The Defiant Wolfman

A series of news reports from the county newspaper of Defiance Ohio suggests that in the late 1970’s a strange creature stalked the streets terrorizing residents and making them believe something sinister was going on behind the scenes.  The strange man or creature known only as the Wolfman of Defiance was only one of several strange creatures to have stalked the streets over the course of several years, and to this day the case remains unsolved.

It all started in the summer of 1973 when several reports came flooding in to the local police station suggesting that a number of witnesses had been terrorized by something that normally would be thought to exist only in horror movies and books.  But as the first report came through, the witness stammered through the words, “It had the head of some kind of animal,” and the legend was born.  They said he was somewhere between eight and nine feet tall at the most extreme accounts, though he was often hunched over making it difficult to get an accurate idea of his true height.  The creature was often spotted out of the darkness seemingly trying to get someone’s attention, but eventually running away if approached.  Other times it would run after people causing them to flee the scene and report what happened to police.  Soon panic gripped the small town.  The Defiance police department was flooded with calls every few nights about the creature making an appearance and terrorizing a number of people, often sighted with a large stick or club in its hand.  At first fearing a robber wearing a mask as a disguise, the police department started looking for a human suspect but none was ever found that matched the description of the mysterious creature lunging at people from the shadows at night.  And there was never any sort of mask found discarded or on anyone’s person when questioned.  Witnesses for the most part say whatever the creature was it could not have been human.

It’s described as having large feet covered with hair and hair around its body too.  No reports of whether or not the creature was seen wearing clothes or if it was simply a hairy creature have been tracked down, but either seems possible.  For whatever reason the residents soon took to calling it a wolf man, suggesting it could somehow be connected to the strange creature of legend said to howl at the full moon and transform from a human to a half man half wolf creature that hunts normal humans for sport and food.  No actual injuries were ever reported, however, suggesting it may have simply been trying to scare people away.  Sightings would typically happen late at night or early in the morning between the hours of midnight and 4 am, but there didn’t seem to be any direct connection to the phase of the moon and the appearance of the creature.

For the most part there are not very many records of the events and they never received national attention until years later, so most of the information is pieced together from archival newspaper clippings collected and uploaded to various internet archives.