Bray Road is the location of a popular urban legend in Wisconsin. This rural stretch of pavement in Walworth County, Wisconsin, is the site of mysterious and supernatural sightings of a creature called “The Beast of Bray Road”. The road connects Highways 12 and 11 to the east of Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Farmhouses, fields, and clumps of trees run alongside the road. Since the 1980s, locals have reported seeing a wolf-like creature (the beast) on Bray Road and in the surrounding areas.
Backstory and Context
Initial reports of the “Beast of Bray Road” sightings began in the fall of 1989. Scott Bray, a member of the family for whom the road is named, recalled seeing a creature similar to a dog or coyote, but larger, on all fours just off the road. Several days later, Lori Endrizzi, an Elkhorn woman, reported seeing a similar creature as she drove down Bray Road in her vehicle late at night. She claims “the beast” was kneeling in the road eating what appeared to be roadkill. A third encounter with “the beast” was reported in December 1990. Heather Bowey, Russell Guest, and their three younger cousins saw a creature near a creek in the vicinity of Bray Road. This time the beast was upright. The witnesses reported that the creature noticed their presence and moved towards them, at which point they fled. There have been numerous similar sightings over the years.
In late 1991, stories of sightings of the beasts had begun to spread through the town of Elkhorn. These stories were brought to the attention of a Linda Godfrey, a writer for the weekly newspaper The Week. On December 29, 1991, Godfrey published an article in the The Week about the reported sightings. The town of Elkhorn embraced the story, and even used “the beast” for marketing purposes. One local tavern created “Silver Bullet Specials” and printed t-shirts featuring sketches of “the beast” for sale. Lakeland Bakery, a local business, made “werewolf cookies”. Thereafter, other people in the community and surrounding areas came forward with their own stories of encounters and sightings of “the Beast of Bray Road”. Godfrey wrote a few follow-up stories about these additional sightings of “the Beast of Bray Road”, which were picked up by local, regional, and even national news outlets.Linda Godfrey continued to report on sightings for several years, before starting research on a book. Her book The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin’s Werewolf was published in 2003. She continues to be the main reporter on sightings, even those that occur outside of southeast Wisconsin. Additionally, “The Beast of Bray Road” has been the subject of documentaries and podcasts. The legend of the beast still fascinates cryptozoologists and those interested in the spooky and supernatural. As the property surrounding Bray Road is privately owned, there is no official spot for visitors to attempt to spot the beast. However, the road is still frequently traveled, especially at night.
Godfrey, Linda S. The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin's Werewolf. Black Earth, WI: Prairie Oak Press, 2003.
Godfrey, Linda. "Real Wolfmen, Beast of Bray Road, Werewolves, Dogmen and Other Upright Canids." Linda Godfrey's Blog (blog), February 26, 2016. Accessed October 19, 2018. https://lindagodfrey.com/the-beast-of-bray-road-official-site/.
Neckar, Elisa, and Callanan, Liam. Forward: Living Wisconsin History, Legends, and Culture, 2011, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.
Romell, Rick. "Fur-r-right: Drivers Cry Wolf at Sightings." The Milwaukee Sentinel, January 8, 1992. 2017. Accessed November 15, 2018. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=moZQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=1hIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6858,1307059.