by Stephen King
Here are ten of the most terrifying and bizarre creatures to ever, allegedly, walk the Earth. These creatures defy logic, inspire the imagination and generate fear. They are the subject of numerous movies, documentaries, books and even songs. They have become ingrained in our culture. Do these creatures really exist? Did they ever exist? Or are these merely hoaxes, or the result of over active imaginations? No matter what you believe, I think it is safe to say that the members of this list are the stuff of nightmares, and if encountered, even the most hardened individual would tremble with fear. So let’s open our minds to the incredible, and embark on a brief journey through a world teeming with cryptids. This is a follow up list to theTop 10 Bizarre Cryptids.
This creature was sighted on three separate occasions in the town of Dover, Massachusetts, on April 21 and April 22, 1977. Due to its appearance, there’s speculation as to whether or not this creature was an alien, or the result of some sort of experiment i.e. a human or alien hybrid, while others suggest it came from another dimension. The Dover Demon’s features are as follows – a disproportionately large, watermelon shaped head, glowing orange eyes, long, thin arms and legs with slender fingers. It was said to be hairless, with rough, flesh-toned skin described as a tan color with the texture of sandpaper. The Dover Demon reportedly lacked facial features e.g. it had no nose, ears or mouth. It’s height was 3 feet, and it made a bloodcurdling noise that sounded like a hawk’s screech combined with a snake’s hiss.
This beast is said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey, with tales beginning in the 1800s and continuing until the 20th century. The creature is usually described as a flying biped with hooves, wings like a bat and a head resembling a horse. The legend of this creature stems from a tale about “Mother Leeds’, a local witch who invoked the devil while giving birth to her 13th child. When the baby was born it immediately transformed into a demonic creature and flew off into the surrounding pine barrens. The Jersey Devil was blamed for many livestock killings, strange tracks and bizarre sounds. In the early 1900′s, scores of people in New Jersey and neighboring states claimed to witness the Jersey Devil or see evidence of it’s arrival through strange tracks.
It is claimed that the Flatwoods Monster is some form of extraterrestrial, as this creature was spotted in the vicinity of a large UFO that either hovered above or rested on the ground in the town of Flatwoods, in Braxton County, West Virginia, on September 12, 1952. According to the reports, this creature was huge, at least 10 feet tall. its face gave off a reddish glow, and its body was green in colour. Its head was shaped like a heart or Ace of Spades, and out of this strangely shaped head bulged non-human eyes. The body is described as being shaped similar to a mans and dressed in some sort of dark clothing resembling a skirt. Reports ranged from the creature having no visible arms to short, stubby arms ending in long claw-like fingers.
Mawnan, Cornwall, around the middle of 1976, is where you’d find the earliest Owlman reports. The first sighting took place on April 17, 1976, where the creature was spotted hovering above the Mawnan church tower. Oddly enough sightings up to August, 1978, all occurred within the vicinity of this church. Reports of the Owlman ceased altogether sometime in 1995. This cryptid looks like an owl (no surprise there, considering it is name), it is the size of a man, it has pointed ears, red eyes and black pincer-like claws. Its body bears some similarities to the more famous Mothman, in that it is described as having large wings and is a grayish color. Interestingly, there were many UFO reports, as well as accounts of animals behaving strangely in the surrounding area just prior to the Owlman sightings. Another similarity to the Mothman case.
On a list like this the Lizard Man had to be high. This humanoid cryptid is said to inhabit the swampland areas in and around Lee County, South Carolina. The sightings began on June 29, 1988, with the most recent notable sighting in February, 2008. The creature is described as being 7 feet 2 inches tall, bipedal, has a strong build, green scaly skin and glowing red eyes. Reports state that the Lizard Man has three toes on each foot and three fingers on each hand. These fingers end in a circular pad that apparently enables the creature to stick to walls. As evidenced by the damage done to the vehicles of those unfortunate enough to encounter it, the creature also possesses incredible strength, clearly capable of ripping into a car. Pulling over in this area is a bad idea.
For those who grew up in Australasia (primarily Australia and NZ), the bunyip will be familiar. The bunyip is a large mythical creature from Australian Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds and waterholes. It has been described as a giant starfish that walks on land. Other common descriptions from 19th century newspaper accounts include a dog-like face, dark fur, a horse-like tail, flippers and walrus-like tusks or horns or a duck like bill. The very first use of the word to describe this Australian cryptid appeared in a newspaper in 1845:
“The Bunyip, then, is represented as uniting the characteristics of a bird and of an alligator. It has a head resembling an emu, with a long bill, at the extremity of which is a transverse projection on each side, with serrated edges like the bone of the stingray. Its body and legs partake of the nature of the alligator. The hind legs are remarkably thick and strong, and the fore legs are much longer, but still of great strength. The extremities are furnished with long claws, but the blacks say its usual method of killing its prey is by hugging it to death. When in the water it swims like a frog, and when on shore it walks on its hind legs with its head erect, in which position it measures twelve or thirteen feet in height.”
The Sigbin is a creature from the Philippines said to come out at night to suck the blood of victims from their shadows (the Philippines has some amazingly bizarre cryptids as you can see on this list). It is said to walk backwards with its head lowered between its hind legs, and to have the ability to become invisible to other creatures, especially humans. It resembles a hornless goat, but has very large ears which it can clap like a pair of hands and a long, flexible tail that can be used as a whip. The Sigbin is said to emit a nauseating odor. Depending on region and storyteller, the sigbin resembles either a hornless goat, a reptilian crow or something vaguely along the lines of the Chupacabra. What is most common with all accounts is that its head hangs between its forelegs which are much shorter than its hindlegs. Whether because of physiology or because it makes the sigbin seem scarier, it is also known to crabwalk backwards. The sigbin also has a long whip-like tail that emit’s a foul stench and two grasshopper-like legs on its neck that enable it to jump far distances. They wander around at night in search of children to devour but they keep the hearts to make amulets. Most stories and sightings originate from the Cebu region. However, although it is some distance away, in 2005 scientists in Borneo discovered a “cat-fox-like carnivore” with hind legs longer than forelegs giving it an awkward gait and physical appearance that somewhat fits many of the descriptions of the sigbin (e.g. long tail, short forearms, can jump far distances, carnivorous). No conclusive evidence has been found yet to link the two together.
The Canvey Island Monster is the name given to an unusual creature whose carcass washed up on the shores of Canvey Island, England, in November, 1954. A second, more intact, carcass was discovered in August, 1955. The 1954 specimen was described as being 76cm (2.4ft) long with thick reddish brown skin, bulging eyes and gills. It was also described as having hind legs with five-toed horseshoe-shaped feet with concave arches – which appeared to be suited for bipedal locomotion – but no forelimbs. Its remains were cremated after a cursory inspection by zoologists who said that it posed no danger to the public. The 1955 specimen was described as being similar to the first but much larger, being 120cm (3.9 ft) long and weighing approximately 11.3kg (25lb). It was sufficiently fresh for its eyes, nostrils and teeth to be studied, though no official explanation was given at the time as to what it was or what happened to the carcass.
In most accounts, the Pope Lick Monster (named after the Pope Lick Creek below the Pope Lick Train Trestle – shown above) appears as a human-goat hybrid with a grotesquely deformed body of a man. It has powerful, fur-covered goat legs, an alabaster-skinned face with an aquiline nose and wide set eyes. Short, sharp horns protrude from the forehead, nestled in long greasy hair that matched the color of the fur on the legs. Numerous urban legends exist about the creature’s origins and the methods it employs to claim its victims. According to some accounts, the creature uses either hypnosis or voice mimicry to lure trespassers onto the trestle to meet their death before an oncoming train. Other stories claim the monster jumps down from the trestle onto the roofs of cars passing beneath it. Yet other legends tell that it attacks its victims with a blood-stained axe.
Described as a hybrid beast that bears a horrific mélange of both human and goat-like characteristics, this horned, hoofed, goat featured horror would seem to be a modern re-interpretation of the ancient satyrs found in Greek myths. Yet eyewitnesses claim that this fiend is not a figment from beyond mythology, but a living, breathing, flesh and blood creature, that is not to be trifled with. The first official report of this brute hails from 1957, when eyewitnesses reported seeing a hairy, horned monster in the areas of Forestville and Upper Marlboro in Prince George’s County. Following that wave of sightings, the beast apparently decided to lay low until the summer of 1962, when the Goatman was accused of killing no less than fourteen people — twelve children and two accompanying adults — who were apparently hiking too close to its lair. The survivors, who, of course, remain unidentified, claimed that the Goatman violently hacked it’s victims to pieces with an axe, all the while emitting ghastly sounds only the “devil himself” would make. [Source]
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