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Lair of the Beasts: The Dogman of Michigan
A Real-Life Werewolf
By Nick Redfern
December 17, 2011
Beware of the Dog-Man
© Nick Redfern, Robert Trate
If you have followed the written output of Linda Godfrey and her work on werewolf-style entities seen in the United States, then you'll definitely want to grab a copy of her book: The Michigan Dogman: Werewolves and Other Unknown Canines Across the U.S.A. Linda has carved for herself a well-deserved reputation as the leading U.S.-based investigator, researcher and author - in a non-fiction setting - of data on such matters, as is evidenced by her previous titles, The Beast of Bray Road; Hunting the American Werewolf; and Werewolves.
And, The Michigan Dogman is a fine addition to Linda's previous publications. You might possibly wonder: What can be said that hasn't already been said in Linda's previous three books on werewolves, lycanthropy and more? Well, the answer is quite a lot! One of the chief reasons why Dogman is such an important and captivating read is because we're treated to countless new cases, eye-witness reports, and incidents and testimony - from all across the United States, and across the decades, too.
And this is a significant factor: whereas The Beast of Bray Road was very much a regional study of werewolves in one particular part of Wisconsin, Linda's new book skillfully demonstrates that, in reality, these things - whatever they may be - have been seen, and are still being seen, all across the United States. In other words, this is not a localized, regional phenomenon.
Rather, there appears to be something, or, some thing, among us that has carefully avoided classification and capture for...well, who knows for how long? But, it's also something that pops us just about here, there and everywhere. The sheer range and variety of reports makes The Michigan Dogman essential reading for devotees of hairy, fanged werewolves. But, as interesting as the reports themselves, are the notable similarities in the actions, characteristics and appearances of the creatures under scrutiny.
Linda, to her credit, does not shy away from controversy - and when it comes to the Michigan Dogman and its motley ilk, there's plenty of it! Without doubt the most important questions of all are: What are these creatures? Are they even flesh-and-blood, physical entities? Might they have paranormal origins? Are we possibly looking at several phenomena that have been lumped together under one banner?
The curious thing about the Dogmen, as Linda carefully demonstrates, is that they seem to defy categorization. Aside from the fact that there is not - or certainly should not be - any sort of canine animal running around the United States that has the ability to walk, run and leap on two legs as effortlessly as it does on four, this is exactly what the witnesses are reporting.
And, even though such a scenario is controversial in the extreme, this still seems to place these creatures in a physical, flesh-and-blood, category - as does the fact that many witnesses have seen such beasts feeding on their prey near the sides of wood-shrouded roads late at night. Other reports, as Linda makes very clear, however, seem to suggest the presence of spectral beasts of a ghost-like nature.
If you're already acquainted with the work of Linda (and if you aren't, why not?), then The Michigan Dogman is a book that you'll definitely want to read. And, if you're new to the world of real-life werewolves and this book is your first taste of what it's all about, then you're in for a real treat too!
As a first-class book that offers both numerous cases of a definitively werewolf nature, as well as a variety of thought-provoking explanations to try and explain the phenomenon (or, maybe, phenomena is a better, and more accurate, term), The Michigan Dogman should have pride of place on the bookshelves of everyone interested in strange and unknown beasts, ancient legends, folklore and mythology. You'll find all that - and much more, too - inside its packed pages.
Nick Redfern’s new book, Keep Out!, is published by New Page Books and is available now.