Werewolf Radar: Plaid Moon Rising — The Flannel Man
By Nate Balding
Published Issue 091, July 2021
The paranormal community tends to believe there’s nothing new over the evnts horizoned or beyond the wildest dreams of the Pastafarian sauce gods. This is despite being a cloistered group of minds rattling off new tropes for old unknowns like a rogue AI pumped full of urban legends and cola-doused Pop Rocks. Sometimes, however, within this demon haunted desert beset at polar edges by skeptics and charlatans, an oasis appears and opens the world up to some of that new new weird. Behold now the dark waters of the strange and witness the baptism of that which will come to haunt your loneliest hours: The Flannel Man.
Being new to the fortean scene, there’s a surplus of questions and a dearth of answers about the Flannel Man. Is it the specter of a Minnesotan Waffle House line cook crushed by a falling Paul Bunyan statue on a particularly cold night? Could he be a tulpa generated by shoppers of Value Villages situated on ley lines crisscrossing Seattle’s Cap Hill during a grunge revival period? Did somebody imbue the Brawny Paper Towels guy with psychic powers again?
These queries remain, as yet, untouched by serious investigation.
Anecdotal evidence places the Flannel Man largely in the realm of dreams, typically in conjunction with sleep paralysis. As probably guessed he wears the red buffalo plaid design — so named due to being in high volume trade for buffalo hides in the 1800s. Imported by Jock McCluskey, a descendant of Rob Roy, he grifted the eye-popping rouge as a result of a Scottish sorcerer’s hex suffusing his plaid blankets with the souls and blood of slain enemies (as viable an origin as any for Flannel Man).
And more often than not, the entity also carries an axe or hatchet. Nobody has seen him with an acoustic guitar yet. BUT, hidden in the liner notes of Tom DeLonge’s solo work is a prophecy detailing the arrival of an emplaidened jack of lumber manifesting from a backyard barbecue bonfire with an entirely unwanted and unasked for cover of “Wagon Wheel.” At exactly this moment, it’s said, the party dies.
He enters dreams accompanied by a black dog or, as bears one tale, holding the leash of a giant two- headed wolf (dibs on the album art). Some accounts record experiencing extreme dread but most find him a benign yet bizarre guest in their subconscious. One Reddit user wrote about seeing him with a destroyed face, whispering through shredded skin and jagged, broken teeth, possibly offering sotto voce advice about how flossing is free.
Nearly all who dream of the Flannel Man awake to find themselves trapped, motionless; the ghoulish axeman adjacent to the foot of the bed or haunting the corner of the room before snapping away to the deforested hell from whence he derives. The rest just realize they’ve fallen asleep watching Canadian television from the 90s and go back to fortifying their border compound, ever watchful for the promised sequel to 1812.
A few practitioners of arts magickal and/or psychic have claimed to encounter the Flannel Man in waking hours. There’s a story told by a self-styled witch who, en route to receive a ritual tattoo and recently from a prolonged meditative state (read: cosmically buzzed on the power of sage and soul gems — dibs on title for the two-headed wolf free jazz concept album), saw the Flannel Man at a downtown intersection atop a dire-sized black horse, completely still in an afternoon breeze and seemingly unfazed by passerby or traffic. Why the Flannel Man chose to appear to her in an auspicious moment she doesn’t know. Was this a Flannelian foray into an interdimensional version of Hinge? Perhaps the portent of a scarification that will inevitably end up under the hashtag FukkedUpKnukks. Maybe our dude was a pop art marketing ploy for a food cart that serves feed bags of rolled grain hoof-selected by a stallion named Rudy the Foodie. Who can say?
Whether this newly minted weird being is a creature of omen intent on warning of plague (if so you already blew it, Flannel Man) or an accumulation of the unrequited rage of Gen Xers given form and sent
to scourge the dreamscapes of their cultural descendants with messages about not trusting the Boomers, it appears to be here to stay.
So bust out a vinyl copy of Bleach and say a prayer inside your mind’s sound garden, for the Flannel Man rides tonight!
Have questions about the paranormal?
Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @WerewolfRadar.
It’s a big, weird world. Don’t be scared. Be Prepared.
Nate Balding is a freelance humanoid who occasionally manifests in print and can most likely be seen at Werewolf Radar. Should you wish to hear him manifest audibly you can do so at the aforementioned Werewolf Radar’s associated podcast on Spotify and Apple, and if anything ever becomes humorous again, on a variety of stand up stages around the nation. If you’re truly craving further content there’s always @Exploder on Twitter — even if it is only a form of digital self flagellation at this point. His one thing that he considers actually accomplished was this time he was published in the journal Nature and then later collected into a volume called Futures from Nature, still available in places that have things.