The White Wolf of French Creek
Dating back to pioneer days, western Virginia has had more than its share of weird and unusual creatures seen in hollers, up in the mountains, and deep in the green expanse of forests. One such unusual creature is the white werewolf-like creature that appears in folklore. This tale comes to us from Upshur County in the area of French Creek.
During the mid 1800s there was an unusual sighting of a white creature that roamed around the outskirts of French Creek. Townspeople were frightened as the last wolf sighting had been quite a few years prior to the sighting of this albino animal. One farmer said that the white beast had killed several of his sheep and escaped after being shot three times. Later in the same month, this phantom creature stalked the French Creek area and this time, was shot at very close range by his hunters. The wolf had succeeded in killing various farm animals and pets while evading death itself. People were beginning to whisper that the creature was a supernatural entity and feared that a human may fall victim to its gnashing fangs.
Bill Williams was a local in the French Creek area and had been a well-known wolf hunter in earlier years when wolves dominated the countryside. He had killed hundreds of wolves in the past and became wealthy due to the bounties paid upon presentation of a wolf carcass. He had also sworn to never take up a rifle to kill a wolf again but his view was soon to change.
The wolf’s latest kill was one of Bill’s cows and Bill set out with his trusted rifle to track the murderous animal and put an end to the towns apprehension. Using a lamb tied to a stake in an area where he figured the wolf would attack, Bill waited in the darkness figuring a quick kill. The next morning, to the horror of local townspeople, Bill Williams, the great wolf hunter, was found dead. The lamb was unharmed, alive and still tied to the wooden stake. Bill had suffered greatly and lay dead and cold. Apparently, the corpse had been the victim of a grisly death. His neck had been ripped and mostly torn from the stiff body with no traces of blood, or paw tracks anywhere.
Many believed the White Wolf was a ghostly avenging entity that struck Bill down because he broke a vow to never hunt wolves again. Others believed the wolf was a demon of sorts, exacting death at will again and again. Across the state of West Virginia, white wolves continue to be seen and always escape death or capture by simply seeming to disappear into the night air.
Elkins has also had its share of white wolf sightings. These sightings always occur on full moons, just like on television and in folklore. All attempts to catch or kill the white predator are in vain. The evasive carnivore returns full moon after full moon, filling its stomach with its prey repeatedly.
As you sit outside on these beautiful West Virginia nights next to the campfire, try not to think of the bloodthirsty white wolves that may be lurking just beyond the tree line. Or maybe you tend to roll your eyes at stories such as this? It is unclear whether the white wolf has continued to haunt the people of French Creek after Bill’s death, but tales of white wolves still circulate in remote areas of West Virginia. As the shadows around your campfire move back and forth, believer of this tale or not better throw another log on the fire. Just in case.
Sherri Brake is a paranormal researcher, author and Haunted Heartland Tour owner. You may email her at SherriBrake@gmail.com or visit her website at www.HauntedHistory.net