; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Possible 'Dogman' & Strange Anomalies at Camp Oh-Da-Ko-Ta in Burlington, WI

A high schooler recounts her strange experiences at Camp Oh-Da-Ko-Ta in Burlington, Wisconsin, including a possible Dogman encounter.

I recently received the following account:

"Hello Lon. Here is the Dogman experience with the details I could remember and any other information I managed to dig up.

It was summer going into my junior year of high school (so if I am doing my math right, that would put us in 1994). I had signed up for girls choir and was going on a summer trip with the entire choir/choral/singers group for the typical vocal works and trust building courses you would expect on such a trip. 

The camping part landed us at a Boy Scout Camp (Camp Oh-Da-Ko-Ta - located in the Burlington area of Wisconsin). It was a very odd weekend all around to be perfectly honest. It started out simple enough, choir practice, all day. It was raining anyhow so no one really minded. On a 30-minute break I went out to stretch my legs (along with my then fiancé). Despite the fact it was still raining I opted to go dance on the gently sloping grassy hill behind the mess hall. It was a warm rain after all. I had unsuccessfully tried to drag my other half out at the time. It wasn’t until later when we were finishing up with practice for the evening that all the magic began.

As we were leaving the mess hall to get ready for supper, we emerged into a beautiful gold fog. Yes I do mean GOLD! It was enveloping everything, and it was gorgeous! It wrapped around you like a warm blanket (despite my being chilled from having drenched myself earlier).

Supper went without a hitch. It wasn’t until the exceedingly high bonfire (had to have been a solid 6.5-7 feet tall) that the sighting happened. I was sitting on a log bench with my back pointed somewhat between the circle of trees surrounding us and the hill leading up to the mess hall. My fiancé seated right beside me (to my right). We had been sitting there for a bit, and there was the usual horse play and shenanigans going on from the other choir members around the fire - stories, laughing, chatter, etc. I could feel someone (or so I thought) behind me. I assumed another choir member wanting to play a practical joke trying to scare/startle me. So, wanting to catch them off guard, I spun around quite quickly to catch them. There was no one there. Not even close enough to have jumped back out of the way. Just darkness. Or was there? 

You guessed it. That is when I caught my first glimpse. Hiding in the tree line, I am guessing at least 6 foot tall, based on what I would later observe. The outline of pitch black ears against the edge of one of the trees. It was the outline of a wolf, but far too tall for the height that a normal wolf would have been. The fur, when I say it was black, I mean it was so black that no light escaped it. It was like a black hole black, even the night sky with it’s stars seemed brighter. There wasn’t even shine to its fur. I also remember thinking it had an odd amount of thickness to its coat, as it could have been a winter coat, despite the fact we were in summer. I could not see the whole of the body, but the ears were much more of an equilateral shape (versus the stories I hear of now that are talking about the isosceles triangles with tufts). Well, now at this point, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. It’s dark, I can’t possibly be seeing what I think I am seeing. Right?

So, periodically throughout the night, I would turn around, now trying to be sly about it. And just so I knew I wasn’t just imagining things, I was given proof. You know that look of light catching the eye of an animal at night? That reddish, orangey, yellow & greenish marble look the eyes get? Yah? That is exactly what I saw, 2 of them in the light of the bonfire (I think it is what I see in the Dogman groups referred to as "eye shine"). And not just once, but several times. The more I turned back to look at it, the more it seemed to shrink into the shadows. But if I didn’t turn as often, if I gave it a chance to get comfortable, it would be out a bit more. As you can imagine, I had a near death grip on my fiancés arm by now. I did draw his attention to it, and he said he saw it, but I also think he may have been trying to placate me at the time. Now I had to figure out how the Hell I was going to go back to girls cabin because I knew damn well the chaperones were NOT going to let my fiancé escort me and what’s more, I didn’t want him going to boys cabin on his own then.

I finally found another girl ready to head back. We raced off to the girls cabin together holding hands so one would not get left behind by accident if they tripped. She hadn’t seen what I saw, but she had a creepy feeling about something, and neither of us were taking chances.

Bitch of a thing though. We made it to the girls cabin without incident, but after slamming the door behind us-we both realized just how bad we had to pee. So now we are faced with a choice. Wet ourselves (never going to live that down and there's no way we could hold it until morning), or suck it up and head over to the outhouse. Well, option 2 was elected unanimously. Problem when we reached the outhouse was that it was a one-toilet privy. Neither of us wanted to wait outside alone in the dark. We made a pact that one would use the facilities, while the other held the door shut from inside while keeping our eyes shut. After which, was another race back to the cabin.

Exhausted from all the running and stress of the experience, it didn’t take long for me to fall asleep.

The next morning, I opted to get dressed and found new courage in the light of the sun (I probably had a death wish back then, but Hell, didn’t we all as teens). I went strolling down to the bowl where the fire pit was. As I approached I could smell some God awful smelling scat. Later I had someone try to tell me the smell was a backed up grease trap and the visual scat I saw was mushy mushrooms. Well I say BULLSHIT. I know what a mushy mushroom looks like, and I know what scat looks like, and am quite all too familiar with what foul diarrhea from a canine smells like. And let me tell you that was some major intestinal upset. I still remember the sickening grayish brown green color, and on occasion the smell enters my nose through my memory. Blech! The scat wasn’t my only physical evidence either. By the pines it had been seen by in the tree line, the wood chips were packed down, like something heavy had been there for quite some time on top of them. Curious thing though. There were bushes/shrubs directly behind them, so how on Earth did I see this thing move closer and further from me at night without it making any noise? And as I thought about it, what kept it from chasing me and the other choir mate when we ran back to the girls cabin? A live animal would have given chase. Was it, is it, an ethereal creature/entity?

Ok, so pondering that, I decide to stroll down a narrow pathway pointing to the boys cabin to see if the beau is up yet. Forget about the fact that it was dense tree line on either side. Yeah, like I said, I think I had a death wish. Dumb teen that I was. Or perhaps I just thought I was invincible, like every other teen out there. Anyhow, as I approached the boys cabin, there was little sign of life, of course they were all still sleeping. After waiting around for 5 minutes or so and realizing no one was coming out for me to even inquire if my guy was up, I decided to head up a path that was bordered on my left side by a small hill that stretched nearly the entire way up the path.

Shortly after passing from sight of the boys cabin I saw a red orb (about the size of a volley ball, dense red in the center, fading toward the outside edges) float out into the gravel path ahead of me, about head height. It had come from the left. Now, mind you, it was not perfectly still, it kind of did a hover motion in its spot as it moved forward. My dumb ass self decided to follow it. A minute or two up the path it stopped dead, and even though it was an orb, you could tell it turned around to stare at me as if to say, 'what the hell do you want? And why are you following me?' Despite there being no exchange of words, it turned back around and continued on until the gravel stretch we were on, T-boned into another gravel section, giving way to a dead end into the tree line. The orb proceeded into the tree line and dissipated right in front of my eyes.

It wasn’t the only time I had been at that camp, but it was the only time I had ever experienced anything like all of what I saw. And my significant other at the time had been up there many times in his life with the BSA and never experienced anything like that either. (NOTE: Although the camp does circulate a story amongst its attendees about a “buck-horned monster” and another about a rabid raccoon that had been killed not far from where I saw the orb, in a "storage shed" that was actually bars in the hillside. It looked more like a medieval cell than a storage shed).

At this point I had never heard of a Dogman, so my mind thought Werewolf.

I’ve been very interested in real wolves and connected with dogs/canines since I was in the womb. I’ll also admit I have been obsessed with a variety of things “paranormal” and “supernatural” from the time I was a young lass, but I was focused on ESP, ghosts, etc… at that point in my life. I certainly hadn’t even thought about if a real Werewolf or Dogman could actually exist.

Nonetheless, I believe this and a number of other properly placed events/entities in my life both before and after this incident led me even deeper into wanting to learn about all things that go bump in the night, as well as deepen my connection with the natural world around us. 

I joined a paranormal group for about 3 years, but decided I preferred sleep over the average attention seeker we came across. Plus, I never had a chance to do  any cryptid investigations with that group (although I did part on good terms, so we keep in touch with anything they think I might be able to help with or vice versa). Met some pretty cool people though.

It is interesting to note that the Beast of Bray Road incidents are not that far from there being seen in Elkhorn and Walworth counties. So it’s not a stretch to think maybe it was the same sort of creature. However, the one I saw did not have glowing red eyes, just eyes lit by light at night. I did share the experience with Linda Godfrey many years later, although at the time, I couldn’t remember the name of the scout camp we had been at when I contacted her. She actually asked to utilize my story in a book she was writing, but given I did not want to be labeled a whack job by more than just my family and have it threaten my livelihood (I worked for a well respected small business at the time as a Professional Pet Groomer/Stylist), I asked her to use the Algonquin name my fiance had given me at the time I experienced the interaction with the wolfen creature.

You can take it for what it is, believe me or don't. There is no proof I can furnish beyond my memories, which I know is not enough for most." D

NOTE: I wonder if this account has any connection to an incident report I received in 2011 - Chilling Cryptid Encounter - Near Dyer Lake, Wisconsin. Here is the camp Facebook page. Lon

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