Wisconsin has lost another legend. Cryptozoology researcher and author Linda Godfrey passed away on November 27, 2022. Linda was best known for her work uncovering the strange encounters Walworth County residents were having with an upright canine, or dogman creature, near the town of Elkhorn in the early 1990s. Linda dubbed the creature the Beast of Bray Road, and her investigation introduced the world (watch this Inside Edition clip from 1990) to the now notorious Wisconsin cryptid.
Read Linda’s original article right here.
“One day I was talking to a local animal control officer and said, ‘You hear about this thing people are seeing on Bray Road?’” Linda told Chicago Tribune in 2019. “And he pulls a manilla folder out of his desk. It’s labeled ‘werewolf.‘ I was a novice reporter then but even I knew if a county official is keeping a folder on possible werewolves, you probably have a story.”
Watch this clip from the Small Town Monsters film The Bray Road Beast featuring Linda Godfrey and Walworth County animal control officer John Fredrickson:
I had the opportunity to meet Linda at the inaugural Milwaukee Paranormal Conference in 2015 and catch her presentation on strange creatures around Wisconsin. She was a captivating speaker, presenting the details of seemingly impossible encounters with thunderbirds, dogmen, and other cryptids across the state with the utmost interest and sincerity.
“She sees herself as a folklorist,” The Chicago Tribune wrote, “navigating legend and fact.”
Linda has been monumental in investigating and documenting Wisconsin legends and folklore. Along with her books on monsters, historical true crime (Whitewater’s Poison Widow), and haunted Wisconsin legends, she also co-authored the book Weird Wisconsin, and has appeared on countless paranormal television shows over the years.
Linda’s contributions to Wisconsin folklore cannot be understated, and her work will still be informing and inspiring us for many years to come.
She will be greatly missed.