Near the Black Hills of South Dakota sits one of the largest Indian reservations in the country: the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Home to the Oglala Lakota tribe, Pine Ridge has a long history of trauma. It’s the site where hundreds of Lakota Indians were killed during the Wounded Knee Massacre, and it’s currently one of the poorest county’s in the United States. When it made headlines in 2015 for a spree of teen suicides, many began to suggest that darker supernatural forces were at work in Pine Ridge, citing the urban legend of Walking Sam.
Between December of 2014 and March of 2015, there were 103 suicide attempts made. Nine of those were successful, and none of the victims were older than twenty-five. Many died by hanging. In previous years there had been other clusters of suicides, but none this large. Stuck in a crisis situation with no clear answers, many began to point to a sinister force that has long existed in Native American tradition and lore. Children raised in Lakota households grow up hearing of “suicide spirits,” “stick people,” or shadow people who attempt to lure adolescents from the safety of their homes at night. Over time, and with the explosion of popularity in Slender Man, these stories may have morphed into the single figure now known as Walking Sam.
The Legend of Walking Sam
Though he goes by other names as well (most notably “Tall Man” or “Stovepipe Hat Bigfoot”), most of the stories describe Walking Sam as a seven-foot tall figure with eyes but no mouth, sometimes wearing a stove-pipe hat. When he raises his arms one sees the bodies of previous victims hanging beneath. When teenagers hear him calling, he tries to persuade them of their worthlessness, encouraging them to kill themselves. Some believe he targets younger people because they are more susceptible to his tricks.
There are also those who believe he is not even necessarily a malicious entity, but rather one who wanders the forests as some sort of punishment and is merely looking for companionship. There are also the obvious ties to boogeyman folklore and Slender Man legends, but from a cryptozoological standpoint some believe he may be another version of, or in fact related to, Bigfoot. Finally, for a people group who have such an intertwined spiritual connection between the land and their heritage, some believe that Walking Sam is a sort of physical manifestation of the hurt and trauma that Lakota Indians experience on a regularly basis.
A Growing Epidemic
Whether Walking Sam is real, or perhaps a metaphor for depression, many of the adults at Pine Ridge take the threat he represents seriously, asking for help from government officials in curtailing the devastating effects of the legend. Disturbing videos have surfaced of teens explaining how to tie the rope just right. Pastors and teachers have stepped in at the last moment to stop group suicides. Authorities find nooses hanging grimly from trees. Whether or not these young adults are having their dark desires exacerbated by an ominous urban legend boogeyman remains a mystery. However, what is clear is that in a land plagued by extreme poverty, alcohol abuse, and skyrocketing high school drop out rates, teens are struggling with mental health issues and need proper care and support.
Ben’s love for horror began at a young age when he devoured books like the Goosebumps series and the various scary stories of Alvin Schwartz. Growing up he spent an unholy amount of time binge watching horror films and staying up till the early hours of the morning playing games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. Since then his love for the genre has only increased, expanding to include all manner of subgenres and mediums. He firmly believes in the power of horror to create an imaginative space for exploring our connection to each other and the universe, but he also appreciates the pure entertainment of B movies and splatterpunk fiction.
Nowadays you can find Ben hustling his skills as a freelance writer and editor. When he’s not building his portfolio or spending time with his wife and two kids, he’s immersing himself in his reading and writing. Though he loves horror in all forms, he has a particular penchant for indie authors and publishers. He is a proud supporter of the horror community and spends much of his free time reviewing and promoting the books/comics you need to be reading right now!
“What’s your favorite scary movie?” Ghostface can be heard around the world by countless fans mimicking his famous catchphrase. Ghostface taunts his victims by telephone and with a voice changing device to help hide his identity (which ultimately changes every movie). He then stalks and chases them with a scary looking dagger to ensure a violent death. Ghostface is certainly one of the horror genre’s favorite slashers.
The Scream franchise did very well, with the first movie raking in more than $103 million in the United States alone (that’s great for an estimated budget of only $14,000,000)! But where did the story get its start? What is the Scream movie origin and is Ghostface based upon a real life killer? Horror Enthusiast has dove deep to untangle some wires and figure the true origin of the Ghostface killer and Scream movies.
The Real Story that Inspired Ghostface & Scream
The Real Life Unnerving Murders
The writer of Scream, Kevin Williamson, created the story line surrounding his fascination with the Gainesville Ripper. While watching a news story about the terror, he realized his very own window was open, and that he could be susceptible to the same horrible fate that had already befallen a number of people. The horror script was born that very day as Kevin completed the first 18 page draft of what would be Scream.
The initial script featured a young woman who was alone at home (where she should be safe), being taunted by a killer over the phone. The woman would then be chased by the slasher, who would be a scary-masked villain with a knife. Shortly, Kevin had completed a full-length script for the movie. He even planned the concept of Scream becoming a franchise right away. In addition to his full-length script, Kevin provided suggestions that outlined two possible sequels.
The Gainesville Ripper
Danny Harold Rolling is the Gainesville Ripper, a serial killer responsible for murdering 5 students in the Gainesville, Florida area, as well as 3 others in Louisiana. Rolling is the initial inspiration (although somewhat loosely fit) for the plot horror enthusiasts all know as the Scream movie today. Rolling was a gruesome killer, mutilating his victims after raping them and even decapitating one body. He would also pose his victims in sexually provocative positions before leaving the scene. Hardly Ghostface, however, nonetheless the Gainesville Ripper would scare Kevin Williamson so bad he’d come up with the basis for a truly scary plot with a real-life feel.
Rolling was put to death by legal injection in 2006.
Where Did the Ghostface Mask Come From?
The Ghostface mask was discovered by Wes Craven himself as he were hunting for filming locations. He noticed the mask hanging on the wall of one of the rooms within a possible film house and knew it was a perfect fit. The mask could not be exactly similar as he could not obtain the rights and so he had one made to resemble the mask as closely as possible based upon a photo he took.
Where Did the Ghostface Cloak Come From?
Ghostface was designed, originally, to be cloaked in a white robe, not a black robe. The costume only changed to a black robe after the crew realized he resembled a member of the Ku Klux Klan when wearing white.
Where Did the Title “Scream” Come From?
Scream was originally going to be called “Scary Movie.” This is super ironic, as that title would later be used for a parody that pretty much featured the Scream franchise. The (now more famous than ever before in light of their sexual harassment scandles) Weinstein Brothers decided to rename the film to Scream towards the end of filming.
What Made Scream More Interesting?
Scream was (basically) the first horror movie that featured characters who understood horror movies existed and even referenced real-life horror movies throughout the film. With characters that understood how people die in horror movies and the common mistakes to avoid…it made the audience feel as though anything could happen.
There is a lot of inspiration behind Scream that appears under the surface, as well. Scream script writer, Kevin Williamson, had been a huge horror movie fan his entire life before beginning the Scream script. He loved popular horror franchises Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Prom Night, and many others. His passion for these films is evident via a number of references and obvious homage throughout the Scream movies.
Scream Still Scares Even Today
Ghostface today is still a very popular slasher horror icon. He makes several appearances throughout popular media (other movies included, even comedies like ‘Scary Movie’). And almost everyone knows who Ghostface is, or has seen at least one Scream movie. He is even a very popular Halloween mask choice more than 20 years after his first cinematic appearance (the original Scream being released in 1996). And very recently, more interest slasher favorite, Ghostface, has spawned a rebooted Scream franchise in form of a TV series. The TV series first aired in June of 2015, but is currently three seasons strong. The third season has yet to air (begins in March of 2018).
Whether on the big screen or on TV, one thing is clear: Ghostface is here to stay and wants to know what is your favorite scary movie?
Tritone’s love of horror and mystery began at a young age. Growing up in the 80’s he got to see some of the greatest horror movies play out in the best of venues, the drive-in theater. That’s when his obsession with the genre really began—but it wasn’t just the movies, it was the games, the books, the comics, and the lore behind it all that really ignited his obsession. Tritone is a published author and continues to write and write about horror whenever possible.
Count Dracula has earned his place alongside the most iconic horror monsters, including Frankenstein and the Wolf Man. The 1897 novel by Bram Stoker has left a legacy on the gothic horror genre and beyond, with the depiction of vampires in pop culture transforming over the decades in the same way that Dracula’s victims did upon receiving a bite from the famed blood-sucking monster. But where exactly did the origin of vampires begin? Is Dracula real? Who inspired his taste for human blood? As it turns out, Count Dracula is widely believed to be based on real-life prince Vlad Dracula also known as Vlad the Impaler, who used his royal status as a weapon and lived up to his violent name.
Who was Vlad Dracula aka Vlad the Impaler?
Born in the early 1400’s as Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (now known as Romania), this ruler had a variety of monikers. The first was Vlad Dracula, which means “Son of Dracul” and was adapted from his nobleman father Vlad II Dracul. And then there’s the universally known Vlad the Impaler, a name derived from his reputation for torture and mutilation of his enemies. But he had quite the journey towards such cruelty, and it all began when he was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1442.
“The sultan held Vlad and his brother as hostages to ensure that their father, Vlad II, behaved himself in the ongoing war between Turkey and Hungary,” said historian Elizabeth Miller. While the two boys were treated decently, being taught in science and philosophy as their father returned to Wallachia, Vlad III felt reasonable hostility towards his captivity. It came to a head when Vlad Dracula was ousted as ruler of his country and later killed by noblemen. Vlad III made it his mission to reclaim his late father’s seat from Vladislav II, which he did for a mere two months before the latter returned from the Balkans to reclaim his throne.
In the years after, Vlad III switched teams and severed his ties from Ottoman governors to obtain military support from King Ladislaus V of Hungary. After the fall of Constantinople in 1454, he achieved his goals and was named voivode of Wallachia in 1456. That’s when the bloodshed began.
How did Vlad Dracula get his name?
Tales of Vlad III’s lust for blood have been told for centuries. One tells of two Catholic monks that he had impaled to “assist them in their journey to heaven,” before butchering their donkey as well. Another time, diplomatic envoys declined to remove their hats for religious reasons upon a meeting with the voivode, only for Vlad to keep the hats forever on their heads by nailing them to their skulls. Perhaps one of the most famous, however, is the time that Vlad III invited hundreds of unsuspecting and feuding boyars to dinner – before having them stabbed and then impaling their still-twitching bodies. Red Wedding from Game of Thrones vibes, anyone? The most widely-believed reason for the dinner massacre was that the boyars were causing strife and dysfunction amongst the land, and Vlad simply did what he had to do… but we’re more inclined to believe that he just liked the violence and power that came with it.
“I have killed peasants, men and women, old and young, who lived at Oblucitza and Novoselo, where the Danube flows into the sea,” Vlad III wrote to a military ally in the late 1400’s. “We killed 23,884 Turks, without counting those whom we burned in homes or the Turks whose heads were cut by our soldiers.” His body count is believed to be around 80,000 – with 20,000 being impaled and put on display in the city. The violence continued until his death in the 1470’s.
How did Vlad Dracula inspire Dracula?
As you can see, Count Dracula and Vlad Dracula aren’t exactly the same person. The two biggest similarities are likely a surname and sensational taste for blood, but they share other traits as well. The Transylvanian setting, reputation as an outcast, and desire for vengeance are just a few other mutual characteristics between the Romanian prince and the classic horror icon. Was Dracula a real person? Not exactly, but he had a beautifully bloodthirsty real-life inspiration!
I am a lifelong pop culture junkie with immense passion for all forms of art and entertainment. On a typical weekend, I can be found at a concert or musical, chasing ghosts on the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, or watching way too many makeup tutorials on YouTube.
History is littered with questions as to the validity of extremism in art and media. Traditional English-speaking sensibilities all but protect us from the taboo-destroying underground world of experimental cinema, a place until now reserved for those who were prepared for a deep-dive into their local video rental store or, more recently, the internet. That being said, if I see that a horror film originated in the likes of France, Japan or Korea, to name a few, I know I may be in for a bit of a ride. At least I could be about to see something I had, through cultural linearity, never seen before. When I discovered Arrow Video’s release of We Are The Flesh (2016) promising an extreme and uninhibited French-Mexican horror experience, I was cautiously optimistic.
Written and directed by Emiliano Rocha Minter, it’s a gleefully depraved slice of post-apocalyptic experimentalism. Beginning with a brother and sister (played by Diego Galamiel and María Evoli, respectively) discovering the makeshift lair of a primitive loner (Noé Hernández) after wandering a seemingly ruined city for ‘days’, the loner offers them refuge under his own, as of yet unknown conditions. Before long the ethos of this energetic stanger has leached fully into their minds, as well as our own, and from here We Are The Flesh consistently ups the ante until we’re sure we’ve seen it all. Displaying shockingly brash instances of sex, torture, murder and cannibalism, one would be forgiven for assuming that this is simply another exercise in shock horror and likely deserves the dreaded ‘Torture-Porn’ moniker.
What Genre is We Are the Flesh?
The fact is, Minter’s directorial feature debut is far too intelligent to fall into such derogatory categories. The full commitment to its views, monologued with gusto by Hernández, completely backs the primordial hedonism to follow. As he bangs his drum and screams of deep phenomenology and the freedom of primitive chaos, viewers can’t help but be sucked into his words, nodding along and cheering for things that would have otherwise disgusted them. The core themes of his diatribes being isolation and the liberation it has afforded him, these matters could not be more apt for times like these. Rather than condemn his seclusion, he describes its effects with violently joyous energy. He speaks lovingly of mankind’s dual and savage nature as beasts who only suppress their most ancient of instincts, urging his new acquaintances to do away with the thin frameworks of moral decency that only other people held in front of them.
“The spirit doesn’t reside within the flesh; The spirit is the flesh!”
The storytelling is vague and often confusing. The destruction of the outside world is only hinted at by the state of the converted apartment block the characters reside in. Many elements are implied and only fall into place in the final moments leading to an ending that makes any right-minded viewer question everything they have seen, their own values, and likely those of the entire human race. This is the essence of experimental horror.
Shock or Thought Provoking Imagery, Maybe Both?
We Are The Flesh left a hell of an impression on me; the type you sit and ponder for a time, probably long after the credits roll. While a lot of people won’t make it to that point, and some may even react negatively at being shown such an uncompromising film. But that’s where the true point of cinema like this lies, for me anyway. If someone becomes joyous or angry or upset at what they see then they’re making a decision on it; for better or worse it has made them think. Either we reject the new and strange ideas being shown to us or we embrace them for all of their gleeful depravity. These long, unbroken scenes of increasingly bizarre, deviant sex and violence will unnerve even seasoned horror fans and, elite as it may sound, only those with the capacity and intent to soak in the true meanings behind the insanity will gain anything from their viewing. If Hernández chanting, flapping his arms like a bird and appearing like something between Gollum and Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet (1986)doesn’t spark at some primitive charge in your brain then what follows will only deepen your confusion.
Through focused cinematography, blistering intelligence and chilling commitment to performances, We Are The Flesh is one of the finer experimental horror films I have subjected myself to. While appreciators of this type of art remain in the few, this is one of the more accomplished pieces of work that could take its shameless style to a wider audience. That being said, I won’t be recommending it to any family members.
Joe first knew he wanted to write in year six after plaguing his teacher’s dreams with a harrowing story of World War prisoners and an insidious ‘book of the dead’. Clearly infatuated with horror, and wearing his influences on his sleeve, he dabbled in some smaller pieces before starting work on his condensed sci-fi epic, System Reset in 2013.Once this was published he began work on many smaller horror stories and poems in bid to harness and connect with his own fears and passions and build on his craft. Joe is obsessed with atmosphere and aesthetic, big concepts and even bigger senses of scale, feeding on cosmic horror of the deep sea and vastness of space and the emotions these can invoke. His main fixes within the dark arts include horror films, extreme metal music and the bleakest of poetry and science fiction literature. He holds a deep respect for plot, creative flow and the context of art, and hopes to forge deeper connections between them around filmmakers dabbling in the dark and macabre.
Over fifty years have passed since the original reports rolled into the Defiance Police Department. In spite of the turbulent political climate of the early 1970s (Nicely), this story caused panic. Rampant unsolicited reports ensued, meanwhile, there was a werewolf on the loose!
Outside of the original news articles, not much exists in the way of evidence of the Defiance werewolf sightings. Unfortunately, any articles found these days consist primarily of conflicting information. The focus on theatrics, mystery, and whimsy has only served to dilute the sightings from the summer of 1972.
This story has faced more than its share of scrutiny, undoubtedly small changes to the story over time have taken away from any authenticity it had. Marler stated that “the legend has stuck to the town and locals still talk about it to this day,” but our research has shown otherwise.
While it’s true that the legend has stuck to the town in a historical capacity, there are actually very few people who recall the incident. Those that do remember, however, don’t recall much detail. Nevertheless, most of the town remains relatively unaware of the existence of their local cryptid.
One common misconception about the original incidents is that they did not happen during a full moon. Common lore, however, would suggest that the days surrounding a completely full moon are also indicative of werewolf transformation. So, while the moon wasn’t full on July 25, 1972, it was a Waxing Gibbous moon. For those who want exact figures, it was at 98.18% illumination (“Moon”), which means it likely looked full to the naked eye.
Werecreatures, according to lore, are humans who have been cursed with the uncontrollable curse of transforming into a beast under the light of the full moon (Newton, 149). These creatures are paranormal in nature because they are humans with an affliction that transforms them into a beast. Unsurprisingly, legends have existed across nearly every culture in history, with the oldest reference being from Petronius Arbiter’s The Satyricon.
The appearance of werewolves is most prevalent in American pop culture. Throughout the last century movies, television, and literature have attempted to renew the vigor of werewolf lore ad nauseam. The depiction of werecreatures tends to range from comedic to horrific and this vacillation is heavily reliant upon the genre in which they appear. Regardless of their portrayal, whether comical or frightening, they remain a product of a paranormal world of which scientists remain highly skeptical.
The dogman is a conceptualized werewolf-like creature native to American culture. Dogmen are not considered to be paranormal in nature, since they exist at all times in their beast state, as both half-dog and half-man. Sightings of these wolf-like cryptids have a history of reports from across the United States but are most heavily centralized in the eastern half of the country.
Cryptid Canines of Ohio
For the past half-century, reported dogman sightings have been rampant throughout the state of Ohio. The most widely acknowledged case of sightings happened in the summer of 1972. Throughout the history of the Ohioan Dogman, it has boasted a surprising variety of different physical descriptions. Witnesses never seem to agree whether it presented as a bipedal humanoid, or as a beast walking on all fours.
Outside of Ohio, the most famous dogman in America is the Beast of Bray Road. It was reported from Elkhorn, Wisconsin, and the neighboring region beginning in the fall of 1989. The subsequent film, inspired by real events, depicted a wholly fictitious storyline (Newton, 149).
Is it a Dogman or a Werewolf?
In Newton’s entry on dogmen within his book Hidden Animals, there is a mention of a 2004 encounter with an unidentified witness. The witness claimed to have had a close encounter with a large bipedal creature with a face that more closely resembled a dog than a human. Another witness report from August 2005, coming from the Liberty area, described a sighting of a creature that was black in color and possessed the head of a large dog (Newton, 151).
When witnesses were prompted to describe the creature, each person immediately mentioned that the creature was “very hairy.” Outside of this vague descriptor, the three witnesses gave similar reports of the creature’s appearance (Stegall). DeLoye aptly summarized the physical appearance of the beast, as it was reported by various sources. All reports agreed it was very tall—between six and nine feet. The creature is bipedal but often looks as if it’s on all fours, as it has been seen hunched over on several occasions.
Many reported that despite having an animal’s head the creature resembled a man, or at the very least an upright wolf. Reports said the creature was covered in hair and that it ran around barefoot. Strangely, in place of human feet, it had large hairy paws and wolf-like claws. Potentially the strangest part of the description, by comparison, was that the creature seemed to be wearing blue jeans and a dark shirt. (DeLoye)
The Werewolf of Defiance
Amidst the heat of the summer of 1972, the residents of Defiance, Ohio suddenly began reporting sightings of a werewolf. An alarming number of people claimed to see a large hairy beast running around town, dressed in rags. Such an insurgence of reports came in, that it was far too great for the police to ignore.
The myriad versions of the myths and legends circulating about both werewolves and dogmen create a preconception of what they are. This means that the layman will assume the information they’ve gleaned from pop culture to be fact, despite the source material’s claims of fiction.
According to news sources, the first encounter with the Werewolf of Defiance happened around four in the morning on July 25, 1972. Railroad worker, Ted Davis, was working on the Norfolk and Western train lines (Pfeifle) at the time of his first encounter. As Davis was connecting the air hoses of two train cars something on the ground caught his gaze. Two huge hairy paws stood before him. No sooner did Davis raise his eyes in curiosity than the creature hit him with a two-by-four. Davis had seen enough to describe the creature as approximately six feet tall, hunched over, and hairy.
Skeptical of Werewolves
Less than a week later, on July 30, Ted Davis and his colleague Tom Jones reported a second sighting of the creature. Davis faced ridicule from Jones, who believed the whole incident to be a joke amongst the crewmen. All of that stopped that night when Jones witnessed the creature for himself at the edge of the railyard (Pfeifle). Jones was a believer.
The creature disappeared into the brush at the same time an unlucky grocer was driving home late from his shift that night. According to the unnamed witness’ statement, a large dog-like creature ran across the road in front of him (DeLoye). After Jones and Davis noted the creature’s absence, they heard screaming from a car stopped on a nearby road (Stegall).
The Crescent News was the largest skeptic of the bunch and reported that “two of the incidents occurred last week and one last night. None [have] happened during a full moon,” despite the evidence to the contrary. In fact, the first incident happened the day before the full moon (“Moon”).
Marler suggested that the investigation should have been more thorough. In the original report from August 3, 1972, The Blade stated that “one man, a train crewman switching trains, said that he was approached from behind and struck on the shoulder.” Later in that same article, Davis is quoted as having claimed, “The creature ran away before [Davis] could say anything.” This uncertainty questions the legitimacy of the claim. Was Davis ever attacked by the creature?
In a follow-up article, The Blade discussed how most people in the area believed it was simply a hoax. A man in a costume, or rather “just some nut running loose,” (“Defiance Residents”).
Werewolf Panic Turned Joke
The problem the Defiance Police Department seemed to face, was not that people were reluctant to report what they had seen, but that the panic caused people who hadn’t seen it to begin calling in due to their concern over the situation. One woman called in with such concerns due to her house being adjacent to the train tracks. She had not seen the creature, but stated that the reported sightings had put her “in a state of shock.”
The initial reports by local Defiance news outlet, The Crescent News suggest that they believed the whole thing to be a joke. Journalist Ellen Armstrong added humor to the incident when she reported it in her article on August 2, 1972. She went as far as to state that the police were “possibly armed with silver bullets and sharpened stakes” (Armstrong).
“Even a man who is pure of heart, And says his prayers by night, May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms, And the moon is clear and bright.”
Defiance Police, possibly armed with silver bullets and sharpened stakes, are on the lookout for “a wolfman,” who on three occasions, has accosted persons near the Norfolk and Western railroad tracks in the vicinity of Fifth Street and Swift and Co.
Two of the Incidents occurred last week and one last night. None has happened during a full moon.
According to Defiance Police Department, one man was attacked and struck on the shoulder with a two-by-four, however managed to get away from the assailant.
Two other attempts on residents, both men, have not been successful, so the department can’t say if the motive is robbery or just to scare people. No one has reported neck bites.
He, she or it, is described as very tall with “some kind of an animal head.”
Police Chief Don F. Breckler today said if anyone sees the “subject” they should not attempt to apprehend him but call the department immediately, giving a description and the direction in which he was heading.
The attacks have occurred (during the early morning hours, from 1:30 a.m. to 4:20 a.m. — before sunrise.
Ellen Armstrong, The Crescent News. August 3, 1972
Police Remained Alert to Werewolf Reports
The Toledo Blade also began running a series of articles, starting August 3, 1972, on the strange sightings that had popped up in Defiance just a week earlier. Anyone not in the immediate vicinity of the occurrences readily made light of the situation. Defiance police, however, remained steadfast in their duties to protect and serve their small community (Stegall).
The reports baffled the authorities. Unsure what to think about the incidents being reported, they remained skeptical. Despite the number of sightings reported, all of the descriptions were vague. Police Chief Breckler was quoted saying, “We didn’t release it to the news media when we got the first report about a week ago, but now we’re taking it seriously for the safety of our people.” Breckler approached the reports with seriousness. Nevertheless, he was adamant in his belief that it was simply a person wearing a disguise, “such as a mask.” (Stegall)
When probed about his thoughts on the incidents, Breckler admitted that he was, “inclined to think it might be a local person … [since] none of the other area towns [had] anything like [it]. And in each case [the werewolf had] been seen in the same area of [Defiance].” (Stegall)
Motive for a Werewolf Hoax
Breckler was unsure what the motive may have been for a man scaring people in a costume. From the standpoint of a lawman Breckler doubted that the motive was robbery. He pointed out that the targets of these incidents were not the type to have a lot of money (Stegall).
While the panic over the werewolf was overwhelming, it disappeared as quickly as it appeared that early morning on July 25, 1972. Reports of sightings ceased, but the legend lingers on, especially now that information is so readily available in digital format (Marler).
Modern Interpretation of the Werewolf Incident
At the time of Nicely’s article in The Crescent News on July 25, 2013 there were still a few officers remaining in the city from the time, but none seem to remember the details of the case and none of the reports remain at the police department. JoAnne Barton, who worked dispatch at the time, insists that people ask her about the incident fairly regularly and her response is always the same, that she doesn’t “really recall it.” Granted at the time of asking, forty years had already passed, which makes sense that department worker Floyd Stites had much of the same response when asked about the happening. (Nicely)
Were these true werewolf sightings or was it all just a hoax? Since there was no physical evidence to fall back on, it’s hard to say. One thing is certain, if it were really just a man in a mask would it have fooled so many? It’s easy to look back on it from a modern perspective and reason that it could have been a realistic mask. However, in consideration of the technology available at the time for prop masks and practical effects, even large budget movies couldn’t create something altogether convincing. It’s clear that these people truly believed they saw a creature and not simply a man. For, if it were indeed a man, it would have been likely that the reports would have mentioned a man in a mask running around and causing mischief.
Armstrong, Ellen. “Horror Movie Now Playing On Fifth St.” The Crescent News, Aug 3, 1972.
“Defiance Residents Suspicious Of Their Werewolf.” Toledo Blade, Aug 4, 1972, pp. 1 & 21.
Georgia-based author and artist, Mary has been a horror aficionado since the mid-2000s. Originally a hobby artist and writer, she found her niche in the horror industry in late 2019 and hasn’t looked back since. Mary’s evolution into a horror expert allowed her to express herself truly for the first time in her life. Now, she prides herself on indulging in the stuff of nightmares.
Mary also moonlights as a content creator across multiple social media platforms—breaking down horror tropes on YouTube, as well as playing horror games and broadcasting live digital art sessions on Twitch.
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