“THE WEREWOLF OF CENTRAL PARK”

In the winter of 1937 an alarming news broke through in the headlines of New York newspapers: in Central Park there were wolves. At least the testimonies were unequivocal: the neighbors of the buildings that adjoined the park said they heard wolf howls at night. A cold  shiver ran down the spine of the New Yorkers, who stopped frequenting the park. The New York Hunting Club organized a night-time drive against the wolves. At nightfall, a half hundred armed men were distributed throughout the park. Towards midnight there was a long howl followed by the sound of gunshots, and the next morning the lifeless body of one of the members of the drive was found. A grimace of horror blemished his face while a mustache with curls upward at both ends embellished him. The coroner ruled that he had died either as a result of a fright or as a result of an unfunny joke that some unscrupulous guy had told him. In addition, it was discovered that the mustache was not his and that some unscrupulous guy had stuck it in his face so quickly that he did not manage to put it under the nose but right on the tip of it. Whether that was part of the joke that could have caused the death, that was not clear. It is true that among the members of the hunting party there were some men known for their lack of wit to tell jokes, but the police seemed to opt for the other hypothesis, that of death as a result of a fright.

The news aroused the interest of the two partners of ENIGMA CONSULTANTS S. L., who offered themselves to the authorities to solve the enigma that they suspected hidden behind those strange events. The police had cordoned off the park so that no one could leave or enter. However, the mayor granted special permission to Michel and Jacob to make their inquiries. Naturally, they were not so reckless as to enter the park at night, not even on a cloudy day. So they waited until a day dawned without a cloud in the sky. The first thing they found were tracks in the snow: traces of a wolf or a giant Pekingese dog. What was clear was that the traces were those of a single animal with four paws or of two animals with two paws each or of four animals with only one paw each. As for the hair found in various bushes, they could not tell if they were from a wolf, from a hairy seal or from a marsupial. With all these indications the unfunny joke hypothesis could be discarded and the efforts were concentrated in the search of something or someone with a very slender sense of humor.

New drives were organized that were unsuccessful, but the chilling howls continued to resound in the night. As the days passed without the investigation advancing a millimeter, the mayor was forced to adopt a desperate measure: at a time when they were unaware, he pushed the two consultants into the park and ordered the police to close the doors, warning Michael and Jacob that he would not let them out until they solved the mystery. Their weeping, protests and threats of lawsuits were worth nothing: the mayor was inflexible. So, Michael and Jacob had no choice but to frantically investigate. With great caution, they went deep into the park while the darkness of the night settled over them. Suddenly they heard a prolonged howl followed by steps that were approaching. They quickly adopted a tactic they had learned in the navy: pretending to be statues. To do this, they smeared each other with mud and then adopted different artistic positions: Michael, that of a  ballet dancer with arms raised and standing on one leg; Jacob, that of a cactus. They remained like that, petrified for a few minuts “that seemed to us like an eternity”, until suddenly saw what they would later describe as a wolf with the face of Edgar Hoover or Edgar Hoover himself posing as a wolf. When the Hooverwolf was far enough away, they ran towards the park entrance and declared to have solved the enigma. 

Although no more nightly howls were heard again in the park after the declaration of the two consultants, the resolution of this case did not convince all the authorities, especially the director of the FBI, Edgar Hoover, who included Michael and Jacob in his list of “persons suspected of subversive activities”.


This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to raise funds for children in need. So if you want to make a donation in exchange for this story, click on this link to UNICEF. I really appreciate it!

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