Photograph of statue of horned hodag monster

5 Legendary Monsters of North American Folklore

Legendary monsters thrive in North American lore, of that there is no doubt. Narrowing the array down to a “Top 5” or “Most Popular” listing of creatures that make up the landscape of North American mythology and folklore is a difficult task. Depending on the region you find yourself in, you could encounter hundreds of creatures if you know where to look. Often, you needn’t wonder where to look, for the creature may find you if you’re in the just the right corner of your local nature park, on the appropriate wooded trail, or poking about a particular set of shrubbery.

Don’t forget to check out this amazing podcast on ‘5 Legendary Monsters in North American Folklore‘, made especially for this #FolkloreThursday article from The Monster Guys, and subcribe to both their podcast and YouTube channel!

For instance, wander south and you may encounter the ever-popular—if not cause for oft inflammatory debate—Chupacabra. Literally translated “churpar”, “to suck”, and “cabra”, “goat” [i], it’s also known as the Puerto Rican Goat Sucker. Scuttle northeast for a while and you could dip your toe in Lake Champlain, alongside “Champ”, or “Champy”, somewhere between Vermont, New York, and Quebec, Canada. Imagine if you will, Nessie’s not-so-distant cousin residing below the surface of the scenic lake that spans roughly 490 square miles along the Adirondack Coast. We have lake monsters a plenty, if that’s your game. Be fair warned, however, most of them are shy and have no need to offer proof of their existence to photographers.

Go west (young man)[ii] and you may find yourself seeking out the Hodag or the Bear Lake Monster, or further on and you may find yourself standing over fresh tracks of perhaps the most famous of them all, Bigfoot! From the vicious Beast of Bladenboro, to the ghostly La Llorona (also described as “The Weeping Woman” due to her incessant wailing for her children, or “The White Woman” due to her ghostly skin and adornment), to the sightings of the mind-boggling Loveland Frog (yep, a frog-like man, and often more than one seen together as it would happen) at the edge of highways and on bridges from the mid-1950s up until the most recent report in 2016. North America has no shortage for those seeking adventure of a more fantastical nature.

Sweeping from coast to coast, Native American legends and stories could keep one engaged in the search for the unknown, mysterious, and quite often deadly, for a lifetime. And, to be sure, we’re not limited to earthly terrain any more than any other country or culture. We have an unabated, sometimes unhealthy, fascination with entities from the stars as much as we do with those from the trees or rocks here. Just like our brothers and sisters in many other countries, we are a people of the land and of the water. As such, our stories are filled with the rich history and stories of our cultures. Some stories are newly imagined, and some are borrowed from the fertile legends of Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Be certain, however, that many of the monsters and beings of North American legend are just beyond the steps of our back doors, in our backyards, fishing holes, and walking trails. Regardless of what these beasts and ghostly figures truly are—and as such we may never know—let us hold to the understanding that here in this vast melting pot of peoples and cultures, fearsome critters[iii] abound! Let us then begin with perhaps our most famous of creaturely inhabitants: Sasquatch.

Sasquatch, or Bigfoot, is so ingrained in the landscape of our consciousness at this point, that no self-respecting list of monsters in North America would be complete without this species. Because you might expect Sasquatch to be on our top five list, we’re listing her here out of respect.

If you’re passing through Florida, you might hear him called Skunk Ape. If your travels take you through Arkansas, particularly the sleepy little town of Fouke, you may be familiar with the Boggy Creek Monster (which also spawned the highly successful 1970s independent film The Legend of Boggy Creek, skyrocketing the fame of the town and its namesake monster, the Fouke Monster, to national attention; and later the book by Bigfoot researcher Lyle Blackburn, The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster).

Similarly, there have been perhaps as many names given to this enigmatic cryptid as there have been cities and towns where sightings have occurred. Consider the imaginative names given our Sasquatch friends in the southern United States as listed in Lyle Blackburn’s more recent investigative book, Beyond Boggy Creek: In Search of the Southern Sasquatch: ‘El Reno Chicken Man, The Caddo Critter, Sabine Thing, Belt Road Booger, Geneva Giant, Knobby, Holopaw Gorilla, Arp Ape, Noxie Monster, and Cold Point Creature … Bochito Beast, Red River Screamer, Hinton Howler, Duke Demon, Walaruckus, Wateree Walking Bear, and the list goes on.’ [iv]  There are dozens of names used for the species of bipedal, non-human primates among Native American tribes alone.

One can easily find Sasquatch, by whatever name, from coast to coast and north into Canada. It would seem their population is increasing. However, it is very possible, despite what critics may offer, that Sasquatch have lived among us for centuries, perhaps predating our existence on these North American shores, and we are only now discovering them once more as we trek further into the deeper parts of our land. Native American medicine men and tribal story keepers tell of a time when they arrived here, only to find they were not the first ones to inhabit this continent. Over time, they tell of a history of trading and coexistence among first nation tribes and the now less-than-social cryptids.

Researchers today have detected language patterns in their calls in the wild, and evidence of an advanced species of being that now evade the populace due to the threats imposed by violence, disease, and an ever-expanding abuse of natural resources. [v]

Sasquatch is an anglicized derivative of the name Sésquac, meaning “wild man” from the Halkomelem language.[vi] The term “Bigfoot” came into use after a rash of sightings across Northern California, and the name stuck. In TV shows, movies, various media and entertainment, it is proposed that they are most prominently found in the Pacific Northwest, however there is mounting evidence that other populations have been found in areas such as mountainous regions of Oklahoma, wooded areas of Arkansas, and along the southern East Coast. Those sightings challenge our attempts to provide a blanket description of a species that is more wide-reaching and diverse than we have believed.

Sasquatch are massive in size compared to humans, ranging from a height of five feet tall for younger individuals to over ten feet tall reported by some in face to face encounters. They have a widely varied diet, and are believed to stay as close to rivers and lakes as possible, using them as water sources. Finding Bigfoot in a desert region, for example, would be rare.

Many people who have encountered Bigfoot have reported being in fear for their life, and were even rushed or charged as warnings to leave the area where they are traveling. Others have described that Sasquatch have demonstrated their intention to protect humans, and some believe that a Bigfoot, or a family of Bigfoots, have saved their lives from peril on more than one occasion. It is difficult to distinguish the situations people find themselves in, but one thing seems true: We pose no threat to Sasquatch from their position, and their warnings may be from a protective nature over family or food, and may come when they feel that what is important to them in an immediate area is infringed upon by the presence of humans.

It’s probably best not to test that theory however.

5. Jersey Devil

Illustration of the Jersey Devil

Jersey Devil as shown in the Philadelphia Post in 1909 Source

The Leeds Devil

While every creature on this list is a bizarre oddity in and of itself, the Jersey Devil is perhaps unique in its chimerical nature, both in physical form and the legend surrounding it. The most widely touted folk story tells of one Mrs. Leeds, a woman who was about to give birth to her thirteenth child in 1735. In some stories she was a witch, which is intimated might have doomed the child to begin with. According to tradition, and presumably tired of having children (and who could blame her!), she commented that ‘the Devil could have’ her next child.

After giving birth to the baby, it seems the Devil took her up on the offer. Reportedly, the child morphed into a twenty-foot long devil with wings and a forked tail upon being welcomed into this world. The dragon-like demon rampaged around the room before scuttling up the chimney and disappearing into the night. What happened next isn’t terribly surprising—cattle, pets, and even children began disappearing, all believed to be victims of the then-called “Leeds Devil”.

The minister present at the time performed an exorcism, which some believed to have been effective for one hundred years, although there were reported sightings during the century after. We have to wonder, Was that minister originally there to administer a blessing or baptism? What a surprise he must have had, poor fella’!

Again, however, this is all considered folklore, with people arguing over the truth of this origin story.

The Legend Spreads

It is noteworthy that this is not the only story feeding into the Leeds Devil legend. Worth a mention is Benjamin Franklin’s almanac competition with Daniel Leeds and his son, Titan Leeds. The two Leeds men were entwined with Christian occultism, and Franklin often poked fun at their almanac and beliefs inside of his own almanac, as the Leeds men used astrology and other ill-regarded practices of the time. These practices, accompanied with the fact that Daniel Leeds’ family crest portrayed a winged dragon, helped spread the idea that a “Leeds Devil” resided in the Pine Barrens.

More directly related to the actual creature itself, Joseph Bonaparte—that’s right, ol’ Napolean’s dear brother—was one of the many people who set claim to seeing the Jersey Devil in 1820. There were several sightings on and off in the decades that followed, many coinciding with cattle deaths, but it wasn’t for nearly another century that things really began to heat up.

Similar to the Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, the Jersey Devil would later become more popularly known for a rash of sightings in one week’s time during January 1909. The reports numbered in the hundreds and were a common theme in newspapers at the time.

The Mysterious and Disregarded Pine Barrens

The area referred to as the Pine Barrens is legendary, stretching across seven counties in New Jersey. It manages to be beautiful, and at once eerie and foreboding, capturing the fascination of many who have documented its ecology, frequent forest fires, and wildlife.

In times past—especially when eugenics was highly purported—residents of the Pine Barrens were regarded as weird, genetically inferior, and even dangerous—an outlook supported by the fact that many outlaws and criminals did actually hide out there. Today, such silliness has passed. However, the outcast status did not help with those who tried reporting creatures such as the Jersey Devil in those days.

For as many sightings as there have been of the Jersey Devil, skeptics point out that there has been little to no photographic evidence, and a lot of hoaxes—a whole lot of hoaxes, which can be considered a common theme among many, if not all, monster stories the world over. One writer even recorded an event where he had covered himself in mud to ward off insects during his travels. With his glamorous and easily confused visage as a flying devil with wings and forked tail (clear as mud), people had mistaken him for the Jersey Devil. He concluded afterward that many of the sightings must have been based out of hysteria.

Still, to this day, several sightings of strange things—including not only the Jersey Devil, but also of strange, mechanical flying shapes—have been reported in the Pine Barrens.

4. Flat Woods Monster

The Flat Woods Monster - a huge grey figure with glowing red eyes.

The Flat Woods Monster by Tim Bertelink – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Face to … Face?

Most of the monsters on this list are notable for a mass of sightings or tall tales or peculiar events. The Flatwoods Monster stands apart in that it was seen less often. Yet somehow, this truly bizarre entity has captured and held the attention of a great many people following the night of September 12, 1952.

On that night, seven witnesses, including Eugene Lemon, a National Guardsman, and Kathleen May, along with her two sons and three other children, went out in search of something spectacular. May’s sons had run home and told her that they had seen a UFO crash, and quickly thereafter the seven people went out in search of the thing. What they found may or may not have been what they were looking for.

Their flashlights landed on a face enveloped in a cowl, and shaped like an ace of spades, also described as simply a heart shape, with red, bulging eyes. The body was described as being stocky, dressed in a skirt of sorts, and towering 10 feet off the ground. As they watched, the creature rushed toward them, but abruptly turned in its course and moved away, heading instead for a red “ball of fire” that they had spotted prior to seeing the creature.

Present at the sighting was also a pungent mist by which some of the witnesses claimed to have been sprayed. This was speculated by some to have been the cause of subsequent physical maladies with the witnesses’ eyes and throats. A medical examiner described the irritated symptoms as the same symptoms one might develop after a bout of hysteria or being sprayed with mustard gas.

Explanations

In 1952, people were skeptical about a great and many thing (and apparently for good reason), and many were quick to try and explain what had happened. After their encounter, May quickly got a hold of the sheriff, as well as the Braxton Democrat newspaper and one of the paper’s owners, A. Lee Stewart. That night, the sheriff and Stewart went out to have a look for themselves, seeing nothing, but noting a burnt, metallic odor. Stewart also went back later and found what he described as long tracks, and oil. To this day, some say this is clear evidence of a UFO (because on our side of the pond, tracks and oil together should always be taken as a sign of UFO activity), while some argue that it was simply evidence of a local truck driving through.

Aside from the tracks, there have been varying reports on the creature itself. While some news clippings describe a “10-Foot Monster”, others have claimed a height closer to 7 feet tall. More of a discrepancy seems to be the addition, or otherwise lack, of arms. Some see no arms whatsoever, describing a body that looks similar to a chess piece, while others say that it has long, spindly arms and fingers. This is especially important in some attempts at explanation. There have been those who have claimed the creature was nothing more than an owl, given the large eyes and the “heart-shaped” face, and perhaps more convincingly the arms, or lack thereof, as owls might appear to have long and spindly legs, or none at all, depending on the viewer.

Here is an issue to take up with regards to this explanation. Returning to the original reports, the Flatwoods monster was described originally as a mechanical thing, to be clear. Some media reports quickly turned it into a monster, and the artists’ sketches blurred the eyewitness accounts, but the witnesses maintained that it was, indeed, mechanical. And while owls can grow quite large, it would be quite a jump to mistake an owl for what was originally described as a large, mechanical craft, or suit, that loomed as tall as 10 feet. Furthermore, the “heart-shaped” face of an owl has something akin to a widow’s peak, whereas the metallic cowl of the Flatwoods monster pointed upward.

But then, here we are deliberating an unidentified, mechanical, 7 to 10 feet tall owl-like monster, leaving tracks of oil in 1952.

And while it may seem silly to speak of such things, it has undoubtedly left its mark on North American lore. So, what exactly is it? This remains a good question.

BUT WAIT, There’s More!

All of the above is bizarre enough for local businesses of Braxton County in West Virginia to still sell t-shirts about the Flatwoods Monster.

The 1950s hosted an obsession with UFOs around the world, and it seemed to be extra potent in the U.S. Many headlines of the time blatantly fed on the fascination that surrounded “close encounters” and the unknown lights and shapes in the skies. What is forgotten by many, however, is that the government was all over the map in how they handled their public statements about UFOs, accompanied by panic and “24-Hour Alerts” in which jets were ordered to chase after any lights in the skies.[vii]

3. Mothman

Illustration of the Mothman

Mothman Artist’s Impression By Tim Bertelink – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Giant Bird? Winged Man?

Theories surrounding the Mothman range from misidentification and hysteria, to aliens (always aliens), to an interdimensional trickster, and to the remnants of human-animal hybrid science from the lost city of Atlantis. While that sentence in and of itself is a lot to wrap the brain around, it is somewhat fitting, considering the air of mystery around the Mothman. The Mothman is not only one of North America’s most well-known creatures, it’s also one of the greatest examples of cryptids and zooforms firmly lodged in the “flying humanoid” category.

For those wondering, the Mothman is described as a humanoid creature with large wings and glowing red eyes. Other than a few eye-witness reports of people who claimed to have seen a giant bird, the red eyes and shape seem to be consistent over the hundreds of Mothman sightings reported by the people of Point Pleasant, West Virginia over the course of thirteen months between 1966-1967. Other features include either a brown or greyish coloring, leather-like or feathered skin, and a height that seems to vary between five and seven feet, typically.

Strange Happenings, Bizarre Symptoms

As often seems to be the case not just with monsters, but especially with winged humanoids, the Mothman’s presence seemed to be accompanied by other strange events and experiences. During the thirteen months that the Mothman sightings terrified and excited the town, Point Pleasant, and its surrounding city-neighbors, also began to experience UFO activity that became so commonplace that families and individuals would visit certain areas as a sort of lookout hangout. In addition, Mothman sightings are accompanied by some of the most notorious Men in Black encounters to this day. (And when we say Men in Black, we’re talking about the well-dressed and bizarre entities, not of the “Agent K” and “Agent J” varieties.)

Men in Black and UFOs raise the theoretical questions of government conspiracy and/or alien visitation. But while it’s important to remember these strange occurrences scattered across the timeline of that year in Point Pleasant, the Mothman itself is not overshadowed by these events. Several witnesses described feelings of sadness, anger, or outright fear when in the presence of the creature, similar to feelings that some people feel when exposed to infrasound.[viii] Perhaps one of the strangest details describes the Mothman flying without use of its wings, lifting from the ground, hovering, and moving in straight lines as a helicopter would without so much a flap of its leathery devices. This is particularly interesting when you take into account that, while large, the Mothman’s reported wingspan doesn’t seem large enough to carry a creature of its size and described musculature. But then, consider the bumblebee.

And while some people have posed that these events as a whole were an example of mass hysteria, that does not account for the physical symptoms that many displayed after running into the Mothman. Actinic conjunctivitis is a specific form of pinkeye caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays[ix], and was something that some of the Mothman’s eyewitnesses experienced after their encounters. These phenomena went beyond personal experiences and individual eyewitnesses. In a recent interview we conducted with Small Town Monster’s director and producer, Seth Breedlove, who recently released a film documentary about the Mothman sightings, he explained that one company in particular had archived files in cabinets relevant to business throughout the town’s history, with one of the cabinets being labeled simply, “Mothman”.[x]

Is Mothman Connected to Shadow People?

During some of our research this year, encounters regarding the Mothman began to remind us of another phenomenon: Shadow People.

Shadow People are well known for appearing in people’s lives seemingly at random times, for no apparent reason, often standing or hovering around a person’s bed at night for the victim to wake up and discover, terrified and quite often temporarily paralyzed. While Shadow People also have a lot in common with Men in Black (in fact, a lot of early Men in Black sightings seemed to be almost identical in formula to Shadow People encounters) it’s the similarities with the Mothman that had us wondering if there was any connection. The creature’s witnessed ability to fly around in helicopter-like maneuvering, his blazing red eyes, and the indefinite features of his face and body definitely begged the question. One particular encounter that a gentleman had with the Mothman appearing in his bedroom really brought some credibility to the question for us. The man described the Mothman’s usual shape, but as a black silhouette with bright red eyes, and expressing that he felt immense feelings of hatred and evil coming from the beast.[xi]

2. Dogman

Illustration of a group of werewolves leaning against a wall.

The Dogman has often been compared to the Loup Garou of legend By Paris, bibli.des Arts décoratifs

Werewolves Among Us?

For as long as humans have been telling stories, werewolves have roamed the fictional lands of our tales. But if you were to roll up and propose to someone that these legendary beasts could be real, and further that you’ve seen one, you’d surely be laughed straight out of the pub! Right?

Well, we may be laughed out of the pub in just a moment, because that’s what an increasing number of people the world over are describing… encounters with werewolf-like monsters that leave little to the imagination as to their appearance, or intentions.

Imagine a beast slipping out of the pages of a nightmare. It looms over 7 feet tall, standing as if a dog were upright on its two hind legs, displaying fierce musculature, and coarse, thick hair covering most of its body. Its long arms end in large, extended claws resembling those of a raccoon. The head looks like a cross between a wolf and a Doberman Pinscher, topped with ears jutting upward as if always on alert. Round out that description with terrifying fangs and eyes that glow red, orange, or a deep shade of amber, and you have a common visual of what many refer to as the Dogman, the first of which was allegedly reported in 1887 in Wexford County, Michigan, when two lumbermen reported seeing a beast having a man’s body, but with a dog’s head.

And though these creatures aren’t werewolves in the strictest sense of the definition, their reported appearance has brought more than a few survivors to the conclusion that they were in fact lost in a world of fantasy upon encountering the Dogman.

Yeah, So?

The terror doesn’t end there. People who encounter Dogmen—and there are many; all ages, all backgrounds, social and economic standing, sex, race, etc., and in just about any imaginable location; wooded areas, mountains, hot climates and cold, cities, villages, camp grounds, back yards, abandoned homes, back roads, lakes and rivers, and more—share experiences of a deep growling that pierces their soul. The wolf-like monster seems to be able to communicate at frequencies outside the range of normal human communication, which lead to strange and unwelcomed results.

There have been individuals who have survived their encounter who say they’ve found themselves paralyzed, weeping, and without a doubt that their life was about to end. One woman, who describes her encounter when she was eleven years old, says she found herself between two Dogmen and losing control of her physical functions. She tells of how she closed her eyes tight and began singing a song, a lullaby, and waiting for the moment when she would die. The beasts communicated strangely between each other before disappearing into the brush at the side of the road she was walking. She goes on to tell how she feels it was somehow a test being held between a younger Dogman and its elder, and for whatever reason, she survived that particular test.[xii]

Military personnel and trained hunters and woodsmen alike have described shooting the beast during their encounter with weapons that would easily put down a human, only to irritate the monster, having no other effect[xiii]. It was like bullets just bounced off their hide.

Even Stranger Still

As far-fetched as it sounds, people are having very real encounters with a creature that seems to have no qualms revealing itself to humans, which is why we have such detailed accounts of their appearance and activity, and not limited to a handful of people, but hundreds, if not thousands of people on every continent.

It gets even stranger. On many occasions where Dogmen have presented themselves, so have Sasquatch. Some people detail that when under the threat of imminent danger from a Dogman, a Bigfoot will intervene, seemingly to protect the individual or their family.[xiv] The stories play out as though these two species are mortal enemies, and that Dogmen are subject to the warnings and presence of Sasquatch.

You can listen to one Dogman “expert” (how do we get that job … nevermind, we don’t want it) talk about these beings as supernatural entities that have crossed into our world and are more like demons from an end-of-the-world scenario, while others speak of Dogmen as quite natural animals that have always been here, and we are now encroaching their space with industrialization and continued development. Many in the second group share that these monsters never wanted to be found, but the closer we get to their habitats, the less concerned they are with being discovered.

The Dogman is an Alpha predator, and is never described as anything but evil—a monster straight out of your worst nightmare, come to life, and in complete control of every encounter. Unless that is, you’re friends with a Bigfoot.

Werewolves among us? Are they supernatural beings, or another unknown species of our natural world? We don’t claim to have the answers here, but before you kick us out of the pub, perhaps you could simply offer us another drink instead. If Dogman does exist, we’re going to need it.

1. Wendigo

Black and white photograph of Swift Runner, shackled, next to another man.

Swift Runner: Cree cannibal executed at Fort Saskatchewan, believed to be possessed by Wendigo. Credit: George M. Dawson / Library and Archives Canada / PA-051141 

 

The Legend

Cannibalism. In the eyes of some Native American cultures, this is one of the ultimate sins. As such, according to their stories, it is met with one of the most terrible fates—to become something inhuman, ghastly, and always hungry. In the winter, and particularly in the wild north, hunger is its own animal. One more threat in a harsh world of the frozen wilderness. Sometimes, tragically, in order to survive, people turn on each other, starving and on the brink of death.

The wendigo (also known as the witiko) comes in a few varieties. Sometimes it is described as a ghostly humanoid creature, floating around, paper-thin and vicious, always looking for something to eat, but never able to get its fill. Other times, it is a haunting giant of ice and cold, a spirit of the hunter and the hunger itself. The creature is always formidable, fast and strong, but it is also known for its powers as a sorcerer, often being accompanied in stories by dogs that hunt and attack for it.

The Sad Truth

While many believe that the story of the ice giant is pure mythology, and others still believe the wendigo to be a scary story to tell around the campfire, that is not entirely the case. As we mentioned before, there have been times when people chose to eat their companions and friends when extreme, life-threatening hunger sets in, after those companions had died or after murdering them, depending on the case. This is a tragic phenomenon known the world over.

Wendigo psychosis (also known as the Witiko Condition), however, is a culture-bound syndrome found among the Algonquian people. People with Wendigo psychosis believe themselves to have been cursed or doomed to the horrible fate of becoming a wendigo, or being possessed by one. To make matters worse, the paranoia starts to turn some, causing them to attack their friends and family, devolve into strange and violent fits, or begin to crave human meat.

One of the more famous examples of the Wendigo Psychosis was the grisly case of Swift Runner. The man was described as a giant teddy bear by the people who knew him, a very gentle and kind man who loved his family, having a wife and six kids. One year, after returning to town without his large family, suspicions arose over what had happened. He was taken back to his campsite by authorities, revealing a horrific crime scene of scattered and cracked bones. There were many horrible details, such as a pair of baby stockings being stuffed into the eye sockets of one skull. It was clear—this wasn’t an animal attack. Swift Runner finally admitted that he had committed these acts, being possessed and tormented by a wendigo. After a trial, he was executed by hanging.[xv]

The Hope of an Elder

We (The Monster Guys), listened to a Native American elder speak some time ago about the wendigo. His words[xvi] were strong, and serve as a good reminder with any monster or legend, really:

Quite often, information about the wendigo is a secret well-kept and not shared by Native American tribes. The elder reminded his listeners that this was for his people, not for entertainment. This was not a horror story to appease jump scares or psychological terror. This was something real and truly horrible that they, as a people, had to deal with. He went on to share his knowledge of recent experiences with wendigo, and, keeping in mind of course that these were not being told simply for ghost stories, they were chilling to the bone. The elder pleaded with his audience to treat each other with respect and care to the best of their abilities, that being good to one another would keep such spirits and such evil from becoming commonplace.

Pull Up a Chair

The North American map is dotted with a captivating collection of fantastic beasts and fearsome critters. We are spellbound by the fancy of some, terrified by the horror of others, but eternally enchanted with our legends and lore. And if you should choose to visit us, spare us a moment and pull up a chair, and allow us the pleasure of sharing with you a story or two. We’ll let you be on your way in no time, but depending on which way you’re heading, you may do well to avoid that trail yonder.

Or maybe, if you’re at all like most of us adventurous folk, you may wish to take that trail just to see for yourself.

Don’t forget to check out this amazing podcast on ‘5 Legendary Monsters in North American Folklore‘, made especially for this #FolkloreThursday article from The Monster Guys, and subcribe to both their podcast and YouTube channel!

Do check out this amazing podcast on 'The Top 5 Legendary Monsters from North American Folklore', made especially for this #FolkloreThursday article from the Monster Guys!

Recommended Books from #FolkloreThursday:

 

References & Further Reading

[i] “Chupacabra.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chupacabra

[ii] “Go West, Young Man, Go West”, Dictionary of American History. Encyclopedia.com. http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/go-west-young-man-go-west

[iii] “Fearsome Critters.” Cryptid Wiki. http://cryptidz.wikia.com/wiki/Fearsome_Critters

(or “Fearsome Critters.” A Book of Creatures. https://abookofcreatures.com/2017/02/08/fearsome-critters/ )

[iv] Blackburn, Lyle. Beyond Boggy Creek: In Search of the Southern Sasquatch. San Antonio: Anomalist Books, 2017. Print.

[v] “Episode 031: Bigfoot.” The Monster Guys. http://themonsterguys.com/bigfoot/

[vi] “What is a Bigfoot, or Sasquatch?” The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. https://www.bfro.net/gdb/show_FAQ.asp?id=584

[vii] Feschino, Frank C. The Braxton County Monster: The Cover-up of the “Flatwoods Monster” Revealed. Morrisville, NC: Lulu Enterprises, 2013. Print

[viii] “Episode 033.5: Infrasound & Interview with The Fear Merchant.” The Monster Guys. http://themonsterguys.com/infrasound/

[ix] “Actinic Conjunctivitis.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actinic_conjunctivitis

[x] “Episode 036: The Mothman of Point Pleasant with Seth Breedlove & Lyle Blackburn of Small Town Monsters.” The Monster Guys. http://themonsterguys.com/the-mothman-of-point-pleasant-small-town-monsters/

[xi] The Mothman of Point Pleasant. Dir. Seth Breedlove. Small Town Monsters, 2017. Film.

[xii] Dogman Encounters Radio. “German Dogman Encounter! (Dogman Encounters Episode 131).” Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzZ552jiweE

[xiii] Dogman Encounters Radio. “I Turned and Ran! (Dogman Encounters Episode 133).” Youtube.

[xiv] Dogman Encounters Radio. “Worse than a Nightmare! (Dogman Encounters Episode 139).” Youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znDeMJF8WA0

[xv] Downs, Art. The Law and the Lawless: Frontier Justice on the Canadian Prairies, 1873-1875. Victoria, BC: Heritage House, 2014. Print.

[xvi] “Our Voices-Cannibalism [Restored].” Ourvoices.ca – Omushkego Oral History Project. http://www.ourvoices.ca/index/ourvoices-story-action/id.0002

For Further Reading:

“Beyond Boggy Creek: In Search of the Southern Sasquatch” by Lyle Blackburn. Anomalist Books, 2017.

“Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts” by William Thomas Cox. Judd & Detweiler, Inc., 1910.

“The Mothman Prophecies” by John Keel. Panther Books, 1975.

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D.C. McGannon & C. Michael McGannon are the humorous father/son duo known as The Monster Guys, mixing humor, folklore, and all manner of comedic improv to special events. D.C. and Michael are best-selling authors, and hosts of The Monster Guys Podcast, Yokai Tales Podcast, and Faerie Tales Podcast. Their writing has inspired an Advocacy Project to support libraries across the country, and their voices serve the voiceless addressing issues such as bullying prevention and child literacy. They are consistently hired out to do voice-acting for themselves, and are known to infiltrate their neighbors’ back yards and local parks in search of terrifying monsters in order to protect innocent civilians. Neither D.C. nor Michael have ever actually caught a terrifying monster, but people regularly smile at them and thank them for their efforts. When The Monster Guys are not writing, hunting monsters, or voice-acting for themselves, they are traveling, speaking, and meeting new friends.

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Do post your own favorite North American monsters to the #FolkloreThursday hashtag this Thursday!