Believe it or not, one of the most popular places for werewolf sightings in the United States of American is the magical state of Wisconsin.
Wisconsin, better known for being America’s dairyland, has had a long history of werewolf sightings that began in 1936 with a man named Mark Schackelman.
Schackelman reportedly saw a figure digging in an old Native American burial mound just east of Jefferson County, Wisconsin on Highway 18. He reported that when the figure turned around to face him, he saw that it was a hairy creature standing on two legs which looked like a mix between an ape and a dog. The creature had the general shape of a large man, with opposable thumbs and everything; however, it was covered in fur and gave off the smell of rotting meat.
The werewolf spottings continued in Jefferson County with two more official reports being filed with the local police between the initial 1936 sighting and 1972. These reports included a man seeing the same creature Schackelman described and an unnamed woman claiming a werewolf-like creature attempted to break into her home several times.
After 1972, Jefferson received no other official reports of werewolves in the area; however, this was not the case for Elkhorn County, Wisconsin. Over the next ten years, Elkhorn would become the setting for a rash of sightings reported in the 80’s and 90’s.
The most notorious of the Elkhorn County sightings was in 1985. Scott Bray reported seeing a dog, larger and taller than a German Shepherd, in his pasture one night. The next day, Bray searched his property and found sets of impossibly large footprints.
After this alleged discovery, werewolf sightings started popping out the yin yang, although most were not officially reported. This prompted a local newspaper, the Walworth County Week, to assign reporter Linda Godfrey to cover the story. Godfrey’s articles were later transformed into the novel The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin’s Werewolf.
What makes Godfrey’s work on the subject stand out from most is the way she describes the emotion behind each witnesses story. She claims that although she was initially incredibly skeptical on the matter of the beast’s existence, the sincerity with which the citizens of Elkhorn County told their stories changed her mind.
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As an archivist in a small museum, the biggest thing Helen Jurist has to deal with each year is the Annual Donor Gala. When her museum becomes a flurry of activity, due to the nearby discovery of a large Viking hoard, Helen finds the additional responsibility more of a pain than an honour. She doesn’t know anything about Vikings, or what makes the hoard so unusual. She just wants to get through the gala without her boss catching the drapes on fire.
Nobody from the public is supposed to have access to the find, but try telling that to Rune Helsen. A handsome Dane with wolfish desires. He walks around like he owns the place. He’s Helen’s worst nightmare—if only her traitorous body wasn’t so attracted to him.
But Rune has a secret, one that brought him to see the artifacts for more than just scholarly interest. Unknown to Helen, there’s so much more at stake than just pulling off a successful evening. A whole world she never knew existed, a world of vampires and shifters, stands on the precipice—and there’s something in the Cutler Hoard that could burn it all down.