seen this beast seemed to be reliable and honest. A brief account of the reports was even given (tongue-in-cheek) on a major TV network news program. That's were I first heard of it. Linda Godfry who wrote the newspaper story below went on to write a book. Later a movie was made based on the legend.

Although I have never outgrown my love of a good Halloween tale, I'm pretty skeptical when it comes to ghoulies and supernatural beasties. Having said that, I have to admit, I wouldn't go for a drive down Bray Road alone at night.

The following account is from the the Walworth County newspaper:

The rumors floated around town for two years or so before Linda Godfrey heard them. A wolfish-looking creature that ran on two legs and had been seen around the Bray Road area, stealing chickens, eating roadkills and scaring the daylights out of locals who (sometimes literally) ran into it.

Although the stories seemed like grist for the National Enquirer's mill, they were consistent enough to be intriguing. A certain number of people, good honest working folk, had seen something-something unusual. Something scary. Something hairy that relished pavement patty dinners!

The logical place to start was the county humane officer, Jon Fredrickson. It turned out Fredrickson has a manila folder in his files marked "Werewolf," filled with note cards detailing six or seven such "sightings." One referred to unusual tracks, another to a hairy pointy-eared creature seen chasing down a deer on two legs.

Another described a Burger King employee who saw a man-like creature running in mid-November. The employee allegedly said he could not believe what a fast and powerful runner the thing was.

Fredrickson's best guess is that the mysterious beast is actually a coyote or even a wolf, both of which have been unofficially reported in the area.

There are at least two people, however who would disagree with Fredrickson. I found out about them through the grapevine, and both agreed to tell me their versions of what they saw. I'll call them Barbara and Pat, since both were reluctant to go public with their real names for understandable reasons. (It seems society is less than kind to people who claim to have seen werewolves.)

The two women are unrelated, but both saw the creature on different parts of Bray Road in the evening hours. Barbara is a working mother, age 26, and Pat is a high school student. And both are entirely serious about what they saw.

Here are their stories in their own words:

Barbara: I was driving home one night on Bray Road, and I saw this thing on the side of the road. As I came up to it in my car, its back was to me so I saw it had ears and the whole bit. It was kneeling!

Its elbows were up, and its claws were facing out so I knew it had claws. I remember the long claws. And it was eating road kill or something, and as I drove by and I saw all this, it looked right at me and didn't run. It didn't get spooked or anything.

And it had like glowing eyes, which probably were a reflection of my headlights. It was right on Bray Road, right before the Bray farm, on the curve. And I saw it.

He was brownish-gray ... and he had big teeth and fangs. And he looked at me. He turned his head to look at me.

It was about the size of an average man, 5-foot-7 maybe, about 150 pounds. It was holding the thing it was eating palms up, with the real long claws and the pointed ears. He had a big long nose and a long chin, like this on this picture (she pointed to a drawing of a "werewolf" from a library book).

This is exactly what I saw (the picture). This is it. This is what it looked like.

This happened to me two years ago. And after I'd heard that Pat had an incident with it, I decided to go to the library. I looked through a few books they had for a picture of what it looked like, and I found that picture.

The knees were bent in a kneeling position, like a human would do.

It was night, and it was quite large, but I know what I saw. You don't mistake something like that. I don't take Bray Road in the dark anymore.

(Click to enlarge)

Pat: It was October this year, on Halloween. I was going down Bray Road, and it was kind of smoggy out, and my front tire got lifted off the ground. I'd hit something. So I kept going about 50 or 60 feet, right before Sitler Road, and then I got out of the car.

I'm looking around the side to see what it was, 'cause I'm thinking I hit a small animal. I hit a bird the same night and so I'm thinking I just killed another animal.

There was nothing on the road, no blood or anything. I didn't see anybody, and I felt like if I hit it, it should have stayed there. I walked to the end of the car, and here comes this thing, and it's just running up at me!

You could see the chest of this thing because it was big, and it was hairy. It was fast, that's for sure, because I see this thing, I get in the car, and by the time I got inside the car the thing had grabbed hold of the car.

I just put my foot on the gas pedal and I started going. Maybe after I got going I looked back, but at the time I was more interested in leaving.

The way it was running, you could suggest that it was on two legs because you could see the chest so well and it was pulsating as it was coming toward me. It was hitting the ground hard. I've never seen a human run as fast as that and my uncle was a track star. (If he'd gotten me) I probably would have been dinner that night.

It was bigger than any dog I've seen around here. We had a couple of Rottweilers and we had one that was a real big one, and this thing was bigger than he was.

And he had more hair.

It was brown. You could see the hair; dark colored. It wasn't black, though. Long straight hairs.

Coyotes don't get that big. I've seen a coyote. They were suggesting it was a bear at my house but I told them it wasn't that big.

But it was bigger than any animal I've ever seen around here. When the nails hit my car it was like, mmmph! (she clapped her hands together forcefully). It hit the top of the trunk and it slid off. The fog made the car wet. But when it was going down it scratched (the car).

This did not look like a German shepherd. I swear to that.

I went to go pick up my mother's boyfriend's daughter, and on the way back she saw it, kneeling down eating or something. She's 11, and I picked her up from trick-or-treating, so it was around 9 p.m. She said, "Look at that THING!" I said, "Yeah, look at it," and I pressed on the gas.

The mind tends to play tricks on people after you've been scared, and I admit I was afraid. I'm not going to say it was a werewolf. I'd say it was a freak of nature.

It's weird because you don't think something like that exists ... but if you see a creature like that, it tends to leave the mind wondering.

**************

Barbara's mother also had a story to tell. She said a neighbor of hers woke up at 4 a.m. because her dogs were "going crazy" barking outside. The woman said she went outside and heard a long, constant howling sound. "She said it was so scary," said Barbara's mother, "that she couldn't get back to sleep. And she does remember it was a full moon."

Barbara's mother also heard from a male acquaintance that he had seen some sort of creature that was bigger than a dog or wolf by a creek. He didn't know what it was.

One other family admits to seeing a mysterious creature. Karen Bowey, who lives on Bowers Road, said her daughter Heather saw it. Heather, who was then 11, was out playing with a friend two years ago when she came running home, frantic with fright.

"She said she thought it was a big dog, until it stood up," remembered Bowey. "We said, 'What do you mean, stood up?' She wanted us to go down there but we just blew it off."

Heather's memory of the incident is vivid. "It had silver-colored fur with brown in it," she said, "and its face was shaped like a coyote's. But the back legs were shaped differently. When it stood up, they looked bigger than a dog's or coyote's, like they could stand up and jump and stuff. It was looking at me.

Heather said the creature continued to stand and look at them, until the children realized it wasn't a dog and started running back to the house.

"I looked back and saw it running toward us kind of like a dog would run but with bigger leaps. It got halfway to the house, then turned around and went back into the cornfield," Heather said.

Bowey said Heather was not the type of child to lie or make things up. "I just think it's a very curious thing," said Bowey. "I don't think it's human. I think it's a mix and it gives the impression it's deformed."

There are other rumors that no one I contacted would own up to, such as the one that claims a local hunter found identifiable tracks on his land, or the one that says a woman and her two children saw a dark, hairy creature on two legs chase a deer out of the woods-and keep up with it!

Most people do seem to agree that something is out there. They just don't know what it is.

Fredrickson, the humane officer, still sticks to his coyote-wolf theory. "Sometimes when a wolf or coyote is ready to pounce on an animal," he explained, "it'll actually spring up, which gives the illusion that it's standing. So if they caught sight of the animal at just the moment it was lunging, it could have appeared to be on two legs."

Nevertheless, Fredrickson concedes there are a lot of people who really believe they've seen something out of the ordinary. And he doesn't know quite what to make of it.

He probably said it for everyone, though, when he made this observation -"The county is getting stranger."

84 comments:

Jamie and Randy said...

Okay- Just reading that made the hairs stand up on my arms!-Randy

flydragon said...

I'm almost positive I saw a tv program about scary legends that included "The Beast of Bray Road". No way would I ever drive down that road at night. Probably not in the day time either:)

beckie said...

Marnie, I am loving these stories!! What Halloween fun. Thanks for the 'spooky' tales.

Darla said...

Well thank you alot! That should make for some good dreams!! Wonderful story. I don't think I would be on that road day or night.

tina said...

I was in the mood for the story and read it all. Very good! And no, I would not drive on Bray Road at night.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Randy, halloween will be over soon and I'll stop pestering everyone with spooky stories.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Flydragon, too bad I didn't see that.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hey Beckie, your welcome. We gotta get in the mood, right?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Darla, it has to be better than the dream I had last night about Kathy Lee Gifford. Where did that come from?

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Tina, Don't you wonder who would drive on that road. Worse yet, who would live on it?
Marnie

Defining Your Home said...

OOOO...that's a GOOD one! I was hanging on every word.

Great Halloween fun!
Cameron

tina said...

Yes, but it would be hard to avoid if you lived in that area already. We never really believe in these things until we see them for ourselves. Then what can you do if you live there? Lock the doors!

Louise said...

Spooky!

reluctantfarmchik said...

You ought to be a reporter! Got my own goosebumps from your story!

Texas Travelers said...

OK, this is the best post I have seen today.

Great job.

Nice "Scare" today.
Come visit our Sky Watch over, Cooks Inlet, Alaska.
Troy and Martha
.

Anemone said...

What a story!! Think I not get so sleepy this evening.

Nice weekend to you from Anne in Norway.

vincibene said...

Mystical road, wonderful!

crete said...

Looks pretty scary to me, but what a wonderful story.

Ray

Carletta said...

I'm glad I read this in the daylight!
Spooky stories and pics to match.

Photo Cache said...

eerily beautiful road photo.

Tabib said...

Great Scary!

Roses and Lilacs said...

LOL, Tina, I guess if you lived there you could get a pack of huge dogs to fight it off while you got away;) You're right, you never REALLY believe until you see it for yourself.
Marnie

Rose said...

Got to go finish some laundry, but got to tell you I will be back...

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Happy Halloween! ;-)

perennialgardener said...

Those photos of the spooky road really add to your Halloween tale.

Kathleen said...

Your accompanying photos are phenomenal Marnie and the tale spooked me. I would avoid that road at all costs too.

Carver said...

Wonderful Halloween stories and photographs to go with it. Great job!

Dewdrop said...

Cramped for time, so I can't read what appears to be a great Halloween tale, but the second pic actually gave me chills. Terrific and extremely spooky shot!

Arija said...

A neat combination, a scarry cemetery AND a ware wolf story!
I an a bit glad I don't go down that road though.

Tammy said...

Spooky stuff! Prefect SWF for Halloween!

Bestemor Aud said...

A little too much too read in English for me. I must admit that I have no relation to halloween (although they have started som celebration of it in Norway also the recent years).
I liked the picture with the road - the small light coming from the sky. I think it's important to focus on the light in this world with so much darkness!!

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for the delightful, spooky story! I love it!.

Deborah Godin said...

That's spooky alright! I'd believe anything you told me about that frist photo of the cemetary (shiver)!!

bowledover said...

The pictures add to the chilling story. I loved reading it and am glad that I do not drive that road either.
Thank you for the pictures and entertainment for SWF. Have a good week.

Rocky Mtn. Girl said...

WHOA!! Awesome post.. how appropriate is that for this time!!?!!
~Michele~
Mountain Retreat- Canada

PJ said...

This is the time of year for that SWF post for sure. I like the way you framed the cemetery photo and the road looks very spooky.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Great Halloween SWF and very dramatic piccies

david mcmahon said...

Thanks for the visit and the kind comment. Your post has given me goosebumps!

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi! Great photo. I want to drive down that road. I love stuff like this. We have our very own spooky one here. Jersey Devil. Lisa

Gill - That British Woman said...

that's creepy, but I love the photos.

Gill in Canada

The Birdlady said...

That's some story - and the Bray Rd photo is perfect!

troutbirder said...

What a fun read! I might need a sleeping tonight though.

kd said...

Whimper....I'm sitting with my back to sliding glass doors leading to my very, very, very dark garden and am feeling more than a little creeped out!

Thanks, Marnie!

/krys

Jeanne said...

'shiver'. Awesome post!

Dog_geek said...

I love a scary story! Maybe the Beast of Bray Road is the Northern cousin of the Chupacabra!

Paz said...

Awesome post!

Paz

SandyCarlson said...

That's quite an interesting skywatch!

Wren said...

I think the second photo is more atmospheric than the first - not to argue with your artistic license, and it's probably influenced by the fact I really like that second one.

Gail said...

I listen to my inner voice and it says...Don't drive down that road!

Have a good weekend!

Gail

Naturegirl said...

Spooky for sure! Yikes and I'm all alone as I read this...oh now I have to turn on all the lights!
Sky watching tonight too! hugs I mean...((((BOO)))

Ivon said...

Great pictures and story. we do not want to believe it, but something is out there. Stories and sightings from the four corners of the globe. Do not be afraid, until it starts eating people. :)

Thanks for sharing.

Yen said...

Creepy!!! Nice story too:) Thanks for the share!

Mine are up HERE and HERE. If you get a chance ;) Happy SWF!

Kay said...

Oooooh.... shiver! It's so nice to hear from a fellow Illinoian again. Have a wonderful Halloween over there. Your photos are scary and wonderful.

gen/entry said...

Very good entry tC

Tanya said...

I wouldn't chance a drive down that road either! Happy Halloween, great photos and story!

Neal said...

I love the shot down the road.

Small City Scenes said...

Perfect!!! Perfect Halloween story--true or not! I think every area has the hairy monster story. We have Sasquach out here. who knows.
Thanks for visiting my blog. MB

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Great story. I ate it with popcorn. Better than the movies.~~Dee

Eddie D. said...

Spoo-ooo-ky!

BeadedTail said...

Very, very spooky!

Rambling Woods said...

Good story Marnie and have a very Happy Halloween and a great weekend.. Michelle

Connie said...

Love your spooky pictures. Boo.
Great story too.

AphotoAday said...

That's REALLY quite a story...

marina said...

I can clearly see that a new author has been borned!!!

geoff said...

Scary legends and Werewolves! Good story! Happy Halloween!

Q said...

Happy Halloween,
Scary story! Thanks so much.
I do beleive in ghosts and werewolves...
Boo!
Sherry

Gretchen said...

I've heard that story before. I do believe there are many unexplained and unfound animals out there. How many people were "SURE" the earth was flat? How many were "SURE" there were no giant squid? They were SURE WRONG! :)

Hope everyone is having a Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain!

Bradley Myers said...

A perfect sky watch post for this time of year. Well done.

DP Nguyen said...

You are the queen of scary stories, and the photos really make it better!

D Herrod said...

How erry.

Sandi McBride said...

Just what is needed on a Halloween night! Stories of ghosties and ghoulies and long legged beasties...over from David's, apparently he thought I needed a good scare! Congrats on Post of the Day nomination
Sandi

Berder said...

Great post, really eerie.

Thanks for the tips!

Luke Wiley said...

Great Halloween post!
Thank you very much for stopping by my blog!

magiceye said...

love the 2nd pic the best!!

Glendon M. said...

great story, great image. congrats.

pat said...

Stop it!!! I come here for pretty gardens and awesome bird photos....Creepy!

Mo said...

Oooh what a great halloween story

Rose said...

Very spooky! The scary part about stories like this is that when so many people have had similar stories, it's hard to discount them. Now I'm going to be afraid to go to sleep tonight, Marnie:)

Denise said...

Excellent photos to go along with your Halloween post. Enjoyed both, thank you.

Max-e said...

I have learnt not to dismiss stories that cannot be explained, from personal experience. Follow the link, if you are interest -
http://themaxefiles.blogspot.com/

http://themaxefiles.blogspot.com/

I like your photos, they have great atmosphere.

The Tile Lady said...

Great Skywatch, Marnie. Loved the article about the Beast. It makes one wonder...
Marie

Snapshutter said...

Those are spooky photos. Well done.

ashok said...

wonderful story and nice blog keep it up,


http://ashok-discoverindia.blogspot.com/

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
I finally got over here to read your hair raising tale! I'd not heard of this particular one, and I lived in WI for 9 years while in grad school! This was a great story to post for Halloween and I should have done the same, but it's been so crazy around here lately, it was all we could do to get the decorations up and the party planned. Thanks for providing such a great story!

Sylvana said...

I've lived in Wisconsin all my life and never heard of this! But I believe that there is something there and that it probably isn't that far from the description being given. I often saw very strange creatures when I was growing up in Northern Wisconsin. I saw a HUGE BLACK deer once and got teased that it was just a shadow on the deer or a muddy deer or something. Until my dad and cousin saw it too while they were hunting several years later. They said it a huge deer, bigger than any they had ever seen, and definitely black, ready to charge their truck. I also saw a panther and cubs. I was laughed at for that too. I was told I probably just saw a large house cat or a black lab. Many years later the DNR actually recorded other sitings of both of these animals (the deer and the panther) and their rangers saw them too. Although these aren't necessarily mythical beasts*, it just goes to show you that weird sitings in Wisconsin don't mean that the animal doesn't exist. There are a lot of strange things out there in the wood of Wisconsin. (*Although I have to argue a little on behalf of the deer because there was definitely something special about it. I was in the woods with my dad on the top of a hill in late fall. I never heard it approach, I just turned and it was there standing less than 10 feet from me, eerily watching me, then utterly silently disappeared when I turned to get my dad's attention. We found the tracks which proved that he actually had been there.)

Anonymous said...

Is Bigfoot True or bogus? For over four hundred many years, there happen to be reporting’s of a man like animal that is certainly totally covered in hair.
[url=http://www.is-bigfoot-real.com/]bigfoot[/url]