The Pine Barrens Institute

Cryptids - Folklore - Sightings

Episode 7: The PBI tells the true story of Wisconsin's Hodag

In this mini 33min episode, we talk all about Wisconsin’s most famous resident monster, the Hodag. From its humble beginnings as a Fearsome Critter, all the way to its town saving magic brought on by Eugene Shepard. Forget what you have read about this cryptid elsewhere online, this is the 100% true story about the Badger States most unique creature. Sorry Beast of Bray Road, we still love you.

"It happened just at twilight. Eugene Shepard, a naturalist of the north woods, was taking his customary quiet stroll into the forest, striding down a favorite trail, breathing the fragrance of the tall pines and hemlocks. Suddenly, he became aware of an unusual odor. Stopped short by the stench, he searched through the depths of the foliage until he discovered a strange creature, so unlike anything he had ever seen before that it was beyond description. Though a student of woodlore and of both prehistoric and other wild animals, Mr. Shepard could not classify the monstrosity, which gazed at him with glowing green eyes, sniffling from flaming nostrils.

The animal's back resembled that of a dinosaur, and his tail, which extended to an enormous length, had a spearlike end. Sharp spines, one and a half feet apart, lined the spinal column. The legs were short and massive, and the claws were thick and curved, denoting great strength. The broad, furrowed forehead was covered with coarse, shaggy hair and bore two large horns. From the broad, muscular mouth, sharp, glistening white teeth protruded."