Archive for the ‘Cryptid’ Category

I thought I would pick some folklore/stories from the Caribbean for this blog. To be fair I believe most of the good stuff would be local legend and I’ve not ben lucky enough to get to that side of the world so armchair investigations will be my guide for this… feel free to correct anything I get wrong as always.

The first one is Papa Bois who is pretty much thought of as the keeper of the forest, a protector of them and the enclosed flora and fauna. She is said to be married to the Mama Dlo, a water entity. His appearance is thought to be a short, old man of African descent and he has cloven hooves, or possibly in some notations his left leg ends in a large hoof. He has a beard of leaves and despite his age is very strong and can run faster than a deer.

Papa Bois’ body is completely covered with hair like that of a donkey, he has small horns that sprout from his forehead and is know to carry out a hollowed-out bulls’ horn so he can use that to warn animals when hunters approach. He is said to have the power of metamorphoses and most often uses this to transform into a deer, he then lures hunters deeper into the forest to get them lost. This is much like his wife, Mama Dlo, who does the same to sailors.

Should you meet Papa Bois you must be polite and refrain from staring at his hooves. Say something nice like “good day old father” an ensure that you don’t do anything to upset him. He is also found in Grenadian folklore and represented as a huge Opossum. Hunters of the forest are afraid of him because of the tricks he uses.

My second choice is La Diablesse, a female devil, who was born as a human but her malicious shape-shifting spirit was born of her dealings with the devil. She can appear very beautiful but her hideous face is hidden by a large brimmed hat, and she wears long dresses to hide the fact that one leg ends with a hoof, she often walks with her human foot on the road and her hooved road in the grass at the roadside. She can cast spells on unsuspecting male victims, then leads them into the forest with promises of sexual acts but then she will disappear leaving him lost and confused. In a panic the victim runs around the forest until he meets his death by falling down a ravine or drowning in a river.

My third choice was Lagahoo, this folklore comes from Trinidad and Tobago (usually considered part of the Caribbean) and is the equivalent in cousin to the French loup-garou and or German werewolf, though not restricted to the form of a wolf. It is a normal human during the day with no head and at night roams around with a wooden coffin on its neck. On the coffin there are three lighted candles, the long loose end of a heavy iron chain is noosed around the waist and trails behind. Often it can be seen with chains around its neck which change in side and at times with one of the appendages turned backwards.

Legahoo can change into various animals too, like horses, pigs or goats and on occasion is even a centaur. It is thought to be a blood sucker, which is less particular than vampires about its food source as it will feed from animals like cows and goats. To kill a Legahoo you need to beat it with a stick that has been anointed with holy water and holy oil for nine days. When you beat the creature it will change into others, then waves of water until finally it disappears in a mist.

My final choice is that of the Soucouyant, it is also known as the Ole-Higue or Loogaroo and is a blood sucking hag. She appears as a reclusive old woman in the day and then at night she strips off her wrinkled skin and puts it in a mortar. In her true form, a fireball, she flies across the dark skies in search of a victim. She can enter the home of a victim through small holes like cracks, crevices and keyholes.

The Soucouyant takes the blood from arms, legs and soft parts whilst the victim is sleeping and leaves blue-black marks that are seen in the morning. If they draw too much blood then the victim will either die or become one themselves. The creature also practices witchcraft, voodoo and black magic. They trade their victim’s souls for evil powers with the Bazil, the demon who resides in the silk cotton tree.

If you want to expose one you need to heap rice around the house or at the village crossroads, as the creature will be obliged to gather every grain and can be caught in the act as she tries to do so. To destroy her, coarse salt must be placed in the mortar that has her skin so she perishes because she cannot put it back on. The skin of the Soucouyant is very valuable as it us used in the practice of black magic.

She is part of a class of spirits called jumbies, and some say that they may well have been brought over by the European countries and so the French vampire-myths intermingled with those of enslaved Africans.

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Yes, those things you got taught to draw as a kid, if you were like me you also enjoyed turning the corner of your schoolbooks into epic motion pictures of stick man adventures too.

There are reports of these creatures/men being seen as real entity’s, some more obscure reports mention them wearing a stick hat. The walk they adopt is a sort of lo-lope gait and are surprised when seen but have followed some of their more unfortunate witnesses.

There have so far been no reports of harm coming to someone and they tend to just disappear. There seems to be no tales for their origins and but a theory is they may have come from a 2D universe. I dounf one account, via Mike Dash’s book Borderlands, which stated two people were travelling across the All Road, Elveden in England and caught a glimpse of them in the headlights.

Stories about sightings have turned up since 2008. it might be another urban legend or creation like Slenderman, or an attempt to get something viral for a marketing campaign that never reached fruition. It seems that simple google searches bring up forums that show people willing to share experiences but I couldn’t see any good video’s or footage. I was reminded of a previous subject however, about the strange alien stick figures/nightcrawlers.

A strange part-man, part-goat and part sheep creature all mixed into one, the creature is said to be under the railway trestle over Floyd’s Fork Creek over in Fisherville, Kentucky, USA.

There seems to be quite a hideous description linked to it, it appears with a deformed human body, fur-covered goat-legs and short sharp horns from the head. It has alabaster-skinned face and wide set eyes that sound both frightening and fantastical.

Urban legends abound say it can employ hypnosis, or mimic voices in order to lure victims to the trestle into oncoming trains. Some say the beastly thing leaps down from the trestle and onto the roof of cars passing by.

Another version has the victims attacked by a bloodied axe and others say it is so unsettling that when people see it they are driven into leaping or driving over the edge.

Trains regularly go over the trestle despite alternative rumours that it is abandoned, indeed going over it or causing any trouble there will lead to prosecution of trespass. The 8 foot fence appears to have done little to stop legend seekers trying to find it, and has sadly led to some deaths.

The suggested origin according to some tales is that the creature might well have been a man, a side show freak attraction at a circus who was so mistreated when he left he vowed revenge; on who I can’t seem to work out.

Another story appears to be quite stereotypical of an odd dodgy horror, a farmer who sold himself to Satan, has been reincarnated as the frightening Pope Lick Monster.

 

From the 1920’s onwards, stories has been told from North America (and Canada) of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch which is a giant 6-10 foot tall humanoid with shaggy hair, and a repulsive smell.

A miner claimed to have been abdusted by one another man said his group were attacked by an ape-man. The stories were dismissed as hoaxes.

Hoaxes about this seem to come up fairly regularly. In 1958 paw-prints were found at Bluff Creek but were made by wooden feet. A famous film from 1967, by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin showed what looked like a hairy female humanoid that rushed off into the woods. Was it a genuine cryptid, unknown animal or a hoax?

Raymond Patterson (1918-2002) was a big-foot hunter and his friend, Bob Heironimus, claimed it was a hoax as he was the man in the suit. Patterson and Gimli refused to retract the claim as valid footage and the debate goes on.

In 1973 in Illinois a couple parked up were scared out of their wits and described the creature they saw much like that of a Sasquatch. With slime-dripping from it’s body and a foul stench.

In 2008 a Youtube video surfaced that claimed to show a dead Bigfoot, it was found in Georgia. TV networks clustered around the freezer containing the corpse but it turned out to be another hoax, with a hollow head and rubber feet.

The search continues.

New Jersey was somewhere I didn’t visit too much, I pretty much saw the airport and a Walmart if I am honest but I wouldn’t be so sure that wasn’t a good thing given the tales of the roads “in them there parts”. Clinton Road is one of those, it is in West Milford, Passaic County and begins near Route 23 towards it’s end at Upper Greenwood Lake. It has many legends attached to it and some are quite easily explained away but that’s not the only reason I picked it of course.

So what do we have to enjoy for a leisurely drive? Well there aren’t a great many houses down it’s 10km stretch and the road itself reportedly receives little maintenance, unless necessary. It’s got a terrible traffic light system, which if you are caught at the wrong time can leave you with up to a five minute wait! I hate being caught 30 seconds let alone that long. It takes its name from a now vanished settlement, Clinton.

The Ghost Boy at the bridge is one of the many legends attached to the stretch of road, one of the bridges saw a young boy drowned and if you put your coin in the middle where the yellow lines are you can have it returned to you by his ghost. In other variations the story has the boy pushing you over the bridge. If you don’t fancy your chances with that you can try discussing the ghostly car that drives that way, if you are talking about a car crash in 1988 where a girl lost her life, you should see a Camaro or perhaps if you are unlucky you might find yourself being driven off the road by a ghost truck.

So I’ve given you some ghosts how about Hellhounds? Well alongside those there have been tales of monkeys being spotted, and hybrid creatures but some of them are also believed to be the survivors of an old attraction called Jungle Habitat, it closed in 1976 but there are rumours some animals escaped and have in turn managed to crossbreed.

Cross Castle no longer stands, but the foundations are still there. Richard Cross built the castle on high land near the Reservoir for his wife and their three children in 1905. Later in the century it fell to ruin after a fire and became a popular local attraction for hikers or teenagers wanting an out of the way place for a party.  It’s been rumoured to be a place of satanic worship and sacrifice, WeirdNJ reported that people had claimed to have suffered seizures whilst there, and other things such as writings on the walls. Either way the Newark water department had the place razed in 1988 and hiking trails to the foundations remain even if the walls do not.

Have I given you curious people enough yet? No? Okay well how about the Iceman?

May 1983 a bicyclist was heading down the road and spotted vultures having a feast in the nearby woods, when he checked it out he found a dead body. An autopsy on the body showed it was foul play but more puzzling they found ice crystals in his blood near his heart, his interior organs showed a slower rate of decay than the outside flesh. It was thought that someone had tried to freeze him after death to try and mislead investigators.

Investigations led the authorities to someone living near Rockland County, New York and ultimately led to the arrest of Richard Kulinski in 1986, he was a contract killer for the mob, he lays claim to over 100 kills in his time and treated their bodies in that manner, it led to him being given the nickname The Iceman. He pled guilty to five murders and died in March 2006.

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