Rumors of a werewolf-like creature known as the Beast of Bray Road have swirled for years in Walworth County.
The monster has been the subject of newspaper articles and a book, and now it will appear in a documentary, “The Bray Road Beast,” which is set to release this fall, said Seth Breedlove, the director of the film and head of the production company making it, Small Town Monsters.
The project started when Breedlove met author Linda Godfrey, who chronicled stories of the Beast of Bray Road in the 1990s as a Walworth County reporter for The Week. She later wrote the book “Monsters Among Us.”
Breedlove said the two met at a cryptozoology event.
Godfrey wrote on her website that she broke the story after learning Elkhorn residents were calling the local animal control officer and reporting what looked like a werewolf.
People from across Wisconsin and elsewhere reached out to her about sightings, Godfrey wrote.
“The new film … promises to take viewers on a wild ride down one of the scariest stretches of blacktop in middle America,” a news release states. “The Bray Road Beast is a terrifying, werewolf-like creature that has stalked the Midwest for the better part of a century.”
Some production, such as recreation shots and effects, is already underway.
Breedlove said the crew will begin interviewing werewolf witnesses and will capture footage around Elkhorn in April.
The movie will differ slightly from the seven other Small Town Monsters movies because Breedlove said he wants to use the beast as a jumping-off point for a historical look at werewolves and similar creatures.
Breedlove said the subject dates back to the mythological story of Lycaon, whom Zeus turned into a wolf. The movie will be a “window into werewolf mythology,” he said.
“Hopefully, it’s an informative look on a subject that people laugh off or think is just birthed by Hollywood,” Breedlove said. “We’re kind of hoping people will get the rich history of this kind of story.”
The movie still will have a regional focus, he said.
Having so many sightings on the same road is part of what attracted Breedlove to the project. He said he was fascinated by the story of a local groundskeeper who reported seeing the beast in the 1950s.
“(I’m) excited to have this chance to retell these stories,” he said.
Breedlove said it’s not his role to convince viewers that the beast is real.
Rather, he said he hopes people will watch the film with an open mind.
“We’re much more interested in capturing a piece of history and putting it out there for the audience to make up their own mind,” he said. “(We’re) very much interested in simply documenting the story in the words of people who live it.”
A Kickstarter fundraising campaign is set to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25. The crew will host a question-and-answer session on Facebook Live.
The movie could be out as early as the beginning of September, Breedlove said, but it more likely will be released closer to Halloween.
Meanwhile, Icon Films, a British television production company, is looking to feature the Beast of Bray Road as part of a series for the Travel Channel.