West Virginia Dogman Sighting

When the wolf stood up and my headlights hit it square-on, that’s when I got a really good look at it…”

This is a narration of the sighting.  The full report is below including an extended discussion on the YouTube program “Bigfoot The Truth Told.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word cryptid as “An animal whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated, such as the yeti.”  For the following witnesses to living cryptids, there is no dispute. In this series of National Cryptid Society’s case files, you will read what the witnesses have experienced in their own words.

Keep an open mind when reading these accounts, and also remember one’s perception and memory of an event can be influenced by the emotions felt at the time of the occurrence. The contributors to this series of articles are doing the best they can to recount what are in some cases very shocking and traumatic experiences.

Remember, these accounts as told by witnesses, are not being presented as evidence of any event.  Rather, they are the recollection from memory from everyday, ordinary people who want to be heard.

If you have a personal cryptid sighting story you would like to tell us, please visit our “Make A Report” page on this site.


NCS Case File #82: West Virginia Dogman Sighting

Location: Lavalette, West Virginia

Date: August 27, 2017

Submitted by Ronald

“My name is Ronald. I’m 20-years old, and I live near a small town in Wayne County, West Virginia, called Lavalette. My family and I originally lived in Jacksonville, Florida during my childhood, but we eventually moved up north because we couldn’t handle the humidity and oncoming hurricanes. Now, what I’m about to tell you guys is 100% true and I swear upon my life that what I’ve experienced is something I’ll never forget. 

It was last autumn on August 27, 2017 when my experiences first began; it was a Saturday evening between 6:30-7:30 PM, I think it was. I was driving home from taking an incredibly long drive. I drove from my home to the town of Wayne, then past Tolsia and Louisa, and finally, as far as Chapmansville. I guess I drove way too far for my liking.

Anyway, it was getting dark and I eventually found my way home in the form of a road called Eighth Street near Lavalette that led me to Mount Union Road. It was the road that took me straight to the house of one of my Dad’s friends, Ezra, where there was this road called Walnut Gap Road and that was where it takes me home. Now, on this road, there’s a blind curve next to an old, abandoned white church in which I always slow down on before driving around the curve, just to make sure nobody was gonna come flying around the corner that night. Right as soon as I do that, there’s a six-foot ledge on the left side of the road where some small trees have fallen over whereas on the other side, there’s a steep hillside that has a path cleared through the thick underbrush where deer like to hide in. 

And right at that same spot is where my first encounter happened. Just as I slowly drove around the corner, I saw this… thing step onto the road on all fours. When I first saw it, I thought it was a 500-pound male black bear because it was roughly the same size as one and we do tend to have a few roaming around where I live now. But then, I noticed that it was actually more like a wolf because it had a long bushy tail, pointed ears, a canine-like snout, and the same body shape as a wolf with jet-black hair and glowing amber-colored eyes.

By the time it stepped onto the road, the wolf turned its head towards my direction and stared right at me. I was ecstatic at first to actually see a wolf in the wild, but at the same time, I realized there was something rather… off about my encounter. There shouldn’t be a wolf out there this big; in fact, the more I think about it, there shouldn’t even be any wolves here in West Virginia anymore since the timber wolves that once lived in these woods were killed off.

Was the state government secretly using conservation efforts to repopulate wolves here in the state? Did a pack of wolves escape from a wildlife sanctuary and somehow found their way here? If so, then how did this one get so freaking huge? Not only did the wolf’s abnormal size catch my attention, so did the look in its eyes. They looked different from what I see in the eyes of any canine I know of; they looked much more intelligent than anything I’ve ever seen. 

Whatever theory I’ve had to support any rational explanation for this unusual sighting were immediately shot away when this creature did something that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life, something that still haunts my soul to this very day. When we both stared at each other, even while I’m inside of my car, I heard what sounded like bones popping loudly, and to my absolute shock, I watched this wolf placed its hand on top of my car hood, raise itself off the ground, and stand up on two legs. Yeah, you heard me right; it wasn’t a paw it placed on my car hood, it was a hand. When the wolf stood up and my headlights hit it square-on, that’s when I got a really good look at it. 

It was easily eight-feet tall and weighed approximately 600-650 pounds or more. As I said, it was covered in jet-black hair that seemed quite feral in my opinion, as if it hasn’t been cleaning himself that much, and it also had a long, bushy tail and two glowing amber-yellow eyes. To my shock, it was more than a wolf standing on its hind legs; it had a human-like torso from the waist up that appeared pretty muscular with broad shoulders and long forearms, longer than those of a normal human being. I could see the muscles of this “Wolfman” pulsating with each breath it took, especially in the headlights.

It also had these dexterous hands that looked almost like raccoon hands, but with more elongated fingers and long, jet-black claws at each fingertip; they looked like they can be used to easily manipulate any kind of prey in its clutches and they looked like they could easily rip me to shreds, or maybe they can do more than just that. The hind legs resemble more like those of a dog or wolf; this I can easily tell because they bent backwards and had these massive paws for feet, and from the looks of which, it was standing on his toes more than on his feet.

It had a massive head similar to that of a wolf or a large German Shepard, but bigger in proportion with pointed ears and tuffs of fur at the tip of each ear, as well as a long muzzle with these great, big fangs gouging out at the front of his snout. To be honest with you, the fangs had a very eerie resemblance to those of a Smilodon or saber-toothed cat, but the rest of it just looked like a werewolf.

But the eyes… the eyes were the one thing, the only thing about my encounter that night, that I’ll never forget and even writing about it to you all right now sends a bone-chilling fear down my spine. As I’ve said to you prior, the eyes looked extremely intelligent, far smarter than any animal I’ve ever come to know in my neck of the woods, but they also held a feeling that told me I was looking into the eyes of something that just spelled evil out of them. 

Finally, I gained this overwhelming sense of dread after seeing it walk to my side of the car on two legs, slowly bent down to level its eyes with mine, and I froze in pure, unadulterated horror when it used its hand to jiggle the door handle to try and open my car door. Fortunately, all the doors to my car were locked and every window weren’t open, but this still horrified me to a point where I couldn’t even breathe.

This Wolfman, as I previously referred to it as, gave out a grunt and actually frowned at me for a few seconds before standing back up and walking to the other side of my car, and it jiggled the other door handle adjacent to the passenger side. Whatever this thing was, it was intelligent enough to know what a doorknob or, in this case, a door handle is for.

At this point, I was absolutely shaking in my driver’s seat with that same fear still latched onto my soul. Have you ever been through an experience in your life where, even though you’ve known all your life that you’re an apex predator, you find yourself going out into the wilderness alone and you suddenly feel so weak, so vulnerable, so helpless in the eyes of such a beast like this? That’s exactly how I felt at the time of my encounter.

I felt like this thing, a creature that shouldn’t even exist yet it was standing right there in front of my car, was the true ruler of the forest and we humans were nothing compared to what it can really do. It could have easily ripped the doors off my car and pulled me out of it, it could’ve caught up to me if I tried to escape, and even if I tried to scream for help, it wasn’t going to help me because I knew how powerful this predator was, even if I don’t know it yet.

Just by looking at the “Wolfman,” I knew a human being wouldn’t have stood a chance against it, and I knew… that it knew that I knew. I honestly thought I was going to die that night, that my family and friends would never see me again, that they would never know that I was about to be killed or eaten alive by something no one even believes existed, and that there was nothing I could do about it. 

However, none of that ever happened to me; it was as if God was watching over me that night, protecting me from the malevolent beast that was circling me. Instead of attacking me head on, the Wolfman bared its teeth at me and let out an extremely deafening snarl before walking around the front side of my car and crossing the road on its hind legs in just two steps. The encounter didn’t end there, though. By the time it crossed the road, it paused for a couple of seconds before it slowly turned around to look at me one last time.

As soon as it did that, I could’ve sworn right there and then that it wasn’t alone. I looked over its shoulders and I could see multiple pairs of eyes staring directly at me; I knew they were the same creatures as the first one because they held the same eye-shine and gave off the same growls, too. I estimate that I saw at least five other pairs of eyes staring at me; three of them were low on the ground on all fours, the other two were standing upright… but they didn’t reveal themselves out of the darkness like the first one did. In my opinion, I think he was the alpha male of this pack. If you all think encountering one werewolf-like creature was terrifying enough, imagine how I felt when I saw there was more than one creature there with this one.

With that scary thought, I snapped out of my trance and decided to get the hell out of there. Slamming hard on the accelerator, I bolted away and drove out of there like a bat out of hell; I’m not pulling your leg here, but the distance from right where I was when I saw those things to my home… I literally arrived home and pulled into the garage in just one minute.

By the time I arrived, I was in tears. I’ve never felt that scared before in my entire life and not only that, that was the first time I’ve cried that much in a long time. My parents were concerned about the state I was in and asked me what happened… I basically told them everything that transpired just before I pulled in.

Now, I may have made up different stories and stuff before, but that was only when I was so little and whatever I’ve experienced wasn’t a joke; I told them the whole truth with honesty, but terror in my voice. But of course, they didn’t believe me. They just assumed that what I saw could’ve been a black bear and driving after dark like that makes your mind play tricks on you, but this wasn’t a trick I saw. I was 19 at the time, but I respected the DUI (Driving Under the Influence) so I wasn’t drunk while driving home that night. I wasn’t dreaming of this incident nor was I hallucinating it; it wasn’t even a simple misidentification. I know what I saw, and there’s no doubt in my mind that it was real. 

After this encounter, it affected me so much that I was forced to isolate myself from everyone I know, including my family and friends, for a little over a month or two, but I eventually broke out of my shell and got back into the social life again. However, I took this time to do some intense research on what I saw, and that’s when I came upon the Dogman phenomenon for the first time.

According to several eyewitness testimonies, people have reported seeing the same exact creatures all over the United States and even in some remote parts of the world. This filled me with relief, knowing that I wasn’t alone, that there are people out there who swear on their lives and even to this day that what they saw out there was real.

They’re not a haunting part of humanity’s imagination like we all believe them to be; monsters do exist in this world and this fact alone makes us realize how small our world really is. To me, it makes me wonder that if a pack of werewolf-like creatures can exist, then what else could be out there lurking in the shadows, watching us with intelligent eyes, waiting for us to prove their existence in man’s world?”

Discussion with Denver Michaels

When I received this report, I contacted one of my friends Denver Michaels (author of “Wild & Wonderful (and Paranormal) West Virginia“). Denver and I spoke breifly about the report and he had also had contact with the witness. 

Things that Stand Out

This is a very perplexing case for a couple of reasons: 1) While I have received dogman type of reports before, I have never received a first-hand account in which a witness saw a metamorphosis take place; 2) I have never received (or even read of many) reports in which a pack of these creatures were together.

With that said, this case shares many similarities with other reports. To begin, the witnesses described glowing amber eyes. Glowing eyes—sometimes yellow in color, other times red—are often reported in upright canine cases. Another familiar aspect to this case is the size of the creature. The witness said the creature stood at eight feet in height. Witnesses commonly report this, and in fact, there have been a rash of dogman reports in Pennsylvania of upright canines—wolf-like in appearance—that stand between 8–10 feet and have glowing yellow eyes.

West Virginia is no stranger to dogman reports and werewolf folklore.  During the 1930s and 1940s, a wolf-like creature known as the Blue Devil stalked livestock in Webster County. According to local legend, werewolves have been spotted on the outskirts of the town of Belington.

Getting back to the strange eyes of the creature, a report from West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle recounted a monster with glowing red eyes. The witnesses felt as if she “had to keep track” of the eyes and she felt a sense of evil and foreboding. https://dogmanencounters.com/hancock-county-wv-encounter/

During an encounter in Point Pleasant, the witness felt as if the dogman’s eyes “drew here in.” She said when it stared at her, she became lost in its eyes. https://www.phantomsandmonsters.com/2014/02/bipedal-wolf-like-cryptid-reported.html

Making Sense of it All

To be clear, I have never been a believer in dogmen as a flesh-and-blood cryptid. The physiology doesn’t work. And a shapeshifting dog man—that certainly cannot exist in the natural world. I typically explain dogmen—when a flesh-and-blood explanation is in order—as mistaken sasquatches, out-of-place kangaroos, or any number of other explanations. Those explanations simply do not fit in this case.

There is no way to be sure, and no way to prove it, but it seems to me that something is accessing our plane of existence from somewhere else—another dimension, plan, or universe. Or maybe, whatever this is a form of energy that manifests itself in strange ways. Could these werewolves be a manifestation of John Keel’s ultraterrestrials? As crazy as these explanations sound, it is the only thing that makes sense.

Perhaps the key (or a key) to this case (and maybe to the phenomenon in general) lies in the concentration of ancient burial mounds in the area. Not far from this encounter, at an amusement park in Huntington, lies the third-largest burial mound in West Virginia. Moreover, the Ohio and Kanawha Valleys were once home to a vast network of mounds and sacred earthworks. It just so happens that these areas are renowned for paranormal activity. Bigfoot reports are also tied to these areas as well. You have to wonder, do the old mound sites serve as some sort of portal to somewhere else?

The other thing to consider is if perhaps the creature that the witness described is perhaps related to the skinwalkers of Navajo lore. Even with this, though, something from somewhere else seems to be a better explanation than something from our physical world.

~Denver Michaels

The Dogman art used in the video comes from the National Cryptid Society and is available on a t-shirt from Amazon. It helps pay for the site so get over the ad will ya?

Follow-Up Questions

The following is a series of questions I presented to the witness after the initial report.

Sunset on August 27, 2017 in Lavalette, West Virginia was at 8:07PM, so it would have been getting dark around the time of your encounter.  How dark was dark is my question.  On the road you were on at the time of the encounter, was it dusk, failing light, or were there trees shading the road from the light?

“Well, I wasn’t entirely certain about what time it was when I had this encounter, but it was definitely dark when it happened, so I figured somewhere around 7:30 or so was the closest I can get.”
How long would you estimate the time of the entire encounter to be?
“I’d say it took about 20 twenty minutes long or more. I wasn’t too sure how long I’ve been there because, well, I was too petrified looking at this thing.” 
In your report you said you heard what you thought could be “bones snapping” when the creature stood up, was your car running, radio on in the car at the time with the windows up?
“I could definitely hear what sounded to me like when you crack your knuckles, only two to three times louder, even while the car was running. I had it put on stop at the time of my encounter.”
How familiar are you with the local wildlife?  In your report you mention black bears, deer and the fact wolves are not found in your area of West Virginia anymore. Do you hunt, camp or hike in the area? If so, how many years have you done so?
“I’ve always loved to go hiking in the outdoors, especially in the woods. Plus, I’ve known just about every animal that lives in the same woods as I do, and this creature did not match the description of any of them. I’ve only gone hunting in the woods two times with my dad, but I’ve never gone out camping before in my life.”
What is your level of education?  Are you currently attending a college or university?
The reason I ask the above question is two-fold.  It gives a little demographic background.  Also, your report is written very robustly, much like an author would describe a scene in a horror novel.  Is writing to communicate one of your strong points?
“I graduated from [withheld] High School in May 2016 and I’m enrolled at [a University in West Virginia]. Yes, I always write in my notes, online or not, and I love to write just about anything.”
After you told your parents, did you report this incident to the authorities or other organization (police, forest ranger, a paranormal investigator)?
“No, actually. I’ve never told this to anyone else because honestly, who would have believed me if I told them I saw a pack of real werewolves right in front of me that night? I was so scared that no one would believe me that I had to keep it to myself for quite a while and even had to isolate myself from everyone.”
When you got home after the encounter, did [you notice if the creature left] any markings on the car?
“The next morning after this encounter, I checked my car to see if there were any markings it left and all I found were what looked like a handprint with claws at the ends of each fingertip on the back of my car. I thought about photographing this, but like I said, people would assume I made that handprint and accuse me for lying, so it’s been long washed away.”
Have you heard of a similar encounter happening in this area before?
“Well, no, but I did watch this video about Dogman sightings in West Virginia when I was doing research on these kind of creatures, and there was one report stating that two men encountered an upright, canine-like creature somewhere in-between Kenova and Lavalette, which is not far away from where I live. Unfortunately, this encounter took place many, many years ago; I’m not sure what date it was, but I’ll look right into it.”


Parting Thoughts

  • There is no fossil evidence or evidence of an upright-walking bipedal canid.
  • Canines do not walk on their hind legs unless forced to do so, and this is discussed in the NCS article “Concerning the Wolf Walking Like a Human.
  • Normal canines do not have “hands” or paws that offer much dexterity at all.  Sometimes they can aid in holding down or moving something that is holding their interest but the are limited in their ability to manipulate their surroundings with paws alone.  This and several other Dogman reports describe dexterous “hands.”
  • If the Dogman is a creature of nature, it is unprecedented in its uniqueness as well as being unacknowledged by mainstream zoology (because of the lack of evidence that would be acceptable… welcome to the Bigfoot club).
  • Another possible explanation for some dogman sightings could be bears with the disease mange. Bears with mange appear very different than their healthy counterparts, and it is common for bears can stand and walk upright for short periods of time.  Again, I am not stating that the above witness observed a bear.
Bear with mange spotted in PA. Source: Reddit
  • As outlandish as this report may seem, the witness is definitely not alone in claiming an encounter with a Dogman. Hundreds of eyewitness accounts have been documented in newsprint, books and films.  There are now more groups dedicated to gathering reports of Dogman encounters than ever before.  See the “additional links” section for a small sampling.

Additional links involving the Dogman Phenomena:

The West Virginia North American Dogman Project (NEW Facebook page for WV Dogman reports)

Dogman Encounters (YouTube channel)

North American Dogman Project (YouTube channel)

The BDRP [Bigfoot Dogman Research Project] (YouTube Channel)

Reddit forum for Dogman encounters (r/dogman)

Small Town Monsters “The Bray Road Beast” (documentary)

“The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin’s Werewolf” by Linda Godfrey (book)

“The Michigan Dogman: Werewolves and Other Unknown Canines Across the U.S.A.” by Linda Godfrey (book)

“Werewolves (Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena)” by Linda Godfrey (book)

“A Strange History of Dog-Headed Men” Mysterious Universe (article)

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