Sightings of “dogmen”, upright-walking canines that often resemble the iconic werewolf, have been rising over the last decade. While the eyewitness encounters with these creatures range from the bizarre, to the downright terrifying, most reports are fairly recent, usually appearing after the Beast of Bray Road legend began to take hold of the popular consciousness, leading skeptics to believe that most stories of giant dog-monsters are simply tall tales piggybacking on the popularity of Wisconsin’s beast. Fortunately, the occasional tale pops up that pre-dates the current dogman explosion.
Our latest witness report comes from a man who claims to have encountered a dogman in Germany back in the 70s, and goes into some great detail not just about its appearance, but how he believes the creature might be related to an ancient agrarian cult of farmland protectors.
In the fall of 1972 while camping I saw one of these so-called dogmen.
I was an army brat living in West Germany in a place called Wildflecken. It was a heavily wooded area. Lots of places for a boy of 12 to go camping. I was with a friend. It was about 9pm at the time, the month of November. We had a fire built, and I remember my friend was sitting cross-legged next to the fire. I was directly across from him standing, doing something. We were in a tiny clearing with evergreens all around.
We were talking to each other when all of a sudden this very tall creature standing on two legs, which looked a bit like a German Shepard, stepped out of the foliage. It was about 6 or 7 feet tall. Much like in the Week in Weird witness report, I distinctly remember the tall ears, long snout, heavy shoulders, long tail, and bent dog-legs. It seemed to be muscular in build and had a thick upper body and a narrow lower body. Colored the same as a German Shepard. This thing stepped over the fire between us and was gone in a quick second. It was extremely fast.
We both exclaimed, at the same time “what the hell was that!” before running as fast as we could to my fiend’s house. We locked ourselves in his basement and slept there for the rest of the night. We never spoke of it again. We didn’t know what we saw, but it never made any aggressive gestures or noises at us.
I have conducted much research since the age of the computer. Bought books on the subject. All the legends I have gone through makes me think, if legends are true, this could have been a Benandanti Werewolf. They were not evil and only tried to protect the farmers crops against evil spirits.
The dogman encounter is interesting in and of itself (as any report of an anthropomorphic canine would be), but the introduction of the benandanti takes the tale to an even more fascinating place.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the benandanti – or the “Good Walkers” – were a group that claimed they left their bodies at night to fight against malevolent witches on the spirit plain, battling against curses placed on farmers’ crops, healing the sick from astral ailments, and engaging in combat with supernatural creatures. The benandanti would often take the shape of half-human animals, including dogs, when they left their bodies, leading to some frightening sightings of strange creatures by those who happened to be wandering the countryside at night.
Could a secret group of benandanti still be fighting against supernatural threats in Germany? Our European readers should keep their eyes peeled, and be sure to send in any strange reports they discover.