The United States of America. Land of the free, home of the Bray Road Beast. Most areas have one — a cryptid, that is. A legendary, unlikely creature that has yet to be proven nonexistent. Some US towns have lake-dwelling monsters, while others have big-eyed demons and lizard men. These under-the-radar characters are often only famous in their respective regions, and it’s about time we give them some well-deserved Halloween loving. Thanks for Harry and the Hendersons, Bigfoot, but let’s check out what else is lurking in our North American forests, shall we? Read on to find a cryptid near you.
Dover Demon, Massachusetts
Dover, Massachusetts might be the “town of friendship,” but we’re not sure if we want to be friends with this little Dover dweller. First spotted in ’77, the Dover Demon stands at a proud three feet tall, has glowing eyes, no nose, no mouth, and screeches like a hawk. Some suggest that witnesses are merely mistaking a newborn moose for the Demon, but those who have seen the creature insist otherwise. This trickster cryptid likes to terrify drivers as they pass, so keep your eyes peeled next time you’re on Massachusetts’ roads. The Demon awaits.
Champ, Lake Champlain
Here we have Champ, the Loch Ness Monster’s American cousin. Every August, an annual “Champ day” is held in Port Henry, New York to honor this Lake Champlain creature. He even has his own baseball team, the Vermont Lake Monsters. Needless to say, this a well-loved cryptid. Champ has been photographed on multiple occasions, but analysts often blame dead trees for the beastly illusion. Does that look like a dead tree to you? Long live Champ, the best lake monster to ever star in his own minor league commercial.
Pope Lick Monster, Kentucky
What do you call a man, a goat, and a sheep all in one? A Pope Lick Monster, of course! This creature lives beneath the Norfolk Southern Railway over Floyd’s Fork Creek in Louisville, Kentucky, and has the cruelest of cryptid intentions. He’ll hypnotize his victims into walking in front of approaching trains, attack others with a bloody axe, and destroy the roof of the occasional unsuspecting car. Don’t look straight at him if you spot the Pope Lick Monster on a railway trestle — the mere sight of the wretched beast has been known to have deathly effects.
Mothman, West Virginia
Most Mothman sightings were in the mid-’60s, but don’t worry — a spotting in 2007 proves that he’s probably just found a better hiding place since then. In pop culture, we recognize this creature from the 2002 film The Mothman Prophecies and the 1975 book of the same name, all based on true happenings. If you’d like more information on this seven-foot-tall, big-winged, big-eyed Mothman, feel free to consult Richard Gere. He knows best.
Jersey Devil, New Jersey
The Jersey Devil has been pegged in many forms, but we’ll stick to its most popular description — a hooved, winged demon that walks on its hind legs. According to legend, the creature was created when a witch announced, “Let it be the devil!” whilst giving birth, and out flew the Jersey Devil. But let’s not be rude; the baby was named Lucas. So, if you ever run into the fellow in Southern Jersey, call him by his real name. Maybe he’ll spare your soul?
Beast of Bladenboro, North Carolina
The Beast of Bladenboro — which has its own anthem — is a furry, fanged, blood-thirsty cryptid from North Carolina, known to snatch up your dog, break its jaw, and suck out its blood. Yikes! Those who have seen the beast compare it to a large cat or wolf with vampire qualities, but the folks over at the History Channel’s Monster Quest concluded that it’s probably just a cougar. A blood-sucking cougar? Yeah right. Cryptozoological beast it is!
Loveland Frog, Ohio
If the princess and the frog were to have a hybrid baby, the result would probably look a lot like Ohio’s Loveland Frog. This humanoid creature stands four feet tall, has slimy lizard skin, and creeps around on two webbed feet. It seems like the frog man’s only offensive quality is smelling like almonds, so be happy with your monster, residents of Loveland. That is, unless you’re allergic to almonds.
Flatwoods Monster, West Virginia
Cryptid? Extraterrestrial? Either way, we’re fascinated by this strange West Virginian phenomenon. The Flatwoods Monster stands ten feet tall, has a green, humanoid body, a red face, and a head shaped like an ace of spades. The creature’s existence first came to be known when three young boys spotted a flying saucer in the sky in 1952, then followed its crash to find the remains of the Flatwoods Monster’s ship. Later, a National Guardsman returned to the site, saw the monster with his own eyes, and proceeded to fall ill with nausea and hysteria — the common side effects of a Flatwoods Monster run-in.
Bray Road Beast, Wisconsin
Although the Beast of Bray Road is known as Wisconsin’s resident werewolf, it’s unconfirmed whether this cryptid is capable of transforming into a human. The Beast is hairy, seven feet tall, alternates between walking on all fours and its hind legs, and frequents the little-traveled road for which it was named. The most information on the beast can be found in reporter Linda Godfrey’s book The Beast of Bray Road: Trailing Wisconsin’s Werewolf. Idea: What if Linda is the werewolf’s daytime self? We’re onto something.
Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp, South Carolina
The Lizard Man is, unsurprisingly, half-man, half-lizard. This incredibly tall, dark-haired, scaly creature has three fingers on each hand and the sticky ability to cling to sewer walls. He is perhaps best known for wreaking havoc on a teenager as he drove home late at night in 1988, inflicting considerable damage on the boy’s car and confidence.