Specter, North Carolina is in every way the average small town. With a population of just over six-hundred and fifty thousand, Specter was previously best known for its top-notch BBQ and production of sweet potatoes. Located approximately fifty miles from Charlotte, many residents commute back and forth to the city each day, yet Specter itself is a very peaceful place to live.
“We’ve always been a quiet town,” says longtime resident Francis Hovey (73). “This has always been a town that people have wanted to raise their kids, where we feel safe at night when we go to bed.”
Specter’s serene atmosphere came to a dramatic halt earlier this month when Fiona Jessup (34) went missing after her shift at the Black Hill Tavern, located on Locust Street. Two days after her husband reported her missing, a young couple exploring the woods stumbled across the remains of her body. While the teenagers who found Jessup did not speak to the media, authorities reported that the body was found in a state of extreme mutilation.
“I’ve seen stabbings, and shootings,” says North Carolina State Police Officer Jeffery Tanner (43). “This didn’t look anything like that. It looked like that poor lady had been ripped apart.”
Two days later, the body of Daniel Rainey (29) was found out back of his home after neighbors called the police reporting sounds of “terrible screaming” coming from his yard. Rainey was also found with extensive slashing wounds over the majority of his body, as well as what EMT Emily Bennet (23) described as “bite marks” around the throat area.
When sixty year old Maureen Wheeler did not show up to her administrative job at Specter High School the day after Rainey’s body was found, her son was notified after school officials were unable to contact her. Upon entering the house, Wheeler’s body was found in the kitchen with similar wounds to the two previous victims.
While some may theorize that a particularly brutal serial killer is at work, the discrepancy between the victims’ genders and age does not fit the typical profile. This fact coupled with the alarming number of shaggy, doglike figures that have been reported within the same time frame are causing some citizens to question whether or not a werewolf may be at play.
“I absolutely know how it sounds,” says local historian Mary Downs (59). “Werewolves are something you see in movies or read about in books. But the things people say they’ve seen, a giant dog up on two legs.. And the horrific way those poor people were found, it makes you think. Even more when you realize that the moon was waxing when Fiona was killed, and reached its peak the night poor Maureen died in her bed. Ever since the moon changed, nothing has happened. I’m terrified of what will happen next time the moon starts to grow.”