Wisconsin is the epicenter of modern-day American werewolf sightings, with over 200 eyewitness reports. Reports of this mysterious creature fall into three categories: wolf-like, bear-like and Big Foot-like. According to some descriptions, the hairy, furry beast stands six feet to eight feet tall, howls like a dog and possesses a powerful build and large teeth.

Stories about humans shape-shifting into wolf-like creatures are contained in ancient folklore of various cultures, while legends about savage, super-hairy, woods-dwelling men known as Wodewose date back to medieval England.

Images of Wodewose have reportedly been found in church carvings.

Wodewose Carving

Wodewose Carving

In other parts of Medieval Europe, hundreds of people were executed during witch and werewolf trials. One man, Peter Stubbs of Bedburg, Germany, admitted he was a blood-sucking wolf and reportedly confessed to killing and eating more than a dozen children and two pregnant women. It was later determined that some people accused of being werewolves might actually have suffered from a disease called St. Anthony’s Fire, which resulted in delusional behavior. Lycanthropy, the belief that one is a werewolf, is now a recognized psychosis.

In another case in Europe, the “Beast of Gevauden,” described as a giant wolf, terrorized a region of France in the 1760s, killing some 80 adults and children. Researchers now suggest the murders were committed by a serial killer (or killers) or a pack of hungry wolves.

In previous centuries, werewolves in Europe allegedly killed human victims then ate them. By comparison, American werewolves appear to be shy and far less bloodthirsty, according to reported sightings.

They’ve allegedly been spotted hiding behind trees and in the woods. In the 1980s and early 1990s, various witnesses near Elkhorn, Wisconsin, reported seeing a large, hairy creature walking upright. The creature was dubbed the “Beast of Bray Road” after the country road where it was spotted. Several witnesses later took polygraph tests that indicated it was unlikely their stories had been made up. To date, sightings continue of a mysterious creature across parts of Wisconsin.