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Ron Patton | October 10, 2022

A Michigan truck driver traveling through the Manistee National Forest claimed he had a harrowing encounter recently with the Michigan Dogman. There is something primal about being in the woods and coming in contact with a large upright walking wolf. The creature has always been part of our base nightmares and a dark archetype. Are these humanoid wolf-like cryptids actually apex predators, possessed with demonic beastly spirits that are ravenous and on the prowl to consume flesh and blood? Tonight on Ground Zero, Clyde Lewis talks with paranormal podcaster, Bob Hicks about HELLHOUND.





Well, it looks like Disney is at it again with an attempt to capture the feel of classic horror — or at least a serious attempt at the fun parody of the classic Wolfman movie. Feeling that Halloween spirit I watched the show that apparently is a Marvel comics creation as The Man-Thing, Cthulhu-like creature made an appearance. The werewolf sequences were very effective and for some reason, they left me wanting more.

The film was too short.

But it was effective at capturing the Halloween spirit –as our minds tend to dwell on some of the darker things as the days get shorter and the nights grow colder.

Critical thinking tells us that perhaps there are no humans possessed by the spirit of predatory animals or that there is no such thing as werewolves and yet the stories of hybrid man-beasts have been around for thousands of years.

About four days ago there was a story that ran in the Midland daily news that has now sparked a trend in werewolf searches on the internet.

The newspaper covers stories in central Michigan Tri-Cities and Great Lakes.

A Michigan truck driver traveling through the Manistee National Forest claimed that he had an encounter with the Michigan Dogman.

Trucker Joe Barger, 59, recently recounted his story.

Barger, a six-year army veteran, was transporting a 43,000-pound load of paper from a mill in northern Michigan through the forest on his typical route when he encountered the Dogman on an evening in June. He said he had never heard of the cryptid before the incident, which took place within 15-20 seconds at most.

Leading up to the encounter, Barger realized while driving he had an air leak. Wanting to fix it before he got too far into the forest, he stopped to look at it. He found the air leak by the back brake chamber on the trailer.

With the materials to fix it, Barger positioned himself underneath the trailer and began to get a “bad feeling.”

Barger started hearing what he calls terrifyingly strange vocalizations.

“It wasn’t a sound I had ever heard before. I was looking around and I saw some shadowing in the wood line. But there was plenty of light to see. It was nowhere near getting dark yet. I was in bear country so I perceived the shadowing to be a black bear at the time.”

When he realized he could be near a black bear, Barger got back into the truck and checked out the air, which was good to go.

The woods continued to give Barger a bad feeling. But he thought everything was normal until he started driving again. He checked his driver’s side mirror for any traffic on the two-lane road at the bottom of a hill. There was no traffic.

As he started going up the hill and looked in his right side mirror he saw it was darker than it should be.

“There was a wolf head the size of my window and my windows were down,” Barger said in the video. “He was trotting along next to me and I was about 20-25 mph at that point. And he was stooping down on two legs looking down inside of my cabin. I’m nine feet tall in my seat. His hands were coming up scratching my window sill. On my door handle, I could hear his claws.”

He said that times seemed to have slowed down during the attack.

He said he felt he was in an alternate reality because he stated that a creature like this doesn’t exist in a reality he had never known of.

He stated that the creature has a  lot of sharp teeth and the teeth were l brilliant white,” “Three-inch long fangs bottom and top. Pure black pointed ears. It had yellow eyes. With human-like hands probably 14 inches across. It was at least ten feet fall from how it was stooping into my cabin. His yellow eyes were darting all over the place.”

Barger thought about trying to roll up the window but he decided to focus on keeping the truck on the road.

That is when he remembered his handgun. Barger pulled his .45 Colt strapped to his waist and took two shots at the creature.

Barger, assuming the creature to be dead, wanted to turn around and check on the carnage to make sure he didn’t “lose his mind.” About a mile up the road, he found a spot large enough to turn his truck around in.

As Barger was coming back down the hill, at most five minutes after shooting it, it was gone.

In its place was a jeep and two people. Barger said he was concerned about people being somewhere potentially dangerous so he stopped to talk to them.

They give him a story that they were watching a few bears fighting each other. Barger was worried about them being outside with what had just happened. But he didn’t want to let them know what he had just done so he left.

In June of 2015, three friends went camping in the mountains and at first everything went smoothly. They set up camp, did some hiking, and that evening sat around a campfire to chat and tell stories. As they sat there talking, they would claim that the forest around them had suddenly gone silent, all of the usual sounds of the nighttime wilderness ceasing to leave them in an eerie quiet. They stopped talking, and as they listened to that silence and tried to figure out what was going on, they could feel a sort of static electricity in the air and from the quiet emerged a low humming sound. There was then a bright flash of light in the distance that seemed to light up the entire forest. One of the witnesses would say of it:

It looked like when a really big firework exploded for the first few seconds, but it lasted for about a minute before it split up into 3 or 4 other lights and shot back down into the trees. We could see the lights glowing out in the woods and then there was a big gust of wind and it was gone. Everything smelled like it had just rained but it never did.

The men at the time thought it had probably been a meteor, but that night thing would get stranger still when one of them woke the others to say there was a large creature of some sort out in the woods watching their camp. He had at first taken it to be a bear but then realized that it was walking around and standing on two legs and looked more simian than apelike.

The three men all scanned the forest trying to get a glimpse of it, and their thoughts now were that it was maybe Bigfoot, but things would get even stranger still when they saw it standing close by and realized that it looked more like a werewolf, with a hairy, humanoid body and the “head of a dog,” with dark grey all over its body except for the front, where the hair was white or yellow.

The creature stared at them balefully for a moment and then let out a loud, ear-splitting scream that sounded like a “pig being slaughtered,” after which it was joined by three more of the creatures. These “Dogmen” then ran to the tent to destroy it and the witnesses ran as fast as they could toward their truck. As they sped off, they came across one of the creatures standing in the middle of the row with its chest puffed out, and they had to swerve to avoid it. They would go back to the campsite in the morning to find that all of their camping gear was gone. All of the men would insist that this was not Bigfoot but something else, and say that they believed they came from whatever had made that light show they had seen earlier in the evening.

There is something primal about being in the woods and coming in contact with a large upright walking wolf. The creature has always been part of our base nightmares and a dark archetype spoken of Carl Jung.

The Wolf is a symbol of power — but it can also be seen as a protector or nurturer.

However, at the beginning of time werewolf or dogmen sightings were common — and there were many people who had a ravenous hunger for human flesh and blood and would shapeshift into an animal to attack their prey.

A long time ago back in those in those fierce and frightening prehistoric years when every day was a struggle for survival for the primitive hunter-gatherers there came the realization that the flowing of a victim’s vital fluid after a fatal attack from a cave bear’s claws and jaws was connected with the release of the life force itself.

Blood became sacred. Once the association was made between blood and the life force, a large number of magical and religious rituals became centered around the shedding of blood, and thousands of members of ancient priesthoods have raised chalices filled with the dark, holy elixir of life over thousands of altars stained with both animal and human blood.

As respect for the spiritual quality of human life evolved, the sacrifice of men, women, and children was considered forbidden. And while in less civilized times the drinking of an animal’s vital fluid had been deemed an appropriate way in which to absorb the strength or virility of the lion, the bear, or the boar, religious law now admonished against both the drinking of animal blood and the eating of meat from which the blood had not been thoroughly drained.

The Old Testament book of Leviticus (17:14) acknowledges that blood is “the life of all flesh, the blood of it is the life thereof,” but the children of Israel are instructed that they “shall not eat of the blood of no manner of flesh; for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.” Again, in Deuteronomy 12:20–24, the Lord warns, “…thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after…Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh. Thou shalt not eat [blood]; thou shalt pourest it upon the earth as water.”

Similar warnings against the ingesting of blood for religious or health reasons were soon a part of the teachings of all major faiths and cultures. But while culture, magic, and religion had amassed thousands of years of prohibitions concerning the shedding of blood,

There came the stories of hybridized humans, who for some reason became vicious apex predators that drank the blood and ate the flesh of humans.

There is no known culture on this planet that has not at one time or another cowered in fear because of the savage attacks of a nocturnal predator known as a therianthrope, a human-animal hybrid such as a werewolf, hellhound or dogman.

Such creatures were painted by Stone Age artists more than 10,000 years ago and represent some of the world’s oldest cave art—and they probably precipitated some of the world’s first nightmares.

What could be more repulsive to the human psyche than the hybrid half-human, half-animal monsters bite the throats and drink the blood of men, women, and children? It is believed that the werewolves or dogmen predated the vampire.

It is difficult for those living in the modern world to imagine the night terrors of our ancestors as they prepared to face the demons- and the monster-riddled world after sundown.

As one watches the late-night horror film on television and hears that strange sound outside the window, the thought pops uneasily into the mind that all things are possible—even those things that everyone knows cannot possibly exist.

Contrary to the legend popularized by Hollywood horror films, one does not undergo a painful transformation into a wolf after being bitten or scratched by a werewolf. According to ancient traditions, those who became werewolves were generally of two types: 1) Power-hungry sorcerers who deliberately sought the ability to shapeshift into the form of a wolf through an application of black magic so that they might more effectively rob or attack their victims. Those who became werewolves through incantations, potions, or spells took evil delight in their savage strength and their ability to strike fear into the hearts of all those whom they encountered. 2) Innocent men or women who ran afoul of a sorcerer who had vengefully placed a curse of lupine transformation upon them.

Those innocents who had become werewolves against their will may have been filled with disgust at their acts of slashing, ripping, and often ingesting the flesh of their human victims, but they were powerless to resist such gruesome and murderous desires while they remained under the spell that had been placed upon them.

According to a number of ancient magical texts, one of the methods by which one might willingly become a werewolf was to disrobe and to rub completely over one’s naked body an ointment made of the fat of a freshly killed animal and a special mixture of herbs. The person who wished to accomplish the lupine transformation should also wear a belt made of human or wolf skin around the waist, then cover his or her body with the pelt of a wolf. To accelerate the process of shapeshifting, the apprentice werewolf should drink beer mixed with blood and recite an ancient magical incantation.

The prefix was in Old English means “man,” so coupled with wolf, it designates a creature that can alter its appearance from human to beast and become a “man-wolf.” In French, the werewolf is known asloup garou; in Spanish, hombre lobo; Italian, lupo manaro; Portuguese, lobizon or lobo home; Polish, wilkolak; Russian, olkolka or volkulaku; and in Greek, brukolakas.

Native American tribes tell of skinwalkers, and state that in the beginning of things, humans were as animals and animals as humans. Stories of women who gave birth to werecreatures are common among the North American tribal myths.

Early cultures throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa formed totem clans and often worshipped minor deities that were half-human, and half-animal. Norse legends tell about hairy, humanlike beings that live in the underworld caves and come out at night to feast on the flesh of unfortunate surface dwellers. To the people of the Middle Ages, there was little question that such creatures as werewolves truly existed, and the Inquisition was certain to include these demonic entities in their arrests.

In History of Goths, Swedes, and Vandals, exiled bishop Olaus Magnus (1490–1557) wrote that people born on December 25 at the stroke of midnight had an unpleasant future. Many were cursed with the potential of becoming werewolves. Religious rituals were created by the church in order to ward off the curse.

Switzerland can lay claim to the first official execution of werewolves, when in 140

Several individuals so accused were tortured and burned in Basel; but the inquisitors in France have the dubious distinction of recording the most cases of werewolfism in all of Europe—30,000 between 1520 and 1630. The werewolf trials began at Poligny in 1521 when, after enduring the torture chamber, three men admitted to consorting with she-wolves and demons in order to gain the power to transform themselves into wolves—then they confessed to having killed and devoured many small children over a 19-year period.

They were summarily burned at the stake.

The fight against so-called Dog men and werewolves has always been a secret held by the old Catholic church. The very idea of chasing demons out of the market place has given the church an archaic and medieval image. Now it seems they really are not that covert. The war against Satan is ageless and the fear of a shapeshifter has been a tale as old as time.

How can the church be surprised that the fascination is there when most bedtime stories deal with these topics? As children watch Disney films that deal with a young girl falling in love with a beast and read stories of Little Red Riding hood offering the holy sacrament of bread and wine to her possessed grandmother it isn’t surprising that we are seeing a manifestation of these creatures in the zeitgeist.

Sometimes it becomes difficult to establish the line of demarcation that separates legendary accounts of werewolves and other wereanimals devouring human victims from the early historical records of savage human predators ambushing their victims by night. In the Middle Ages, large bands of beggars roamed the European countryside’s after dark, often dressed in wolfskins and howling like a pack of wolves on the hunt. In the rural areas of France, Germany, Lower Hungary, Estonia, and other countries, these nocturnal marauders were literally  “werewolves.”

The old Norwegian counterpart to werewolf is vargulf, literally translated as “rogue wolf,” referring to an outlaw who separates himself from society.

In their paper “A Case of Lycanthropy,” published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 1977, psychiatrist Harvey Rosenstock and psychologist Kenneth Vincent discussed the case history of a 49-year-old woman who received daily psychotherapy and antipsychotic drugs and who still perceived herself as a wolfwoman with claws, teeth, and fangs. Medical personnel would manage to get the woman under control until the next full moon—when she would snarl, howl, and resume her wolflike behavior. Rosenstock and Vincent stated that the woman was eventually discharged and provided with antipsychotic medication, but she declared that she would haunt graveyards until she had found the male werewolf of her dreams.

Modern werewolf and dogman stories are numerous and there have been many recorded by researchers like Linda Godfrey.

Linda reported in 1996 that a woman attended a midwestern church and was observed to be a very odd looking,

One Sunday morning a middle-aged woman who was new to town came in and took a seat among the other approximately 225 other churchgoers. The lady seemed to be restless and fidgeting a lot, and witnesses would later describe her as having a “very strange grayness” about her person, but at the time most did not think much of it. The sermon went on as usual, but when the minister stepped off the stage and walked past the woman, she suddenly bolted to her feet and let out a “bloodcurdling scream,” much to the astonishment of everyone around her.

The woman then suddenly went into some sort of seizure and morphed into a hulking, muscular humanoid “wolf-like creature” with grey hair all over its body and what were described as cloven, “deer-like hooves” in full view of hundreds of people. Oddly, this bizarre transformation occurred nearly instantaneously, and the woman’s clothes had vanished. The creature apparently took on a “protective stance” and howled and roared for several minutes while the congregation cowered in terror. The minister stepped forward to confront it, upon which it seemed to recoil away and look around as if deciding whether to attack or flee.

At that moment, four men from the congregation rushed the beast and struggled to hold it down as it resisted with superhuman strength and panted and howled in fury. Just when they thought they could not hold it down anymore, it then allegedly transformed back into the woman just as suddenly as it had appeared. The woman was described as looking dazed and confused, as if she had no idea what had happened to her. She was then ushered away and it is unclear what happened to her after that.

There have been several murderers in the modern age that may have been in fact werewolves. When we look metaphorically at the acts of Jeffery Dahmer and Ed Gein one needs to question if the spirit of the wolf possessed them.

It was said that Gein preserved his mother’s skin. He confessed that he often dressed up in it, wore his mother’s clothes, and ran outside the farmhouse to dance in the moonlight. He also wore belts of human nipples and would make furniture of human skin.

Dahmer of course was legendary for eating his victims which also is a trait of the man-wolf.

Is it madness or possession? What causes a man to kill and eat his victims?

Of course we are forced to consider the moon and how phases may or nay not affect human behavior. During a full moon, more crimes, violence and accidents are reported. Hospital Emergency rooms are said to fill up during a full moon.

A lot of people claim that it is an old wives tale, however, the moon affects the tides, and since our blood is made of seawater it stands to reason that perhaps we are affected. Many scientists say that the notion is purely speculation and that there is no proof that this happens.

We are all told that there are no monsters, that there are no real monsters; however, a monster is also a matter of how you think, and what you observe. A predator can be just about anything from a natural apex predator or a killer that is possessed by a demonic beastly spirit that is ravenous and ready to hunt.



Tales from the Dark is a podcast and YouTube channel hosted by Bob Hicks and Cohosted by Brittani Clark. Bob has been a paranormal investigator for the last 17 years and dove head first into High Strangeness back in 2020. They explore anything weird and travel all around the country to hunt down stories of High Strangeness, taking listeners along for the ride. UFOs, Cryptids, Ghosts, and goblins. Bob specializes in bringing you stories from the darker side of our world and continues to add to their never ending, but always growing, Tales From The Dark.

Written by Ron Patton


This post currently has 6 comments.

  1. joe

    October 10, 2022 at 5:19 pm

    the movies all stunk. only the 2nd movie was okay. the toys didn’t sell. THE Books were so-so may be they should do a remake

  2. Eve of Destruction

    October 10, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    I live in Michigan, and while camping in the Mandated National Forest area, encountered what I believe was one of these creatures. Although it was back in the 70’s, it remains terrifyingly vivid in my memory.

  3. Greg

    October 11, 2022 at 4:59 am

    This makes me think of movies where cults have shapeshifting members. Like the original Conan with the snake cult. The leader Thulsa Doom transforms into a giant snake and consumes his victims, he has a large following of hypnotized, brainwashed members who will sacrifice themselves for him. And of course The Howling where there is a community that has a retreat in the mountains and they are all werewolves who can hunt and kill out of sight of the public. It is interesting that there are actually dark cults like these with animal gods. In a group setting the leaders can experiment with methods to alter someone’s mind and possibly even their body.

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