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The Bray Road Beast

"It is lurid and melodramatic, but it is true."
-- D.H. Lawrence, on Poe


Evidence of Cult Activity in Walworth County? (June, 1991)

Todd Roll

Editor's Note: Walworth County has long been a hotbed of bizarre activity. From alleged witchcraft and satanic activity to ghosts to werewolves to lake monsters to contact with alien entities, Walworth County has probably provided more strange phenomena than any other county in the state. For more on one particular series of events, see our feature on the famed Bray Road Beast, an alleged werewolf sighting from the early 1990s.

The Wisconsin State Journal ran a story in June, 1991 about the dumping of dog carcasses in the vicinity of Willow Road in Walworth County. The local authorities had ruled out an occult connection, claiming the dead animals were simply "road kill." The article also mentioned that a local humane society officer had found other dog carcasses scattered throughout the county.

Investigating further, we found that the humane society officer in question had found numerous cases of "ritual abuse" of animals in the Walworth County area. We learned that along Willow Road, at least a dozen carcasses of large dogs -- German Shepherds and Labs -- were found in various states of decomposition. The officer stated that several of the carcasses had been mutilated in ways that suggested they were not simply road kill.

The officer described Dog Carcass dog that had been bound with plastic ties. It's left front paw had been removed, and was cut open along the abdomen. Five dog skulls had been placed around a fire pit to form a pentagram. Burn marks on a nearby tree suggested that a fire had been lit at this location. When asked if there were photographs of this, we were informed that county officials had the site plowed over before the officer could obtain pictures. A check of county records indicated that county vehicles were in use at the time, but their exact location could not be determined.

The county humane officer showed us a file of photographs of supposed sites of occult activity he had collected over the past five years. One pictured an abandoned farmhouse that had "satanic" graffiti painted in one of the upstairs rooms. At this location was an old dresser that had been turned on it's side, which was apparently being used as a makeshift table or altar. Black candle wax could be found on the "altar" and the top surface had a brownish stain. Also in the room was a plastic bag containing plastic ties.

The officer told us he had found a dog carcass in the field next to the house, but we were not shown a photograph of the carcass.

At another site, a field in this case, a table was being used as an "altar". The table had black candle wax sticking to it, and a full bag of plastic ties was found nearby. A small distance from the "altar," set back in the woods, was an old refrigerator stuffed with plastic bags full of animal bones.

The final site was a small A-frame structure that was the reputed meeting site of a satanic coven. The site had an "altar" with black candle wax on it, an incense burner, a crystal ball, chains, and several bird and cat carcasses scattered around outside. Others had also been to the site, as evidenced by the anti-satanic graffiti painted on the windows of the A-frame. The graffiti proclaimed God Rules and Down with Satan. When asked about this the officer said that local high school and college students knew the location of the A-frame.

We then contacted the Walworth County Sheriff's Department for further information. They maintained that there was no evidence of occult crime in the county. When asked about the Willow Road site, they stuck to the story that the animals in question were simply road kill.

Could there be a connection between these animal mutilations and the Beast of Bray Road? This investigation continues.

Source: Personal investigation by Todd Roll and others.

Note: The finding of dog carcasses along Willow Road is just one of many stories in our files that report the finding of multiple animal carcasses in a remote location. Are all these mass dumping grounds just that communal dumping grounds or something more sinister?

For example, an article in the Wisconsin State Journal, November 27, 1993, reported on a joint state Gaming Commission and town of Beloit police investigation into a wooded area in the 3900 block of Prairie Avenue after more than 50 carcasses of what appeared to be greyhounds were discovered. The dogs had all been skinned, and their ears cut off.

Evidence of cult depredations?

Not necessarily. Racing greyhounds frequently are tattooed in their ears; removal of the ears would make identification and hence ownership impossible. Speculation as to why the animals were skinned, however, was not stated. Brands? Coats and purses? Worse?

In this ugly event, both adult dogs and puppies were found in various stages of decomposition, all in piles of "five or six." Town of Beloit police said that an area trapper also sometimes dumped fox and coyote carcasses in the same area, indicating that perhaps some of the carcasses were wild animal remains.

The dog carcasses found along Willow Road may have died through mistreatment or non-ritualized abuse. We have many stories in our files of mistreated and abused animals, and in some cases, a dozen or more animals are found in the same home, malnourished, dehydrated, dying.

It may be that the dog carcasses found along Willow Road belong to the same sordid list of stories. But then, how to account for the decapitations and missing limbs, and specifically a left paw?

Unlike the greyhounds found in the Town of Beloit, the animals here were German Shepherds and Labs, non-racing dogs.

And what of the multiple piles of dogs, "five or six" to a pile, found along Prairie Avenue? Evidence of a pattern? Innocent or otherwise, whenever there's a pattern, we become interested, for the "official" explanation offered by the authorities may be obscuring more than it reveals.

Updated: February 27, 2000

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