The sun is flickering just above the horizon when the creature wakes up in the crevice in which he caught a few hours of restless sleep. His time to be at the top of the food chain is about to start. Agile, he jumps down from the rock, stands up and stretches his body. In his mind he’s envisioning a group of deer grazing in a clearing. He can get by on fish, and he has, for weeks, but a deer would really be nice right about now.
As he stealthily begins to move through the forest he catches sight of the rising moon. Not quite full, but he is no fairy-tale creature. He raises his long muzzle and howls…
Meet the Werewolf. The Wolfen. The Wulver, if you will.
In my lengthy discussions about my favorite cryptid with a Facebook friend I have come to call the werewolf Clive, since werewolf takes forever to type, and I’m all about efficiency.
Also, Clive seems to de-mystify them a bit. Because whatever they are, I definitely don’t believe they are shapeshifters.
But I definitely do believe they exist.
Traditionally, in myths and legends, werewolves have been shapeshifters. A cursed person that under the light of the full moon transforms into the shape of a ferocious, wolf-like beast.
As far as lycanthropy goes, I do believe in the clinical form of it, the psychological disorder where the afflicted person believes himself able to transform into an animal.
But that’s it.
Werewolves exist however. Of that I am thoroughly convinced.
But are they a natural species of canines, as of yet unrecorded by science? Or are they interstellar or interdimensional beings?
Or are they tulpas? Thoughtforms materialized?
Oh, for some reason I really wish I knew!
It seems harder for non-witnesses to accept the idea of a living, breathing werewolf than it does for them to accept the existence of Bigfoot.
This I think is because people are so caught up in the LEGEND. That a werewolf is a human transforming into a wolf.
But if we completely drop the myth of the shapeshifter, would it be so inconceivable that there might exist a flesh and blood species of wolf, hitherto undiscovered by science?
Especially when you take into account all the hundreds of witness testimonies through the years?
The idea, the very concept of a human being mixed with the strength, speed and blood-thirst of a predatory animal goes a long way back.
Throughout history there have been stories of these ravenous man-beasts. From King Lycaon in Greek mythology to the Viking berserkers and ulvhednar. The Werewolf of Bedburg and the beast of Gévaudan. However I believe most of these accounts can be attributed to cases of clinical lycanthropy and myths and legends.
It’s the accounts of a beast that exists as an individual entity, one that is a werewolf day and night and during all phases of the moon, that tickles me the most.
Could they exist? Despite science not having “discovered” them?
Well, mountain gorillas could. And the okapi. And the giraffe. And the giant squid. And the Komodo dragon. And the giant panda. And the narwhal. And… Well, you get what I’m talking about.
Every year science discovers masses of new species. Many only thought to be legendary.
Around 18 000 new species of plants and animals are discovered each year.
New, large, terrestrial mammals aren’t discovered every day. I concede as much. The mountain gorilla was probably the last one when it was documented in 1902.
But on the other hand, how many scientific expeditions actually go to Wisconsin in search of new species. Seems to me they mostly go to remote, uninhabited areas.
I guess the scientific community feels that should there exist something as yet undiscovered in populated areas people would talk about it.
People ARE talking about it!
Hundreds and hundreds of people have reported seeing a 7 foot tall hairy biped with a gigantic doglike or wolflike head in Michigan and Wisconsin alone. And some of the witnesses have even been put through a polygraph test (lie detector) and passed.
So, if werewolves only exist in myths and legends, what are these people seeing? Bears? Every one of them? Even though many witnesses make a point to emphasize the long snout, the triangular face and the pointy ears?
Are all these witnesses complete loons? Should they be put in straitjackets and locked up in some nice and cozy asylum where they can sing Kum-ba-yah in group therapy and conquer their demons?
Or are they imbeciles? Ignorant about the flora and fauna in the area in which they live? Unable to distinguish between a seagull and a squirrel?
Skepticism is very important. If we went around believing everything we heard we wouldn’t last long. But at some point skepticism just turns into idiocy. If taken too far, the skeptics sound loonier than the believers they are trying to mock.
To just simply disregard all witness reports by assuming every single person is either making it up, being crazy or being an idiot speaks volumes about the skeptic’s intelligence while it says nothing about that of the witnesses. Disregarding is not skepticism, it’s just plain dumbassedness. (Not a real word? Well it should be!)
Above is a screenshot from my google earth. The red pins are werewolf sightings and this is just a tiny portion of them. I know reports of sightings exist in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and other states bordering on Michigan and Wisconsin. It has also been seen on the Canadian side in Toronto and other places. But Lake Michigan seems to be ground zero.
Why is that?
And why, oh why is it that 99% of sightings seem to take place in close proximity to a lake or river?
What on earth could werewolves and water have in common?
If this was a sea beast I was trying to track it wouldn’t surprise me that it seemed to stay near different bodies of water, but a furry, bipedal canine??
I remember reading a tale of a werewolf/ wulver sighting in Scotland from 1888 that ended as such:
“…in a stale phosphorescent light they saw the hideous mask of a wolf with the eyes of a man glaring through the glass, eyes that were red with hellish rage. They raced to the door, but their quarry had heard them, and as they opened it they could just discern a huge form racing into the lake, and disappearing from view beneath the surface.”
Another thing they seem to be fond of is holy ground, usually burial mounds, cemeteries and such.
In a 1936 sighting east of Jefferson, WI, a man named Mark Schackelman witnessed a werewolf-like creature digging in an old native American burial mound.
This event is also the only time the creature has “spoken”, as far as I know. According to Schackelman, the beast was supposed to have uttered a “three syllable growling noise that sounded like Gadara”.
Many times the creatures have been seen in or near cemeteries.
Could it really have anything to do with that word Gadara?
In Biblical times, Gadara was a site within the country of the Gerasenes or Gadarenes. It was the place where Jesus encountered a possessed man, living among the tombs. Jesus drove out the evil spirits that dwelled in the man and sent them into a herd of swine, which threw itself off a cliff and drowned.
In Scotland there is a legendary creature, a hairy man with a wolf’s head called the wulver. Wulvers are supposed to be friendly and helpful, like showing lost travelers back to the road. But there exists stories of more sinister wulvers as well.
The Wolfen (1978) is the debut novel of Whitley Strieber about a race of intelligent beings that are descendants from wolves and exists mostly hidden from mankind.
When reading most reports on Wisconsin and Michigan sightings, I tend to lean toward the Wolfen theory.
They are an animal I think. A mutated form of wolf, possibly even related to wolves similar to the way we are related to apes. Maybe they are the wolf evolution’s Neanderthal?
They don’t seem to be unnaturally aggressive. Few of the sightings talk about being hunted by these things, although there exists a few that do.
In general they seem to behave similarly to bears and other larger predators. Unless they are dead set on dining on you, they take off, or are at the very least satisfied with just scaring you away.
The Kentucky werewolves however, seem to be of a more vicious kind. The reported sightings from here aren’t as plentiful as those coming from Wisconsin or Michigan, but a majority of them seem to deal with an evil and absolutely ferocious beast.
In the more Eastern parts of Kentucky there is supposed to be a creature referred to as the “Bearilla”. This is what it was dubbed after the first witness to go public in 1972 described it as looking like a cross between a bear and a gorilla.
This creature is supposedly a bit smaller than its Northern cousins, about 6 foot tall with white or silvery grey coat, and has been aggressive towards humans on several occasions. Even wounding them badly enough for them to require hospital care for deep lacerations and shock.
But the creature in Western Kentucky seems to be something straight from hell. At least if a woman called Jan Thompson is to be believed.
The story of the beast of the land between the lakes (LBL)
In short, this woman was working at a gas station late one night when two police officers arrived, obviously extremely shook up and rattled by what they had experienced in the last 7 hours. The officers, who she refers to simply as “Adam” and “Bill” to protect their identities, proceed to tell her a horrible story. A family of four had been found ripped to pieces by what seems to be a ferocious beast, rather than a human killer. Supposedly, traces of hair and saliva found at the crime scene tested came back inconclusive, not belonging to any known animal, but closely related to canis lupus, wolf.
Supposedly there were several official vehicles at the crime scene. Many were from other counties, a few were even from other states. But somehow, this horrific tale was kept out of the media to protect the tourism industry, which is the “bread and butter” of this area.
I’m still on the fence regarding this story though. It seems a tad fantastic that, with all these officials working on this case, and with two police officers spilling the beans to a gas station attendant, the story managed to remain buried. What was the official explanation? Four people were dead and most likely they were connected to other people elsewhere who would like to know what happened to their loved ones. The deaths must at the very least have been acknowledged somehow?
There is just too much to say about werewolves to fit it in one post.
If you want to learn more I suggest you check out the excellent work of the Queen of werewolves- Linda Godfrey:
Beast of Bray Road
I believe I must take a tiny break from my intense werewolf studies for a bit, as strange things have begun to happen in my favorite forest…
And as a very respected friend said to me: Tulpas are much easier to produce than most people know…
Control your fears. Don’t let your fears control you.