As some of you might already know, I live in Michigan and I like to write about places I have been. While researching shape shifters and other paranormal beings I came across the story of the Michigan Dogman. The first reports of this creature were recorded in 1887 in Wexford County, Michigan.
The northeast section of the Manistee National Forest takes up a large part of the Wexford County, giving the dogman plenty of room to run. The first known sighting of the creature occurred when two lumberjacks reportedly encountered a the dogman, which they described as being a creature with a man’s body with a dog’s head.
The lower peninsula is not alone in its reports of the Michigan Dogman. Many sightings have also occurred in the Upper Peninsula. In fact,many people have claimed to have seen the dogman in several different locations throughout the state. The sightings, primarily in the northwestern part of the lower peninsula, range from one side of the state to the other.
1987, one hundred years after the first reported sighting, a disc jockey at a Traverse City radio station recorded a song about the Michigan Dogman sightings.
On April Fools day of 1987, disc jockey Steve Cook, of WTCM – FM of Traverse City, played the song based on actual reports of the Dogman sightings titled, The Legend. After playing the song, it became the most requested single on the station by those who would call in and report that they, too, had seen such a creature, and the legend grew.
How many people have seen the Michigan Dogman? How many people will report it? I haven’t seen the creature, but my sister and brother-in-law say they have. I believe them. Not because I want to believe something like this exists, but because they have no reason to lie to me.
The legend of the Michigan Dogman is what inspired me to write my werewolf series, Hidden Breeds, set in Michigan. I have always believed that these legends come from somewhere. Why would two lumberjacks in the 1880s lie about what they had seen? Better yet, why would anyone today do the same when they know that people will ridicule them for their efforts?
Some might argue that they are telling the truth. I guess we’ll all just have to decide for ourselves.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind knowing that shape shifters exist as long as they are the honor-bound kind of shape shifters that my heroes portray.
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