The Werewolf Chronicler

Posted by: Nick Redfern on November 6th, 2013


Over at, there’s a new profile on Linda Godfrey (author of such excellent books as Hunting the American Werewolf and The Michigan Dogman).

It’s a profile that begins as follows…

“Wisconsin author Linda S. Godfrey didn’t set out to become a leading expert in the manwolf’ phenomenon, she just kind of fell into one cold winter in 1991.

“‘I call myself the accidental werewolf chronicler because it was nothing that I thought of in my previous life as a career I might someday have,’ Godfrey recently told me over the phone.

“She lives in the ‘quiet, conservative community’ of Elkhorn. In the early ’90s, she got a staff job as a writer and illustrator at the Walworth County newspaper The Week and soon received a strange tip.”

And here’s the rest of the story, including what happened after that “strange tip” came Linda’s way…

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.

3 Responses to “The Werewolf Chronicler”

  1. NMRNG responds:

    I own Hunting the American Werewolf and have attended a presentation and book signing that she did. She is a very pleasant and interesting speaker and her topic is a fascinating one. Unfortunately, she does not use much, if any, discretion in winnowing out reports by obvious crackpots. She does not distinguish between a sighting by a high credible witness such as a member of law enforcement and an alleged sighting by a person in the midst of a highly traumatic personal crisis or a plain wackjob who claims a werewolf was in his bathroom and suddenly disappeared into thin air.

  2. hoodoorocket responds:

    @ NMRNG:

    It’s really a matter of perspective, isn’t it?

    You fault Linda Godfrey because your objective is to define the phenomenon, that is, to prove it is real or prove it is not real.

    Godfrey’s objective is to document the phenomenon, which has nothing to do with satisfying your objective.

    If a person claims to have seen a werewolf or dogman, then they are part of the phenomenon. Because some accounts don’t further your objectives does not invalidate the work that Godfrey has done.

    I’d say collecting all available anecdotes, without editing or censoring, builds a more complete picture of the situation than picking and choosing only those stories that you find pleasing or acceptable.


  3. Hapa responds:

    As far as I know, there is no anomalous canine hairs associated with the Wisconsin Dogman and other “werewolf” beasties. Unlike sasquatch, there are fossil animals of North America that might have survived undetected to the modern era, to give rise to such sightings (the Amphicyonids, or Bear dogs), but even they did not have the slightly primate features of some of these sightings (I think most sightings describe a huge anthropoid canine, similar to some depictions of werewolves). They did a monsterquest episode on the Wisconsin dogman/Beast of Bray Road, and they found a patch of sawgrass that seemed eaten; nothing, according to the experts who found the site, eats that stuff. Yet they found no unidentifiable hairs.

    The only animals that come to mind as possible cannidates for werewolf misidentification are baboons: they have doglike faces, hair, long tails, yet are primates, having hands and feet and capable of standing and I believe even walking upright (for a short distance). Such animals would have to be escaped specimens from labs, zoo’s private collectors, circuses, etc (the Monsterquest Episode on the Ohio Grassman revealed the discovery of a baboon skull in the Ohio wilderness) or a breeding population of such escaped animals (very unlikely; how could they survive the Wisconsin winter?), unless some native North American baboon species, or similar animals, roams the American wilds undetected (I think these cryptids are called “Devil monkeys”). Very unlikely, but I won’t toss that idea aside fully.

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