North America has been home to countless legends of various Cryptids and Creatures since long before the formation of the United States. Everything from Sasquatch to Human-Animal Hybrids; every state has a very unique story to tell. Below are my favorite legends from each state.
Alabama: Wolf Woman of Mobile
There is a legend among the locals of Mobile, Alabama, that concerns a half-wolf, half-woman creature. In April 1971, residents of Mobile, Alabama, had encounters with a bizarre and strange creature. The half-woman, half-wolf creature sightings made the locals terrified. So much so that they started calling The Mobile Register to report them.
On April 8th, 1971, a local newspaper reported the phenomenon and even displayed a drawing of the cryptid created by their illustrator. Witnesses described the creature as having the upper half of a beautiful woman and the back quarters of a wolf. According to reports, the creature ran on all fours, just like a wolf would. Most of the sightings occurred at night. The creature was said to be fond of Plateau and Port City.
Was there really such a creature wandering through Mobile at night? It doesn’t seem that there were any paw prints or physical encounters. We will probably never know what the locals actually saw in the dark.
The Tizheruk is a sea serpent-like creature that is said to live in the cold waters of Alaska. Its head is about 7 feet in length, and it features a flipper tail. Overall, it is said to be at least 15 feet in length.
The Tizheruk is an ambush predator that mostly haunts streams that contain a lot of rocks. This eel-like creature has the teeth of deep ocean fish and translucent skin that is nearly invisible and only shows its organs. When Tizheruk is underwater, its organs look like rocks.
Many have claimed to see the Tizheruk over the years, and a number of carcasses have washed ashore on several occasions that were believed to have belonged to this water-bound cryptid. However, most of these carcasses were later identified as the remains of known species, e.g., whales, sharks, etc.
Arizona: Mogollon Monster
The Mogollon Monster is a seven-foot-tall bipedal humanoid creature with large, reddish, wild eyes and inhuman strength. Witnesses claim that the creature’s body is fully covered with long reddish-brown or black hair, except its feet, hands, face, and chest.
The earliest known documented sighting of this cryptid dates back to 1903. It was reported in The Arizona Republican, in which I.W. Stevens described the beast seen near the Grand Canyon as having a long matted beard and white hair. It did not wear any clothing and had talon-like fingers with two inches long claws. He later stated that the monster was drinking the blood of two cougars and threatened him with a club. It had an unearthly, wildest screech.
Over the years, many reports of Mogollon Monster’s footprints, hair samples, etc., have been documented by cryptid enthusiasts, but no decisive evidence has been found to date. Mainstream biologists remain skeptical about the creature’s existence, but there are locals who still tell the tales of the Mogollon Monster, and many believe them.
Arkansas: Fouke Monster
The legend of the Arkansas Fouke Monster of Boggy Creek dates back to the 1800s, and it is an integral part of the local folklore. The monster is described as 7-8 feet tall. Like a primate or human, it stands on two legs, and its entire body is apparently covered with thick, long hair. It is also cumbersome and said to be over 300 pounds.
There are many legends about Fouke Monster’s behavior. One that is more alarming to farm owners and pet owners is related to its diet. The monster has been known to feed on live dogs and chickens. It has also been said that it occasionally eats a hog or calf.
The Arkansas Fouke Monster is undoubtedly not a thing of the past, as there have been many reports of its sightings in recent times. Even today, residents and visitors of Arkansas sometimes see what they believe is this monster.
California: Dark Watchers
Described as giant Phantoms with a human form, these cryptids nestled within the Santa Lucia Mountains of California were first spoken about and drawn by the Chumash Native Americans and later by Spanish Colonists in the 1700's. Today they are commonly known as the Dark Watchers. These slender, tall beings are seen as silhouettes in the twilight of the night sky, staring off into the sky and mountains. It is said that they vanish before your eyes if they are seen.
Researchers have a few theories about these sightings. The first theory is that they are the result of a phenomenon called pareidolia, i.e., people seeing familiar objects in random images. This is the same phenomenon that explains why some people see a man on the moon.
Another theory is that Dark Watchers are a result of Brocken Specter – an effect that lets a person see his own shadow reflected on the surrounding fog. It's a rare effect, but some photographers have been able to capture photos of Brocken Specter from time to time. If you wish to see one for yourself, you would need to be on a mountain peak in the afternoon and need the right weather conditions. Even then, the chances of seeing this effect are pretty slim.
Colorado: Slide-Rock Bolter
The mountains of Colorado have a strange creature known as the Slide-Rock Bolter. This cryptid is said to be as large as a blue whale and has very sharp teeth. It has small eyes, and it holds onto the mountain using its back fin.
It is said that the Slide-Rock Bolter has some type of lubrication that secretes from its mouth to help it slide down the mountain and scoop up humans and other prey in its mouth. It is believed that the monster can only live on mountains that have a 45-degree angle because they make it possible for it to make the slide to capture its prey.
Lumberjacks first saw the Slide-Rock Bolter in the 19th century. According to legends, lumberjacks have had trouble dealing with these creatures, so they mostly had to trick them into swallowing bombs and explosives and then blow them up.
Connecticut: Melon Heads
Melon Heads are one of the most bizarre creatures spoken of in modern legend. They are humanoids with huge, veiny heads and relatively small bodies. They are said to hide in remote areas and will attack anyone who comes too close.
The legend of the Melon Heads seems most dominant in Connecticut, Ohio, and Michigan, with each region having its own unique lore as to where exactly these cryptids came from. The general theory is that there was an insane asylum or orphanage. A bloody rebellion amongst the residents or fire occurred in the place that made them leave most of the staff and inhabitants in the said facility dead. They fled into the surrounding woods.
Delaware: Selbyville Swamp Monster
There have been many legends of swamp monsters over the years. One of them is the Selbyville Swamp Monster, also known as the Burnt Swamp Monster. Residents of southern Delaware tell countless tales of bizarre events related to the swamp; some of them date as far back as the 1930s. According to the local legend, two racoon hunters were out with their dogs when they heard the monster's scream. Because of the horrifying scream of the monster, they decided to run rather than fight.
Soon, other sightings occurred, with the monster blamed for everything from missing pets, to mutilated chickens and even strange blood splatters found in the swamp. Those who claimed to see the monster described it as having a ghostly figure. According to some, it's a half-human, half-animal cryptid with two legs. Others described it as being a hairy creature.
In April 1964, the Delmarva News ran a story on the Selbyville Swamp Monster and even attached a photo of the cryptid but later, it was said that the story and photo were a hoax. Still, it didn't stop the tales of this creature from flourishing.
Florida: Skunk Ape
According to the local legend, a bizarre cryptid dwells deep within the Florida Everglades. It is a large ape that stands over seven feet tall and walks upright. One of the most recognizable things about this creature is its pungent odor. The beast is said to stink like spoiled food, animal corpses, rotten cabbage, or rotten eggs. Sightings of Skunk Ape were at their peak in the 1960s.
While not as frequent as they were in the 1960s, sightings of this creature are still reported in Florida each year, some in the surrounding areas of the Everglades. One of the most notable encounters happened in 2000, commonly known as the “Myakka Skunk Ape.” The sheriff department in Sarasota received two photos depicting an upright, large ape with an anonymous letter. In the letter, an elderly woman captured photographs of the creature she believed had been stealing apples she had left in her backyard. The encounter has been picked apart by cryptid fans and debunkers alike. But while the creature and this story are scrutinized, the photographs have been confirmed as real.
Close to the city of Darien, in the waters of the Altamaha, there is a bizarre creature known as Altamaha-ha. According to the local legend, it is about a 20-30 feet long river monster with a seal-like snout and giant flippers. It is described as having greenish skin with yellow undersides.
The monster was nicknamed "Altie." Its legends go back to the 1830s when Captain Delano first reported seeing a snake-like beast in the river. Over the years, there have been many sightings. In the 1920s, timbermen saw the monster while riding the river. Its description matched the Altamaha-ha. Other sightings include a Boy Scout troop in the 1940s as well as two Reidsville State Prison officials in the 1950s. A more recent sighting occurred in 2002. A man who was bringing his boat up the river has claimed to have seen the 20 feet cryptid that matches the description of Altie.
Stories of the mysterious dwarf people called the Menehune can be found in ancient Hawaiian mythology as well as some recent accounts.
Very few people have reported seeing them. One account that has passed down through generations describes them as muscular and short, with dark or red skin, long eyebrows, big eyes, and protruding forehead. The Menehune are said to make their home in remote areas, living in banana-leaf huts, hollow logs, lava tubes, and caves. They eat fish, ferns, yams, bananas, breadfruit, and taro. The Menehune are known for their great architectural works, e.g., monuments, houses, irrigation ditches, stoneworks, and fishponds – all built secretly at night.
The Menehune are believed to have left the hidden caves and deep forests to find a new home, away from humans. Where did they go? Are there still any Menehune in Hawaii? No one knows for sure.
According to local legend, a resident lake monster known as Sharlie lives in the McCall, Idaho area. The cryptid is described as being about 30-35 feet long with a large dinosaur or reptilian-shaped head, hard shell-like skin, humps like a camel, pronounced jaw, and long tail.
In 1920, native workers first saw Sharlie and thought it was just a log moving oddly in the water. But then it started to undulate, and they saw the monster that quickly left the area. In the 1950s, the creature got its name from the local newspaper. Between 1946 and 2002, it has been sighted dozens of times. Despite skepticism about this lake monster, locals are convinced that Sharlie exists.
Illinois: The Enfield Horror
The Enfield Horror is a strange creature observed by several people in the 1970s in the Enfield, Illinois, area. According to eyewitnesses, the cryptid stands about 4/5 feet tall, has two arms attached to its front, three legs, and gigantic pink eyes. Additional reports state that the creature's body looks similar to a monkey's. The creature is said to be quite agile and screeches like a wildcat.
In the early 1970s, Henry McDaniel first encountered the monster. Ten years later, several other reports came forward regarding this horrifying creature. The first one was Greg Garret, a 10-year-old boy. After hearing all these different sighting reports, the locals decided to find the monster. Rick Rainbow – the director of WWKI news, joined them on the mission and soon reported that he spotted the creature in an abandoned old house.
Between 1941 and 1942, similar sightings occurred in the nearby village of Mt. Vernon. The locals called that creature the Mt. Vernon Monster. Although the descriptions of that monster make it seem more like a Devil Monkey than the Enfield Horror, some believe that it was the same creature.
Indiana: Beast of Busco
A cryptid of sorts has left its mark on the Churubusco, Indiana community. There’s a small lake called Fulk Lake in the area where the Beast of Busco was first sighted. The creature is described as being about 500 pounds, with a shell as big as a car rooftop or dinner table.
The legendary beast is commonly known as Oscar, a name a Fort Wayne newspaper jokingly assigned to it in the late 1940s. The cryptid got its name from Oscar Fulk, a farmer who reported to have seen the gigantic turtle in 1898 but was unable to capture it. No recent sightings have occurred. Perhaps, the Beast of Busco died or escaped to another lake.
Iowa: Van Meter Monster
The first notable reported sighting of the Van Meter Monster dates back to 1903. According to witness claims, it is an 8-foot tall humanoid flying monster with a horn on its head that shoots out a blinding white light. When the creature was first seen, notable businessmen in the area were terrified. U.G. Griffith first saw the half-human, half-winged cryptid hopping from one building to another one night. Doctor Alcott also saw the monster at night and shot at it multiple times but to no effect. Clarence Dunn, a bank manager, confronted the beast at nighttime as well and fired at it with his shotgun, but all he could find were gigantic footprints outside the next morning.
O.V. White saw the cryptid sleeping on top of a telephone pole, and despite his shooting, the creature remained unharmed. It then retaliated by releasing an awful smell towards the gentlemen. Mr. White’s neighbor Sydney Gregg saw the Van Meter Monster climb down and fly through the town towards the old coal mine. There haven’t been any notable sightings of the creature after the incident.
Recently, there have been reports of “flying things” in the area. Could it be the Van Meter Monster, or a gigantic crane, or the devil? There are simply too many questions regarding this case to be closed just yet.
Kansas: Sink Hole Sam
According to legend, Inman Lake is home to a gigantic, bizarre lake cryptid known as Sink Hole Sam. Locals say that the monster has been living in some prehistoric underground cavern that is a portion of the lake called “the big sinkhole.”
The first known sighting of the monster came from two men who were fishing at the aforementioned sinkhole. After this event, there was another notable sighting. George Regehr and Albert Neufeld claimed to have seen the creature. According to their descriptions, the cryptid was about 15-feet in length and had a diameter of an automobile tire. Neufeld claimed to have actually fired upon the snake-like creature but failed to capture it.
The following years saw an increase in monster sightings. Most of these sightings were reported by people who specially visited the area in hopes of spotting the beast. While there have been many reports over the years, there is no actual evidence gathered as to whether Sam exists.
Kentucky: The Kelly Little Green Men/Hopkinsville Goblins
On August 21, 1955, the world was introduced to “little green men” via the popular Kelly-Hopkinsville incident. To some, this UFO incident is nothing more than an overreaction fueled by moonshine to an animal attack. Others consider it compelling evidence of alien contact.
The Bizarre Encounter with Hopkinsville Goblins
On August 21, 1955, Billy Ray Taylor was visiting a friend named Elmer “Lucky” Sutton in the small town of Kelly. As he went outside to the well to collect some water, Billy saw something flying across the sky. He later described that object as “real bright” with rainbow-colored exhaust. Panicked, Billy fled indoors and told his wife as well as the Sutton family that he had just seen a UFO. At first, no one took him seriously, but that changed when the dogs started barking. Something, or someone, was approaching the house.
The 11 witnesses later described to police what they saw in terrifying, vivid terms. The invaders had long arms with talons and round “oversized” heads. Everything about them seemed to glow and shimmer in the darkness. Their bodies sparkled as they were made of “silver metal,” and their eyes had “yellowish light.”
Billy and Sutton grabbed guns and started shooting at the cryptids. Aliens drew closer over the next few hours, but they eventually retreated. They flipped up into the trees to escape. One reached down and grabbed Billy’s hair. Finally, when the encounter was over, several people fled into town in a vehicle to ask the police for help.
The police, along with their chief, Russel Greenwell, arrived at the Sutton farmhouse to investigate, but they didn’t find any clear evidence of “little silver men.”
Theories About the Incident
The validity of this entire encounter was questioned immediately. Neighbors though of the whole situation as a drunken debacle, and some people doubted the honesty of the witnesses. And when the Sutton family started charging admission to their farmhouse in order to profit off interest in the story, any remaining goodwill towards them disappeared.
There are a couple of theories about the Kelly-Hopkinsville incident. One theory is that the people at Sutton farmhouse mistook a Great Horned Owl for an alien in the darkness. Great Horned Owls have round heads, glowing eyes, and long wings – all of these characteristics roughly match the description of the so-called Hopkinsville Goblins.
Another theory also involves an animal. A sheriff from a nearby town, Arthur “Hoss” Cansler, joined the local police for the investigation at the Sutton farmhouse. According to his report, everyone was drunk, and some were tossing a cat onto a screen in order to frighten the people inside. Again, this theory relies on the fact that all the witnesses were drunk. Joann Smithey, who arranges the yearly “Little Green Men” Days Festival, believes this theory to be invalid.
Several decades have passed since the Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter, and today, the truth about what happened is more elusive than ever. However, one thing is for certain; this incident helped to solidify the idea of aliens as “little green men.” This is because newspapers used the term “little green men” when telling the story even though the Suttons and Billy described the creatures as “little silver men.”
Louisiana: Rougarou/ Loup-Garou
In Louisiana, there are tales of a mysterious wolf-like cryptid known as Rougarou. Half-wolf, half-man, the creature stalks the fields, swamps, and outskirts of Louisiana towns, looking for its prey.
Also known as Loup-Garou, the story of Rougarou is connected to Cajun culture. According to the legend, the beast stalks swamps and sugarcane fields and has the appearance of a large man with the head of a dog or wolf. It has glowing red eyes, but during the day, it walks in human form. Furthermore, unlike a typical werewolf, Rougarou doesn’t need a full moon for its transformation.
Loup-Garou is believed to be specific in how it hunts its prey. Some stories tell of it craving only Catholic blood, and it hunts down those who don’t follow the rules of Lent. Another story is that the curse of this cryptid only lasts for 101 days. Once the beast has drawn blood, the curse will pass on to the victim, curing the previous individual.
A common protection method against Rougarou is placing 13 small objects (e.g., stones, pennies, etc.) on your doorstep. The idea is that the beast cannot count past 12, so when trying to break in, it would become confused and continue recounting until it has to flee back to the swamps at dawn.
Maine: Specter Moose
Since the late 19th century, there is an enormous animal that roamed the woods of Northern Maine. It is a gigantic moose that was first seen by Joe Francis and his brother Charlie in October 1891.
Described as a magnificent beast, the Spector Moose stands about 10-15 feet tall. It has a dusty white shade that gives off a faint glow. It has a heightened sense of smell, supernatural hearing, and gigantic antlers. The creature tends to vanish and reappear very fast, and like all ghosts, it can phase through objects as well. Those who have claimed to see the animal say that no other moose matched it in weight, stature, or spread of antlers.
This majestic, spooky creature has been spotted dozens of times over the years, all throughout Maine since 1891.
Half-man, half-goat, a creature known as Goatman, has become one of the most mysterious and horrifying cryptids in the United States of America over the years. Sightings have been reported in three different states, i.e., Prince George’s County, Maryland, Kentucky, and Texas, and their local legends are roughly the same. Goatman tends to hide beneath bridges and stalks parked cars and passersby. It is believed to be responsible for a number of violent actions, e.g., sudden highway accidents, ravaging of roadkill, property destruction, animal mutilation, etc.
As the name suggests, Goatman is generally thought to be half-man and half-goat and has the characteristics of both. It is also said to be eerily grotesque, four-smelling, and enormous. Eye-witness accounts vary as to which half of the cryptid is goat and which half is human.
To locals, the Old Alton Bridge is called Goatman’s Bridge because of the legend that surrounds the creature sightings in the area. One theory links the creature to the family of Bigfoot, a violent beast that roams the rural areas in the region. Perhaps the most bizarre theory about the creature’s origin is that it results from a horrifying experiment conducted at the Beltsville Research Agricultural Center.
There have been so many Goatman sightings reported over the years that it is virtually impossible to keep them straight. However, it is widely accepted that the tale of the Goatman become popular on Fletchertown Road in Bowie. Whether this creature is real or a legend, there are enough witnesses and circumstantial evidence available to keep its name and myth alive.
Massachusetts: Dover Demon
The Dover Demon is a bizarre cryptid that was sighted three times in 1977 in Dover, Massachusetts, over the course of two nights. The first sighting occurred on April 21, 1977, at 10:30 PM. A teenager Bill Bartlett was driving along Farm Street with his two friends when he saw a figure crouching on a broken stone wall. According to his description, the creature had a “watermelon-shaped” head, with large hands and feet, spindly, thin arms and legs, and hairless orange-tinted rough skin. His friends didn’t see the creature because the creature quickly ran away.
The next sighting occurred that same night at midnight. John Baxter – a 15-year-old teenager – was leaving his girlfriend’s house on foot. After walking about a mile along, he spotted a figure on Miller Hill Road. At first, he thought it was his friend who lived nearby. But when he tried to get a closer look, the mysterious figure ran away. The teenager followed it, ultimately finding it crouched on top of a rock. According to his description, the creature had its feet “molded” to the top. He further said that the cryptid reminded him of a monkey, but it had a “figure-eight” shaped head.
The final sighting happened the next night. 18-year-old Will Taintor was driving down the road with 15-year-old Abby Brabham when they spotted the creature on Springdale Avenue. Their description of the strange creature matched Bartlett and Baxter. However, Brabham claimed that the creature had bright, glowing green eyes.
All three sightings were reported to the local police. During the investigations, all witnesses were asked separately to draw the creature that they claimed to see. Each drawing showed remarkable similarities, with the key difference being Brabham’s insistence on the cryptid’s green eye color. A local newspaper named the creature the “Dover Demon.” No evidence was found of this creature, but its story persists to this day.
The Michigan Dogman is a tall cryptid that stands upright like a man, has a hairy body of a dog or wolf, and a face that is somewhere between a canine or an ape. Usually, the creature is described as wolf-like; however, there are some cases where the witnesses claim it resembles a wolfhound or greyhound. Its fur color is said to be somewhere between black or silver.
Dogman sightings have no clear timeline. The cryptid did not garner much attention until April 1, 1987, when a local radio station broadcasted a song about it, titled "The Legend." It was supposed to be a prank, but they got well-educated, serious-minded folk calling to ask who wrote it because they claimed to see the Dogman and wanted to talk to someone who might have also seen it.
There have been multiple sightings of the creature over the years. The most notable ones occurred in 1961, the mid-1970s, 1987, and 1993. These sightings aren't just exclusive to Michigan; Colorado, Texas, and Wisconsin also have similar tales, but they are very few compared to Michigan.
In ancient North American legend, a cryptid exists that is the byproduct of dark magic or cannibalism. It is known as Wendigo, and its tales live in several different Native American tribes. However, the most popular folklore belongs to the Great Lakes Region, in Minnesota's north woods, all the way up to central Canada. Wendigos are incredibly terrifying, nasty creatures. They are typically associated with cannibalism, murder, and greed.
Physically, the cryptid is quite revolting. It is a humanoid monster with animal-like features, e.g., lounging tongue, claws, long yellow fangs. In terms of height, the creature is said to be bigger than an average human, but it is woefully gaunt, which is a nod to its insatiable hunger for human flesh. Its glowing red eyes are pushed back deep into their sockets, and because of their glow, the creature is easy to identify in the dead of night.
Although it is not always heavily discussed, Wendigos are generally believed to be coated in ice.
Myths and Folklores
According to some legends, Wendigos don't exist outside of humans. Becoming such a cryptid is the punishment for very human failings. It is believed that when a human its flesh, they become a Wendigo. The act of cannibalism creates an insatiable hunger for human flesh. That's why these creatures are compelled to hunt humans.
In some myth variations, people can also become a Wendigo after simply coming into contact with the creature. According to some other legends, the cryptid could possess humans in a dream. After taking control of its host, the monster assumes the identity of the person.
Different groups assign different names to the monster but share depictions of a terrifying primeval beast that knows only cruelty. In more modern tales, Wendigos are considered to be aliens, and they are often associated with UFOs.
Various groups living in the Northern Ojibwa region describe a mental or psychological condition that results from the Wendigo. In the 1960s, this condition was a source of much clinical intrigue that sparked many psychological studies. To the native tribes, it was mainly a spiritual illness arising from dark forces in the forest. The longer the condition remains, the more control the dark forces exert, and over time, the person will transform from a human to a horrific, unrecognizable beast.
One study in the 1960s practically determined that the condition is because of other factors, e.g., chronic loneliness and famine. Physicians sought to treat it with modern medicine instead of traditional methods within the native groups.
Apart from more recent reports, early explorers in America had records of creature sightings. Jesuit missionaries documented many transformations and encounters from the 17th century. In 1907, a native Algonquin, Algernon Blackwood, wrote a short story that describes an incident with the cryptid.
These accounts stemming from Algonquin people had great standing. Accounts from missionaries also held significant weight in their relevant societies and came across as credible information sources.
However, like most cryptid legends and folklores, there is a lack of concrete proof of Wendigo's existence beyond witness testimonies and second-hand accounts. Still, this bizarre creature is so horrifying that it has evolved through time and persists as a fascinating staple for modern-day hunters, hikers, and adventurists.
Mississippi: Witch of Yazoo
In the historic Glenwood Cemetery, there is a grave called “The Witch’s Grave” that is surrounded by several chain links. According to locals, there was a witch who lived on the Yazoo River, and she used to lure fishermen for the purpose of torture and teasing. Local officials decided to catch her for her wrongdoings. They chased her through the swamps where she was half-drowned in quicksand. While she was sinking, she swore her revenge on Yazoo City and its residents, saying that she would burn the town to the ground. No one took her yelling seriously at the time. But then, on May 25, 1904, a fire destroyed over 200 residences in Yazoo City. Some of the locals believe that this was the revenge the witch swore.
This story has been passed down through the generations. While some of the details may vary, the accounts agree that there was indeed an evil, ugly woman who used to live by the Yazoo River banks.
Since 1971, dozens of sightings of a strange, hairy humanoid beast have been reported in Missouri. According to the local legend, the creature is known as Momo, which is short for “Missouri Monster.”
First reported in the summer of July 1971 by Mary Ryan and Joan Mills near Louisiana, the Missouri Monster has been spotted up and down the Mississippi River. It is described as a 7 feet tall large, black, hairy, humanoid cryptid that emits a terrible odor and eats dogs. Many of the Louisiana residents claim to have seen Momo, and all described it as having long and shaggy fur that covers its face. Some suggest that Momo was a rogue black bear.
The story of the Missouri Monster has become little more than a reminisced curiosity nowadays. For those with an interest in the unexplained, the summer of July 1971 will always remain a mystery.
Montana: Shunka Warak’in
The Shunka Warak’in is a presumably wolf- or hyena-like cryptid reported throughout Montana. Those who claimed to have witnessed the creature describe it as a primitive hyena or wolf-like animal. It is said to be nearly black, has high shoulders and a hyena-like sloped back.
The first written report of this creature started in the 1880s by when white settlers settled down in the lower part of Montana. Many Native American tribes in the region named the cryptid Shunka Warak’in which means “carrying off dogs” since it would often sneak into camps at nighttime and steal dogs.
Nebraska: Alkali Lake Monster
Located in the Sandhills areas of Northwestern Nebraska, Alkali Lake is the home of the famous Alkali Lake Monster. According to witness reports, it is a 40-foot-long creature with an alligator-like build, e.g., grayish, rough brown skin as well as a horn-like appendage between its nostrils and eyes.
The first reports of this cryptid date back to August 1921. Hay Springs news printed the first documented sighting of the creature in 1922. A second documented report appeared in 1923. It was printed by Omaha World-Herald. According to the report, three men in the area claimed to have seen the creature from a distance of 60 feet. According to them, the creature looked quite similar to an alligator but with a horn. When it noticed these men, it started to violently thrash its tail and quickly vanished under the churning surface.
Nevada: Water Babies of Pyramid Lake
The scenic Pyramid Lake of Nevada attracts photographers and anglers from around the globe, but the lake also has a dark side. According to local legend, the malevolent water babies lurk in the depths, waiting to capture their prey and drag them to a watery grave.
There are several different versions of this legend. The one that is the most popular concerns the souls of discarded babies. A long time ago, native Paiute people threw deformed or premature infants into Pyramid Lake to ensure that their tribe stays strong. The souls of these babies got angry, and hence, they now haunt the lake and take revenge on anyone who dares cross their paths.
New Hampshire: Wood Devils of Coos County
The largest, northernmost county in New Hampshire, called Coos County, is almost entirely remote, frequently cold, and a predominately rural area. It’s the perfect place for a cryptid like the wood devils to roam. These bizarre, thin, gray-haired creatures have reportedly been sighted throughout the county.
Seven feet tall, thin enough to hide behind trees, and covered with grayish fur, the wood devils of coos county walk on two feet and stay near the woods near the Canadian border in New Hampshire. While there have been several reported sightings of these creatures, it seems that they try to avoid human contact instead of violently attacking any unfortunate hikers who come across their path.
New Jersey: Jersey Devil
At the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey, a local cryptid legend called the Jersey Devil has been terrorizing people in the region since the 1700s.
According to the legend, this monster was the thirteenth and an unwanted child of Mother Leeds – a South Jersey woman in the colonial era. While still in her womb, Leeds gave the child to Satan. As a result, some say that the child was born deformed. Others say it was born normal but took some bizarre characteristics later, e.g., sizeable horse-like head, winged shoulders, elongated body, etc. The child was imprisoned until it escaped, either up the chimney or through the cellar door.
Multiple encounters with the cryptid over the years have left a detailed portrait of the Jersey Devil: a 7-foot tall monster with the head of a horse, large bat-like wings, a reptilian body, long, spindly legs, and arms with claws. It has red-colored eyes that seem to glow like embers.
Over the years, there have been hundreds of reports of encounters and sightings. There have even been rewards offered for the monster’s capture. The Jersey Devil has been accused of many things, from damaging weather, livestock death, crop failure, and supposedly causing local streams to boil.
The First Encounter
Around the beginning of the 19th century, many New Jersey residents reported sightings of the creature. The first reported sighting was from Joseph Bonaparte – the former King of Spain – in 1812. He claimed to see the cryptid while he was out hunting.
The second notable sighting occurred in 1909. Commodore Stephen Decatur was practicing cannonball shooting alongside his colleagues in the Navy. According to his claims, one cannonball hit the Jersey Devil but failed to damage the cryptid. After his report to Navy officials, there was a huge panic among the locals. Following this incident, more than 1,000 reports of creature sightings/encounters were made by residents.
Sighting in Salem City
In 1927, a cab driver reported another sighting of the Jersey Devil. It was nighttime in Salem City when he pulled over for a flat tire and then soon heard terrifying screeches. Suddenly, the monster appeared from the woods and attacked him. The cab driver reported the incident to the police, but they couldn’t figure out what creature attacked him.
Devil on the Road
In 1972, Mary Ritzer Christianson was driving one night down the Greentree Road when she supposedly saw a creature crossing the street behind her in her rearview mirror. Her description of the creature matches that of the Jersey Devil.
More Sightings in the 1980s
Several more incidents occurred in the 1980s. One notable report was from an Asbury Park Press reporter who claimed that he encountered the monster many years ago. Another notable sighting occurred in the late 1980s when a group of friends riding bikes and ATVs around the Pine Barrens claimed to hear the terrifying screams of an unknown creature.
David Black reported a sighting in 2015. According to him, he saw the creature on Route 9 in Egg Harbor Township. He first thought that it was a llama but soon witnessed it spreading its wings and taking flight. Black even claimed to capture a photo of the cryptid as proof of his encounter. While many people have disproven his claims and photo, Emily Martin, who also claims to have seen the creature, shared a video that she said was recorded at a place about a few miles from Black’s encounter. The video portrays a similar creature.
Whether or not the tales of the Jersey Devil are true, the creature has certainly made its way into New Jersey culture. The legend also inspired the name of the local hockey team, “The New Jersey Devils,” and many NJ residents still believe that the tales are true.
New Mexico: La Llorona
A vile monster with an innocent baby in her clutches is a terrifying image. The creature is known as La Llorona, which means The Wailer or The Weeping Woman.
There are several different variations of this age-old ghost story, but the most common and accepted version begins with Maria, a beautiful woman who marries a wealthy, handsome rancher and has two kids. After a few happy years, the rancher starts to ignore Maria and only pays attention to his children. One day, Maria spots her husband with another woman. Full of rage and anger, Maria throws her kids into the river but soon afterward, she is seized by regret. As a result, she drowns herself. That night, a woman in Maria’s burial dress, the long white robe, is seen walking up and down the riverbank. The villagers hear her crying and asking, “Where are my children?”.
In other variations, Maria is evil from the start. She drowns her kids to be with the man she loves, and when he rejects her, she ends up killing herself. After death, La Llorona is denied entry into heaven because her children aren’t with her. She is now trapped on Earth, looking for her drowned children for all eternity. Because of this, the cryptid now kidnaps children who resemble her missing kids or those who disobey their parents.
The story of La Llorona has taken so many detours over the years that it can be very difficult to recognize.
New York: Champy
As more and more people started to visit Lake Champlain, a growing number of sightings of a bizarre cryptid began. The creature was initially called “Tatoskok” by the Abenaki tribe. In 1819, Captain Crum, who was sailing near Bulwagga Bay, claimed to see the dark-skinned creature. According to him, it was about 200-feet long, with three teeth, peeled onion-colored eyes, a belt of red around the neck, and a white star on its forehead.
The creature sightings significantly grew in the year 1873. The first notable report came from a railroad crew that claimed to witness a gigantic serpent with sparkling, silver scales. The second notable report was from Sheriff Nathan H. Mooney. According to his description, the creature was enormous, having a length of about 25-35 feet.
To date, there have been hundreds of people who have reported seeing this monster. It is now called Champy or Champ. In the 1980s, the state of Vermont and the state of New York passed resolutions in their relative governments that Champy, should it exist, should be protected from harm.
North Carolina: Beast of Bladenboro
Native to Bladenboro, North Carolina, the Beast of Bladenboro was first sighted in late December 1953. There were sudden deaths of several dogs in the area. All had been drained of blood, and their heads crushed, adding a mystery to what might have typically been ruled the work of a hungry bear or cougar. Most sightings reported something that initially appeared to be a mountain lion; however, it seemed much bigger at a second glance, and its tracks were also gigantic.
Because of the potential threat, locals planned to hunt the cryptid. This hunt ended in January 1954, apparently three times. First, a local farmer Luthor Davis found a bobcat caught in a trap and reported it to the authorities. The mayor declared that the creature had finally been stopped. However, later on, the same day, Bruce Soles hit a 75-90-pound cat with his car, killing it and starting an argument over the Beast's true identity. Another unnamed man seemed to have killed the Beast, but there were conflicting reports regarding the creature's identity. With no attacks since 1954, most presume that the Beast of Bladenboro is long dead.
North Dakota: Thunderbird
The Thunderbird is a legendary cryptid that is part of North American Natives’ oral culture and history across the American Southwest, North Dakota, and Southeastern part of the United States.
The legend of the Thunderbird spans hundreds of years. North American Native mythology considered the cryptid a supernatural being of strength and power. According to the legend, the massive and mystical bird hung out among the mountain tops and snapped up its prey, e.g., humans, etc., using its gigantic talons. Furthermore, the Thunderbird was also said to stir up violent thunderstorms when it hunted and flashed lighting from its eyes or beak.
Ohio: Loveland Frogmen
The Loveland Frog is a bizarre humanoid frog spotted in Loveland, Ohio, on several occasions. The creature is said to be about 4 feet tall and bipedal. A local man reported seeing three of these cryptids at the side of the road in 1955. According to him, he pulled his car over and saw the frogmen for about 3 minutes. Another reported sighting occurred in 1972 when a police officer claimed to see the frogman on a bridge in the city. A couple of weeks later, another officer also saw and described the same creature. These strange cryptids were also seen by a farmer.
New sightings of the Ohio Loveland Frogmen seem to pop up every decade. The latest reported sighting occurred in August 2016, when two teenagers playing “Pokémon Go” allegedly saw a giant frog walking on its hind legs.
The Oklahoma Octopus is a giant octopus living in the freshwater lakes in Oklahoma. According to witness reports, the creature is about the size of a horse and has leathery, brownish-red skin and long tentacles. Basically, it is a giant cephalopod that can live within the freshwater of the lakes without any issues. This is something that’s considered to be impossible because all known cephalopod species cannot survive in freshwater.
The cryptid is said to inhabit a number of lakes in Oklahoma, with the most popular being Lake Tenkiller, Lake Oologah, and Lake Thunderbird. There has been no evidence of this creature so far; however, there is a high death rate in these lakes, which leads many locals to believe that the monster is there.
Oregon: Colossal Claude
Colossal Claude is a 40-feet long sea monster that has a round body, eight-foot-long neck, and a tail. The creature's head has been described as having an evil, snaky look or looking like a maned camel.
One of the first reported sightings of Colossal Claude was in 1934. The crew of the Columbia River Lightship saw an animal for some time using binoculars. They wanted to take a closer look, but officers denied the request to take a lifeboat out, fearing that the cryptid would sink the small boat.
Three years later, a crew of another ship, Viv, reported seeing the monster. Their description matched that of the creature's first sighting report. In 1939, the crew of another fishing vessel, Argo, had a close encounter with the cryptid. According to the ship's captain, the sea monster had a head like a camel's, had glassy eyes, and gray, coarse fur.
Although sightings of Colossal Claude have been scarce since the 1950s, the creature still adds to the mystery that comes with living on the North Coast.
The Squonk is a Cryptid creature that is said to live in the northern Pennsylvania forests. According to local legend, it is a repulsive creature that has saggy, ill-fitting skin covered in warts and many other unsettling blemishes. Unlike most other cryptids, the Squonk is not well-known, and only a few people outside of Pennsylvania have ever heard of it.
Apparently, Squonk is both aware and ashamed of its ugly appearance, so it spends its days trying to hide from the world in the Hemlock forests while also weeping over its unfortunate fate. The legend also has its fair share of irony; those very tears of Squonk are what supposedly protect the beast.
Rhode Island: Vampire Mercy Brown
In the 1890s in Exeter, Rhode Island, the Browns family became the focus of a true vampire hunt. George and Mary Brown had settled into this area with their kids. In the 1880s, Mary was diagnosed with TB. At that time, the condition was called Consumption. After her quick demise, the eldest daughter Mary Olive also died from the same disease in 1888. Their son Edwin also became sick in 1890 but didn't die immediately. In the meantime, Mercy, their other daughter, contracted the disease and passed away in early 1892.
Three deaths (and Edwin being sick) seemed to be more than just a coincidence to locals. So, after discussing the subject, they decided in March to exhume the deceased members of the Browns and see if one of them was responsible for the ill fate of the family.
A group of men equipped with shovels dug the graves of Mary Brown and Mary Olive and brought their coffins up to ground level. After opening the caskets, it was revealed that their bodies had decayed over time.
Opening Mercy's coffin, the witnesses were shocked to see that her body was in pristine condition. Upon further inspection, liquid blood was found in her heart as well as other areas of her body. Because of this, many people concluded that Mercy was a vampire and she was the reason the Browns got sick. After this, many of the locals claimed to see Mercy Brown walking through the neighboring fields and the graveyard at night.
Mercy's body was removed from the casket with George Brown's permission, and a doctor removed her heart, which was then burned to ashes and fed to Edwin. However, this "cure" proved to be useless as Edwin passed away several months later.
South Carolina: Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp
The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp is a strange cryptid that inhabits the swampy regions of South Carolina. There are many local legends about the Lizard Man. Many reports of creature sightings claim that the monster is about seven feet tall, with scaly green skin, red eyes, and has only three toes on each foot.
The first known sighting of the Lizard Man occurred in June 1988. A teenager named Christopher Davis told the local authorities that he was returning home from his night shift at McDonald’s when he had a flat tire on Browntown Road. He changed the tire, and while he was putting the tools back in the truck, he saw the cryptid moving toward him from the tree line. According to his description, the creature was about seven feet tall, had a green, wet-like appearance, with glowing red eyes and three fingers.
Within a month of this first sighting, multiple people in the area claimed to see the cryptid or find unexpected damage to their vehicles. Though some locals would swear up and down that their encounters with the Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp were real, Scott Poole, a local professor, claims that these sightings are just part of the recurring nature of these folklores.
South Dakota: The Little Devils of Spirit Mound
Clay County, South Dakota, has a 320-acre, 1,280-foot tall hill in the region known as Spirit Mound. Otoes, Omaha, and Sioux Indians revered and feared the mound because they believed it housed Little Devils – the 18-inch-tall cryptids that hated humans. According to a legend, hundreds of Native warriors attacked the creatures’ homes on the mound, but the creatures slaughtered them with magical arrows.
During their notable westward expedition, explorers William Clark and Meriwether Lewis visited the mound to look for these bizarre creatures. Clark, Lewis, and ten other people from the expedition traveled for three hours in the area but couldn’t find the Little Devils. However, they did see several holes in the ground, which were big enough for these creatures to hide within. Nowadays, the Spirit Mound is a state park covered in local prairie grass.
Tennessee: Wampus Cat
There are rumors of a half-animal, half-human cryptid known as Wampus Cat from Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, and even West Virginia. Standing straight with glowing yellow eyes and a long tail, the creature is said to be a cross between a human woman and a lynx.
Stories of the Wampus Cat have been told throughout the years, with many people claiming that they have witnessed the beast, which is supposedly very hostile and violently attacks people on site. Today, the creature is mainly known as a bogeywoman of sorts. However, some people roam the southern U.S. forests and tell of a howling animal deep in the trees. Those who have seen this cryptid say it is restless and looking for something that forever evades it.
Similar to the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot, Chupacabra is a cryptid whose alleged existence has plagued farmers and other locals of Texas for some time now. The legend of Chupacabra is not quite as old as the Jersey Devil, Yeti, or Sasquatch. It dates back to just 1995.
The story of the Chupacabra started in Puerto Rico in 1995. The first known attack by the creature was reported in the countryside. Eight sheep were found dead with puncture wounds in their chest. According to the farmer, all of the blood had been drained from the carcasses. The news of this incident spread fast, and soon, everyone throughout Latin American and the Southwestern United States knew about the Chupacabra.
The most common description of the cryptid is that it is 4-5-feet tall, has leathery skin, and it looks like a bat. Key physical characteristics include a spiked spinal column, glowing red eyes, pointed ears, muscular clawed forearms, sharp 3-toed claws, long fangs, and wings. It is said that the Chupacabra usually attacks at night.
So far, the attacks of this creature have been limited to only livestock, particularly goats. Humans seem to be safe at the moment. However, some disturbing murals found in Mexico depict a Chupacabra attacking cowboys and a group of women.
As the tale of the Chupacabra went viral in 1995, other reports of the creature attacks started to surface by 1996. The reports were from Texas, Miami, as well as in the Southwest region. Either the Chupacabra had migrated, or the tales had become so popular that reports of copycat attacks and sightings were also being carried out in other areas.
In November 1996, a Mexican rancher in Texas claimed to have captured the cryptid using a coyote trap. He even produced photos to prove it. According to his report, he had set the trap to capture whatever was killing his chickens, goats, and a donkey. What he caught was something very bizarre. Supposedly, the body of the beast was taken to a major Texas university for identification. However, this cannot be verified.
In 1997, Chupacabra was back in its original hunting grounds where it allegedly killed two goats, drained the blood of one, and ran off with a small kid from a farm near Puerto Rico. The local police investigated the case. According to them, the attack took place around 2 AM. At that time, a farmhand heard the flutter of wings and saw frightened cows and horses running as if the devil were chasing them.
Near Hesperia in Southern California, a cryptid matching the description of Chupacabra attacked a pig in 1997. According to the owner, he saw something unbelievable trying to get to his pig. When the owner came around the corner, the creature stopped and looked up at him. The owner’s dogs seemed to be terrified. The cryptid then disappeared into the bushes.
The mysterious livestock deaths reported over the years don’t fit the MO for any known predator. That said, there is no solid evidence of Chupacabra’s existence either. Also, the variations in descriptions of the cryptid make it very difficult to solve the mystery of Chupacabra.
Utah: Bear Lake Monster
The Bear Lake Monster was introduced to the world in 1868 when a news correspondent, Joseph C. Rich, reported a local legend about a gigantic alligator with dark green skin, short legs, and red eyes. This cryptid would come ashore at times to kill and eat animals and sometimes humans. The monster is described as a serpent-like cryptid with the head of a dinosaur or walrus and prominent ears.
Native Americans referred to the cryptid as “water devil,” and many local people claimed to have seen the beast. While the reporter who told the story later recanted it, the sightings of the Bear Lake Monster continued, and they have only grown over the years. The interesting thing about the various reports is that they all have pretty much the same description.
Vermont: Northfield Pigman
A bizarre half-human, half-pig cryptid has been rumored to live in the woods surrounding Northfield, Vermont. The local legend has multiple versions, but certain parts are the same. The night before Halloween in 1951, 17-years-old Same Harris went out on his own with an egg basket to cause some mischief. The boy never came back, and his body was never found. Nobody knew what happened to him.
Several years later, a group of high school students went out one night, drinking behind the school during a dance party, when they saw a creature came walking out of the woods on two human legs. The naked creature had white hair, and it wore a hollowed-out pig's head like some grotesque mask. After seeing the cryptid, the kids ran out of there and told people. The news of the incident spread very quickly, and some farmer admitted that he had seen a creature one night with the same description digging through his garbage. Afterward, more sightings occurred of "The Pigman," as it was called.
Just outside Northfield, there is a place called The Devil's Washbowl, with several caves, waterfalls, and a river. After more Pigman sightings, locals started investigating and found that one cave in the Washbowl area had animal bones scattered throughout, some of which were pig. The word spread that the lair of the Pigman was found. However, the cryptid itself was not captured. Whether the Pigman is Sam Harris or the creature that ate him, no one knows for sure.
Reports of a bizarre flying cryptid known as Snallygaster first appeared in early 1909 in Frederick County. The story was carried prominently in a local weekly newspaper Middletown’s Valley Register. In the earlier reports, the flying creature seemed to be everywhere at once: Ohio, West Virginia, New Jersey, etc.
James Harding was the first person who saw Snallygaster. He described it as having claws like steel, a long sharp beak, gigantic wings, and one eye in the middle of its forehead. According to his claims, the creature appeared to be a cross between a vampire and a tiger and made shrill screeching noises. In West Virginia, the cryptid almost caught a woman near Scrabble, laid an egg near Sharpsburg, and roosted in Alex Crow’s barn. It was last reported in these parts in March 1909.
Since these sightings, a great deal has been written about the Snallygaster. The creature has appeared in numerous articles in the Middletown Valley Register as well as other local newspapers. It has also appeared in Time Magazine, National Geographic, and Baltimore Sun.
Washington: Sasquatch/ Bigfoot
Is Sasquatch real? This is among the common questions you will come across on the internet. To this day, people report having seen the mythical Cryptid in the woods of North America. Whether or not there is definitive proof is hard to say, but that doesn't sway the millions of believers.
Native Americans have stories about Sasquatch dating at least as far back as the 16th century, though cave paintings date back to around 1 to 500 AD. Settlers of North America report sightings of this being, and the reports have never stopped through the modern-day. Reports of footprints, sporadic encounters, and some people have released grainy videos and photos of the creature, therefore adding to the mystery. Further, several organizations have been created to study and document Sasquatch. They have groups that search the woods of the Pacific Northwest regularly, looking for proof. The FBI has also kept a file of the Hairy Man since 1976.
Some people claim that the Sasquatch is as real as the narwhals and gorillas, but others claim it is a hoax alongside videos that claim to show lizard people, aliens, and ghosts. So, is the Sasquatch real?
What is the Sasquatch?
Also known as the Bigfoot, Yowie, Yayali, and in Florida, Skunk Ape. The Sasquatch is a huge, hairy, human-like creature believed to exist in western Canada and the northwest United States. Seemingly, it represents the North American counterpart of the Abominable Snowman or Yeti, which is a mythical creature of the Himalayan region.
Reports indicate that the Sasquatch looks more like a hairy man than a monkey or ape. They also show that it is around 6-8 feet tall, but it is mostly sighted with a smaller female or offspring. The adult male is rugged and muscular. It has broad shoulders and a little neck area. Furthermore, the male Sasquatch has short brown to black hair that covers the entire body. The hair on its head is longer than that on other parts of the body.
Most reports show that the eyes of this creature shine or glow red in the dark when reflected by a light source, such as a flashlight. Even more, most people who claim to have spotted it states that it discharges a scent, which they describe as poop, rotten flesh, out-houses, old vomit, rotten eggs, or foul and sickening. The Cryptid also makes Ape-like growls and grunts, scream-like sounds, strange calls, and herd whistles.
Many Native Americans believe that Sasquatch is a non-physical creature, and some claim that they have spotted it transforming into a wolf. Some further believe that it has great psychic abilities because it can remain visible to some individuals and at the same time stay invisible to others.
Multiple reports claim to have seen this Cryptid after UFO sightings. Those who searched for and researched it for many years concluded that it is a spiritual being because it appears and disappears at will.
The Sightings of Sasquatch
Sasquatch has been sighted in the United States since the 16th century. The Native Americans reported the first sightings, and they used numerous names to refer to the creature. People have also reported having seen it more recently. Here are some of the most famous Bigfoot sightings reported.
- The Gimlin and Roger Peterson Footage
Arguably one of the most influential and famous Bigfoot footage is a 1967 film shot by Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson in Northern California. The film footage is grainy, and it only runs 59.5 seconds, but it is possibly the most significant because it shows the Bigfoot. It offers a dark, hairy, lumbering creature walking in the wilderness, and it seems to turn and look at the camera.
- A Footage by Jim Mills Camping Team
A youth group led by Jim Mills also captured grainy footage of a supposed Bigfoot sighting. The group was camping in the Marble Mountain Wilderness when their leader noticed a strange-looking creature that skulked along a nearby ridge. He filmed it for around seven minutes to come up with the longest video ever of a Bigfoot sighting.
- Eric Earle Shipton Photo
Eric Earle Shipton, a British explorer, also captured a photo of the Cryptid in 1951 when trekking through the Himalayas, alleging that it belonged to the Bigfoot. Christie's Auction house capitalized the photo in 2014 and sold it for nearly $5,000.
- Josh Highcliff Video
Josh Highcliff, a Mississippi resident, also captured a video of a supposed Bigfoot when hunting on his property in 2013. He posted the footage on YouTube and asked people to help him identify the animal.
- Paul Freeman Video
A former forest patrolman, known as Paul Freeman, reported having spotted a family of Bigfoots in the Blue Mountains in 1994. He released a grainy and shaky video, and the Bigfoot experts believe that it shows the actual creature.
- Bigfoot Footprints Found in Pennsylvania
Locals in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, found footprints measuring 17.75 inches near home in 1980. Associated Press indicated that the footprints coincided with reports of strong and strange noises along with an unusual odor within the area.
- Rick Jacobs Images
Hunter Rick Jacobs captured Bigfoot images in 2007, with a camera mounted on a tree in Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. The camera captured photos of bear cubs providing evidence that the unidentified animal was unrelated to the bear family. Some skeptics claimed that the animal was a bear suffering from mange.
Archaeological Viewpoint of the Sasquatch
One of the archaeological pieces of evidence of the Bigfoot is the Painted Rock situated in Tule River Reservation, in the Central California Sierra Nevada foothills, above Porterville. Also known as the CA-TUL-19, the site is a rock shelter associated with a Yokuts village of the Native Americans. The pictographs are situated inside the rock shelter, and they are painted on the walls and ceiling of the shelter.
The pictographs include paintings of a male Sasquatch, a female Sasquatch, a baby Sasquatch, a beaver, coyote, frog, bear, centipede, condor, eagle, humans, lizards, circles, lines, and many other geometric designs. The paintings are in black, red, yellow, and white.
Also known as the Mayak Datat, the Hairy Man pictograph at Painted Rock is the most dominant. The Hairy Man measures around 2.6 meters high and 1.9 meters wide. The pictograph is black, white, and red and represents a two-legged creature with a height of 8.5 feet and arms spread out to around 6 feet wide. The creature has what looks like long hair and huge haunting eyes. The Yokuts identified the two lines originating from its eyes as tears. The picture is in poor condition due to vandalism and weathering.
Among the unusual features of the site is the existence of a whole Bigfoot family. Apart from the Hairy Man, the drawings show a female and a Child. The mother measures around 1.8 meters high by 1.2 meters wide. The creature standing is a 6-foot high two-legged creature with arms wide open showing five fingers. The child standing on her right-hand side measures 1.2 meters high by 1 meter wide and is red. Clewlow (1979) estimated that the painting was made around AD 1-500.
Latta (1949) notes that the Native year-round villages were established in important places, either where paintings were or where the Indians conducted their ceremonies. Archaeologically, the Painted Rock village was occupied in late prehistoric times, around 500 years ago, because the paintings are believed to be 500-1000 years old.
The Yokuts Tribe, which occupied the San Joaquin Valley and the foothills of California, is believed to be behind the Painted Rock. Steward (1929) stated that a tribal elder who lived in this area in 1900 identified the large paintings as the "Hairy Man." Latta (1949) also stated that the Native Americans recognized characters that represented animals but they could not explain the line drawings and geometrical designs. They identified drawings of mythical characters like Hairy Man and Coyote Eating the Moon.
Apart from the Painted Rock, Yokuts also had stories that involved the Hairy Man. Grayton (1976:89) studied the traditional stories and concluded that the Yokuts incorporated any findings of animal behaviors in their traditional stories. Their stories and details were more elaborate if they observed the behaviors of a creature. One of their stories describing how people were made describes the Hairy Man as human-like.
They claim that he walked on two legs and decided to give humans the ability to walk after creating them:
"Hairy Man, who had not said anything yet, shook his head and said, "No, People should walk on two legs, like me." (Johnstone, 1975)
The story also shows the Hairy Man as an intelligent creature. Humans populated the earth very fast and occupied the space other animals did before. That forced the other creatures to develop strategies to survive, and the Hairy Man decided to go and live among the trees. He would hunt at night only after people had gone to sleep.
"People spread out all over the mountains, taking all the land and eating all the food. Animals didn't have any place to go. Eagle, chief of all the animals, told the animals that they could not remain in their traditional places because people had taken them. He asked them where they wished to go." (Johnstone 1975)
"Eagle said, "I am going to fly high up in the air and live on squirrels and sometimes on deer." Hairy Man said, "I will go live among the big trees (Giant Sequoias) and hunt only at night when people are asleep." Dog said, "I will stay with people and be their friend, I will follow them, and perhaps I will get something to eat in that way." Buzzard said, "When something dies, I will smell it. I will go there and eat it." (Johnstone 1975)
The story shows that the Hairy Man did not want to come into contact with humans. And considering that Grayton (1976) stated that stories from Yokuts involved real behaviors observed from animals, assuming that the Yokuts had observed the behavior of Bigfoot man and incorporated it in their story is logical.
Another story shows that the Hairy Man influenced Yokuts women to develop a unique working style. The story about Hairy Man's food-stealing states that:
"In the old days, women learned never to leave their acorn meal unattended. They would spend all day pounding on the big rocks near the river, making the acorn meal, and then take it down to the river to leech it. They would then leave it in the sun to dry, but they would come back, and it would be gone. They would find big footprints in the sand where they left the meal, and they would know that Hairy Man took it. He likes Indian food and knows to wait until the acorn is leeched of its bitterness before taking it. We always wondered if he liked the sound of women pounding acorn and knew when to come and get food." (Johnstone 1975)
The story also shows that the sound of acorn pounding attracted Bigfoot. That is likely one of the Bigfoot behaviors that the Yokuts incorporated in the traditional story, and it may explain some of the behaviors attributed to Bigfoot today, such as wood pounding. He might do that to emulate the sound heard in prehistoric times. The story also shows that the Bigfoot was smart enough to associate pounding with food and wait for food before stealing it.
Other tribes from the west, such as Costanoan, Maidu, Costanoan, Nisenan, Konkow, Nomlaki, Wintu, Miwok, Tenino, Utian, and Patwin, have their stories about the Hairy Man too. The stories include:
- Wappeckquemow: a giant
- Wainus: a giant
- Ah-wah-Nee: a giant
- Yayali: a hairy giant
- Che-ha-lum'che: a hairy giant
The Yayali is described as a horrible smelly giant covered with hair and associated with the Miwok tribe. The Miwok tribe is related closely to the Yokuts in both culture and location. One of their stories depicts the Bigfoot as a huge creature that eats animals and people and as something to be feared.
In another story, the Ste-ye-hah is a dangerous nocturnal creature that lives in the Cascade Mountains. It would lure people from their path. As already noted, the Yokuts also believed that the Hairy Man was nocturnal and whistled to lead people its grip.
The FBI Findings
The FBI has kept a file of the Sasquatch since 1976. In that year, the director of Bigfoot Information Center and Exhibition in The Dalles, Oregon, Peter Byrne, sent 15 hairs attached to a small piece of skin to the FBI, which he claimed belonged to the Bigfoot. This was after Robert Gimlin and Roger Paterson had released their video footage supposedly showing the Bigfoot in Northern California. A trail of oversized footprints had also been discovered within the same area in 1958.
The director claimed that his organization could not identify the type of animal or its origin, and he hoped that the FBI would analyze the hairs and recognize the animal. Peter Byrne also wanted to know whether the FBI had examined any Sasquatch hair before.
The assistant director of the scientific and technical services division of FBI wrote back to Peter Byrne, claiming that the FBI could only examine physical evidence linked to criminal investigations but would make an exception due to the interest of this case. Unsurprisingly, they found that the hair did not belong to the Bigfoot. They sent the hair back to Byrne along with the conclusion that it belonged to a deer family. They declassified the "Bigfoot file" about the analysis four years later.
People have reported seeing large hair-covered man-like creatures in the North American wilderness areas for many years. Sightings of the creature have continued today. There are many stories associated with the Bigfoot man as well as pictographs. The traditional stories represent the Bigfoot as an omnivore, wood knocking, nocturnal hunting, association with forest environments, whistling. Analysis of the stories, the pictograph, and the reported sightings show that the creature very well might exist.
Johnstone, Elizabeth Bayless, Bigfoot, and Other Stories. Tulare: Tulare Board of Education.
Gayton, Anna H., Culture-Environment Integration: External References in Yokuts Life. In: Native Californians: A Theoretical Retrospective, LJ Bean and T.C. Blackburn, ed., pp. 79-98. Ramona: Ballena Press.
Mallery, Garrick, Picture-writing of the American Indians. Pp. 1-882 in 10th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology for the Years 1888-1889. Washington.
Latta, Frank F.
• California Indian Folklore, as Told to F.F. Latta by Wah-nom-kot, Wah-hum-chah, Lee-mee (and others). Shafter: Shafter Press.
• Handbook of Yokuts Indians. Bakersfield: Kern County Museum.
West Virginia: Mothman
In the 1960s, a small town known as Point Pleasant in West Virginia became home to the Mothman legend – one of the most mysterious and powerful urban cryptid stories. According to local legend, it is a creature that resembles a man and a moth, and it roams the state of West Virginia. Since the first sighting, many people have reported seeing this monster over the years. Many residents believe that the creature is responsible for all the bad happenings in the area. Mothman has remained an important part of the local folklore with a 12-foot tall statue in Point Pleasant.
As the name suggests, Mothman is a cryptid that resembles a man and a moth. According to descriptions, it is a 7-foot tall, human-sized winged monster with a wingspan of about 10 feet and glowing red eyes. The creature has a humanoid chest that has additional eyes on it. Mothman also possesses an unusual shriek.
This legendary creature was first reportedly sighted on November 12, 1966, in a cemetery near Pleasure Point. Five gravediggers claimed to see the Mothman fly low over their heads.
Two young couples in the area reported the second and third sightings. The first couple told officials that they saw a large grey monster with glowing red eyes. The other couple said that it was a large flying man with a 10-foot wingspan, and it was following their car near the TNT area.
Other residents reported many others sightings after these.
The Silver Bridge Tragedy
Perhaps the most notable incident linked to Mothman is the Silver Bridge collapse of December 15, 1967. The incident led to 46 deaths, and two victims went missing and were never found. According to the investigation, the failure of a single eyebar in the suspension chain caused the bridge to collapse. However, some locals believe that there was something sinister involved that led to this tragedy. Some believed that Mothman caused the bridge to collapse since the creature is basically the harbinger of death. Others believed that the creature was actually there to warn people.
Theories Behind Mothman
Following are a couple of possible theories behind this cryptid:
• George Johnson – Mason county sheriff, said that the creature sightings occurred because of an unusually large bird.
• Dr. Robert L. Smith – a wildlife biologist, stated that the descriptions of Mothman fit the sandhill crane, which is a large American crane with a wingspan of about seven feet. These cranes also have a reddish circle around their eyes. According to Smith’s theory, the crane may have strayed from its migration route.
The Mothman Prophecies
In 1970, Gray Barker introduced the Mothman to a wider audience. Five years later, John Keel popularized the creature with his book “The Mothman Prophecies.” According to the author, the creature had a connection to the Silver Bridge tragedy. The book inspired the 2002 film of the same name.
Regardless of the lack of evidence, many Point Pleasant residents believe this cryptid exists due to its link to various disasters over the years.
Wisconsin: Beast of Bray Road
The Beast of Bray Road, a cryptid which lives in the wilderness near Bray Road outside Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Monster hunters have labeled the beast as being one of the many unidentified Bigfoot sightings. However, many locals claim that the cryptid has a more canine appearance, though it still has an apish, flat face, which is why the monster is also sometimes referred to as the Manwolf. Some locals even believe that Beast of Bray Road is a werewolf.
It is said that the Beast of Bray Road has been roaming the area since 1936. The number of sightings over the years has certainly earned it a spot in legends. However, it has been more than a decade now since its last reported sighting, the tension felt by the locals has almost entirely diminished.
The jackalope looks to be a combination of an antelope and a jackrabbit and is typically portrayed as a rabbit with horns. According to local legend, the creature was first spotted in Wyoming by John Colter. According to his description, it is a vicious animal that possesses the ability to mimic any sound it hears.
The legend of jackalope continued into the 20th century. One origin story is; in 1930, two brothers went hunting one day, and after returning home, one of them tossed a jackrabbit on the floor, and it landed next to some deer antlers, giving them the idea to put them together. After a while, the brothers sold the first stuffed jackalope to Douglas, Wyoming hotel. It was proudly hung there until 1977 before it got stolen.
Actual illustrations of rabbits with horns date back to the 16th century. According to a theory, the cryptid jackalope, if it exists, could be a result of papillomatosis. This disease causes parasitic growths that sometimes look like horns on the heads of rabbits. This disease is commonly known as jackalopism. The jackalope isn’t unique to America. Similar creatures (rabbits with antlers) have been claimed to exist in Sweden (skvader) and Germany (wolperdinger) as well.