The Lakeland Mirror

Support your local monster

Julia Williams, Staff Reporter

Every place has a monster legend. Unfortunately, some monsters, like Bigfoot, hog all the media attention, keeping other monsters from gaining popularity. This is why I think it’s so sad that no one has heard of my favorite terrors of the night, even though they live right in our own back yard.

I’m talking, of course, about man wolves. Sometimes called dog men, these creatures are described by Linda Godfrey, man wolf expert, and author of Weird Wisconsin, as “5 to 7 feet tall, extremely muscular, covered in fur, with large fangs, the head of a wolf or German Shepherd, and somehow imbued with a special sentience.” These beasts have been seen all around the state, and are generally associated with Wisconsin’s Indian burial mounds.

I’m not sure what I love best about man wolves – that they are local, or that they are completely awesome. They have everything you could want in a monster. People have a primal fear of them. They’re basically a super-powered version of an animal that ate our ancestors. Plus, they are shown to actually threaten humans, unlike Nessy, who cannot leave her loch. They stalk people, stare them down, and haunt their dreams. They are uncannily human, and, unlike werewolves, they are calm and smart.

Now, I’m not writing this to try to convince you that there are real man wolves running around the fields that surround the college, walking down the road on hind legs, peering into dorms. I am only asking that you give them a chance as a mythological monster. Let them lurk in your imagination.

After all, other monsters are good, but which ones are said to wander empty Wisconsin roads at night? Which ones run back into our woods after eating a deer in a roadside ditch? What other monsters seem so naturally suited for running into a cornfield to escape being photographed, like some strange camera shy celeb?

I hope you will consider making man wolves a part of your life. Consider them when you need to threaten someone. After all, what could be more effective than threatening to have someone fed to man wolves? Or shout that you see a man wolf when you’re driving with friends through some creepy back road surrounded by wolves. Terrify children with tales of them stalking people down, of how they will come for them in the night if they aren’t good little girls who go make auntie a martini. After all, I think there is room in our hearts for more good legends.

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