The Beast of Bray Road is a creature that is said to live in the wilderness near, you guessed it, Bray Road, which is located just outside of a small town called Elkhorn in Wisconsin. Cryptid hunters have labeled this creature as being one of many misidentified Bigfoot sightings, but locals will adamantly assert that this creature has a more canine appearance, though it still has a flat, apish face, which is why they will sometimes refer to it as the Manwolf. Some people even believe that the Beast of Bray Road is a werewolf, or something similar to the Michigan Dogman.
Indeed, when the prank song “the Legend” went on air, many people in Wisconsin found that they, too, had similar stories to share, not just the inhabitants of Michigan. This has led to a great deal of confusion when it comes to identifying the cryptids, as the Wisconsinites occupying the area closer to Michigan are more likely to refer to any unidentifiable dog-like beast as the Dogman, while people living deeper in Wisconsin are more likely to refer to such things as the Beast of Bray Road, or simply as the Manwolf.
The natives believe the creature to be a wendigo, an awful spirit said to arise from a man who has consumed the flesh of another in an act of cannibalism. This is an easily dismissible theory, however, because the wendigo is a spirit, whereas the Manwolf is a physical creature, something made of flesh and bone.
It is rumored that the Beast of Bray Road has been haunting the area since 1936, earning it a spot in legends, but interest in the creature did not revive until 1999, very interestingly, on Halloween. A woman by the name of Doristine Gipson was on her way to pick up a friend’s child to go trick-or-treating in town. She reached down to change the radio station when she felt something skid underneath her back tire. Realizing that she had hit something, she stopped the car and hopped out to look around. From out of the trees barreled a huge, muscular form. Immediately upon seeing it and hearing the heavy thuds of the creature’s footsteps, she retreated into her car and gunned it. The beast leaped onto her trunk, but was thrown off as she picked up speed. Unfortunately, she had to go back the same way with the girl, as it was the fastest way into town, and she spotted something huge and hairy crouched by the roadside. Petrified, she sped all the way back into town.
Doris’s story spread through town like wildfire, which prompted another woman named Lorraine Endrizzi to come forward with her own tale. She was on the very same road in 1989, half a mile or so from where Doris hit the thing, when she rounded a bend and she spotted something hunched over on the side of the road. As she passed by, she peered closely at it, and saw in great detail a monster with grayish-brown fur, a wolf-like face, and muscular arms, like a man who hit the gym an awful lot. The beast’s eyes glowed in the night. She stated that it was crouched beside an animal carcass, feasting on the thing by pulling flesh from the bones with its palms facing upward. The way it was kneeling was very human, which Lorraine found to be the most disturbing. She described it as a “freak of nature”, but nothing else odd happened that night. She passed by without incident.
In light of these two women’s stories circulating, the Bray Road Monster began to attract thrill-seekers to Elkhorn. Generally the locals took the tongue-in-cheek attitude most of these people had in stride, but among themselves and the neighboring towns, an air of fear started to settle over their minds. Half-remembered rumors began to resurface, one of which being the near-forgotten discovery of several maimed and bloodied animal carcasses in a ditch alongside an off-shooting road just a year before Doris’s sighting. There were rumors of cult rituals being held out in the forest, and it didn’t take long for the more fearful-minded people to start linking that old story with the Manwolf roaming Bray Road.
Reports of a man in a dark cloak emerged as well. He was spotted usually driving around the area, but there was a story of the man attempting to intimidate a young boy into giving him his pet dog, a large black lab, but the man ultimately left without doing anything. Graves in the cemetery were discovered to be coated in candle wax, and an abandoned farm not far from there was covered with satanic symbols. It was hard not to link this strange activity with the appearance of a demon dog near Bray Road.
A dairy farmer named Scott Bray came forward to reveal his own story, which took place around the time as Lorraine’s story in 1989. He stated that he spotted a large black dog on his property, a dog larger than a German Shepherd with a thick upper body and oddly-shaped hindquarters. It wandered off without spotting him, and when he followed it, it disappeared behind a large pile of rocks, leaving behind only footprints.
A whole group of people saw the beast in 1990, close to Christmastime, though they were not sure what to make of the encounter until later. They had been sledding near Loveland Road, which was about a mile away from Bray Road, and were on their way home when they spotted a large dog struggling through the snow about a block away. In high spirits, they called out to the animal, only to run away in fear when it looked at them and rose up onto its hind legs, taking a few unsteady steps toward them before bounding after them on all fours. They all made it to one of their homes, the beast running off as soon as they crossed the property line.
There were many similar sightings in the 1990’s. Most of the major ones seemed to take place around holidays, such as Halloween and Christmas, but some seemed to be at random. It was rumored that perhaps some of the sightings were actually a hoax, but nobody could deny that there was, at the very least, a funny-looking dog roaming the area.
The most recent sighting was in 2004. A woman, her child, and her child’s friend were riding up and down Bray Road looking for the beast. This was a pastime of theirs, but this time they were trying to spook the child’s friend. They could never have guessed that after all this time, this would be the time they spotted the beast. As they rounded the corner, there the beast was. It stood upright, peering warily at them as they drove by. It was only a glimpse, but it was enough to cause the whole carload of people to riot. They could not believe that they had finally caught sight of the Bray Road Beast after so long never seeing a thing.
The cult activity has died down somewhat, and the tension felt by the locals has almost entirely subsided. It’s been a long time, a decade now, since the final sighting. It might just be the perfect time to go and have a look up Bray Road for yourself.