The Legend of Michigan’s Dog Man

Michigan’s Dog Man is one of the more interesting cryptids and creatures of folklore in the region with legends dating back to Paris Michigan in 1938.  Since then the creature has been associated with dozens of cases of wolfman sightings.  Since then several collections of stories have come up with the intention of gathering information on the subject and proliferating the facts surrounding this mysterious monster.  It seems the creature was fabricated and then later spontaneously began appearing around Michigan as the result of an April Fool’s Prank.

Perhaps most notable among these sources is a blog dedicated entirely to the subject, which accepts reports and even chronicles the history of the legendary creature.  And the story’s origins themselves are perhaps just as notable and strange as the creature.  In March of 1987 Jack O’Malley, a morning radio personality from the area began playing a poem accompanied by a drum beat from an old keyboard on the radio.  The poem eventually led listeners to begin reporting appearances of the strange creature in the area.  Fearing the hoaxers may have been hoaxed themselves, the song was soon abandoned in mid June.  But by July the reports of seeing a strange half human dog-like creature were soon followed by reports of a dog attack on a geographically isolated hunting lodge.

Police who investigated the cabin found blood alongside saliva and teeth marks tearing at the windows and walls up to seven feet off the ground with nothing to stand on.  Further investigation uncovered several unusually large dog tracks.  Soon the legend would reach epic proportions and gain an incredible amount of press, eventually reaching national news media attention through an AP news feed.

After this, the legend would see yet another resurgence as the “Gable Film” began popping up all over the Internet.  The legend of the film reportedly was taken by a hiker who was later found dead.  This has been the subject of much controversy as there were no records accompanying the film to suggest anyone had actually died in association with it.  Other stories suggest the filmmaker survived with minor injuries and later sent his footage to a local radio station.  The film itself is widely criticized as most likely a hoax with several independent sources claiming to have finally “cracked” the case including the History Channel’s tragically canceled “Monster Quest.”  But fake or not, the footage is still widely distributed and remains an integral part of the legend of the Michigan Dog Man.

Is there actually a half man half monster creature wandering the woods in Michigan?  Is the Legend nothing more than an excitable radio audience’s reaction to a perfectly explainable and mundane event?  Or is the truth somewhere in between?  Is it possible that the amount of interest and attention an ancient long forgotten monster received through “The Legend” actually gave it something it desperately needed to actually manifest in the physical world?