Sunday, August 2, 2009
The Fouke Monster
“In May 1971, Bobby Ford reported to the Fouke constable that he was attacked at his house by a hairy creature that breathed heavily, had red eyes, and moved very fast. Ford said the man-like creature, which was about seven feet tall and three feet across the chest, put its arm around his shoulder and grabbed him. Ford broke free from the creature and ran, reporting that he ran so fast that he did not stop to open the front door but barreled right through it. He was treated at a local hospital for minor scratches and shock.
Ford said the being had been around his house for several days and that there were other eyewitnesses, including his brother and a hunting companion. Ford’s wife, Elizabeth, claimed that she was asleep in the front room when she saw a hairy arm with claws coming in the window. She also saw the creature’s red eyes. On the night of the attack, Ford claimed, he and his hunting companions spotted the creature at the back of Ford’s house with the aid of a flashlight. They shot at it and thought they saw it fall. The men started out toward it, but Bobby Ford ran back to the house when the group heard women screaming. Upon Ford’s return to the house, he was attacked. The men shot at the creature several more times, but investigators never found blood. The sheriff’s department searched the area, and the only things officers found were a set of strange tracks and claw scratches on the Fords’ porch.” (This description from the encyclopediaofarkansas.net)
The town of Fouke Arkansas might have been overlooked by the majority of America, if it weren’t for reports of a very strange cryptid that the locals call “The Fouke Monster.”
Reportedly about 7’ feet tall, this creature began to be sighted around the early 70s. Some say it walks erect (no, not that kind of erect—what a spectacle that would make!) and other reports say he walks hunched over swinging his arms like an ape. Still one report compared him to a wild boar.
“The Legend of Boggy Creek” hit the big screens in 1972, announcing to the world that a bigfoot-like creature was wandering the swamplands of Arkansas. I can remember seeing that with my brother in the theater. I hadn’t heard of Bigfoot before then, so I was really shocked that such a creature might be in the woods (especially when my home was surrounded by woods). I jumped at one point in the movie and landed on the man next to me’s lap. I won’t mention what he had to say about that. I switched seats with my brother.
Needless to say, that gave me an entire summer of Bigfoot hunting around my surrounding property. I took to the woods, wearing four shirts, a jacket, three pairs of gloves, just in case he bit me—I wanted protection. I almost thought I had him cornered at one time, chasing along the path from the creek and up the hillside when I saw this tall dark thing walking on two legs, long scraggly hair and a beard. Damn! It ended up just being the local pot dealer for the college making his way over to the dorms. Alas, I gave up on Bigfoot in the Northern Virginia area, but not the Northwest. I'm skeptical about most things, but I have to admit to an absolute belief in Bigfoot. I can't explain it, it's just a visceral sense of him being out there.
I admit that I still have a wonderful fondness for that movie "The Legend of Boggy Creek" and all the old 70s documentaries on Bigfoot. There’s a quality that had that made them seem shrouded in mystery and as natural as deer and bears, whereas some of the more modern documentaries make Bigfoot sound like an intruder in our space.
Of course, it isn’t uncommon for local people in small towns and rural areas to blame amazing things for the loss of cattle or their dogs barking at night. Living in and amongst nature makes everything a potential predator. Just when you think you know what a wildcat attack looks like on a sheep, you realize it might be something else that did it. That’s not to say that such a creature couldn’t exist in the swamplands of Arkansas, but it certainly isn’t like the vast stretches of the Northwest and Canada.
Here’s a couple movies based on the Fouke Monster:
My favorite of all time is “Creature from Black Lake.” I think it’s totally 70s and it had a lot of lightheartedness, but when it had the scary parts, they were pretty chilling. Not to mention, once again, I had a mad crush on the dark-haired college boy.
My second favorite is “The Legend of Boggy Creek.” This one is campy and hard to take seriously, but if you’re a child of the 70s like me, you’re going to really like this trip down memory lane with the narrator who sounds like he did voiceovers for bad Disney movies and his name should be “Scratch” or “Bear” or something western like that.
Enough foolishness for today. I’m off to learn about other weird oddities that strike my fancy. Oh, don’t worry, I’ll be back to ghosts in no time. The next post will be about a followup on the flying humanoids.
at 9:57 AM