Linda Godfrey is an author and investigator of the unknown and strange, and works from her home in southeastern Wisconsin. 20 years ago she broke the first news story of the Beast of Bray Road, giving it that now-familiar name. After 10 years as a reporter she began chronicling her research in books and websites. She’s been a guest on many national TV and radio shows such as Coast-To-Coast a.m., Monsterquest, Sean Hannity’s America, Inside Edition, America’s scariest places and many more. Go to LindaGodfrey.com for a listing of books and more info.
After being a journalist for many years, how did you get involved in writing about werewolves and other fortean creatures.
Actually I started right at the beginning of my journalism career when I broke the story of The Beast of Bray Road in the newspaper’s December 29, 1991 edition. To my surprise, the story went national within a couple of weeks and people started coming to me with more sightings that I felt obligated to research and record. 20 years later, people are still sending me their witness reports and I have 15 published books, four of them on the topic of unknown upright canids along with another on werewolves (which I think are something different altogether).
When you first started writing about the Beast of Bray Road, did you ever imagine it would take you where you are today? Is there anything you would have done differently in terms of your writing career?
When I wrote that first article, I never dreamed that it would lead to any more articles, let alone national book publication. Even when I wrote the first book, I really believed that I had set everything down for posterity and that would be the end of it. Evidently, I am terribly un-prophetic. I’m not sure that there’s anything I would have done differently in my writing career because each book was written only as I had the research, information, and ability to do so. Things just unfolded rather organically, and my interest in the mystery has only grown over the years.
How convinced are you of the authenticity of these sightings? Do you believe there is actually a creature (or creatures) out there, or do you believe it is something else?
I do believe that the great majority of sightings are reported by very sincere and credible people relating what they believe they saw in the most accurate way they can. Of course, I’m aware that there are hoaxers and jokesters out there and I always address this in my books. 10 years as a reporter also gave me a somewhat suspicious nature and I do always try to verify things people tell me, when possible. I don’t claim to know what this upright, wolflike creature is but in over 90% of the eyewitness reports it behaves oddly but not supernaturally. Canines can walk and run on their hind legs, but they don’t usually do so unless they are strongly motivated or trained. Why so many wolflike creatures should be seen doing this is still the great mystery. A small percentage of sightings involve things like creatures suddenly disappearing or morphing and I think that these may be a separate phenomenon.
Please tell our readers about some of the werewolf and dogmen encounters here in Illinois. Have there been a lot of sightings in the Prairie State?
I do get a fair number of sightings from Illinois. The Wisconsin/Illinois border area is one hot spot and the Decatur area is another. One very striking episode occurred near the border west of Rockford when two women heard a big ruckus on their deck and flipped the light on just in time to surprise an upright dog man with their cat in its mouth. Luckily it dropped the cat before running away. Another incident occurred at the Great Lakes Naval base north of Chicago when three night guard personnel all saw a very large, upright dog man on the grounds near Lake Michigan. The person who reported it said it reminded her of images she had seen of Anubis, Egyptian God of the dead. And there are too many others to report them all here. In general, the Great Lakes states seem to have the lions share of the sightings although I have sightings from California to Maine, where a couple was actually menaced by five upright dog men in their own front yard.
Are you working on any new book projects right now, and if so, can you give us a sneak peek?
I’m working on another book for Tarcher Penguin, and all I can say is that it takes a broader look at strange creatures across America. I will add that I’m up to my neck in big bird research at the moment. I also have just released my first novel, a paranormal fantasy called God Johnson; the Unforgiven Diary. it has its own page at LindaGodfrey.com. Also watch for me on a few new TV shows.
How can our readers get in touch with you if they want to share their own encounters?
The best way is to e-mail me at adnil (at) elknet.net, and please include as much information as possible including approximate date, time, conditions, location, description, behavior, and also thoughts and reactions of witnesses. A rough sketch is also helpful. Please see my Beast of Bray Road page at the LindaGodfrey.com site.