The Beast of Bray Road
August 14, 2022
Location: Bray Road Elkhorn, Walworth County, Wisconsin
In rural Wisconsin there is a stretch of road called Bray Road and it is the setting for a series of terrifying encounters, beginning in 1936 and continuing on until the present. What have dozens of people over several decades encountered? Well…no less than that of a flesh and blood Dogman. It all began, just before midnight on the grounds of St. Coletta School for Exceptional Children; a religious facility that cared for mentally disabled children. Scattered across these grounds are burial mounds of Native Americans that have been left untouched, at least by human hands.
In 1936 the institute’s night watchman, Mark Schackleman, was making his routine rounds when he heard what sounded like raking occurring in an area that had several burial mounds. Only armed with his flashlight Schackleman advanced his way toward the sound; what he came upon was stunning. It appeared to be a creature clawing at the top of one of the mounds. At first he didn’t get a great look at the creature due to the fact that it turned away as Schackleman approached. Mark Schackleman was a bit confused because he believed that this large, hairy being stood up on two legs before it disappeared into the darkness.
Mr. Schackleman was a determined man and was ready to get to the bottom of what was stalking in and around the grounds of the school. Mark stalked the open space where the burial mounds were located and he went alone. To his great luck or misfortune, the unknown animal had returned to the mounds and begun digging at the top of them. This time the beast did not turn away from Schackleman as he crept closer and closer. This creature did not show fear or anxiety as it stood up on its two back legs and stared directly into Mark’s eyes. Mark described the beast as standing over six feet tall, dark/black hair, and had a wolf-like head. The eyes though…the eyes seemed almost human. The odor was not unlike that of rotting meat and the body was incredibly muscular. This Dogman creature growled deeply and to Mark, the growls sounded almost human and possibly formed a language.
At this time in 1936 Mark Schackleman only told his wife what he had experienced and sworen her to keep his secret. Mark was a man of God and of integrity; he was concerned that if he shared what happened to him, his reputation would be damaged. It wasn’t until the 1950’s when Mark shared his Dogman experience with his son Joe. Joe Schackleman shared his father’s experience with author Linda Godfrey for her book The Beast of Bray Road – Tailing Wisconsin’s Werewolf and this is considered the first recorded encounter with what would be known as the Beast of Bray Road. When Joe was asked what his father thought the Beast was, Joe quoted his father saying: “That damn thing came straight out of Hell.” For decades Mark Schackleman’s Beast remained unseen again until the 1980’s.
For unknown reasons the sightings of the Beast of Bray Road spiked greatly in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In 1993 single mother and bartender Lorianne Endrizzi was driving down Bray Road after dark and as she was scanning the road she spotted what she believed to be a man crouching on the shoulder of the road. She slowed down to see what the man was doing when she came face to face with a real life monster. It was no man crouching on the side of the road, but a creature with the head of a wolf, a muscular body, with arms and hands like a human only with claws at the tip. According to Lorianne’s retelling it also had yellow eyes, pointed ears, fangs, and covered with fur. Needless to say Lorianne sped away in her car as quickly as she could.
The description of the Dogman remains consistent throughout most if not all of the witnesses’ encounters. Another constant with these experiences is that the Dogman has never attacked a human that has crossed its path. Yes, it has given chase, jumped on vehicles, and struck terror in the poor souls that were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even though it seems that no one has been physically hurt by it, the idea of seeing it again makes the hair on their arms stand up. There is no doubt in their minds that the Dogman does not fear humans at all and can easily over power any man in seconds. During the research phase of this write, I got the sense that the Dogman seemed to look down on the humans it comes in contact with.
Now, going into the 2000’s the number of reports and sightings of the Beast of Bray Road has decreased, but by no means have they stopped. In July 2020 a blue collar worker named Ron Rice told Ed Nadolski at MyRacienCounty.com, on July 10, 2020 he was driving to the nearby town of Lyons, Wisconsin, to deliver fertilizer to a small farm on Highway 36, west of Church Road. As Rice was sitting on his truck bed for a moment, he scanned the bountiful tree line that was about 150 feet in front of him. There, at the tree line he spotted a massive wolf-like creature standing on two legs. According to Rice, this Dogman had to be at least seven feet tall.
Rice’s Dogman then bent over and picked something up, before returning into the forested area. Two weeks later, Ron Rice returned to that area and believes that he saw the beast again. Once again the Wolf Beast seemed to be collecting a few things again before going back to the woods, where it has not been seen since. Is the Beast of Bray Road a Werewolf? Even though there have not been any reports of it having great supernatural abilities, aside from it being impressively strong and fast. Is it a Dogman? Wendigo? A Skinwalker? Hopefully the beast will reveal itself again and further study can be done…and at a distance.