Were-animals have always held a fascination for people, in stories and legends. In the areas where there are mostly jungles, there are stories of were-tigers/lions/panthers. The fact that there could be humans that could turn into animals has long been a basis of folktales and myths.
One of the first books about werewolves, The Book of Werewolves, being an account of a terrible superstition, was written by Rev, Sabine Baring-Gould, a parson, folklorist, and archaeologist. It was published in 1865. Baring-Gould attempts to explain lycanthropy in the ancient world and then moves forward in time. Werewolves were a good way to explain murderers who devoured their victims. Humans, of course, would never do anything like that, so it had to have been done by something other-worldly.
Unlike Baring-Gould’s book, Linda S. Godfrey’s Real Wolfmen, True Encounters in Modern America notes many actual sightings of an unusual creature, one not quite totally a man, totally a beast, part man, part wolf or dog.
Lon Coleman has done extensive work in cryptozoology, the study of unknown creatures. His website is Cryptomundo http://cryptomundo.com/bigfoot-report/a-cold-case-of-a-ghost-creature-the-corndog-creature-of-macon-county/
This is eyewitness testimony by a woman who saw an unusual beast at 9:30 AM in Macon County, Illinois. This account is taken from Lon’s site.
“The creature had appeared some 60 yards in front of me. It had emerged from the cornfield to the left [east] of me on all fours… It started taking small steps, like in a slow motion movement, as if it were contemplating whether to continue or retreat to the field. However, it did not seem alarmed or in a hurry. Two small steps were taken, then it sniffed the ground or was listening or something.” She continued, “It kept sniffing all the way to the roads edge, some 10 feet. Turning it’s (sic) head continuously – north to south, north to south. Now I was 30 to 40 feet from it. I kept tapping my breaks. At this point, it was at the gravel road edge and stopped sniffing, then the head turned again as if looking for traffic. It lifted it’s head and stepped upon the road. My vehicle is now at a crawl. At approximately one half way across the road it slowly began to rise. I’ve never seen anything like this! By the time it got to the other side, it was standing erect on two legs, walking!!!”
Note that this sighting occurred at 9:30 in the morning, not at night when shadows and darkness can change images. Because of the woman’s family connections, she kept quiet about the encounter. Evidently not too many people want to believe there are strange things in our countryside and those who see one are more likely to be believed if they’d noticed a UFO.
In the age of Jeffrey Dahmer, an age where we hear about murderers who cannibalize their victims, we don’t need these legends to explain a psychopathy. However, sightings continue.
There are cornfields all around our house in the country. When I drive down our narrow road at night, I’m cautious of the possible feral cat, deer or raccoon. I look forward to the day when I see something different.
To answer my fascination with the werewolf legend and with the wolf as an endangered species, I wrote The Guardian’s Prophecy:
“Zoologist Kate Riley knows the stories of the wolf being an evil killing machine are wrong. She spent her own money establishing the Lenape Wolf Preserve to teach the public the truth. But now there are mysterious killings in the town near the preserve. The victims’ throats have been torn out by a large canine-like animal and suspicion falls on Kate’s wolves. Although the wolves are micro-chipped and none have escaped from the preserve, the DA has issued a Cease and Desist Order against Kate’s Preserve.”
Are there beasts that act like humans? I’m not sure but I know that there are humans who act worse than beasts.