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Cryptozoology

North American Monsters that Need Their Own Horror Movies

By Alisha Grauso

When I was a kid, I loved anything supernatural, paranormal, scary. I watched USA’s Saturday Nightmares with my dad (and had subsequent nightmares), and I was a voracious reader of any scary stories I could get my hands on, including Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the Fear Street YA novels, Stephen King…anything.

Of course, I was also fascinated with stories of cryptids, urban legends, and mythical monsters. We’ve all heard the stories about Bigfoot, Loch Ness, and the chupacabra. But what about the less well-known cryptids, especially our very own North American kind? I’ve always thought there were quite a few that would make for an excellent creepy-to-downright-terrifying horror movie. Let’s talk about creepy-crawlies, everyone…

The Wendigo

Out of all the cryptids on this list, this is the one that terrifies me most. I blame this on reading Algernon Blackwood’s short story “The Wendigo” at an early age. The image of a demonic creature making a man run and run and run through a silent, frozen wasteland until his feet burned and turned to ash was a horrific image that wormed its way into my still-developing brain and has stuck fast ever since.

The Wendigo is a Native American myth, primarily with the Algonquin-speaking tribes such as the Ojibwe and Cree. The legend varies a bit from tribe to tribe, but the idea that the Wendigo is a malevolent demon constantly hungering for human flesh is pervasive. It’s associated with the frozen cold, famine, starvation – all tribes hold the idea that a human who turns to cannibalism out of necessity will turn into a Wendigo.

Have you ever been in a forest, alone, and heard a branch snap behind you? Maybe it’s a deer or fox…or maybe it’s something else. As a monster, it’s supernaturally fast and deadly, preying on people in the wilderness and toying with them first before devouring them. The Ojibwe describe it as skeletal but unnaturally strong, gray skin stretched over an emaciated body with razor-sharp claws for hands. It carries with it the stench of decay and death, and its eerie cry is half the whisper of the wind in the trees and half the unearthly wail of a wild creature. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking that’s a world of NOPE.

Jersey Devil

Once again we have the Native Americans to thank for this story, this time the Lenni Lenape tribe. The Lenni Lenape were known to call the area now known as the Pine Barrens in Southern New Jersey by the name of “Popuessing” – or “place of the dragon.” Not creepy. Not creepy at all, guys.

Accepted legend has it that in 1735, Mother Leeds, a rumored witch, had 12 children and swore that her 13th child would be born evil, and that its father was the Devil. When she went into labor, the child appeared to be normal at first, but soon morphed into a creature with bat wings, hooves, a goat’s head and forked tail. It killed the midwife, then flew up the chimney and escaped. (Fun fact: There was a real couple, Deborah and Japhet Leeds, who had 12 children and lived in the exact spot the Jersey Devil stories take place.)

But the Jersey Devil has been spotted off and on ever since by various people throughout the years, including Joseph Bonaparte, brother to Napoleon. In 1909, so many people spotted the Jersey Devil throughout the state that it set off a small panic, with citizens reporting everything from livestock being attacked to spotting footprints and hearing its screams. The sightings continue to this day, and while some researchers believe it’s a species of as-yet-undiscovered animal, the reality is that something strange lives in the dense forests of New Jersey.

Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp

Scape Ore Swamp
Scape Ore Swamp

Stories about lizard people have abounded in the dark corners of the internet, and the Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp (or Lee County) is no exception. It’s described as a reptilian hominoid creature about 7 feet in height that walks upright. According to eyewitnesses, it’s covered with dark hair but has scaly, lizard-like skin on its face, hands, and feet, with three toes on its feet and hands. It also has a serious hatred for cars, exhibiting an inhuman degree of strength on more than one occasion when it completely ripped one apart.

The first reported sighting was made in 1988 by 17-year-old local Christopher Davis, who had stopped near the swamp in order to change a flat tire on his way home from work in the early morning hours. As he was finishing up, he heard a strange noise and looked up to see a huge, lizard-like creature running toward him. Davis dove for the car and closed the door, at which point the creature attacked his door and then jumped onto the roof as Davis drove off, clinging to the roof. Eventually, he shook the creature off, but when he returned home he found his side mirror was badly damaged and there were deep scratch marks on the roof.

In the month after Davis’ report, there were multiple instances of cars being attacked and damaged around the area, some with chunks ripped out of the metal and ground up as if something had been chewing upon them. Blood, saliva, and long, unknown hairs were found at the scenes of most of the attacks, with the most recent happening in 2011 to Leon and Ada Marshall. Whatever the explanation, we know there’s at least one thing running around near Scape Ore Swamp strong enough to rip a car to shreds. Creepy.

Pope Lick Monster

Pope Lick Bridge and train trestle
Pope Lick Bridge and train trestle

From lizard men to goat men. This myth takes us to Pope Lick, Kentucky – specifically the Pope Lick bridge and railway trestle that spans the Floyd’s Fork Creek, a place that many people have learned to avoid if they can help it because of the deadly Pope Lick Monster. The descriptions of the creature are always the same, with eyewitnesses saying he appears to be a human-goat hybrid with the torso of a man, and legs of a goat. He has a human face, but wide-set eyes and horns that protrude from his forehead, with stringy hair or fur that matches the fur on his legs.

Unlike the others on this list, save for the Wendigo, the Pope Lick Monster is fatally dangerous. There are two different accounts of how it kills its victims, but both are chilling: The first claims he uses either voice mimicry or hypnosis to lure people onto the tracks in front of oncoming trains, and the second is that he drops down from the trestle supports above onto the roof of passing cars. Supposedly, the sight of him is so terrifying that people walking across the trestle who spot him will leap off the bridge and plunge to the ravine below.

In any case, there have been numerous deaths and accidents at the bridge, including suicides and others hit by trains. This is certainly not helped by the fact that, despite the 8-foot-high fence that has been erected, urban legend hunters still try to sneak onto the still very much active train trestle. Whatever the case, something started the original story of the monster, and that something is still being spotted every so often near the bridge. And on that note, I’m about to “HELL no” on up outta here.

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Cryptozoology

Bigfoots attacked tourists in the Ozark National Park, Arkansas

Fort Smith native Ellen (not her real name) tells us a thrilling and frightening encounter with Bigfoot in the Ozark National Park – outside Campbell Cemetery on Tuesday night. According to Ellen, she and her husband Robert decided to find a secluded place to live a couple of days far from civilization and even so that numerous tourists were many miles away.

Therefore, they chose the area of ​​the old abandoned Campbell cemetery, where no one had wandered in for about a hundred years. And now, according to Ellen, she and her husband heard something like an animal growl, permeating the air and coming from somewhere in the thicket. After a few minutes, the growl intensified and seemed to be closer.

“It sounded like some hefty creature had found its lunch,” says Ellen.

However, what slightly frightened Ellen was that their dogs, which always bark at the approach of predators, suddenly shrunk, huddled near the tent and began to whine. Then Ellen and Robert, in order to somehow cheer up the dogs, got out of the tent and also began to growl. But the joke failed.

In response to their voices, the growl from the thicket became really aggressive and began to spread around, from which Ellen and Robert realized that there were at least two creatures. Ellen did not even think about some “Bigfoot” and assumed either large wolves, or even bears, when suddenly hefty sticks and stones flew into the tent.

This infuriated Robert and assuming that some hooligans were hiding in the bushes, Robert gave the command to the dogs to teach the offenders a lesson.

“It was the biggest mistake of our life,” says Ellen and begins to cry.

According to her, when the dogs disappeared into the thickets from there, at first the sounds of a struggle were heard, then one of the dogs uttered such a monstrous cry that Ellen had never heard anything like it in her life. After that, everyone began to howl, whine and scream, and pieces of dogs flew towards the tent.

At first, Ellen and Robert thought that these were big stones again, but when they saw that a dog torn in half had been thrown at them, they came into indescribable horror and, leaving everything, rushed to run. Ellen and Robert went to the police first.

The police found a tent and equipment, but there were no pieces of dogs there, so the couple announced that they were crazy. However, friends told Ellen that something similar happened in the national park last month and we just reported about it.

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Cryptozoology

What aliens are doing at Loch Ness

What connects aliens to the Scottish lake monster? And why did many eyewitnesses say that a mysterious force prevented them from taking photos or videos of this monster? There are no answers to these questions yet.

Loch Ness, located in Scotland, is primarily famous for its mysterious monster, nicknamed Nessie, which according to various theories is either a huge eel, or a seal, or a prehistoric dinosaur. In turn, some associate the appearance of Nessie with the activities of aliens, and not from scratch.

It is true that strange lights or disc-shaped UFOs are regularly seen over Loch Ness, but there is also an eyewitness story about how aliens landed on the shore of the lake. This happened on August 14, 1971, when the eyewitness Jan Ove Sudberg (now deceased) was 23 years old. Early in the morning, between about 8:30 and 9:30 am, he was on the shores of Loch Ness in the Foyers Bay area.

Suddenly he stumbled upon something amazing and it was not a monster. Sudberg saw a clearing ahead, on which stood an unusual large object, shaped like a huge cigar. It was about 10 meters long, and at the top there was something like a cockpit. Near the object were “pilots” – humanoid creatures.

There were three of them and they were dressed in tight suits, similar to diving. When they entered the object and the object then rose high into the air, then Sudberg realized that he was observing aliens. As the ship gained altitude, it began to slowly fly over the hills towards the nearby Loch More Lake.

The story doesn’t end there. Sudberg was not a Scotsman, he came to Loch Ness as a tourist and flew back to his native Sweden shortly after seeing the aliens. And there a new stage in this strange story began. In Sudberg’s house, unusual phenomena began to occur, a poltergeist, he began to receive mysterious phone calls, and later even Men in Black came to him.

Soon Sudberg contacted the British researcher of anomalous phenomena, Ted Holiday, and told him his story. He also complained to him that he could not photograph UFOs and aliens in the photo, although he had a camera with him. He felt as if some force paralyzed his will and did not allow him to do it.

It is curious that Holiday later repeatedly encountered a similar phenomenon from Nessie’s eyewitnesses. All of them, when they saw the monster in the lake, for some unknown reason, either could not photograph it, or tried, but they did not succeed.

He also found out that much earlier eyewitnesses of Nessie faced this phenomenon. On November 12, 1933, eyewitness Hugh Gray captured a photograph of Nessie, which is considered the first 100% authentic photograph of the Loch Ness Monster.

Gray’s photo shows something serpentine floating in the water. However, few people know that when Gray saw this creature in the lake, he took as many as five pictures before it went under water.

However, only one out of five photographs showed the monster, the rest of the negatives for some reason turned out to be empty.

The conclusion seems to be obvious: the monster in Loch Ness is more than just a large eel, it has some powers to protect it, and in some way it is connected with UFOs and aliens.

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Cryptozoology

A Briton captured on camera a creature similar to the Loch Ness monster

A resident of British Southampton Steve Challis, during a vacation in Scotland last year, photographed a creature in a lake that looks similar to the famous Loch Ness monster, reports the Daily Record.

Photos were taken during a trip to an excursion to Arkart Castle on the shores of the famous lake. A man photographed the opposite shore when he noticed a ripple in the water. He took some pictures, and then the creature itself appeared out of the water for a moment. 

After that, it disappeared and did not appear again. As a result, the camera recorded the animal in only one frame, which Challis discovered a few months later, when he looked at the quarantine pictures taken during the trip because of the coronavirus.

After the Briton shared a strange picture on the Internet, users suggested that it was the famous Loch Ness monster. However, the photographer does not share this opinion. He does not believe in the monster and believes that the creature he shot was simply a big fish or seal.

Interest in the photograph was expressed by blogger and expert on Nessie Roland Watson, but he suggests that the picture taken by Challis was edited in Photoshop. Challis claims that the photograph is genuine. He drew attention to the fact that the shot he made was completely different from those snapshots of monsters that the network abounds in. At the same time, he is still convinced that he shot just a big fish.

The story of the Nessie creature from the Scottish Loch Ness attracts many tourists who want to see it with their own eyes. According to eyewitnesses, the mythical monster from the urban legend has a long neck and a huge torso. Nessie’s existence is not proven.

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