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Stealth & Infamy: The Bray Road Beast

Standing in the cradle of The #Bray Road Beast at about 10 minutes till sunset was, by far, one of the most curious road trip experiences of my life. Not a thing was ado. No stirring. No rustling. I'm at the edge of a field between two of only, roughly 20 farm houses that line the 4-mile Bray Road in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. No one has passed me in over 30 minutes and it is eerily still. I suspect because night will soon fall, but this may just be the habit of the locals.

The locals of Elkhorn are well-aware of the notoriety of Bray Road and its Beast. Circa 1990, residents who seemingly had no connection to one another began to report a large wolf-like creature skulking about on its hind legs. It's about 6 feet tall with eyes that shine red

I was alone on my expedition and by no means a werewolf hunter, but I hoped to see something, if only a small clue, while avoiding being reported for trespassing. It's all private land out there and I didn't intend to cause any commotion. Until I did.

I had been parked on the roadside for a total of 45 minutes before what turned out to be a rock landed in the bed of my truck. As I stood in front of my truck in the dim glow of my parking lights, taking photos, the thought had just occurred to me to leave when the kaboom about sent me into cardiac arrest. The immediate adrenaline surge instantly caused prickly pain in my extremities. I had jumped into the cab and evacuated the area in mere seconds that felt like minutes and did not return until the following morning.

I canvassed the area to best of my ability, careful not to get run off of private land, but saw no evidence of anything at all. What I did realize, though, was that the location of my truck and myself were more than 100 yards from the nearest anything, which was a tree.

Werewolf or not, someone threw a rock at me.

It was unsettling, and you won't catch me out there after dark again. I scoured my photos for any evidence or glimpse of anything out of the ordinary to no avail. I didn't expect to find a #dogman in my footage so much as fully hoped to see a human, maybe even caught mid-throw as he launched his little boulder at me. It's a dangerous prank, chucking rocks at people.

I spent the next day riding around, studying everyone's reaction to my presence. I figured I would know if I met eyes with someone who had seen me the night before, and then I would know who was out there with me that evening prior. No such luck, but I did notice that there is no hyping up the Bray Road Beast in the town, as is the case with the Mothman of Point Pleasant. It's more under-the-surface, but has been there for a long time...

Much longer than the rash of reports we're most familiar with, from 1989-1991. The Beast was first documented to have been encountered in 1936. In rural Jefferson, Mark #Shackleman had been attending his duties as night watchman at St. Coletta School for Exceptional Children. The school was located inside a former Franciscan convent outside Jefferson, and the grounds covered several old buildings, an orchard, and wide, open fields where several old Native American burial mounds had been preserved. One night, he witnessed an unnaturally large canine hunched over and digging into one of the mounds. When the creature realized he was watching, it turned and stood, reaching over 6 feet in height and revealing the muscular body of a man covered in fur, with a canine face. The stench of rotting meat soon hit him, and it ran into the fields. He saw it a second time that night, digging at the same location. This time, however, it tried to speak to him. Unintelligible and more growl than speech. He could not understand it. Again, it ran. Never to be seen by Mark again.

Literary evidence suggests cult members mixed human flesh into their ritual sacrifice to Zeus. Both Pliny the Elder and Pausanias discuss the participation of a young athlete, Damarchus, in the Arcadian sacrifice of an adolescent boy: when #Damarchus was compelled to taste the entrails of the young boy, he was transformed into a wolf for nine years. In a grisly turn, recent archaeological evidence suggests that human sacrifice may indeed have been practiced at this site.

“The story goes that he who tastes of the one bit of human entrails minced up with those of other victims is inevitably transformed into a wolf.”

- Plato.

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