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Top 10 Cryptids You’ve Never Heard Of

by Regina Paul
fact checked by Jamie Frater

There are a number of reality shows where groups of scientists and those who are simply interested in this subject search for evidence of well-known cryptids such as Bigfoot and the Yeti. Shows like Expedition Bigfoot and Paranormal Caught on Camera from the Travel Channel show videos where people have caught Bigfoot, the Yeti, the Rake, and other relatively well-known cryptids on camera. But did you know there are dozens of unknown cryptids out there?

See Also: Top 10 Cryptids That Turned Out to be Real

10 The Big Muddy Monster

The first documented sighting of the Big Muddy Monster was on June 25, 1973, in Murphysboro, Illinois. A couple parked in a car by the Riverside Park boat dock next to the woods got a big surprise when they heard a loud scream. A creature came out of the woods towards the driver’s side of the car. They described it as an off-white color, and its fur appeared to be matted with river mud. It was about 7 feet tall and was walking upright on two legs. They were unable to see its face. They took off and went directly to the police station to file a report. Even the fact that the couple was each married to someone else did not stop them from making the report.

There were multiple other sightings in 1973, including one by Mrs. Nedra Green, who claimed she could hear the creature screaming at night in the woods outside her farm. Another sighting was by a four-year-old boy named Christian Baril, who was trying to catch fireflies in his backyard when he came running inside to tell his father there was a big ghost outside. The local police chief took the reports so seriously that he brought in tracking dogs to investigate.[1]

9 The Goatman

There are many stories about how the Goatman from Prince George’s County, MD, came to be. One of the most popular ones is that he is a goat herder that lost his mind when teenagers murdered his goats. Another story is that he is similar to Bigfoot, but he just looks like a goat. Another story, and one that is the most fantastical if you think about it, is that the Goatman is a genetic mistake made by a scientist from the U.S. Department of Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, MD. The story goes that the scientist was trying to cross the DNA of a goat with his lab assistant William Lottsford. It is said that William is now a mutant and out to get revenge.

The Goatman has been known to chase people, decapitate dogs, and terrify lovers who make the mistake of parking on Fletchtown Road, his home turf. Teens who make the mistake of going to Fletchtown Road looking for the Goatman and have the misfortune to see him do not go back.[2]

8 The Fresno Nightcrawlers

The first time anyone caught the Fresno Nightcrawlers on video was in 2007. A resident of Fresno, CA, hence the name, found footage on his home surveillance camera of a Nightcrawler walking boldly as you please across his front yard. The Nightcrawler on the video appears humanoid with two long legs, no arms, a small head, and two eyes. The Nightcrawlers have also been observed on security tapes in Yosemite National Park.

There is evidence among Native legends and in wooden carvings made by the local Native Americans that indicate the Fresno Nightcrawlers are very real. Local Native legends from the Fresno area indicate that these beings have always been here, even before humans existed. They have long legs because they live in a swamp world, and the long legs help them move through boggy and swampy areas. Another Native story about the Fresno Night Crawlers is that they are showing up now because they want to help humans reconnect with nature.[3]

7 The Pope Lick Monster

The Pope Lick Monster makes its home under the trestle bridge on the Norfolk Southern Railway, which crosses over Pope Lick Creek in Kentucky. Those who have claimed to see the creature have reported that it has the body of a man with the lower torso of a goat or sheep. Some people even claim the monster has short horns protruding from its forehead. According to differing reports, the goat-man either uses hypnosis or some sort of siren voice to lure people onto the train tracks, where passing locomotives then run them down. Others have claimed that the goat-man drops down onto passing cars from within the trestles.

So, is this just another legend told to keep people, especially children, away from the potential dangers of the trestle bridge? Possibly, but there have been several deaths on or under the bridge after people scaled the 8-foot high fence to look for this cryptid. Some of these people were involved in “legend-tripping,” a pastime where amateur folklorists and monster hunters go in seek of their legends. Trains still use the bridge even with its advanced age, and unaware cryptid seekers have been struck by trains or have fallen off the trestles while climbing to the tracks. So, even if the PopeLick Monster is not real, the deaths associated with this area are still tragedies.[4]

6 The Slide-Rock Bolter

The mountains of Colorado have a strange cryptid called the Slide-Rock Bolter. This creature is the size of a blue whale and has a mouth full of very sharp teeth. Its eyes are small, and it uses its back fin, which has a type of hook to hold onto the mountain. It is said that it secretes a type of lubrication from its mouth that allows it to slide down the mountain and scoop up prey, including humans, in its mouth. The momentum it receives from hanging on steep slopes and its lubrication pushes it up another mountain to grab on until the next prey shows up. It is believed that the Slide-Rock Bolter can only live on mountains that have a 45-degree angle; otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to make the slide that gets them their food.

Lumberjacks first saw this cryptid in the nineteenth century. While there have been witnesses to huge swaths of flattened vegetation and destroyed trees indicating its possible existence in the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries, it is unknown if anyone in the twenty-first century has actually seen one. This may be because the creature is so large that the chances of a human getting away from it in time may be why no one has seen one in modern times.[5]

5 Altamaha-ha

Altamaha-ha has been seen in the Altamaha River near Darien, GA, since before the coming of white settlers. The Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe was the first to tell stories about the Altamaha-ha. The cryptid is said to have a body similar to a sturgeon with a bony ridge on top. It has front flippers but does not have any back flippers. Its snout resembles a crocodile with large teeth and eyes. Eyewitnesses claim the creature is 20-30 ft long though smaller versions have been sighted. The first sighting by someone who was not indigenous was on April 18, 1830. A reporter for the Savannah, Georgia newspaper claimed multiple sightings of a sea monster made by several men on a schooner called Eagle. The main sighting was by Captain Delano, but several other men on the schooner also witnessed the creature.

More recently, a carcass washed up on Georgia’s southern coast at Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge in early 2018, resembling a smaller version of Altamaha-ha. Jeff Warren’s son discovered the carcass while he and his father were visiting. Mr. Warren took a video of it, and the video has been called a hoax or a misidentification of a frilled shark or another type of deep-sea shark. While several scientists claimed it was a deepwater shark, and others claimed it was a hoax, it’s interesting that the creature so resembles accounts of the Altamaha-ha.[6]

4 The Frogman

Loveland, Ohio has one of the more interesting cryptids in my opinion. The first stories of the Frogman or Frogmen began in the 1950s when a businessman claimed to have seen multiple large bipedal frogs along the Little Miami River. The first official sighting of the Frogman took place in 1972 and was witnessed by two policemen on two separate occasions. Officer Ray Shockey first saw the creature on March 3, 1972, at 1:00 am. Officer Shockey was driving to Loveland, OH, when he saw what he thought was a dog in a field next to the road; however, when it stood up, its eyes were illuminated by his car lights, and he could see that it appeared to be a giant bipedal frog.

The cryptid jumped over a guard rail and slid down the hill into the Little Miami River. The officer got such a good look at the creature he could describe it well enough that his sister could draw it. Officer Shockey went back to the station and brought another officer Mark Matthews to the scene that same night. The only evidence they found was the skid marks on the embankment where the creature slid down into the river. A few weeks later, on March 17, 1972, Officer Matthews had his own experience with the Frogman. He was driving and saw what he thought was an animal in the middle of the road, he stopped his car, got out, and the creature got up, crouched in the middle of the road, and then stood up, climbed over the guard rail while keeping its eyes on Office Matthews the entire time. For some reason, Officer Matthews decided to draw his gun and shoot at the cryptid, but he missed.

The most recent eyewitness account occurred in 2016 by a man named Sam Jacobs. It was mid-August, and he was playing Pokemon Go when he saw a very large frog near Lake Isabella. He claimed it stood up and walked away on its hind legs. He estimated the creature was about 4 feet tall.[7]

3 The Pukwudgies

Pukwudgies have been a part of Native American lore of the American East for centuries before the coming of the Europeans. Some Native Americans believe that they used to get along well with humans but that something happened that turned them against humans. One of the stories from the Wampanoag tribe claims they called on Maushop the Giant to remove the Pukwudgies from their lands because they were annoying. The Pukwudgies have held a grudge against humans ever since. Most Native American tribes say it is best to give a wide berth to the Pukwudgies if you encounter one. Their name means “person of the wilderness.” It is said that Pukwudgies have humanoid features with pale gray skin tones, but their fingers, noses, and ears are larger than a human’s. According to some sources, Pukwudgies are the oldest cryptid in North America.

Different tribes had different lore regarding the Pukwudgies. The Ojibwe and other tribes around the Great Lakes area considered them merely mischievous, and while they might play tricks on people, they were not considered harmful. However, the Abenaki and other Northeastern Native American tribes considered the Pukwudgies dangerous to people if they disrespected them. But for the Wampanoag and other tribes in Southern New England, Pukwudgies can go either way, they can be helpful to a human neighbor, or they can steal human children and do acts that cause great harm, such as pushing a human off a cliff. They are considered to be quite capricious.[8]

2 Lizard Man

The first official account of someone seeing the Lizard man was in Lee County, SC by seventeen-year-old Christopher Davis in 1988. Christopher got a flat tire near Scape Ore Swamp at night and got out to change it. Suddenly a 7-foot tall green lizard man with three fingers on each hand and red glowing eyes steps out from the swamp. Christopher, terrified, got in his car and attempted to drive away, but the creature jumped on his car and viciously attacked it. Later it came out that there was an earlier sighting. In 1987, a cyclist stopped next to a guard rail near the swamp to get a drink and a smoke and said he saw a large humanoid creature across the street from where he was. This was a year before Christopher had his experience.

There have also been sightings of the Lizard man as late as 2015. Jim Wilson, who was driving toward Camden, saw a creature run out of the woods and across the Scape Ore bridge. Mr. Wilson got out of his car and began shooting photos of the creature. He said it was tall and had scales and a tale. He said it looked similar to an alligator, had long legs, and its face had a short nose. The creature saw him and turned towards him before going into the water and crossing the swamp.

Lizard man is very popular in Lee County, and Robert Howell, a local artist, has become famous for his drawings of the Lizard man. His drawings have even made it into a local historical Lizard man exhibit at the South Carolina Cotton Museum. In 2018, they had the first Lizard Man Festival and Comic-Con, where high profile cryptozoologists rubbed elbows with artists like Robert Howell and even the likes of ghost hunters.[9]

1 Ozark Howler

Stories have been told in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri about the Ozark Howler for generations. Some believe that the Ozark Howler combines myths about saber-toothed cats from the local Native Americans and the Cu-Sith from the Celtic myths of the Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and English settlers who settled the surrounding areas in the early 1800s. The Cu-Sith is a large creature the size of a bull with shaggy hair that looks somewhat like a wolf. Its fur can be dark green or white. Current descriptions of the Ozark Howler vary; some say it’s a large cat-like creature with horns and red glowing eyes. Others say it is as large as a bear with long shaggy hair, horns, a beard like a goat, and glowing red eyes.

There is also some confusion as to whether its tail is long or short. The Ozark Howler’s howl is said to be very frightening, possibly a cross between an elk’s bugle and a wolf’s howl. However, other descriptions say the howl is more deep and guttural, or more like a high-pitched howl.

While there have been accounts of the Ozark Howler, both auditory and visual, since the 1950s, there are stories from families in the region that go back several generations beyond that, even as far back as the early 1800s. In addition, some photos are not conclusive as to whether or not it is actually the howler since they look as if they were created in Photoshop. The most recent sightings have occurred between 2005-2010, where locals have seen what appears to be an overly large cat. However, there are no large cats in this region any longer, according to local wildlife experts. It is believed that the cat or cats being seen might be exotic pets that have been released into the wild.[10]

fact checked by Jamie Frater