Tell Us About Your Favorite Local Cryptid!

show-and-tell
cryptids

#1

Everyone knows about the heavyweights of the urban legend bestiary. You’ve got your Loch Ness Monster, the Jersey Devil, the Mothman, any number of Bigfoots and Chupacabras. But there are many more, less famous mythological monsters lurking in specific locales all over the world, and we want to hear about them.

When I was growing up, I often heard tales of the Bear Lake Monster. Bear Lake is remarkably blue body of water that straddles the Utah-Idaho border. It’s a great place to hit the beach during the summer months, and according to legend, it’s also home to a sea monster of some kind. The specifics of the Bear Lake Monster were always vague, beyond a-friend-of-a-cousin-of-a-coworker’s supposed sighting, but hearing that there might be some kind of beast in the very lake my family visited, always let me believe that even in my mundane part of the world, there were mysterious creatures to be discovered.

Now tell us about about your local or hometown cryptid below! Let us know what it’s called, where it’s from, and what the legends say about it. If you want to upload a drawing of what it is supposed to look like, that’s even better! We’ll collect some of our favorite responses into an upcoming article on Atlas Obscura. Let’s create the world’s greatest guide to local cryptids!

(Mostlymade/CC BY-SA 3.0)


#2

Cuyahoga Valley National Park has a giant hominid called the “Grassman” and he has three toes for some reason. I really hope he’s more Swamp Thing than Bigfoot.

And there’s always Lake Erie’s Bessie (such a dud of a name). The minor league hockey team is called the Cleveland Monsters in its honor.


#3

I’ve got an unusual one for you. As a child back in the mid 80’s in South Carolina I lived around the Lee County Florence County border. This story erupted on the scene and stuck around for years. The report centered around a 7’ tall “Lizard Man”. It was a huge thing. TV crews from all over the country showed up, people were selling merchandise on the side of the road etc… The article I’m linking only highlights two reported interactions but reports of lizard man sightings actually came in pretty regularly. Everything from “the Lizard Man ate my dog” to reports of the lizard man running across I-20 carrying a deer. After one of the initial reports was proven false chatter began to die down but for years afterward it would fire up again if an unexplained event occurred. There was even a televised resurgence as recently as 2008 that CNN did a bit on. Crazy!


#4

Gah! This is perfect!


#5

Prince George’s County, Maryland has the goatman, a “lovers lane” type of cryptid that reportedly attacks parked cars with an axe. An escaped experiment from the local USDA or University of Maryland laboratories?


#6

The Missouri Monster. Bigfoot like creature roaming the river since 1972.
https://www.semissourian.com/story/1870690.html


#7

Thanks. I also found this writeup in the Cryptid wiki. (which I didn’t know was a thing)


#8

In Arkansas, there is what is known as the ‘White River Monster’ - a large creature reportedly first spotted off the banks of the White River as far back as the Civil War. Its a big scaly fish type thing, about 12 feet long with a single horn on its head, that supposedly sank a river boat or two.

There is also the Fouke Monster, said to have been seen in Fouke, in Miller County Arkansas, during the early 1970s. The creature was accused of attacking a local family and it was blamed for the killing
of local livestock. Later, sightings were made several hundred miles to the north and the east of Fouke. It fits the typical ‘bigfoot’ description - being a large hominid-like creature covered in long dark hair, which was estimated to be about 7 feet (2 m) tall with a weight of 250–300 pounds and having a terrible odor, the odor being described as a combination of a skunk and a wet dog , and having bright red eyes about the size of silver dollars.


#9

I grew up in Kentucky and heard stories about the Kelly Green Men, aka Hopkinsville Goblins. In 1955 two families were terrorized by aliens or goblins or something. They were assumed to be aliens and while they are called the Kelly Green Men their skin was actually gray. There’s now a festival held in Kelly, Kentucky.


#10

We’re all about some Big Foot here in Oklahoma what with a festival and all, but my personal favorite is…

… the terrifying menace that is the Oklahoma Octopus (extra points for being alliterative!)


#11

Growing up we always heard stories about the Melonheads that lived in the woods between Kirtland and Chardon, Ohio. The story was that there was a doctor who lived in the woods who somehow acquired a bunch of children, possibly from a mental hospital, and performed experiments on them that caused their heads to become bulbous and misshapen. One night, the children revolted and burned down the doctor’s house and they now roam the woods looking for human contact.


#12

I’m from a little town in CT that no one’s ever heard of called Higganum, and our local cryptid is the Higganum Mucket.

The Higganum Mucket

By Arthur Wiknik, Jr.

In Candlewood Hill Brook that runs through Higganum Center, there lives a strange and elusive fish known as the mucket and it is the only place on earth that this creature can be found.
Few people have actually seen a mucket and none have ever been photographed because like vampires, their image cannot be captured on film. However, based on descriptions from several local eye-witnesses, the mucket is a gruesome beast, about 18 inches long, with the body shape of a catfish and the head of a lizard. They have broad fish lips, sharp scales and a forked tail. Muckets also have an impressive set of sharp teeth, much like a piranha, for devouring their prey or to inject enemies with toxic venom.
The male, or bull mucket, has a lumpy skull where two skinny horns grow about one-inch long. If a third horn appears beneath the lower jaw, it is considered a trophy and has been known to fetch a handsome price whenever the carnival is in town.
The female, or cow mucket, does not have the horns but instead has hundreds of tiny warts in the middle of her head that she can quickly arrange into various forms to confuse predators. The most common shape is a third eye but she has been known to also display an exact replica a black widow spider.
Young muckets, known as calves, do not acquire these defense mechanisms until they are teenagers, which is about ten months in dog years. Until they mature, the young teens are fiercely guarded by the adults, who force them to swim with the herd. Unfortunately, some of the teenagers rebel and swim off in gangs where they end up getting caught by fishermen.
No one knows for sure where the muckets came from but life-long Higganum residents, also known as townies, believe that ancient space travelers brought the creatures to Earth to establish a food source for future visits. To keep the muckets in Candlewood Hill Brook, the aliens left behind a galactic sphere that releases cosmic elements into the water to make the fish think they are on their home planet.
The mucket sustains itself by eating large quantities of hellgrammite larva because it is easy to find under rocks in the brook bed. However, its favorite food is the grey squirrel, also known as the tree rat. The squirrels are difficult to catch but not impossible. Like a chameleon, the mucket is able to blend in with its surroundings by changing colors as it waits along the brook edge for a squirrel to get a drink. To draw the squirrel close, the mucket re-arranges its head warts into the shape of a tasty-looking acorn. When the curious squirrel goes for the acorn, the mucket grabs it and has a quick meal.
The mucket’s only known enemy is the male human being and the creature will become wildly aggressive when men are nearby because it can sense testosterone. Trout fishermen who have gotten too close to the herd have been viciously attacked with painful bites around the ankles. However, the mucket keeps its distance from female humans because estrogen acts as a repellent.
When a man is bitten by a mucket, toxic venom is injected into his blood stream and causes alopecia, a condition more commonly known as receding hair, or male pattern baldness. It is bad enough for men to lose their hair naturally but when it is caused by an alien fish – then it means war! As a result, bite victims have been trying to exterminate the mucket for years. But these crafty devils cannot be fished, they have to be hunted or stalked, and only at night when they are most active. The necessary hunting tools are a powerful flashlight and a baseball bat, somewhat primitive but effective. The hunters protect their ankles from mucket bites by wearing shin guards but they protect themselves from each other by wearing a helmet.
As the hunters silently wade into the brook, muckets are attracted to the light beam. When a voice cries out, “I see one!” a mad flurry of baseball bats beat the water relentlessly until several muckets have been taken. This bizarre activity continues late into the night or until someone is accidentally clubbed by a friend.
Mucket hunting has become a popular pastime but most people agree that the fish is just too cunning to ever be exterminated. The only thing the hunt accomplishes is to keep the herd at a manageable level, which is probably a good thing because if the aliens ever came back and found there were no more muckets, there is no telling what our punishment would be. However, some townies believe that extraterrestrials already live among us and watch over the muckets. That is probably the reason why so many Higganum residents have been accused of being from out of this world.


#13

OMG I love the Oklahoma Octopus!


#14

For obvious reasons you probably won’t post this. Just having a bit of fun.
The DC Demon. Some believe there is a creature lurking in the White House who is both horrible to behold and possessed of the supernatural power to enslave the minds of those around him. Legend has it that he can be seen haunting the corridors of the West Wing after midnight, uttering incantations of 280 characters or less, and demanding of anyone he meets that they provide him with copious amounts of burgers, fries and Diet Coke. Many believe that he is a hybrid of orangutan and reptile due to his orange hair and forked tongue. When confronted he will deny that he is a malevolent demon and claim he is just a “regular guy”, but then he is known to be incapable of telling the truth. Be afraid, be very afraid!


#15

The Dewey Lake Monster near Dowagiac, Michigan… wiki link…
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewey_Lake_Monster


#16

The Honey Island Swamp Monster, basically a swamp Bigfoot from the area around Honey Island Swamp in southeast Louisiana. Honey Island Swamp monster - Wikipedia


#17

Dowagiac is such a nice little town, so cool that it’s getting included with a cryptid! I’d never heard of Dewey till now.


#18

Not sure what it was called, but I listened to a podcast about cryptids and it talked about basically a mondern day dire wolf/human combo that lived on a ranch somewhere in Utah. A family moved in to an old ranch and noticed that all the windows and doors were tightly secured and that there had been wolf sightings years ago in that area. The new owner didn’t think much of it until they found some dead cows with holes in them. No blood. Then the owner saw what looked like a wolf from far away. The wolf creature basically ends up running up to him and he shoots it. The gun does no visible harm even though it made a hole in its shoulder. Then the wolf creature casually walks away. The guy ends up looking for one of his missing cows and finds it dead. He also finds a calf getting attacked by the thing and being carried off. If I remember correctly he tries chasing it down and it outruns him on his horse. The guy doesn’t know what he’s up against so he tells a local wildlife expert who shows him different species of wolves. They pass a picture of the creature and the wildlife expert tells him that the it’s a Dire Wolf and it hasn’t been alive for thousands of years.

This one freaked me out because bulletproof giant wolves that were supposed to be dead is something that would definitely take advantage of my mild fear of dogs. :laughing:


#19

In South Africa the Tokoloshi is an evil creature about a foot high resembling an evil monkey. Locals believe that raising the bed above the ground will keep you safe. As a kid I loved climbing onto the beds raised up on bricks or empty paint tins.


#20