An Interview with Linda Godfrey

April 20, 2009

Howlin’ Wolf: An interview with Linda Godfrey

by Jim Cobb

Linda Godfrey is one of the foremost experts in dogmen, werewolves, and other related cryptids. She has been actively investigating these creatures for almost twenty years. Her research has resulted in several books and countless interviews across the country. Also of note – according to my wife, Linda makes one mean salad. Seriously, my wife can’t stop talking about it. I managed to corral Linda for a brief interview for our readers here.

Jim: I know you’ve told the tale many times, but for the sake of readers here who might not have heard it yet, how did you get started researching cryptids?

Linda: It all began when I was starting as a reporter for the Walworth County Week in late 1991 and someone tipped me off that people around Elkhorn, Wisconsin, were reporting seeing something that looked like a werewolf. I wrote the story and became intrigued with the mystery. It went nation within weeks and has never stopped.

Jim:  Prior to The Beast of Bray Road, had you had an interest in, for lack of a better term, the “weird?”

Linda: My dad read a lot of science fiction and was interested in UFOs. I had been interested in investigating psi phenomena for many years, so perhaps I was more open to this topic than some others may have been.

Jim: I know your focus has been on dogmen and werewolves. Are there other cryptids that peak your interest at the moment?

Linda: I also collect reports of any unknown creatures, and have investigated Bigfoot sightings, flying man-sized creatures, lizard men, even a giant white rabbit. I think it is interesting that where one strange thing appears, you often find a whole constellation of unknown creatures.

Jim:  Have you developed your own theories on what people are seeing out in the forests? What do you think The Beast of Bray Road truly is?

Linda: I can’t say what it is definitively because there just is not enough evidence. I think it is either a natural species of wolf or wolf hybrid that has developed the adaptation of upright locomotion, or that it is what the Native Americans I’ve talked to say it is; an inter-dimensional creature that can move between a corporeal and a non-corporeal state. And some sightings (a very small minority) may be something else entirely; certain reports sound more like phantoms or conjured thought forms.

Jim: Let’s talk about your books for a moment. You’ve published several books related to your research. I’m wondering if there is one book of yours that stands out to you? If you could only recommend one of them to someone interested in cryptids and the paranormal, which would it be and why?

Linda: Well, perhaps “Hunting the American Werewolf” covers the broadest scope in terms of sightings, locations, theories and timeline.

Jim: Any upcoming book signings or other appearances?

Linda: I may be appearing at a conference in LA in late July or June. I’ll be updating my schedule page at beastofbrayroad.com. And keep an eye out for an upcoming episode of Paranormal State on A&E.

Jim:  I know you started at least one online group devoted to cryptids and other unexplained phenomenon and I believe you’ve been involved with at least one or two others. Are there any online communities you’d recommend? What might you feel are the pros and cons of these online groups as a whole?

Linda: I think these groups are very individual things. They can be fun and informative, but are sometimes made up of a wide variety of people with extremely different levels of expertise and literacy, and it may take some searching to find the forum that is a good fit for you.

Jim:  What advice or pointers might you give to someone who is just starting out with their own research into unexplained phenomenon? Are there specific books you’d recommend? What might they expect when they actually get out into the field and interview witnesses and such? Any particular “rules to live by?”

Linda: Number one in my book is to treat the witnesses with respect. Always study ahead to learn what native plants and animals live in the area you’ll be looking at so you can be prepared, and be sure you aren’t trespassing.

Always take a ruler to lay next to footprints, etc. to be photographed, and take plastic bags for fur samples or scat. I wrote a chapter on this topic in “Werewolves; Mysteries, Legends and Unexplained Phenomena” (Chelsea House Publishing), and there is a lot more to cover if you’re going to do things right.

Dressing right for terrain and weather and bringing a good camera are also key.

And keep in mind that most encounters with unknown creatures are accidental and fleeting.

Jim:  By now you’ve spent many years talking to witnesses, examining evidence, and tromping around the countryside. Could you share one or two experiences that really stand out in your memory?

Linda: A highlight would definitely be my late night visit with a History Channel cameraman and witnesses to a lonely gravel road about an hour south of Traverse City, MI, where multiple witnesses had seen at least two different manwolves, one dark brown and the other gray and taller.

We kept seeing yellow eyes in the brush, and I heard something very large shake out its fur like a wet dog about 30 feet away.

Finally something ran across the road just at the edge of our spotlight, and I saw the fur along its spine illuminated for a second or two. The spine was vertical. It blotted out a reflective road sign as it crossed, and the sign measured seven feet tall. One of the witnesses also saw it.

That’s when everyone decided to go home!

Jim:  Finally, what’s up next? What are you working on now? Any new books coming out in the near future?

Linda: I’m working on a third book for the Beast series, hope to have it out by the end of summer, and a book on Wisconsin hauntings. I just finished a Young Adult novel called The Kobold, and continue to receive 1-5 sighting reports a week from around the world.

Thank you Linda for taking the time to speak with us. Very much appreciated!

For those interested in learning more, Linda hosts a few different websites.

The Beast of Bray Road

Linda Godfrey’s Blog

Weird Michigan

As noted in the interview, Linda has authored and co-authored a number of books.

Strange Wisconsin

Hunting the American Werewolf

The Beast of Bray Road

Weird Wisconsin

Weird Michigan

Werewolves (Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena)

Lake and Sea Monsters (Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena)

The Poison Widow


One comment

  1. dear linda, i greatly enjoyed your book on the beast of Bray road and am fascinated by the subject. I noticed that you have acheived the title of “werewolf expert”. I am greatly interested in how i can aquire the title of werewolf expert but could not find any information regarding the matter. I was hoping you could help me.
    Yours Sincerely
    James G.

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