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:
Mexico City is divided in 16 big sectors (called Alcaldías or Delegaciones) with a mayor office each; each sector is divided in many colonies (slums, neighborhoods, boroughs). In my colony, during the 80s, there was this legen of a feral woman know as La Loba (She-Wolf), who lived in the mines (consturction material extraction) and came to living areas to steal children. It was really scary and everyone really believed she was real.
Within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is a small lake which was named Round Lk until the Park renamed it Loon Lk in 1970. As a child,I was warned to stay out of it because it was home to an aquatic beastie that overturns small boats and drowns the occupants. In fact, our neighbor’s boat met that fate, around 1954, but they were saved by wearing inner tubes(the old version of a PFD). The “7 ft Muskie” dates back toa Native legend, “Misshe Bijou”. About 1960, a 6 ft sturgeon was caught, ending the story. Tourists swim and party there now, but locals still experience a spooky feeling at Loon Lake.
In New Zealand we have many Taniwha (Pronounced Tanifa)
They are beings that live in deep pools in rivers, dark caves, or in the sea, especially in places with dangerous currents or deceptive breakers (giant waves). They may be considered highly respected Kaitiaki (protective guardians) of people and places, or in some places as dangerous, predatory beings. They often have a row of spines along their back. Many Pacific peoples from around the South Pacific also have Taniwha. I have never seen one but they are taken very seriously here. Even the government takes it seriously. If they are building a new road and a known Taniwha is present they will build around it.
Aren’t we humans interesting
Whilst driving east on highway 80 through the Battle Mountain area, my driving companions and I were startled one evening by the sudden emergence of a pterosaur from the median separating the highway. The thing barely missed our windshield, as it frantically flapped it’s wings – the body was about the size of a cow, and the entire thing was in plain sight to all in our vehicle. We reached Battle Mountain, and stopped in a motel in a bit of a panic whereupon the proprietor informed us there had been other similar sightings, most notably being the following: https://www.livingpterosaurs.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Civil-War-pterosaur-photograph-verified.jpg
We have had an open mind about cryptids ever since…
Not extremely local, but in Australia of course we have Drop Bears; even our national museum is in on it: https://australianmuseum.net.au/learn/animals/mammals/drop-bear/
But as a child, the one I heard most about was called a Bunyip: Bunyip - Wikipedia
The Bunyip is a First Peoples legend, a creature who generally lives around waterholes and billabongs. Traditionally, they are scary creatures, often translated as “evil spirit”, but there are also stories of friendly bunyips, and almost all kids who grew up here are familiar with the children’s book Alexander Bunyip. There are some theories that it may be based on one of the many megafauna that populated Australia for thousands of years, but it is also likely that it is completely fictional, and related to the many well known Dreamtime stories of our First Peoples that explain the world and its wonders.
Side note, have you ever read about the blue people? A long way from Hoptown but they actually existed due to some genetic oopsie. Blue Fugates - Wikipedia
Even though I had grown up in Maryland (Baltimore County), I first learned of the legend of the Snallygaster just a few years ago as its latest incarnation as a DC beer jamboree of the same name. A snallygaster is dragon-like beast that was known to inhabit Central Maryland and the Middletown area of Frederick County out on the MD panhandle.
It would fly around, quietly snatch people and was also reputed to use its sharp teeth to suck the blood of its victims. Seven pointed stars – still seen on barns to this day – were thought to keep the beast at bay.
There are local newspaper articles about it in 1909, which were later revealed to be a hoax used to drum up subscriptions for the publishing newspaper. The snallygaster even makes an appearance in Fallout 76.
The Wikipedia article contains much fascinating detail should you wish to learn more. There is some apocryphal evidence that says it was used as a deterrent to scare slaves who were considering running away.
I’m just glad I never saw it.
The New Zealand cryptid scene is a bit different, in that one of our most famous sightings is of an extinct bird - the Moa. This bird was one of the ratite family, a flightless bird that depending on the species ranges in size from the size of a Kiwi, to about 2m or more tall - they look something like an emu. They became extinct between the 1400-1800s as a result of hunting and things.
But there are some people who believe that they are still around today in the more remote areas of the country - such as Fiordland and the Urawera hills.
Most famously, Paddy Freany believed he saw a 6 foot tall moa in Arthur’s Pass, Alice McKenzie, who thought she interacted with one in Westland and Rex and Heather Gilroy who have found footprints in the Urawera hills.
It is possible that a few of these birds have survived, after all, we thought that the Takahe had gone extinct, but then we found a small population in Southland!
This article outlines what is currently known.
Grew up partly in Mexico city and have heard about lots of different cryptids living there but I never heard of La Loba in the DF area itself ( by the way I’m not doubting what you are saying at all , just stating my experience), which delegation do you live in ?
But I have a faint memory of having heard something similar about it in Jalisco state and in the Guadalajara city area.
I dont know what you think about this , and would like to know your opinion , but personally I think a lot of Mexican ( and on a wider level in Latin America) cryptids have their roots/origins in many Pre-Hispanic beliefs regarding the afterlife and the natural world that somehow survived the conquest and remain as dormant or active elements of local folklore.
But there are definitely also more than a few entities which definitely have their roots in Spanish /Iberian culture too.
Very intersting to read your comment Maxbrownnz.
I recently went to this fascinating exhibition in London which if I remember it correctly had cultural representations of the Kaitiaki.
I love the wooden religious carvings of the polynesian peoples they have this singular power of expression and energy. Its no wonder at all that they inspired the art of Picasso and Modigliani etc. who then re-energised Western modern Art.
Let’s not forget about the legendary ‘‘Chupacabras’’ or Goat-Sucker.
The legend originated here in Puerto Rico back in March of 1995 when the carcasses of various small animals such as goats and chickens were discovered. The strange thing was that they were uneaten, but drained of blood. There isn’t any evidence of its existence and its description varies, but the general consensus is that is a small creature with red eyes and spines on its back. Following the initial report, other sightings surfaced from Latin America, Mexico and even the United States through the years.
I had a personal experience with the legend: I was a Cub Scout in 1995, and for the first time that summer I went on a camping trip alone for a whole week in Guajataca (as in being away from my family). Of course, you can’t call it a camping trip without spooky stories. Since the ‘‘Chupacabras’’ was a relatively new subject, people claimed seeing it on the camp site. That’s when my nine year old self learned about the legend for the first time and must admit it frightened me, my fellow campers did not helped.
I also remembered it cause it was the plot device for an episode of Jackie Chan Adventures, except it took place in Mexico.
A little tidbit I found here: Characteristics and Origins of El Chupacabra | HowStuffWorks
Name: El Chupacabra
Alias: El Vampiro de Moca
Closest “known” relative: Jersey Devil
Height: 4.5 to 5.5 feet
Eyes: very large, often red
Likes: goats, chickens, cows, horses, dogs, cats, ducks, travel
Dislikes: bright, shining lights
Favorite hangouts: Guanica, Puerto Rico; Canovanas, Puerto Rico; Klamath Falls, Oregon; Miami, Florida; Calama, Chile; Juarez, Mexico; Sonora, Mexico