The Michigan Dogman is a beastie that has been spotted all throughout Michigan and gained fame in 1987 when radio DJ Steve Cook produced a song about a fabricated half man/ half dog creature as a part of an April Fools Day prank. But even though he meant it as a joke the radio station was flooded with calls from people reporting that they had seen the creature, sometimes describing it as a half wolf.
The DJ’s song mentions that attacks are most likely to occur in the seventh month of the seventh year of each decade, and even though it was just a song, sightings continue to come in from all over northern Michigan. I was shocked to find that there are entire websites dedicated to dogman research and sightings.
Even though it was popularized in 1987, the dogman has been a big part of local legend for quite a while, with Ottawa and Chippewa tribes having legends of human hybrids who could shapeshift into different animals at will. So you add in old Native American legends with modern cryptid myths and you’ve got yourself a hell of a tale, one that people continue to believe in.
The folk song that started it all:
The Legend by Steve Cook
A cool summer morning in early June, is when the legend began, at a nameless logging camp in Wexford County, where the Manistee River ran.
Eleven lumberjacks near the Garland swamp found an animal they thought was a dog. In a playful mood they chased it around till it ran inside a hollow log. A logger named Johnson grabbed him a stick and poked around inside. Then the thing let out an unearthly scream and came out and stood upright.
None of those men ever said very much, ‘bout what ever happened then. They just packed up their belongings and left that night, were never heard from again. It was ten years later in ’97, when a farmer near Buckley was found. Slumped over his plow, his heart had stopped, there were dog tracks all around.
Seven years passed with the turn of the century, they say a crazy old widow had a dream, of dogs that circled her house at night that walked like men and screamed. In 1917, a sheriff who was out walking found a driverless wagon and tracks in the dust, like wolves had been a stalkin’. Near the roadside a four-horse team lay dead with their eyes open wide. When the vet finished up his examination, he said it looked like they died of fright.
In ’37 a schooner captain said, several crew members had reported a pack of wild dogs roaming Bowers Harbor. His story was never reported. In ’57 a man of the cloth found claw marks on an old church door. The newspaper said they’d been made by a dog, he’d a had to stood 7’4”. In ’67 a van-load of hippies, told a park-ranger named Quinlinn, they’d been awakened in the night by a scratch at the window, there was a dogman looking in and grinning.
In ’77 there were screams in the night, near the village of Bellaire. Could’ve been a bobcat, could’ve been the wind, nobody looked up there. Then in the summer of ’87, near Luther, it happened again…at a cabin in the woods it looked like maybe, someone had tried to break in. There were cuts around the doors that could only been made by very sharp teeth and claws. He didn’t wear shoes cuz he didn’t have feet. He walked on just two paws. So far this year, no stories have appeared. Have the dogmen gone away? Have they disappeared? Soon enough I guess we’ll know, cuz this is the time to fear, for another ten years has come around, the seventh year is here and somewhere in the north-woods darkness, a creature walks upright. And the best advice you may ever get is never to go out….at night.