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Lair of the Beasts: Monsters of Wisconsin
Badger State Beasts
By Nick Redfern
July 09, 2011
Monsters of Wisconsin
© Stackpole Books
Monsters of Wisconsin is an excellent new book from Badger State-based author and researcher of a whole range of anomalies, Linda Godfrey. For those who follow the fields of cryptozoology and monster-hunting, Linda’s name will be instantly recognizable. She’s the author of such werewolf-themed books as The Beast of Bray Road; Hunting the American Werewolf; and The Michigan Dogman.
But, Monsters of Wisconsin sees Linda spreading her wings and delving into the strange world of a whole host of other odd and menacing beasts in her home-state. And, it’s a book that does not disappoint in the slightest. The publisher – Stackpole Books – have put out a number of titles in what is rapidly building up to be a very good, ongoing, comprehensive series, including Monsters of New Jersey, Monsters of Pennsylvania, and Monsters of Illinois. And Monsters of Wisconsin is the perfect new addition to the Stackpole series.
Wisconsin’s very own Bigfoot, hairy wild-men, and unidentified giant apes feature heavily in the book, and demonstrate that – despite what some may think – Sasquatch is not just a denizen of the Pacific Northwest forests. Indeed, Monsters of Wisconsin makes it abundantly clear that within the Wisconsin woods – and even within populated areas, too – something monstrous, hair-covered and man-like has made its home.
Most people reading this have probably heard of The Mothman Prophecies – John Keel’s classic book that was made into a 2002 movie starring Richard Gere. Well, Mothman maybe, and creatures very much like it, have also apparently elected to make Wisconsin their home. Linda relates a number of stories – including a very weird and ominous account of a “Man-Bat” seen in La Crosse in late 2006 – of large winged-things soaring across the skies of the Badger State.
It’s clear – to this reader, at least – that these particularly uncanny beasts of the skies seem to be far more paranormal in origin and nature than they do strictly flesh-and-blood, which of course opens up all sorts of cans of worms with respect to their origins, intent, and relationship to us.
Moving on, we get to read some highly entertaining stories about animals of an undeniably down-to-earth and identifiable nature that have been seen, and in some cases captured, in Wisconsin, including very out-of-place wallabies, oversized lizards, and a variety of other exotic animals – that, no doubt, either got too big for their owners to handle, or that escaped from private zoos, and whose owners were fearful of informing law enforcement authorities of what had occurred.
Then, there are those extremely odd beasts that practically defy explanation, including Wisconsin’s legendary Pig-Men (yes, you did read that right!), menacing Goat-Men, diminutive humanoids, and much more.
Fans of lake-monsters of the Loch Ness variety will not be disappointed by Monsters of Wisconsin, as it contains a wealth of data – from the modern era and the past – on strange and unearthly long-necked critters said to lurk within the deep and murky waters of certain Wisconsin lakes.
And, of course, it would not be a Linda Godfrey book without a highly informative chapter on Linda’s very own personal nemesis: the dastardly werewolf. If you thought that such beasts were merely the stuff of legend, nightmares, and Hollywood films, it’s time to think again!
Linda demonstrates that Wisconsin is – and has been for decades – home to countless reports of, and encounters with, bipedal wolf-like entities that sound astonishingly like the lycanthropes of legend. While such incidents certainly sound amazing and incredible – and definitively supernatural in nature, as far as I am personally concerned - the sheer caliber of solid, on-the-record sources cited by Linda is deeply impressive.
Written in an informative, intelligent and entertaining fashion – and with a welcome degree of wit thrown in to the mix, too – Monsters of Wisconsin is an excellent regional study of those beasts that science and zoology tell us do not exist, but that the people of Wisconsin will strongly argue otherwise!
Linda Godfrey’s Monsters of Wisconsin is published by Stackpole Books. Nick Redfern’s latest book is The Real Men in Black, published by New Page Books.