Zaratan

FeaturedZaratan

The Zaratan is a giant sea turtle (sometimes an octopus or a whale) that is described in folklore and literature that has a large shell that resembles a sloped rocky mound that is supposedly several hundred feet in diameter. Sailors who came across it always mistook it for a small island and they would anchor on it for the night, but as nighttime approached the turtle would swim down into the water which unfortunately drowned the sailors. The Zaratan has also been described as being a giant fish that tries to bring its tail to its mouth but can’t due to its massive size. When a Zaratan gets hungry it is said to open its mouth extremely wide and release a sweet smell and when the fish come near it snaps its jaws shut in a similar fashion to an alligator snapping turtle. The Zaratan has been depicted as a whale in “Sinbad the Sailor” and is also believed to be the same as the Aspidochelone or the Kraken. It’s also believed that the original city of Atlantis was on top of the turtle and that when the turtle dove it destroyed the city and that’s what happened to it. The most similar type of folklore creature would be the turtle that holds the world on its back from many origins of the world stories.

Lizard Men

FeaturedLizard Men

The Lizard Man, or Lizard Men, are not a specific type of cryptid, but the term is used instead to describe a broad spectrum of bipedal hominid-like reptilian people. There are many sightings all over the world. Some examples would be the intulo of South Africa, the Cherufe Lizard Man of South America, the New Jersey Gator Man, Loveland Frogman of Ohio, Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp, Canadian Lizard Man, Nagas of India, Kappas of Japan, and the Lizard Demon in Wood County, West Virginia. There have been many theories as to how these Lizard people came to existence. Some theories suggest that they are living dinosaurs, a form of evolution in which a reptile hierarchy continued to evolve along the same path as the early primates. Other theories suggest that they are reptilian aliens, and that many UFO and alien abduction cases have made notes of the fact that people have claimed that the aliens were reptilian-like. There are many other theories to why these reptile-people are coming to our planet and living among us,  but with so many reports of these being living amongst us you have a reptile person right beside you.

Ebu Gogo

FeaturedEbu Gogo

The Ebu Gogo are a group of humanoid creatures that first appeared in Flores mythology. In the Nage language of central Flores “ebu” means ‘grandmother’ and “gogo” means ‘he who eats anything’. The Nage people of Flores, Indonesia have described the Ebu Gogo as having the ability to walk and run quite quickly at around the height of 1.5 meters (about four to almost five feet tall) and they have flat and wide noses, broad faces with large mouths and extremely hairy bodies. They reportedly murmur in what seems to be their own language and also could repeat what others said to them in a parrot-like fashion. The legends of the Ebu Gogo were attributed to monkeys, but at the time they were believed to be a type of human. During the time of the Portuguese Trading Ship arriving in the 17th century people believed that they were alive during this time. They also think that they were alive up until the 20th century, but are no longer in existence. It would have seemed they were hunted to extinction. Stories say that they used to steal food from human camps and kidnap children, so the people in those camps offered them a gift of palm fiber to make into clothing. They accepted the gift and took it back to their cave to start making clothing. The people then threw a firebrand into the cave and set it on fire. It killed all of the Ebu Gogo except possibly one pair that managed to escape to a nearby forest where they may supposedly be living today.

Amaterasu

FeaturedAmaterasu

Amaterasu (also known by Amaterasu-omikami, Ohirume-no-muchi-no-kami) is part of Japanese mythology and is also a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is known as the goddess of the sun, but also of the universe. Her name is means “shining in heaven” and her whole name means “the great august kami who shines in heaven”. The meaning of her name is understandable since she is the goddess of the sun and the universe. According to the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in Japanese mythology the Emperors of Japan are considered to be the direct descendants of Amaterasu. It also appears to be a Japanese expression of a historical pan-Asiatic solar goddess. There are some similarities between Amaterasu and the Korean solar goddess Hue-nim, particularly in regards to shamanistic worship that utilizing the same symbols and practices. Although it seems Amaterasu is highly worshiped in Japan, she is still worshiped as a central figure for other places.

The oldest story of Amaterasu comes from about ca. 712 CE Kojiki and ca. 720 CE Nihon Shoki which are the oldest records of Japanese history. Amaterasu is the sister of Susanoo, who is the god of storms and the sea, and of Tsukuyomi, who is the god of the moon. It was written that Amaterasu had painted the landscape with her siblings to create ancient Japan. All three of them were born from Izangi when he was purifying himself after entering Yomi, the underworld, after failing to save Izuanami. Amaterasu was born when Izanagi washed his left eye, Tsukuyomi from his right eye, and Susanoo from washing his nose. Amaterasu then became the ruler of the sun and heavens along with her brother the god of the moon and ruler of the night. At first Amaterasu shared the skies with her brother and husband Tsukuyomi until out of absolute disgust he killed the goddess of food, Uke Mochi, when she supposedly pulled food from her rectum, nose, and mouth. This killing upset Amaterasu and cased her to label Tsukuyomi as an evil god and spirit and split away from him, which caused the separation of night and day.

The texts also state that Amaterasu and her brother Susanoo had a long standing rivalry. At some point Izanagi ordered him to leave Heaven and so he approached his sister to say goodbye. She was suspicious of Susanoo, but he proposed a challenge to prove his sincerity and she accepted the challenge. They both took an object from each other and birthed gods and goddesses. Amaterasu birthed three women from Susanoo’s sword and he birthed five men from Amaterasu’s necklace. After this she claimed that the gods were her’s since they were birthed from her necklace and that the goddess were Susanoo’s since they were born from his sword. Through this kind of logic, she claimed she won the challenge, and they both accepted it and were content for a while. After a while, however, Susanoo became restless and angry that he went on a rampage and destroyed Amaterasu’s rice fields, hurled a flayed pony at her loom, and even killed one of her attendants. Amaterasu was in grief and was angry over this rampage and hid away in the Ama-no-Iwato, or heavenly rock cave, and so the sun was gone for a very long time.

She was finally persuaded to leave the cave, and Susanoo was punished and banished from Heaven. Later Amaterasu and Susanoo amended their conflict when Susanoo got her the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi sword as a reconciliation gift. When they both reconciled the moon became visible again. According to the legend she bequeathed to her descendants Ninigi the mirror, Yata no Kagami the jewel, and Yasakani no Magatama the sword. This sacred mirror, jewel, and sword became the three Imperial Regalia of Japan.

The Ise Shrine located in Ise, Honshu, Japan houses the inner shrine Naiku which is dedicated to Amaterasu. The sacred mirror Yato no Kagami is said to be kept at this shrine as one of the Imperial Regalia of Japan. At this shrine is a ceremony known as Shikinen which is held every twenty years to honor Amaterasu. Each time the ceremony is held the main shrine buildings are destroyed and rebuilt at a location adjacent to the previous site. After this, new clothes and food are offered to Amaterasu. This practice is part of the Shinto faith and has been around since about the year 690.

Akkorokamui

FeaturedAkkorokamui

The Akkorokamui (or also known as the Ashketanne Mat which means “Long-fingered Woman) is a half-human half-octopus monster from the Ainu and Shinto folklore in Japan. It supposedly lurks in the Funka Bay in Hokkaido. It’s also been sighted in several other locations such as Taiwan and Korea for centuries.

According to the Shinto mythology, the creature is human-like and has a bright red color. John Batchelor wrote in his book “The Ainu and Their Folklore” he states that the creature is 120 meters (about 394 feet) in length and its color was “liken to the color of the reflection of the setting sun upon water”. It also has the ability to self-amputate like an octopus and regenerate limbs like one as well. This characteristic manifested itself in the belief in Shinto that Akkorokamui has healing powers. As a result of that belief among followers believe that giving offerings to Akkorokamui will heal ailments of the body, mainly those that are disfigured or have broken limbs.

The legend of how this creature became starts a long time ago in that spirits cursed a person named Rebunge who was a villager of Abuta Toyoura to see the destruction of his own village. They sent a half-spider half-human monster called Yaoshikepu to fulfill this curse. Yaoshikepu set out to destroy the village and slaughtered so many people that the streets were filled with blood. After hearing the townsfolk trembling and screaming with fear the sea kami (“kami” means divine beast in the Shinto religion) Repunkamui transformed Yaoshikepu into an octopus and sent her into the sea. After she was sent into the sea she began to grow and was consuming larger prey such as whales and attacking ships. One day Akkorokamui ate a boat full of fishermen and once in her stomach, the fishermen called out for help. After hearing these cries, Repunkamui poised Akkorokamui and caused her great pain. As she yelled in pain the fishermen managed to escaped. Akkorokamui learned how to harness the poison, however, and used it to attack her prey, including more ships with fishermen in them.

The Ainu reverence of Akkorokamui has become a permanent part of Shintoism which incorporated it as a minor kami. The self purification practices for this kami are strictly followed. One’s hands must be cleaned with water, with the exception that one’s feet must also be cleaned. While it is often presented as a benevolent kami with powers to heal and bestow knowledge it is also capable of doing harm. Also because of the nature of it being part octopus it means that it is persistent and it’s nearly impossible to escape its grasp without permission. Akkorokamui enjoys the sea and so the offerings that are the best would be fish, crab and mollusks. There are shrines dedicated with Akkorokamui and associated octopus deity which can be found throughout Japan. The most well known shrines are found in Kyoto and the island of Hokkaido.

This beautiful yet dangerous mythological creature is somewhat a cryptid in its sightings. Many would argue it is just visions of those who strongly believe in a higher power and that it is not a cryptid at all. I like to believe that there is always some truth in these types of stories. Who are we to say it isn’t so?

Nightcrawler/Fresno Alien

FeaturedNightcrawler/Fresno Alien

The Nightcrawler (no I’m not talking about the cute devil mutant from X-Men) , or the Fresno Alien, is an elusive cryptid that’s made just two appearances so far one being in Fresno, California and the other being in Yosemite National Park. In both of the sightings the only evidence was video footage. It shows the creature to be relatively short (about 4 feet tall), is extremely thin, white, with no noticeable arms. It seems to be either wearing a white cloak of some sort.

According to certain groups of Native Americans in the surrounding area the Nightcrawlers have existed for a long time and come from a planet that consists mostly of swamp. It is thought that their long legs help navigate the terrain. They are believed to be here to assist in an “awakening” to help rebuild the connection between man and nature and to bring peace back to Earth.

They seem to be gentle creatures that mean no harm to us and this planet. In fact, bringing peace back to Earth would be amazing. Hopefully we’ll see more of these humanoids sometime in the near future.

Atmospheric Beasts

FeaturedAtmospheric Beasts

As mentioned in my article for air rods which mentioned they may be related to atmospheric beasts, this article will cover what atmospheric beasts are. They are probably one of the more weirder (if that’s even possible) flying creatures from cryptozoology. They seem to be living creatures, but they break all the rules that we humans apply to living things. They fly up high in the sky without wings and their bodies are only semi-solid and are often partially invisible. Many of these sightings were originally classified as really strange and unusual UFO sightings. One of the most well known atmospheric beasts is the Crawfordsville Monster which was first sighted in Indiana in 1891 and some have classified it as a dragon.

To those who do believe in atmospheric beasts they are very fragile and lightweight beings that are either native to Earth or are aliens that are from somewhere else. If you believe the latter theory, then these creatures are sometimes thought to have come from somewhere in the atmosphere of another planet, but they also can be thought of as originating from interstellar gas clouds so that would make it seem that they are aliens without a native planet and are basically “swimming” through space. Many consider them non-intelligent and so even though they may have originated from space they are really just animals.

In several different eyewitness accounts, the beasts can change their density, become smaller, harder masses which are usually metallic in color, or they even can become larger and cloudlike even to the point of complete invisibility and some have even been able to glow. They may resembles whales at times which gives to their other name of ‘air whales’ or ‘cloud beasts’.  It’s also a common belief that if the beasts touch the ground they will die. Those that resemble clouds may display strange behavior that regular clouds cannot do, such as squirting a stream of water at people or being too mobile for normal clouds. The physical features may look like actual animals, but because they are separate clouds that are being combined together it looks entirely too alien to be a real animal.

When they die it’s been noted that they fall to Earth as a large gelatinous mass that may be similar to green, purple, gray or even iridescent jelly that evaporates into absolutely nothing within minutes to as long as days. This is an explanation from the meteorites or star jelly that falls from the sky occasionally.

They are often given local names and are always in folklore, but playing a minor role. People have had actual physical contact with these beings, such as a police officer being touched by one whilst bicycling. People have said it feels like being licked by a large, soft tongue.

They are very strange creatures indeed and have been in folklore for centuries, and there have been many witness accounts of them. Could these be a new species of alien that exists just above us? We may never know honestly, but it’s strangely comforting to think that these large animal-like beings are in a way looking over us.

Fur-Bearing Trout (Hoax)

FeaturedFur-Bearing Trout (Hoax)

The fur-bearing trout, also known as the beaver trout, is a trout that possesses a thick coat of fur to keep it warm in the extremely cold northern waters it lives in. It was obviously since fish do not typically sprout fur and they are already adapt to the waters they live in.

According to the legend, it was first encountered by Europeans who settled in Canada and talked about many furred animals and fish in the lands and was asked to specify the fur fish and so it became to be the fur bearing fish. Now they are many mounted up on walls all through the Great Lakes of North America as a little tribute to that. There are some cases where fish will seem to have fur, but that due to a disease called saprolegnia which causes what looks like little tufts of fur.

Air Rods

FeaturedAir Rods

These tiny little flying creatures have been a mystery to many for decades now, and there still is no real answer for their existence. These air rods, which are also called “flying rods” or “sky fish”, are kind of the equivalent of crop circles to everyone, even the skeptics. They show up on every type of camera around the world when they do decide to appear. No one really knows what they are. No one knows if they are living creatures, aliens, or just camera malfunctions. To those who believe strongly in cryptids they believe that air rods are living creatures, and are possibly related to the older stories of atmospheric beasts that once flew through the skies as they do now. To skeptics, these air rods are merely pieces of flying debris, insects or even birds being filmed under strange conditions that would produce that type of effect.

Air rods were first discovered around the 1990s in various types of film. People studying these anomalies found many in thousands and thousands of films and found thousands of types of these critters in those films. Close studies showed that these rods had extremely interesting behavior. They showed to have 3D features such as they would weave in and out of trees instead of just going through them or just staying visible always in the front of objects. They were carefully measured and they would range from about four inches to about three feet long. There seemed to be no difference between the head and tail and they had pairs of appendages all along its body.

In some air rods these appendages look kind of like fins that vibrate in undulating waves while others have some that look like bee wings. Most of the time, however, the rods are moving so fast that they are extremely blurry and it cannot be deciphered what they look like. Some rare ones can be solid white compared to the translucent ones that are mostly spotted.

Many people have grown fearful of these mysterious beings, believing they are a new species of bugs or even aliens that are invading Earth. Many skeptics believe it could be computer generated rods that are slipped into all the footage that is seen. That would be a lot of editing to get all those thousands of films to be edited like that!

It’s still a mystery to this day what they are, but it heavily believed they are real and seem to pose no threat to the people living in the world or the animals and plant life. They could possibly be aliens just visiting surveying the world to see what goes on here. Maybe one day we will learn more of their existence. Here’s to seeing the truth someday.

Dover Demon

FeaturedDover Demon

As one of the more supposedly ‘classic’ cryptids in the world although not spoken of much anymore, the Dover Demon was first reportedly spotted in Dover, Massachusetts on April 21st and April 22nd, 1977. On April 21st, William Bartlett (who was seventeen at the time) claimed that while he was driving that he saw a large-eyed creature with tendril-like fingers and glowing eyes on the top of a stone wall on Farm Street in Dover. Another boy, John Baxter, who was fifteen, reported seeing a similar creature on Miller Hill Road that same evening. On the next night, fifteen-year-old Abby Brabham claimed to also have seen the creature on Springdale Avenue. They were all confused and horrified at seeing the unknown being.

The three of them drew sketches of what they saw and Bartlett wrote, “I, Bill Bartlett, swear on a stack of Bibles that I saw this creature.” When the sightings were plotted out on a map it revealed that it created a straight line that went over two miles. It became to gain worldwide attention just like how Bigfoot has.

It was described as looking like a “gray” alien, but with a rosy orange color instead of the gray color. It has a large head on a small stick-like body.  It can be bipedal apparently, as it’s been seen traveling on two legs or on all fours. Its eyes sometimes glow green, but some have reported they glow orange. Witnesses are unsure if it wears clothing or if the clothing is just like the body. Unlike the grays, however, the Dover Demon does not seem to be associated with UFOs. Not many cryptozoologists show much interest in the Dover Demon. Since the sightings mostly happened during the time of the three reported ones back in 1977, the stories of the Dover Demon have since passed by.

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Kidney Thieves

This urban legend (which actually isn’t an urban legend it actually does happen quite often) goes by several other titles, including “The Kidney Heist”, “The Organ Thieves”, and “The Stolen Kidneys”. The story goes that there was once a young man who was going to college. For spring break he went to Las Vegas with his buddies to have a good time. They were drinking and listening to music and just generally having a really good time for vacation. The young man had just finished another drink when a beautiful young woman came up to him and started talking to him. He was flattered and surprised that she was talking to him. They seemed to be hitting it off, and when she invited him to another party, he agreed.

He left the bar and went with the young woman to an apartment on the outskirts of the city. There was already a party going on and they started drinking some more and even dancing with each other a little. The young woman takes out two little pills and puts one in her mouth while offering the other to the man. He was never one to try drugs, but he decided he’d give it a try. That was the last thing he remembered.

When he awoke he was in a hotel bathroom, naked and in a tub full of ice. He was extremely groggy and disoriented and he tried to remember how he got there. He was also in a lot of pain. He saw he had a crumpled note in his hand that said, “If you don’t want to die, call 911”. He saw a cell phone sitting on a small table so he picked it up and proceeded to call emergency services. When the operator answered, he tried to explain he didn’t know what had happened to him and that he was in a tub full of ice. The operator instantly knew what was happening. She told him to check his body for injuries and he noticed two nine inch slits in his lower back. The operator told him to go back into the tub and that an ambulance was on the way. She also told him that he had been drugged and someone had removed his kidneys. There was a ring of organ thieves operating in the city and they would sell the organs on the black market. Afterwards, he was kept in the hospital on life support until he could get new kidneys.

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Yowie

The name of the Yowie one of several names that are given to the hominid that lives in Australia. The creature originated in the Aboriginal oral history. In parts of Queensland they are referred to as “Quinkin” or a type of quinkin and as a joogabinna. In New South Wales, it’s known by a plethora of names: jurrawarra, myngawin, puttikan, gubba, doolaga, gulaga, thoolagal, yahoo, yaroma, noocoonah, wawee, pangkarlangu, jimbra and tjangara. Many people belive that the existence of the Yowie is a mix of misidentification, folklore, and a hoaxes. Yowie-type creatures are quite common in Aboriginal legends, more particularly in the eastern Australian states.

The Yowie is typically described as hairy and ape-like standing upright between 6 ft 11 in and 12 ft. As with most large hominids that are reported the Yowie’s feet are reported to be much larger than human feet but so far tracks have shown inconsistencies in shape and toe number, and even witness don’t have similar descriptions of the beast. The one thing that is consistent is that the nose is wide and flat. It’s behavior has been reported as either timid or shy, or violent and aggressive. There is no set way of describing the Yowie, just like how there is no set way in knowing if it’s actually being sighted or not. Mysterious, no?

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Elmendorf Beast

The “Elmendorf Beast” was a name given to a coyote that was blamed for several livestock attacks in Elmendorf, Texas. Many people wondered what the creature was, some thinking it was a Mexican Hairless Dog whose appearance was different due to some kind of illness. Another thought was that it was a wolf-coyote hybrid of some sort. Another popular conclusion was that it was the infamous Chupacabra. No one really knew what it was due to it’s strange appearance. There was a carcass found that people believed to be the beast. It had a severe overbite and skin that was blue and hairless. It seemed to be a coyote from DNA testing, but there are still people who truly wonder what it is.

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Polybius

Polybius is an urban legend about an arcade game that apparently can cause seizures or brain aneurysms and was used to control people’s minds to brainwash them and even cause them to commit suicide.

Around the 1980s, arcade games were extremely popular with teens, and supposedly the game Polybius was first released for those teens in 1981 in Portland, Orgeon. It was a puzzle/shooting game, kind of like the games where you had to control a little ship and shoot at things coming at you.

It was an extremely popular game at the time. It was super addictive and there were lines going out the door of people wanting to play it. There was something strange and sinister about the game, however. People were reporting sounds of a woman crying and seeing grotesque faces out of the corner of the eyes. Some people saw disturbing messages flash on the screen like, “Kill Yourself”. After playing the game people would experience things from nightmares to amnesia. Some even committed suicide.

One arcade owner said that mysterious men in black suits would come and collect data from the game. They didn’t take any money and sometimes they would change the settings on the game. This led to some people believing it was used to brainwash people by the government.

After about a month of it being released, all of the cabinets disappeared suddenly. One reappeared in 1998, but vanished quickly as well. No one has been able to find the original ROM. It was supposedly made by a German company Sinnesloschen which means “Sense Deletion”. No one really knows what happened to the arcade game, but maybe someday the truth about it will be told.

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Flatwoods Monster

The Flatwoods Monster is a creature that originated from West Virginia. The monster is known as the Flatwoods Monster, Braxton County Monster, and the Phantom of Flatwoods. The entity is reported to have been sighted in the town of Flatwoods in Braxton County, West Virginia on September 12th, 1952. This report is an example of a close encounter of the third kind, which means paranormal.

There are various descriptions of the entity, but the most common ones are that it is at least 7 ft tall, has a black body, a dark glowing face, an elongated head that was shaped like a sideways diamond, non-human eyes, a large circular cowling appeared behind the head, the creature’s body was described as inhumanly-shaped and clad in a dark, pleated skirt-like exoskeleton, it was later described as a shadow.

Some witnesses say that the entity doesn’t have visible arms due to it being incredibly fast while others say it has long, stringy arms coming out of the front of the body with claw-like fingers. There also have been reports of a red ball of light floating either above the head of the entity or on the ground. It is believed to be an aircraft of some type that the entity was controlling.

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J’ba Fofi (Giant Spider)

(This is going to be a really short post because I have to go to work soon and I won’t be able to post it tonight)

The J’ba Fofi, also known as the Congolese Giant Spider, is a cryptozoological creature that is said to exist in the Congo. It may be a new species of arachnid of monstrous proportions. It is described as having a brownish colored body that is similar to that of a tarantula with a leg span of four to six feet long. The juveniles possess a yellow color that turns brown as they grow older. They’ve been spotted since the 1890s in Uganda and up until 2013 in Mozambique. They are described by Baka natives as using leaves and spinning circular webs between trees as a way of making their homes. They prey upon birds, duiker, and other small animals. The Baka also said they are rare now because of the dwindling habitat.

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Bedroom Light – Scary Story

This scary story/urban legend is also known as “Aren’t You Glad You Didn’t Turn On the Light?” Which is a longer title, but it may be more familiar to people.

This story revolves around two college girls who were friends when they were younger and wanted to be roommates in college. They got their wishes and were roomed together at the start of school.

One night they were both up late studying for an exam that was happening the next day. One of the girls got tired and went to bed while the other one stayed up and diligently studied. At some point, she realized she left one of her books back in the bedroom and snuck back in so she didn’t wake her roommate up. She didn’t turn the light on and was trying to feel around for her book when she started hearing heavy breathing and she asked quietly if her roommate was awake. Her roommate didn’t say anything. She heard something move and asked, “Can I turn on the light?” She got no response. She asked again and got no response again. She gave up and continued looking in the dark for the book, found it, and headed back out to continue studying. She stayed up all night and when the time came for the exam and went to go take it, but noticed her roommate didn’t come. When she got home she knocked on the door to see if she was okay. She didn’t get a respond so she opened the door and saw a horrific scene. Her roommate was laying on her bed motionless lying in a pool of blood. She had been brutally murdered. She looked around and saw on the wall behind her words smeared in blood that read, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?”. Talk about disturbing.

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Jersey Devil

Of course on this blog there has to be some mention of the “original” and most commonly talked about cryptids in the world. This time around I’ll be talking about the infamous Jersey Devil, the legend of a creature born in a way for the Devil.

The creature is said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of the Southern part of New Jersey. It’s often described as a flying biped with hooves, but there are many variations. The most common descriptions are that the creature is kangaroo-like with a head of a goat, bat-like wings, horns, small arms with clawed hands, cloven hooves and a forked tail, and is said to move quickly and has a blood-curdling scream.

According to the folklore surrounding the creature, the legend originated from a family known as the Leeds family. A member of the family named Mother Leeds, had already given birth to twelve children in her lifetime and when she found out she was pregnant with another child, she cursed the child in anger and said it would be the Devil. When she gave birth the the child it came out normal, then turned into a monster with hooves, a goat’s head, bat wings, and a forked tail. It growled and screamed at the family, killing the midwife and flying out through the chimney and disappearing into the woods. In other versions it’s said that there was an exorcise attempted on the creature, or that it killed the local children.

Prior to the sightings of the Jersey Devil, it was referred to as the Leeds Devil or The Devil of Leeds. It was either connected to the local Leeds family or the town of Leeds Point. “Mother Leeds” has been identified by some as Deborah Leeds on the basis that her husband, Japhet, named 12 children in his will in 1736. There are other suspected people as well relating to the legend. Deborah and Japhet also supposedly lived in Leeds Point. There are many legends, myths, and hoaxes that come along with this strange creature. What is real and what isn’t?

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Wendigo/Windigo

The Wendigo (or Windigo) is a cannibal monster or an evil spirit that is native to the northern forests of the Atlantic Coast and the Great Lakes Region of both the U.S. and Canada. It originates in Algonquian folklore. The Wendigo might appear as a monster with some characteristics of a human, or a spirit who has possessed a human being and made them become monstrous. It’s historically associated with cannibalism, murder, insatiable greed, and the cultural taboos against those behaviors. A psychosis that steamed from the Wendigo that is highly debated is the Wendigo Psychosis, which is considered a form of culture-bound syndrome with symptoms such as intense craving for human flesh and a fear of becoming a cannibal.

In some indigenous communities, environmental destruction and insatiable greed are also seen as a manifestions of Wendigo Psychosis. Part of the traditional belief system of a number of Algonquin-speaking poeples most notably the Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Cree, Naskapi, and the Innu people. The descriptions of the Wendigo vary but the common aspect that is associated with these cultures is that it is a malevolent, cannibalistic, supernatural being and is strongly associated with winter, the north, coldness, famine, and starvation.

In Ojibwe, Eastern Cree, Swampy Cree, Naskapi, and Innu lore often describes them as giants many times larger than human beings, a characteristic absent from the myth in other Algonquin cultures. When a Wendigo ate a person it would grow in proportion to the person they just had ate so that it was never full. They are simultaneously portrayed as gluttonous and emaciated from starvation. The creature is seen as the combination of gluttony, greed, and excess. They’re never satisfied with killing and eating one person so they are always hunting for more.

More human-like Wendigos are those who are overpowered by greed and turn into Wendigos themselves. This myth served as a way of encouraging people to cooperate and to practice moderation. The Wendigos are extremely deadly and feared creatures that are the results of greed and sin. They are what people could become if they are not careful with their greed.

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The Northfield Pig Man

The Pig Man is an urban legend that is about a 17-year-old boy in Northfield, Vermont. The story goes that young Sam Harris was heading out with a basket of eggs on the night before Halloween in 1951 to do “Picket Night” which was a night of mischief. The next morning his parents awoke and discovered that their son was not in the house. A large search party was formed, but he was never found. He’s never been found but people have said that they’ve seen Sam and say he became possessed by the Devil on the night he went out. He’s known to slaughter pigs, eat their entrails, empty out their heads and wear it on his head while terrorizing locals. His ghost is said to still haunt the hills surrounding the Devil’s Washbowl. He’s also rumored to be involved in bestiality with the pigs that have produced half-human half-pig offspring. There are also a few other Pig Men of different areas as well. Many those are the offspring? We may never know.

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Goatman

The Goatman is a half-human half-goat creature that is said to have the backside of a goat and the top part of a human. According to legend, the Goatman is an axe-wielding half creature that came from the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The Goatman, who was a scientist at the time, was experimenting on goats and one went wrong, causing him to mutate and become part goat. He then became attacking cars with an axe and wandering the back roads of Beltsville, Maryland. A variation of the legend says he’s a hermit living in the woods. There are even more variations of the legend that are just as strange as any other.

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Champ

Ah, yes. Everyone knows Champ. Or Champy. This lovely name is given to the creature that is living in Lake Champlain, which is shared by New York and Vermont with a bit of it going into Quebec, Canada. There are been over 300 sightings of Champ with some more being sighted today. Legends of the creature date back to the Native American tribes that once lived in those regions. Both the Iroquois and the Abenaki spoke of the creature, the Abenaki called it the “Tatoskok”.

The founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain was claimed to be the first European to spot the creature in 1609, however, the legend dates back actually to a quote that was fake published in the Summer 1970 issue of “Vermont Life” and in the article it states that Champlain documented seeing a “20-foot serpent thick as a barrel, and with a head like a horse” when in reality he did describe a creature of decent size but it most likely was a gar.

There have also been reports of a “Captain Crum” making a sighting of an enormous serpentine monster which he estimated to be about 187 feet long and was possibly 200 yards away from him. Despite the distance, he says he saw it being followed by two large sturgeons and a billfish. The creature had three teeth and eyes the color of peeled onions. It also had a belt of red around its neck and a white star on its forehead.

In 1883, Sheriff Nathan H. Mooney claimed that he saw a serpent about “20 rods” from where he was standing on the shore and said he was so close that he could see white spots inside its mouth and it appeared to be around 25-30 feet in length. Since Mooney’s report, many others have come forward to report their sightings as well. Even today people are making claims of seeing Champ as there are dozens upon dozens of photos and videos that can be found of the elusive beast.

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Gore Orphanage – Urban Legend

This urban legend takes place in Ohio and revolves around an orphanage that burned down. It’s also supposedly the most haunted place in the state.

It begins with a married couple by the names of Johann and Katharina Sprunger who originally lived in Indiana. They decided to start an orphanage after their daughter and son mysteriously died. Their first orphanage was called “The Light of Hope Orphanage” but sadly it burned down in 1899 and three orphans were burned alive within the building.

As a way to put this tragedy behind them, they moved to Vermilion, Ohio and started a new orphanage in 1903 which they called the Gore Orphanage, which contained over 100 boys and girls that lived there. Not all was peaceful within the walls of the orphanage, however.

There were many rumors that darkness and despair plagued the place. The child told stories of abuse, neglect, and slave labor. Supposedly Mrs. Sprunger cooked cow heads and lungs to force feed the children and if they didn’t eat it, they just starved. Mr. Sprunger would beat the children with a leather strap until they were bruised and bloody. Supposedly he also would rent out the children to farmers for slave labor.

The children were only allowed to wash themselves once every two weeks and they all had to use the same dirty bath water. Their rooms were infested with rats that would bite them when they slept. Eventually, the children started escaping, going through the Vermilion River and were taken in by some generous people.

In December 1923 the orphanage caught on fire. It’s unknown how to fire initially started. Some say someone knocked over an oil lamp. Others say that Mr. Sprunger started the fire because he hated the children and wanted insurance money. The building burned with the children still inside, and even though they tried to escape they did not succeed. Their screams and cries could be heard until the fire finally took the lives of all the children.

Nothing remains of the orphanage anymore and where it once stood is a vacant field, but people claim that even today during the night you can still hear the cries and screams of the children. There are claims of seeing ghost figures and apparitions where the building was. The air smells like burning flesh occasionally and people have heard doors opening and shutting and footsteps across wooden floors even though there is nothing there anymore. There is an old tire swing that is hanging from a tree nearby the site and people say you can sometimes see a little boy swinging on it silently.

It’s a horrendous incident that took the lives of over 100 children at the Gore Orphanage so many years ago. It seems the children even now just want someone to help them and save them from the awful hardship they went through. May their souls one day rest in peace.

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Black – Eyed Children

The urban legend about black-eyed children are believed to be evil creatures in disguise or even aliens. Their eyes are completely black and they usually stop people late at night and ask for help and if you deny them help, they get extremely aggressive and will disappear once you try to get away. When people encounter these children they are overwhelmed with a feeling of dread or feel like something just isn’t right. There hasn’t been any cases of the children attacking people but the feeling of dread and fear that individuals feel after encountering these children is all too real.

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Aswang/Asuwang – Filipino Shapeshifter

The Aswang (or Asuwang) is a Filipino shapeshifting monster known throughout folklore. The monster usually is a combination of the traits of a vampire, a ghoul, a warlock/witch, different species of werebeast, or even all of them together. It should be noted that the Aswang was the most feared mythical creature in the Philippines, even as far back as the 16th century. The myth of the creature is known throughout the Philippines and is especially popular in the Visayas, southern parts of Luzon, and parts of Mindanao. It also goes by other names including “tik-tik”, “bayot”, “wak-wak”, “sok-sok”, and “kling-kling”. The name “Aswang” is derived from the Sanskirt word “Asura” which means “demon”.

The stories of the Aswang vary from region to region and person to person and there is no particular set of characteristics to describe the Aswang but it is usually interchangeable with “manananggal” and is usually depicted as female. Also because of the many different stories of regarding the Aswang there are many different descriptions of appearance and its activities. There are, however, some common themes that make the Aswang different from other creatures.

The Aswang, as mentioned before, are shapeshifters. Many stories say that during the day they are disguised as regular people. Shy, quiet, and even a bit elusive. At night, however, they transform into bats, birds (usually crows), wild boars, black cats, but mostly a big black dog. This next part is a bit grotesque so beware. Their favorite foods are unborn fetuses and small children, mainly their livers and hearts. Some of them have proboscises which they can use to suck children out of the wombs of their mothers while they sleep. Some of the Aswang are so thin they can hide behind bamboo posts and they are very fast. Some of them makes noise such as the Tik-Tik (hence the names). They use these noises to confuse their victims. They may also replace their victims or cadavers with copies or doppelgangers made from tree trunks or other plants. Aswangs have bloodshot eyes from staying up all night hunting for food.

They are physically more like humans during the daytime and only change their appearance at night if they need to go hunting. It has been said that the Aswangs can marry humans and if they do, the human will become one as well but they can not/rarely reproduce. They may hunt together but they will go in separate directions.

They are not harmed by sunlight at all. They can befriended and they can interact with you like any other normal human being. They do not harm their friends and neighbors and have been said to exclude them from being their next meals. They go to places far away that would not be obvious. They are said to be more vulnerable in the day because they do not possess their super strength, and they’ve been known to hunt and kill those who know of their true identities.

There are many ways of getting rid of the Aswang, such as garlic, salt, or religious artifacts and weapons. They are also said to be scared of the sound of a whip made of stingray’s tail. To figure out if a person is an aswang you have to look into their eyes and you will know if they are a aswang if your reflection is upside down. Another way is to bend over and look at them between your legs. If you see something different, it is an aswang. There is a type of oil as well called Hintura which is said to boil and bubble when one is nearby.

These creatures are incredibly interesting. Their disguises are amazing to blend into society and look just like human beings and go about their days among humans. They are fascinating and who knows, maybe there is one living with you right now. You just don’t know it.

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Japanese Urban Legend – Hanako

To start off with the spooky and creepiness of the world let’s begin with an urban legend from Japan (because you know that it’s going to be scary if it’s coming from there let me tell you that right now). This urban legend stems from a school setting some twenty or more years ago during a wave of ghost stories and sightings. There are different versions of this ghost depending on the school as do most sightings go, but this is the version I have read up on.

This version is that a little girl’s ghost haunts the school bathrooms, opening and closing doors to scare people who enter alone and who knock on a stall and call her name. Many dread going to the bathroom alone in case they run into her. I mean, who would want to go to the bathroom knowing a ghost girl is there to scare you?

This legend is very similar to the legend of Kashima Reiko, who is a female ghost with no legs that resides in school bathrooms as well who calls out to you. There are various ways as to answer her.

Another one is a male ghost who goes by many names (Aoi Manto/Aka Manto and others) who lives in the last stall in the girls’ bathroom. He asks those who enter, “Which do you prefer, the red paper or the blue paper?” If the person answers red, he will kill them by slashing them on the back or neck repeatedly to make it look like the person was wearing a red cape. If the person picks blue, he will kill them by hanging them.

So in conclusion, be careful when going to the bathroom in a Japanese school, just in case you end up running into any of these “friendly” ghosts.