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.
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.
OMG I love the Oklahoma Octopus!
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!
The Dewey Lake Monster near Dowagiac, Michigan… wiki link…
The Honey Island Swamp Monster, basically a swamp Bigfoot from the area around Honey Island Swamp in southeast Louisiana. Honey Island Swamp monster - Wikipedia
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.
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.
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.
It’s not exactly a local cryptid with where I’m currently living but I have always liked the concept of the Barghest and canid cryptids in general.
Also , not really a cryptid , but most definitely the werewolf.
We always love a Hodag.
A few years ago, there were reports of a mangy coyote in our area. Yardley is just up-river and it got the moniker of the Yardley Yeti.
I was out for a drive in nearby Morrisville a few days after the initial reports, and I may have seen it. What I saw, however, I can not with any certainty describe as of this earth.
It was crouched beneath a car and all skin and bones. I was glad I was safely in my car and shined a flashlight on it. It somehow had spines running the length of its back and flames flickered in its pupils. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It flicked its tongue at me which forked twice as it tortured me. It may have forked more times, possibly into infinity, but I had merely human eyes with which to watch it.
It then spoke to me, perhaps in Urdu, but I could not understand its speech any more than I could its endlessly forking tongue. I’m not entirely sure how it got flames inside its eyes either, but I saw it.
It was the Morrisville Monster, and I can definitely understand how these tall tales can grow, and why Albrecht Durer drew that Rhinoceros that looked like a tank.
In American folklore, Champ or Champy is the name of a lake monster said to live in Lake Champlain, a 125-mile-long body of fresh water shared by New York and Vermont, with a portion extending into Quebec, Canada.
My family built a cabin in a very remote area of Upstate NY called Bear Swamp. Being at 16 and in high school, it ended up being very popular hang-out for parties. Upon arriving one Friday night we found a badminton wrapped around a tree in the driveway- thus starting the legend of the “Badminton Killer”. So random and in-explainable! We had lots of laughs. Even now, 40 years later, I will ever so often run into someone from my early years who speaks of the BK
The Loveland Frogman, from Loveland, Ohio, is one of my local favorites. The first sighting is described below:
"The story of these unique creatures begins in May of 1955, on a lonely stretch of road that runs along the Miami River in Clermont County, just on the outskirts of a small town known as Loveland, Ohio.
At approximately 3:30 a.m., an un-named business man claimed to have witnessed three, bipedal, quasi-reptilian entities congregating by the side of the road. The man pulled his car to the curb and observed these creatures for what he estimated to be about three minutes. During this time he noticed that these strange beings stood between 3 and 4-feet tall, were covered with leathery skin, and had webbed hands and feet. Their most distinguishing characteristic, however, was their distinctly “frog-like” heads, which the man claimed bore deep wrinkles where their hair should have been.
Just as the man was about to steal away, one of the creatures suddenly held what the witness could only describe as a “wand” above its head. The anonymous source further claimed that sparks spewed out of the end of this device. He left posthaste."
I love how they have been reported wield sticks as tools, and somehow make them emit sparks, meaning they must have some kind of magic! Such a quirky and random cryptid.
Below is a supposed sighting in 2016:
Sinkhole Sam - the Loch Ness Monster of Lake Inman, Kansas. first described by Professor Erasmus B. Quatlebottom.
Ogopogo is very well known and famous in the Okanagan Lake of British Columbia, Canada. There have been many sighting of this lake monster as far back as 1872. Read more at https://www.ogopogoquest.com/ogopogo-legend.php
I have to go with the Michigan Dogman. In the woods of Northwest Lower Michigan there is said to be a bipedal dog creature that has a howl that (conveniently) sounds of a human shriek. It’s so entrenched in local folklore that there is actually a song about it that is played on the radio every year. Also a local filmmaker made a movie about it starring Larry Joe Campbell! It even appeared in episodes of the shows ‘Monster Quest’ and ’ Monsters and Mysteries in America’
“…the best advice you may ever get, is ‘don’t go out at night’”
The Bullebak lives under a bridge across one of the many canals in Amsterdam. Children are told that the Bullebak might come out of it’s hiding and grab them, so they better behave. The Amsterdam Council not to be outdone actually named two bridges after the infamous Bullebak. So a visitor might try out the bridge in the Marnixstraat crossing the picturesque Brouwersgracht canal. Or can choose to admire the view from the bridge to the equally enjoyable Bloemgracht canal just a bit farther up the same street. Take care though, since the Bullebak seems to have an equally voracious appetite for unwary travellers.