The story unfolds in Versailles Indiana and involves a man named Silas Shimmerhorn, a confederate soldier and one of Morgan’s Raiders who passed through this area in 1863. For whatever reason Shimmerhorn deserted , slipping away from the group, perhaps he decided he objected to the war (who knows…), but he hid out in the woods of Versailles. According to legend Shimmerhorn took shelter in a cave commonly known in my childhood era as the bat cave at Versailles located in the area where the State Park is today. He began raiding local farms for food at night and then hiding out during the daylight hours. Shimmerhorn may have had a problem though as a pack of wolves took up residence in his cave. Shimmerhorn somehow worked out a partnership with the wolves and ran with the pack if you will, hunting with them for his survival. Sounds like Silas had gone a little off the beam about that time and local residents at times would spot the scraggly, bearded man running naked in the night with the wolf pack. As more and more of the farmer’s livestock was being killed by the pack (with Silas in the fray) the menfolk decided to hunt down the wolf pack and the wild and naked Silas, now dubbed “The Wolf Man of Versailles.” Gradually the wolf pack was killed off, but Silas evaded capture. Eventually the wolf possee found the cave but Silas was nowhere to be seen, only his makeshift bed and his civil war era rifle was found. You say not so spooky? Problem is that occasionally Silas and or the pack are sighted running in the woods at Versailles. I know this because before I ever heard of the legend I was told to be careful in the woods as various riders would come off of the trail talking about some scraggly dirty man streaking buck naked out there in the woods!
Looks like this post was meant for our discussion of local cryptids, so I’m going to move it over there at this time. Thanks again for posting!
Cadborosaurus (called Caddy by locals) is a sea serpent with a horse-like head, large front-facing eyes, and flippers on a serpentine body. Sightings (including a couple of unclear videos), stories, carcasses and even captures of “baby cadborosaurus” have been reported off the coast of British Columbia for hundreds of years, starting with the First Nations people. Caddy has been carved into petroglyphs along the Pacific coastline as far north as Alaska and as far south as San Francisco Bay. Sightings by European settlers date back 200 years.
Regarding caracasses, nine reported since 1930 are hypothesized to have been basking or whale sharks, beaked whales, giant oarfish, sea lions or elephant seals.
Fisherman William Hagelund claimed he caught a live, 40-centimeter long infant Cadborosaurus off De Courcy Island in 1967. The creature had scales, two flippers and a long, flat tail. He placed it in a bucket of water to have it examined by scientists later, but for some reason returned it to the sea instead. In 1991, on the San Juan Islands, Phyllis Harsh claims to have caught a 2-ft baby Caddy and returned it to the water. It has since been argued that these “infant” finds were actually pipefish.
Of course, it’s always easy to explain things away in retrospect! Wikipedia mentions that Dr. Paul LeBlond, director of Earth and Ocean Sciences at UBC and Dr. Edward Blousfield, retired chief zoologist of the Canadian Museum of Nature, state that every possible elongated animal has been put forward as an explanation for Caddy. LeBlond and Blousfield state no known creature matches the characteristics found in over 200 sightings collected over a century, noting that Caddy is described as having flippers both anteriorly and posteriorly. Darren Naish (a British paleontologist), on the other hand, contends that LeBlond and Blousfield are engaging in bad science and have incorrectly assumed that different, conflicting eyewitness reports are all descriptions of one species. For me, I like looking out at the foam-flecked ocean surface which obscures immense hidden depths, and meditating on the limits of our current knowledge…
I was with my troop at the Boy Scouts’ Camp Geronimo, seven miles east of Pine, Arizona, from 1961-65. I distinctly remember the Mogollon Monster stories around the campfire, with the tellers using that name – “Mogollon Monster.” Later, in 1969, a college friend and I went on an extended camping trip at sites both above and below the Rim, and one evening we completely spooked each other with Mogollon Monster speculations – not much sleep that night! Here is an amusing discussion of the Monster. And, yes, I heard the “face hanging in a tree” story!
Forgot link: Weird Arizona
Virginia, it’s the Bunny Man, but I don’t know if we can consider it a cryptid or a ghost story. One story is he was a man who escaped a state facility and lived in the forest and wore rabbit pelts to stay warm. The other is the same except, there’s an experiment that goes horribly wrong (like all good cryptid tales) at the facility and he becomes …HALF MAN/HALF BUNNY!! Yay or Nay on Bunny Man’s cryptid status??? The state needs answers lol.
The version I read of that was that he was an axe murderer who wore a bunny suit and left bunny carcasses hanging from trees, but the rabbit pelts makes a lot more sense.
I’m Pine now and I still don’t hear much about the Mogollon Monster. I think the Zane Grey Museum in Payson has a few Tshirts, but that’s about it that I know of. Guess I’ll have to be the one to bring the stories back! lol
I don’t think I’ve heard the “face hanging in a tee” story. Would you care to share it?
(I suspect my lack of knowledge in local lore is that after 4th grade I moved and maybe that’s when kids share these stories?)
I’ve heard that one too! That’s the other version from when I was a kid, I’m also pretty sure I just saw the pelted one on a travel channel episode lol, it was news to me. They say…whoever they are lol…that he hung them up to scare off people as a warning. Its one of those cryptid stories that’s steeped in actual events. There are like 30 versions of the bunny man lol…
I believe a half-man/half-rabbit WOULD indeed qualify as a cryptid.
Has anyone thought they’ve seen a cryptid?? My nana swore she saw a rat with a pig face roaming our backyard (i think it was a possum)…I’m not sure what that was supposed to be but she would not let us hear the end of it her lasting words “yall think im crazy”
Here in Louisiana the local cryptid is the rougarou - which has many spellings, and derives from the French loup-garou, which literally means werewolf. Although relatively common across the French-speaking world, like so many things, it appears to have gained particularly prominence in the swamps of Louisiana.
Yes. When I was in high school in Cincinnati I was into all things cryptid. My friends and I used to cruise around the woods in town at night. There were rumors of a community of little people in town that we were always looking for, usually referred to by locals as “Munchkinville.” You can find a description of the origin of the urban legend here: Munchkinville / Tiny Town | Creepy Cincinnati
My friends and I were always on the lookout for this community of little people (and, btw, I love Herzog’s “Even Dwarfs Started Small” ), in what I now regard as a childish over-fetishization of differences. But at the time the idea of a community of hobbit-esque people living in the woods was hard for a D&D-playing nerdy teenager to pass up.
One night while cruising through the woods, instead of finding the village we instead saw some large, low-slung mammal cross in front of the headlights and even stand upright. Based on the behavior and thick brown fur, a particularly big (likely exaggerated by our imaginations) groundhog is my guess. At the time we had just learned the word “simian” in English class, so we appropriately dubbed the occasionally bipedal cryptid “the simian.”
Hahaha that’s an awesome story! I remember playing basketball late one night in our backyard that was heavily forested and heard animals scurrying from something. Next thing I hear is what sounds like someone stomping through the leaves heavily and the only way I can describe it is sounding like someone moving branches and trees out the way to walk. I ran after that. Whatever it was it was huge! I was also a kid at the time so it could have very well been a bear. Bear, Bigfoot…I think running was the best option.
There’s an Appalachian dance tune, Sandy Boys. The chorus (of one version) has “…waitin’ for the bugerboo”. That’s him, I think.
There’s Chessie, the Chesapeake Bay’s answer to the Loch Ness Monster…
In the wilds on north Tarrant County roamed the Lake Worth Monster, supposedly caught on camera in 1969. Never saw it myself, but it caused a big scare in the area. http://www.bigfootencounters.com/articles/lakeworth.htm
I didn’t see it, but there was something in my neighborhood for awhile that left a trail in the baked desert dirt that looked like someone dragging a lead pipe, but the pattern didn’t stop or change when it got to a fence, so whatever left it had to be shorter than the fence. During the same time I saw these tracks, my neighbor shot at something digging in his garbage. He said that it was short and dark and it ran like a gorilla, twisting it’s front legs inward as it ran, but we were in Arizona so it probably wasn’t a gorilla…
When we were kids in the 1970’s and 1980’s in Northern Virginia, we heard stories of the “Springfield Screamer”, or the “Fairfax Screamer”. Here is a story from the Washington Post about the “Mount Vernon Monster”. I remember the myth was that the screamer/monster was supposed to be some kind of Big Foot…
I am Stephanie Small and want to tell you about the Napa Valley Rebobs of California which are winged monkeys. I even have a webpage on them: Napa Valley Rebobs and Other California Cryptozoological Creatures - Clip Clop Workshop and I am an artist with lots of drawings of them…
Flying Monkeys of Napa
In Napa, there is a place where the youth loathe to go. Deep within the oldest, most overgrown forest is a one-lane road. It is said this is where a curse is said to be. It is also said there are flying monsters out there. Partrick Road. The overgrown mass of old trees, twists around each other. Foliage grows closer and closer into a thick tunnel. As the urban sprawl of Napa gives way to the whims of nature, the forest grows older. It is at the end of the road there is a blocked entryway of an ancient and forsaken cemetery. Gates block the path, yet rumor has it that the old gate contains a host of winged beasts.
Some people say the creatures were always here. The First Nation people of Napa called the area the “Valley of Fairies.” Other people say that the monsters are the shackle we must bear for the invasion of First Nation lands. Others say that they’re an experiment gone wrong. Darker yet, some tales tell it is the price to pay for a curse.
They look like large, black monkeys, with red eyes and bat wings. Rare, elusive and intelligent, these beings infest the ancient forest. It is said that they harass passerbyes and drivers by swooping down on cars. They have been blamed for car accidents, horrified people, sleep walkers and nightmares. Rumors that the region once served as a site for kidnappings, killings, hangings and mass murder in the far past have created its own aura of menace.
Oddly, the accounts of rebobs differ. One account says the rebob resembled sticks and leaves. Another witness said the rebobs were mechanical or robotic. Long fangs and long claws were observed in some cases, and the claws were said to scratch cars.
Though in form they generally appear to be ebony monkeys. Their eyes glow an ember-red and their fierce cries can be heard day or night. Concealed in the darkest shadows, these monsters glide on naked flesh wings, flying horrors. Sometimes they are the size of small monkeys (medium to large size dog), other times they are the size of large men, towering over 9 feet tall. In general, most agree the animal is about 7 feet tall if standing bipedal. They can walk on four legs, fly or walk bipedally. Legends have abounded and I have collected information from many sources.
They are sometimes spotted with another monster, the Chuck Chuck which is a large feather-covered beaked humanoid (no wings).
According to the show Monsters and Mysteries, there is about one rebob sighting a year since about the 50s. First Nation legends of Rebobs and other denizens of the forest say they are an ancient race of beings.
Finding rebobs varies from situation to situation. Many people have to search and look for them to find the rebobs. Some people have only needed to drive out to the end of the road (it dead ends in front of the gate to the cemetery). Here, the rebobs, which may be territorial, attack cars. There is no record of anyone being hurt by a rebob outside of their car.
Despite this, there are rumors they attack lustful teenager, eat and enslave children, steal babies out of open windows and skin cats. This is a terrifying way to show these creatures and there has never been any evidence of anything like this happening. Rebob behavior includes hissing and moving from side to side. This kind of activity is normal among many creatures including primates when trying to scare off a predator or defend territory.
There are a vareity of origin stories. Of course, if the rebob is simply a normal animal we have yet to document, the answer will be simple. However, if it is a man-made creature, a curse, or a mythical creature the answer will not be so easy.
Scientist: I have heard that they are the results of early genetic experiments by scientists. It is said the scientist was crossing bat and monkey for military purposes. I have found no proof for this. Another part of the lore is that a scientist was trying to genetically engineer a human and a monkey to make a super soldier. The hybrid monster turned on its handler and killed the scientist.
Another idea was that he sewed the wings onto monkeys. This is unlikely as they would not be able to procreate if wings were just “sewn on” as people imply they have done.
About Partick Road and the Cemetery: Another part of the lore is that in World War II a scientist used bodies from Partrick Cemetery. This was to help design a super soldier but there is no reference to rebobs in this tale. There is said to be a Doomsday Safety Center to house the president, with gun turrets and fencing. The black helicopters witnessed in Napa and reported in the Sentinel (a local paper) were said to come from that place. However, further research indicates the alleged compound may be a private home. The place is gated to prevent teenagers from trespassing (A common issue as they try to “brave the rebobs”).
Curse: Another tale I have heard is that many people were killed by the patron in the mines after the quicksilver was mined. This apparently was because there was no more work for them. I have found no evidence for this and it doesn’t make a lot of sense. I have heard that its tied in with the “Napa Curse” the that makes Napa natives forever return to Napa, no matter how far they stray. I am sure this is just Teenage lore that every small town has.
Spirit Monster: I have heard other stories, that the beast is a physical manifestation of a criminal who was hung in a tree on Partrick road and buried without ceremony. I found no evidence of this.
Fairy Spirit: A First Nation term for them was best translated as fairy I was told. They are generally seen as guardians of the forest. They are territorial. They considered the area the domain of the fairies.
Partick Family: The Pioneer family the road is named after used to own a candy store in Napa. The family was known for their love of Halloween. Somehow this connects them to the rebob legend. I suspect they may have had a part in propagating the legend. They are likely not the origin as it is much older than the family as they are featured in First Nation stories.
Other Flying Monkey Legends
There are many legends of flying monkeys worldwide. Here is a list of more winged primates. Winged primates are recorded all over the world and in all sizes and shapes. They have been recorded with bat wings and feathered wings.
Batsquatch (winged bigfoot at Mt. St. Helens)
Sacramento Gargoyle (grey, gargoyle spotted near bridges and caught on video)
Mothman (winged man)
Birdman (winged man, animal like)
Britain’s Bat Winged Monkey Bird ShukerNature: INTRODUCING BRITAIN’S BAT-WINGED MONKEY-BIRD
LaCrosse man-bat (Richard Svensson)
Rebob Resources Bibliography:
Anonymous Interview. 2003. First Hand Witness
Anonymous Interview. 2018. Second Hand Witness
Carolina Reptile Man, Succubus, Napa Rebobs. Monsters and Mysteries in America. Season 3, Episode 7. 2015
Rebob the Flying Monkeys of Napa Valley. Exemplore. Rebobs: The Flying Monkeys of Napa Valley | Exemplore
Yerger, Rebecca. The Partrick family, Halloween treats and Rebobs. Napa Valley Register. Oct 27, 2012. http://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/real-napa/columnists/rebecca-yerger/the-partrick-family-halloween-treats-and-rebobs/article_9f7255e8-1fca-11e2-ad17-0019bb2963f4.html
Roberts, Paul Dale. “Chuck Chuck and the Rebobs of Napa Valley “Paranormal Association. Paranormal-association.com
Chuck Chuck (a rebob’s friend? they have only been seen with rebobs)
The napa Valley Chuck chuck is a #cryptid said to be very large, larger than a human at nine feet tall. It has eyes that are glowing and yellow. It has a large beak, feathered fur but no wings. This animal has a deep pitched voice and makes a continuous “chuck chuck” sound and deep vibrating growl. It is highly aggressive. It has hominid legs and hominid arms. Its long fingers end in sharp, eagle-like talons.
Resources: Roberts, Paul Dale. “Chuck Chuck and the Rebobs of Napa Valley “Paranormal Association. Paranormal-association.com
Here is some rebob art i have done: