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Friday, 16 December 2016 12:13

Author's story on Beast of Bray road endures 25 years later

Written by 
Author Linda Godfrey Author Linda Godfrey

It's been 25 years since author Linda Godfrey -- then a reporter with The Week newspaper in Walworth County -- first wrote about the Beast of Bray Road. Linda’s interest in the beast, a large, hairy creature of an indeterminate origin, was sparked by a number of sightings and reports from locals. The beast was so popular it was the subject of at least one low-budget movie and popped up on a number of TV shows dealing with the paranormal and weird.

In a recent email interview in December, 2016, Godfrey talked about the beast and its influence on her.

Read the original Beast of Bray Road story HERE.

Have your feelings about the beast changed since you first started working on the story?

"In the very beginning, when I heard that people were claiming to have seen what they called a ‘werewolf,’ I thought the idea was ludicrous. I still don’t believe that what they saw was a traditional werewolf: a Hollywood-style, part man, part wolf beast that transforms every full moon and can only be killed by a silver bullet.

But it seemed to me that the diverse group of eyewitnesses were seeing something and that even if it had turned out to be a hoax, a natural predator or some sort of weird hysteria, area residents had the right to know what was happening.

Today, after hundreds of people from around the USA and the world have contacted me describing more or less the same thing, I’m less skeptical that there is some unrecognized creature out there, but still perplexed as to its true nature."

The beast generated a movie, topics on TV shows, books -- even a career for you. Are you surprised by its staying power?

"Yes, I’m still surprised after 25 years. I never expected that first story to get the attention that it did, and I certainly didn’t have any plan to write books about it.

I penned only a few news updates on that subject during the 10 years I wrote for The Week, but people kept seeking me out to pass on their own encounter reports. It seemed to me that was my duty to keep track of them, even if they only turned out to be local folklore, so I did. Since I was still receiving reports and media inquiries,

I felt I should write a book to put together what I knew about the phenomenon.

"Sightings in the Bray Road area do still occasionally occur, but are seldom made by those who purposely come to search for the creature. I continue to remind people that the land is private and trespassers are prosecuted. And whatever the creature that people have been observing for so many decades truly may be, it remains a mystery to me."

• Read more of Godfrey’s interview -- including the weirdest thing that ever happened to her in connection with the beast -- on WalworthCountyToday.com.

• Read her blog at http://lindagodfrey.com.

•2014 "Take Five" interview with Linda Godfrey

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