art by cryptid and fantasy artist, Thomas Finley (Thanks Thomas!)
Few of the population have actually encountered a cryptid and most of them wish they could see one just to go from believing to knowing. But, what cryptid would you most like to encounter? Here's five cryptids and five scenarios. You decide!
Description: First sighted in the 1960s in Point Pleasant, WV, the Mothman was described as man-like bipedal at about 7 feet tall, but with wings and wingspan of about 10-15 feet. He is said to be able to fly fast. He is also said to have red eyes.
Scenario you run into him: You are driving your car down a country roadway when you feel something come up beside you. You assume it's a driver passing you, but then you look in your rear view mirror and realize you are the only car on the road. You turn your head to the left and there is this flying man-thing of enormous size, swooping down in front of your car as if he's leading you down the road. You put on your brakes and watch it as it flies up, turns and comes right at your windshield. You duck down as it buzzes your roof with the thump of one of its feet. You sit up, put the car into gear and take off as fast as you can while it trails behind you and speeds off into the dark forest.
Description: Said to be on two hooved feet, with wings, a horse head, and red eyes, the Jersey Devil is perhaps one of the oddest-looking legendary creatures. It is said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.
Scenario you run into him: Run out of gas along a roadway in the Pine Barrens, you try your cell phone for the auto club, but no signal. You climb out of the car, looking down the road to see no cars coming and the light turning to twilight in the shield of the trees. You see a small white clapboard building a block or so away. You walk towards it as the sun seems to sink way too quickly. You stop at the building to realize it is an abandoned gas station. And, your eyes travel up the roof line to see a silhouette of a winged man standing atop it. It seems like a man until he turns his horse-shaped head and his red eyes glow. He hasn't seen you yet! You quietly step behind a tree and wait until it flies away. Now, you must decide to keep going or go back to the car and lock the doors.
Description: Said to hide within the forests of America and Canada, Bigfoot is described as hair covered, 6-1/2 to 10 feet tall, shy, and very agile and powerful.
Scenario you run into him: You are on your second day of camping with your friends when they decide to get up early and hike, leaving you the late sleeper trying to cobble a breakfast together over an almost dying fire. As you lift the pan off the heat to scrape some eggs onto a tin plate, you realize someone is standing in your peripheral vision. "Hey, I thought y'all went hiking," you call out and turn your head. There stands an easily 8-foot tall hairy man. He picks up a can left from the night before and shakes it and tosses it aside and then looks at you, pan of eggs in your hand. "Hey, you want this?" Not making any sense, you push the pan across the clearing in his direction. The Bigfoot picks it up and sniffs and tosses it down. Now, he scowls as if he's upset and your heart begins hammering. "My friends are coming back." You hear yourself saying. The Bigfoot lifts his head and looks around, turns and exits the clearing. You figure he's gone off and you breathe again. Then you hear his loud stomping feet as he circles the camp. Your friends come in from the east on a trail, talking and chattering. You stand up on rubbery legs and excitedly tell them what happened. And they laugh.
Description: Said to be around 6-7 feet tall, bipedal, with amber or blue eyes, howling nature, and torso like a dog, hair covered, they were first described in Michigan and since then seen everywhere.
Scenario you run into him: You are hiking along a lake and decide to cut into the forest and head back to your vehicle. You do the walk often and never think anything about your Saturday constitutional. But, this time you enter the forest, you stop for a moment and listen. Something feels different. The sense of being watched is intense. You start back on your path and round the bend when you see something move slightly to the right. Your head pivots and you stop to lock your eyes onto a tall hair-covered being with thigh thigh muscles and a dark face and snout. It stares you down quite intently and you forgot how to move or walk. Then, inside your mind you hear "keep going, don't look. GO!" You obey the directive and rush down the path madly toward your vehicle, afraid to look back.
Description: Goatman was reported in Maryland and Kentucky as having the haunches of a goat, horns of one, and bipedal like a man.
Scenario you run into him: You visit a relative in the countryside and enjoy the fresh air, rolling farmland and surrounding forests. As it's turning autumn and you want to decorate with some pine cones, you head into the woods a quarter mile from the house. Once inside, you breathe in the happy scent of mushrooms, forest floor, and pungent pine. When you pick up a grocery bag full of pine cones, you decide to head back, but a pond in the forest draws your curiosity. You hear something scratching. You assume it's a beaver building a dam. When you sit down on a log by the pond, you smile at the peace and quiet, the cool damp air, and the feeling of bliss one gets in nature. When you hear the scratching again, you realize it's footsteps on the forest floor. You lift your head, hoping to spy a deer but the dark shape of a man with the lower body of a goat and horns atop his head creates horror inside you. Staying completely still, you hope it won't see you as it is in profile, staring out over the water. You bend your leg and plant your foot, thinking if you need to run fast, you'll be poised. The action makes a twig snap and the goatman turns his head, his piercing eyes narrowing. He comes at you with amazing speed and your attempt to run off results in you slipping in the mud and having to regain your balance. You can nearly feel his fingertips on your back as you race down the path towards the meadow, not sure if he's still behind you as you stumble into the sunshine sucking in air, hands on your knees. You look back and see the bushes rustle and that sets you off into another breathless run toward the house.