The Michigan Dogman is a werewolf-like creature that has been sighted in various parts of Michigan, especially in the northwestern quadrant of the Lower Peninsula. It is described as a seven-foot tall, bipedal canine with the torso of a man and the head of a dog or wolf. It has blue, amber, or red eyes that glow in the dark, and a howl that sounds like a human scream.
The legend of the Michigan Dogman dates back to 1887, when two lumberjacks in Wexford County claimed to have seen a beast with a man’s body and a dog’s head. Since then, there have been numerous reports of encounters with the creature, some of them violent. For example, in 1937, a man named Robert Fortney was attacked by five wild dogs near Paris, Michigan. He said that one of them stood up on two legs and looked him in the eye. In 1967, a couple in Manistee saw a large, hairy creature running across the road on two legs. In 1987, a group of teenagers in Luther were chased by a huge dog that walked upright and had glowing eyes.
The most famous source of the Michigan Dogman legend is a song by Steve Cook, a disc jockey at WTCM-FM in Traverse City. He recorded the song in 1987 as an April Fool’s prank, using various accounts of dogman sightings as inspiration. The song became a hit and sparked a renewed interest in the creature. Cook later admitted that he made up some of the details in the song, such as the ten-year cycle that supposedly marks the appearance of the dogman every year ending in 7. However, he also claimed that he received many calls and letters from people who swore they had seen the dogman themselves.
So, is the Michigan Dogman real or just a hoax? That depends on who you ask. Some people believe that it is a genuine cryptid, possibly a relic population of an ancient wolf-like species or a hybrid between a wolf and a human. Others think that it is a misidentification of a normal animal, such as a bear, a coyote, or a large dog. Still others suggest that it is a psychological phenomenon, a product of mass hysteria or folklore.
Whatever the case may be, the Michigan Dogman remains one of the most intriguing and terrifying mysteries of our state. If you ever find yourself in the woods of northern Michigan at night, be careful. You never know what might be lurking behind the trees.