Editor’s Note: The Beast

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Some seek for years to catch a glimpse of the paranormal. It may very well be a shadowy determine within the night time, rustling leaves within the woods or the unnerving feeling of sizzling breath in your neck.

Particular person encounters like these have added as much as create the Wisconsin folklore that fascinates and frightens us to today — handed down by way of storytelling in whispers or on paper, and now on-line because of high-quality pictures and movies the typical particular person can seize with the system of their pocket. This month’s cowl story profiles a number of the Madison space’s most storied ghosts and creatures that also lurk within the shadows, some which have reportedly been noticed as not too long ago as this summer season.

Donna Wells Fink of Milton has been looking for out the supernatural since 2011. She’s witnessed UFOs and Wild man on a number of events. However there’s one cryptid that has lengthy evaded her — the Beast of Bray Highway.

That’s, till this previous August.

The Beast of Bray Highway is Elkhorn’s famed dogman, which is a class of werewolf-like cryptids — strolling on two or 4 legs, with darkish fur and glowing eyes — which have been reported by many all all over the world. The Beast of Bray Highway is of notable fame, having been the topic of a number of articles, books, documentaries and a 2005 horror movie. Fink remembers when she first discovered of the Beast of Bray Highway — she was a busy mother within the ’90s when a particular got here on after a present she was watching that featured the creature, as chronicled by Linda S. Godfrey, who went on to creator a 2015 guide concerning the Beast of Bray Highway. Fink was hooked, and he or she’s been fascinated ever since. Now 70 and retired, Fink has extra time for the pastime, and this upcoming spring will mark the third Beast of Bray Highway multiple-day convention she’s hosted since 2021. She and buddy Jackie Riesterer exit a number of instances every week to see what they’ll discover.

“We don’t do it to show it to anybody, as a result of we’re not out to try this, we similar to to have these spooky adventures,” Fink says.

However on Aug. 3, the beast appeared.

They have been strolling close to Bray Highway. Fink is buddies with Lee Hampel, a retired trainer from Illinois who grows hay in Wisconsin adjoining to property on Bray Highway, Fink says. Hampel at first wasn’t a believer of the Beast of Bray Highway, Fink says, however that modified after a number of sightings of paranormal creatures, UFOs and footprints that he’s captured photographic proof of on his land.

He allowed Fink and Riesterer to stroll his trails that August night on their search. It was round 7:30 p.m., Fink says. They walked the complete property — woods on one aspect and a soybean discipline on the opposite.
Dissatisfied, they discovered nothing. “We began to get within the automobile,” Fink says. “I’ve a convertible and I had the highest down. I used to be already within the automobile however Jackie simply had the sensation she ought to flip round yet another time.”

Riesterer froze and yelled, “There it’s!”

She pointed. Fink excitedly searched in that course.

They began the automobile and inched it ahead. Fink handed over her cellphone and Riesterer scrambled to seize video, however dropped it in a flurry of adrenaline.

Nonetheless, Riesterer is certain of what she noticed. A black determine stood within the soybeans. It took a pair steps. Then it disappeared into the woods. They went out the following day and located deep five-toed footprints the place it was standing the day earlier than. It was near the path.

“We will need to have walked proper previous it,” Fink says.

Andrea Behling is editor of Madison Journal. This notice appeared within the October 2022 concern of Madison Journal.

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