Monsters, Monsters, Monsters

Monsters come in all shapes, sizes, and forms.  Some are human, like Jack the Ripper.  Some are fantastical, like vampires.  Some make you scratch your head because you’ve never heard of them.  Here’s some facts about those that make you scratch your head.

  • While most of us have in fact heard of Mothman thanks to several books and movie about the events in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, the story neither begins or ends there.  Mothman existed before the tragedy of the bridge collapse and he isn’t just in the US.  Several places have reported seeing a creature similar to Mothman before tragedies occurred.  The 1989 earthquake of Loma Prieta that affected Oakland, California for instance had sightings of Mothman in the weeks before the event happened.  Sightings were again reported in 2007, before the collapse of a bridge in Minnesota.  Previous to 1966, he wasn’t called the Mothman, but stories have a similar creature appearing to folks in Indonesia and India before the eruption of Mt. Krakatoa in 1883.  These reports are mostly by European transplants to the region (the natives didn’t seem to care about him or their reports weren’t recorded, either is possible).
  • Spring-Heeled Jack is a real creature, sort of.  He might be human, he might not be, that’s a debate for other people.  The first reported sighting was in the early 1800’s, but he caused a wave hysteria in England (he’s existed in folklore for longer than that).  He likes to attack young ladies, but he will defend himself against men.  The goal seems to be an attempt to see breasts, seriously, I’m not joking.  He tears at the shirts and bodices of ladies in his attacks, before getting away.  Reports have him leaping over houses, having piercing eyes, and long claw like fingers.
  • The Grim Reaper or in this case Grim Reapers is, by modern standards, the personification of death.  However, during the Black Death of the 14th century, many people reported seeing the now iconic figure with a short sickle-like instrument that emitted black smoke.  They believed the smoke coming from the sickle was the cause of the Bubonic Plague outbreak.  One could chalk it up to mass hysteria, but since they were reported in most of Europe, roaming in droves just before the outbreak of plague in a city, one has to wonder.
  • The chupacabra flap started on the island of Puerto Rico and spread to the US.  Surprisingly, the US chupacabra looks nothing like the Puerto Rican one.  In Puerto Rico, it walks on two legs and has what appears to be spines or quills on it.  In the US, it is more dog like and possibly with good reason.  In Texas, an unknown animal was killing chickens and other small livestock on a large ranch.  As impossible as it sounds, it seemed to be drinking their blood and leaving the bodies behind (here the Puerto Rican & US version are the same).  It was found dead on the ranch.  DNA testing concluded it was a hybrid between a Mexican wolf and a coyote.  However, why it was hairless and didn’t seem to eat the livestock is a mystery.  Sightings still continue in the southwest and in Puerto Rico.
  • The wendigo has about a hundred different names depending on which Native American group you are talking to, but most of the tribes along the Atlantic and in the north, believe in it.  It rarely has a physical body and is more of a demonic spirit than anything listed above.  It invades a person, filling them with greed and gluttony, with the hope of turning them into cannibals.  When it does have a physical body, it is seen as being tall, skinny, massive antlers protrude from its head and the face is mostly a mouth with row upon row of razor sharp teeth.  Oddly, this demonic spirit has counterparts in nearly every religion.
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