257 – I Know What I Saw: Monsters, Myths, and More with Linda S. Godfrey

It was Thursday, July 18, 2019; an oppressively hot Wisconsin evening, the kind of day where the humidity is so great that the air actually feels heavy on your skin, and stepping outside results in immediate fogging of your glasses. It was the perfect time to retreat indoors to an ice cold air conditioned space, one filled with hundreds of full bookshelves and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee (which was probably more popularly enjoyed over ice on this day).

While some people perused the endless aisles of books at Madison’s west side Barnes and Noble book store and others paraded their children through the toy area, a curious group of locals gathered in the back of the store. They weren’t there for a book club or to partake in a craft project. This group was gathered to hear wild tales of hairy beasts, mischievous little people, and ominous winged creatures. It was an interview with one of Wisconsin’s most well-known cryptid researchers, Linda S. Godfrey!

Listening to the author reading her own words! Photo by Scott Markus.
Linda’s brand new book!

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to Linda. She’s been a popular guest on See You On The Other Side several times and inspired Sunspot songs “Mystery” and “American Monsters“, both of which we perform regularly at shows. I’ve seen her present at several paranormal conventions, and I respect the work she does and her meticulous approach at exploring the very unique world of cryptids. I’m a big fan. Having just read her newest book, I Know What I Saw, I was especially excited to delve into the world of monsters, myths, and how on earth the two seem to be manifesting in our world continuously.

We made some special bookmarks to celebrate Linda’s visit to Madison and her new book, I Know What I Saw!

Linda kicked off the interview by reading a passage from the book, a fitting introduction explaining how she was originally drawn into the world of the weird as a reporter at a local newspaper, assigned to the now infamous Beast of Bray Road case. She reported the case with impressive rigor and became very familiar with some odd sightings around Wisconsin.

The Beast opened the door into cryptid research, and decades later, scores of people reach out to Linda to share their experiences with every imaginable kind of creature. Her open mind and excellent listening skills make it easy to understand why people aren’t afraid to tell Linda about things that others may be less willing to accept.

Not only does Linda collect eyewitness accounts, but she frequently does her own investigating. She’s logged many hours in the Kettle Moraine area of SouthEast Wisconsin, known among paranormal circles for being a supernatural hotspot, and has gone on stakeouts for creatures in wooded areas. Our discussion covered many different types of monsters: Unknown upright bipedal canines, bearwolf, sasquatch, manbat, batsquatch, diredog, and that’s just to name a few. Linda even shared her info about the Haunchies so near and dear to our hearts (check out our episode about Haunchyville for more on that Wisconsin legend)!

But, as LeVar Burton would say, “don’t take my word for it”! The book I Know What I Saw is loaded with monster stories of every ilk, and knowing these aren’t (necessarily) fiction but are experiences reported by real people gave me the feeling that WE’RE SURROUNDED. I’ll be keeping my mind, and eyes, open and ready to have my own experience… And when I do, you better believe Linda will be the first person I share it with!

To hear more of Linda’s intriguing experiences and investigations, here are some of our past discussions:

Once again, Linda has provided excellent song inspiration with her book title! This week’s Sunspot song is self-explanatory: I KNOW WHAT I SAW!

And stalking from the murk 
came something strange 
Just in a second 
everything changed 

A walking nightmare 
sudden abnormality 
A chimera that broke my reality 

You might say impossible 
when I was struck dumb with awe 
It might break all the natural law 
but I know what I saw 

A glimpse into the infinite 
A peek behind the veil 
When you finally see yourself 
on a cosmic scale 

Some moments I remember 
with perfect clarity 
Like when I saw the creature that stretched my credulity 

You might say impossible 
when I was struck dumb with awe 
It might break all the natural law 
but I know what I saw 

And stalking from the murk 
came something strange 
Just in one second 
everything changed 

A walking nightmare 
sudden abnormality 
A chimera that broke my reality 

You might say impossible 
when I was struck dumb with awe 
It might break all the natural law 
but I know what I saw 

I know what I saw.

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