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."

Episode 6: Lake Monsters, Oklahoma Octopus, Skin Fin, Ghost Clothes, Vintage Newspapers, and The Lanky Night Walker

Wisconsin and West Virginia are over 700 miles apart, but in this modern digital age, the distance isn’t even an issue. Anyone can have a conversation within minutes of thinking about it, so that is why it was easy for author and Fortean researcher, Denver Michaels and I to link up via Skype and chat about whatever came to mind! We found ourselves deep in conversation about various lake monsters from around North America. We went down paths first talking about what aquatic beasts we believed to be real and flowed into what we think the Mothman really was. Anything and everything was available to talk about, and talk we did! Ever curious why ghosts appear to always being wearing clothes? Want to know how many fringe groups upon fringe groups there are in an already large fringe group? Ever heard of the Lanky Night Walker? These are all topics of conversation that can be found in Episode 6! And trust me when I say that even though this episode is 1hr and 35mins long, we have only scrapped the tip of the iceberg on what we could have talked about!

Episode 5: Wisconsin Folklore - Skeletons, Graveyards, Owls, Undertakers, and Ghosts

For this episode we are taking a short break from the cryptids and instead focusing on our second biggest passion, Wisconsin folklore. We traded in the Sasquatch for Ghosts, the Lake Monsters for Skeletons, and the Thunderbirds for Undertakers. We use the full 42min of this episode to retell classic folktales from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. These tales are humorous, spooky, cautionary, and downright ghostly. So why not sit back, relax, and learn about the morbid side of the badger state. This is not only Midwest Cryptozoology at its finest, it’s also Midwest Folklore at its finest!