The state of Wisconsin is home to a strange creature called the Beast of Bray Road. Named because the first witnesses to spot the creature saw it on or near Bray Road in Delavan, Wisconsin, the animal has been described as a werewolf although it has never been seen shape shifting. There were scattered reports of werewolves in Wisconsin dating back hundreds of years, but none compared to sightings that came out of Delavan, starting in 1989 and continuing to 1992.
The first person to come forward publically with a sighting was Doristine Gipson. On October 31, 1999, she was driving on Bray Road near Delavan. She leaned over to change the radio station when she felt her right front tire jump off the ground as if she had run something over. She was concerned, so she stopped to she was she had hit. She found nothing on the ground, so she looked around. As she looked into the darkness, she saw something dark and hairy racing toward her. She was about fifty feet from the form, so she couldn’t see it clearly, but later said it was quite bulky, like someone who spent a lot of time lifting weights. She was startled by its rushing form and the sound of its “heavy feet”. She jumped into her car and was attempting to drive away when the creature landed on her trunk. The car was wet, so the best slid right off. She returned later with a child she was taking trick-or-treating and when she saw a large form on the side of the road, she ordered the child to lock the door and sped off.
She had no idea what the creature was but thought it might be a bear. She told her neighbor about the encounter and the scratch on her car. As word spread around the area, more people came forward with their own stories, dating back to 1989.
One night in the autumn of the same year, twenty-four year old bar manager Lorianne Endrizzi was rounding a curve on Bray Road, just about a half mile from the place where Gipson had her encounter, when she saw what she thought was a person kneeling on the side of the road. She slowed down to take a closer look. She was no more than six feet from the creature and looked for about forty-five seconds. She claimed to see clearly a beast with grayish, brown hair, fangs and pointed ears. She also said, “His face was…long and snouty, like a wolf.”
She also noted the creatures eyes glowed yellow in the headlights of the car. She added the arms looked like a man’s, but she was holding the food palms upward, unlike any animal she’d ever seen. The arms were muscular and the fingers were human-like except for the claws at the end. She said in a later interview, “the creature appeared so human-like, it was scary”.
After hearing Gipson’s story by way of a rumor, Endrizzi contacted the Lakeland Animal Shelter. Her mother contacted staff reporter and artist, Linda Godfrey, who worked for the Delvan-based paper, The Week. Godfrey’s story, which appeared in the paper on December 29, 1991, was considered a throwaway story for a slow news day. She was surprised by the sincerity of her witnesses and began to research the story further. Godfrey was surprised by the amount of information she found about the Beast of Bray Road and penned four books about the subject. She maintains a website with information about the Beast of Bray Road, and continues to collect eyewitness reports.
So what is the Beast of Bray Road? No definitive answer has ever been found. Some people claim that the witnesses are misidentifying a coyote, a large feral dog, a wolf, or a bear. These people believe that overactive imaginations or sheer panic are exaggerating the werewolf-like features. Others think the whole story is either a hallucination or that there was a costumed prankster behind it.
Those who feel there is something else behind it has been said that the Beast of Bray Road could be the skunk-ape (a relative of Bigfoot), the waheela (a bear-dog) or the skunka warakin (a beast that resembles a hyena). None of these creatures fit all of the descriptions, so it could be possible that the Beast of Bray Road is actually two different creatures.
With the number of credible witnesses who have come forward, most paranormal researchers believe there is something real out there that people have seen. It may only be a matter of time until whatever the Beast of Bray Road was comes to light.
Linda Godfrey’s Website