Perils of assimilation

If only life came with subtitles.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Midwest Slacker: Urban Legends

So begins what I hope to be a regular feature here at Perils, Midwest Slacker. I hope to bring attention to the quirky, cool stuff that the midwest has to offer (by Midwest, I mean Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, and maybe Iowa. Not Indiana though, no one likes Indiana), and elighten people to the esoteric, wierd, and sometimes soul-crushing culture that we live in.

Wisconsin is brimming with urban legends. I live a few miles from the location of the most famous Wisconsin legend: the Best of Bray Road. This started in the 1980's with numerous werewolf sightings, which continue until this day. It's a favorite pasttime of locals to go out to Bray Road on Halloween to try and catch a glimpse of the beast, and a year round good time to just get stoned and scare yourself. It's been glimpsed on Bower's road just outside of East Troy, and it's even inspired a really awful movie! In cryptozoology, there was a creature that in the language of the local Native americans, meant "carrying-off dogs," and was said to be sort of a hyena-wolf breed, and existed throughout the midwest. There have been werewolf reports in Southern Wisconsin as far back as the 1930's. (My dog just howled. Bad timing, dog.)

One legend that I think may have had some truth to it is the legend of Haunchyville. Haunchyville, in Muskego, is supposedly the home of many midgets, well-armed, deadly midgets. Seems silly, right? Take into account P.T. Barnum's circus started here, and WI is home to the Circus World museeum, is it so inconcievable that circus performers might choose to retire to the place where circuses call home?


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