Monster of the Month: the Beast of Bray Road

The Beast of Bray Road has to be nearly a hundred years old—at least that’s when the rumors started. In 1936 came the report of a six or seven-foot-tall humanoid covered in black and brown fur and with a head like a wolf started circulating around Elkhorn, Wisconsin—courtesy of a night watchman at the nearby St. Coletta School for Exceptional Children. As near as I can tell, the moniker the Beast of Bray Road didn’t stick until the 1980s, though, when it was routinely sighted on the 17-mile stretch of Bray Road. The Beast of Bray Road is a lot catchier than the Beast of Elkhorn Vicinity, I guess. The point is that this wolfey-human thing has been sighted both running on four legs and walking on two, it’s enormous red or orange eyes glowing out of the dark.

It mostly seems to be a threat if you are a deer or a car trunk, though. The Beast is mostly accused of killing deer and livestock around Bray Road—or of pouncing on cars that hit it on the road, and slashing up the paint. To be fair, I’d probably scratch up someone’s paint job if they hit me with a car, too. Sightings have occurred farther afield, in Spring Prairie and Lyon. Still, no reported human deaths.

Some folks say the Beast of Bray Road is just a bear with mange or maybe a really big wolf, either of which is uncommon for the area. Others, though, theorize we’re dealing with a werewolf, though—or maybe a Bigfoot. There’s even a less popular line of thought that it’s a Native American wendingo. Whatever it really is, reports of the Beast were so frequent in the 1980s and 1990s that the Walworth County Week newspaper assigned a reporter to it. Linda Godfrey’s subsequent book, The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin’s Werewolf maintains that the creature could very well exist, despite the reporter finding no hard evidence for it. After all, the people who saw it know what they saw… don’t they?

Earlier this year, the Elkhorn Community Center sponsored an event to update the community on the Beast, complete with new video footage. Beware, Wisconsin, beware.

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