Haunted Michigan: The Dogman

Nightmare at Muskegon State Park II

Nightmare at Muskegon State Park II, photo by otisourcat

When legends are way back in the past, they aren’t as scary. This one isn’t, and the fact that many of the sightings take place in my own backyard make me reluctant to share it. So, reluctantly, via Steve Cook’s Michigan-Dogman.com, I give you a Dogman tale from Oceana County, Michigan in 2005. Italics are the notes from Cook to the witness’s account.

Most dogman encounters are very brief, and usually rather benign. Very few witnesses have ever had more than a single encounter (a fact which makes most of them quite grateful). Our next event is unique in that the witnesses shared repeated encounters in a very narrow window of time. All of these events took place in Oceana County in Michigan’s Lower Peninisula. The contributor wishes to remain anonymous.

“The first incident happened while I was home alone. I had moved my bed into my closet to further open up my room. My dog was in there with me and we were getting ready for bed. Then my dog began to growl, which was very unusual. He never growls. I had maybe heard him growl or bark twice in his entire ten years of life. This growl was so fierce and mean that it actually made me scared. He was looking up at the ceiling and his hair was standing on end.

Then I heard it. It was loud, like something big was walking across the roof. There was snorting and light growls, so at first I feared that a bear had wandered into the area. I tried to keep my dog quiet, but he was shaking and going wild. There was a lot of scratching, like something was trying to dig through the roof – then it was gone, suddenly and without warning. A few minutes later my uncle arrived, I rushed out to tell him the story, he looked around but found nothing. He tried to pass it off as a raccoon. Let me tell you – there is no way on earth that a raccoon could have caused that reaction from my dog or made that much noise.”

A few weeks later, the witness had convinced herself that her uncle was probably correct. She had a friend spending the night, and they decided to camp out in the yard. They built a small campfire in a firepit, and were sitting next to it talking. Hearing a sound, they looked toward the woods. Just beyond the light cast by the fire…

“Something was walking out there. The features were canine; legs were shaped like a wolf, bushy tail, everything. But, it was way too tall to be a regular dog or even a wolf, it stood a bit higher than a deer and it was very thin. I only caught the back end of it walking behind a lilac bush, but it was enough for me. I calmly told my friend that we needed to go inside. I told her to walk slowly, since I live in the middle of no mans land, I know that wild animals are attracted to fast moving objects, and the last thing I wanted was to get up close and personal with whatever that thing was.”

Safely back inside, they talked about what they had seen. Whatever it was had seemed more curious than threatening. Later that same night, that assessment would change.

“…we were having a cigarette out my window, and my friend dropped hers. She put a chair up to the window and crawled out. She walked a few steps, paused, looked back at me. “Did you hear that?” she asked. I hadn’t heard anything, but apparently, she had heard rustling from the field beside her. Then we both heard it, a very close and very loud snarl. It was like nothing I have ever heard before and hope to never hear again. No animal that I know of sounds or looks like that. “

Lots more available from The Legend of Michigan’s Dogman including a 1961 encounter in Big Rapids that includes a purported photo of the Dogman! There’s also a DVD you can purchase that’s pretty cool. Best of all, proceeds have raised over $60,000 for charities, primarily those involved in domestic animal rescue, rehabilitation, and placement in permanent homes.

Wikipedia explains that the Michigan Dogman is a cryptozoological creature first reported in 1887 in Wexford County. Sightings have been reported in several locations throughout Michigan, primarily in the northwestern quadrant of the Lower Peninsula. In 1987, the legend of the Michigan Dogman gained popularity when a disc jockey at WTCM-FM (Steve Cook) recorded a song about the creature and its reported sightings.

You should also check out Linda Godfrey’s writings about the Dogman from her books including Weird Michigan, and also my buddy Rick Brauer’s movie Dogman and Dogman 2: Wrath of the Litter.

Muskegon County borders Oceana to the south, and has had its own Dogman sightings. View the photo bigger and see more of otisourcat’s Muskegon photos.

Happy Halloween everyone! More ghost stories & haunted tales on Michigan in Pictures!

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