The Black Shuck
An Old Norfolk Saying… “And a dreadful thing from the cliff did spring, And its wild bark thrill’d around, His eyes had the glow of the fires below, Twas the form of the Spectre Hound.”
There are so many myths, tales, legends and sighting’s of this fearsome apparition that it is hard to know where to begin. Black Shuck is said to be one of the oldest phantoms of Great Britain, with the name deriving from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘scucca’, meaning demon or devil. Other historians say that the hound has its origins in Norse mythology, based on Odin and Thor’s huge dog of war ‘Shukir’.
Local legend tells of a huge hound, the size of a small calf with blazing eyes, who regularly prowls the coastal path between Sheringham and Overstrand. Unsuspecting night walkers would first become aware of the padding sound of the hound’s heavy paws. Out of the corner of their eye they may see a gathering darkness slowly forms into the outline of a huge hound. Lurking in the night shadows, the beast is said to track the steps of its victim, drawing ever closer.
Anyone unfortunate enough to turn around and meet its fiery gaze is said to die within a twelve month period.
The Black Shuck has had many documented sightings. In 1890 a young boy was rescued from the North Sea who told of being forced to swim further and further from the shore by a huge black dog who had chased him into the sea. Even during the 1920’s and 1930’s there were reports from the fishermen of Sheringham, of hearing a hound howling on the cliff tops during stormy nights. As recently as 1970 a sighting of Black Shuck made the headlines, when a huge hound was seen pounding over the beach at Great Yarmouth. In 1980, a young woman claimed to have met the hell hound whilst out walking with her young son. This sighting took place near Wisbeach, though the woman said that this hound had yellow eyes rather than red, but all of the other details were the same as that of Black Shuck.
Mythology says that ‘ghost dogs’ tend to haunt old straight roads which may be located on ‘Leylines’, ancient straight paths of invisible earth energy. Folklore says that churches would be sited on these straight lines and would be used by spirits who would travel along them from graveyard to graveyard. These were sometimes known as ‘Corpse Ways’.
Reports of the Nandi Bear have been coming out of western Africa from as early as the 1900’s, however the native people have been encountering the beast for much longer. The creature takes its name from the Nandi people which call western Kenya their home. The Nandi people call the creature “Kent’ and believe that when the Nandi Bear takes a human life, it only does so to eat the brains.
Described as being about the same size as a large lion and resembling that of a hyena with a brownish red to a dark color coat, the name Nandi Bear can be a bit misleading. The name comes from two factors, its frequent sightings by the Nandi people and its apparent bear like facial features and stride. The only known bear species in Africa, the Atlas Bear, which lived some distance away in the Atlas Mountains, is said to have gone extinct some time ago due to over hunting by the Roman Empire, leaving us with one question, what is the Nandi Bear?
Kappa are Japanese flesh-eating water imps who live in rivers, lakes, ponds, and other watery realms. They smell like fish and are generally portrayed with the body of a tortoise, ape-like head, scaly limbs, long hair circling the skull, webbed feet and hands, and yellow-green skin. They are often depicted with a tortoise shell attached to their backs. Some say they can change colour like the chameleon. They abhor metal objects and loud noises (cannon fire, gunfire, etc.).
The defining characteristic of the Kappa is the hollow cavity atop its head. This saucer-like depression holds a strength-giving fluid. Should you chance upon the quarrelsome Kappa, please remember to bow deeply. If the courteous Kappa bows in return, it will spill its strength-giving water, making it feeble, and forcing it to return to its water kingdom.
About the size of a child aged 6 to 10, the Kappa is nonetheless incredibly strong. It attacks horses, cattle, and humans, usually dragging its prey into the water, where, according to various legends, it feeds on their blood, or drains their life force, or pulls out their livers through their anuses, or sucks out their entrails, leaving nothing behind except a hollow gourd. In some tales, the Kappa is associated with theft and raping women. Stories tell of Kappa pulling little children into the water and drowning them. In many localities, drowning is still referred to as GAPPADOKO ガーッパドコ (e.g., near Nagasaki in Iwate Prefecture).
The Fresno Nightcrawler
In late 2008, Jose, a Fresno resident, was woken late at night by his dogs barking in a very unusual way. When he checked the CCTV fitted to his house, he saw two odd creatures walking across his lawn. Jose was terrified but kept the tape and, eventually, approached Univision 21, a local TV channel about the incident. They, in turn, contacted Victor Camacho, a local UFO investigator and member of international body MUFON whose talk on the case brought it out into the open in 2008.
That holy trinity of separation, investigator to confidant to witness is very common, the information still held frustratingly out of arm’s reach and the situation isn’t helped any by some of the editing choices made on the video. For no readily apparent reason, a second of footage of an animatronic grey alien is used as a scene buffer, Camacho even apologising for this. Even worse, the footage itself is never spliced into the report. Instead, at several points we watch the footage from Jose’s CCTV camera being played on a TV which is in turn being filmed by another camera, the image all but lost beneath huge pixels, interference and a frankly surreal editing decision. It’s not even like the rest of the film hasn’t been post-produced, after all someone thought a second of animatronic Grey would be a good idea, but for some reason no one thought to splice in the original footage.
What’s tragic about this is that the Fresno Nightcrawlers might just be something incredible. The camera watches a tall, thin creature with no arms walk slowly across the lawn, stop and then proceed onwards. A few seconds later, a creature which looks for all the world like a billowing pair of trousers follows it, the flaps of it’s clothing, or body, clearly visible blowing in the wind. It’s less than two minutes long, you can barely see what’s there but what’s there looks strange, different, alien. If it’s a fake, it’s a great fake and the more you look, or squint, the more you see exactly how odd these creatures are. There’s a natural gait to their walk’ and they appear almost relaxed, ambling through Jose’s garden in the same way that people browse in a shop. They look confident, assured and crucially you see them moving for a relatively long time, something which is all but unheard of with most ‘alien’ videos. A couple of seconds, if you’re lucky, is usually all you get but here you get a clear view, a locked off camera and a chance to take a good look at whatever is using Jose’s lawn as a shortcut. Or you would do, if anyone had thought to encode the original film and upload it. Instead, you’re left squinting at something which might be incredibly important, on a TV screen, being filmed and shown on another TV screen. The million ring circus strikes again, the truth stays just outside the light.
Dog Headed Men
Men with the heads of dogs have been reported since ancient times. Cynocephali were supposed to be a race living in Africa who cannibalized humans. Seeing such beings in modern times would seem incredible, yet there have been increasing reports of these creatures. Most sightings occur at night, though some have happened during daylight hours. Bizarrely, some have reported the men indifferently walking along main roads, attired normally, except they have the head of a dog. Most witnesses insist the head is too real in appearance and lifelike motion to be a mask. Some reports have been more sinister, where the creature has been caught unawares lurking around at night, near woods or the darkness of a backyard. One night-time jogger reported that a dog headed man kept pace with him as he ran across a field, staying alongside until the petrified man finally made it to his well lit doorway. There was one report of a DHM seen through a window from outside a house, lurking towards the kitchen. Other cases describe DHM’s who stand outside at night and look in through windows.
Reportedly observed on multiple occasions by crew members of government-operated “whale research” ships, these so-called “Ningen” (lit. “humans”) are said to be completely white in color with an estimated length of 20 to 30 meters. Eyewitnesses describe them as having a human-like shape, often with legs, arms, and even five-fingered hands. Sometimes they are described as having fins or a large mermaid-like tail instead of legs. The only visible facial features are the eyes and mouth.
According to one account, crew members on deck observed what they initially thought was a foreign submarine in the distance. When they approached, however, it became clear from the irregular shape of the thing that it was not man-made — it was alive. The creature quickly disappeared under water.
For the most part, the existence of the Ningen is considered an urban legend. Much of the information about this rumored creature can be traced back to a series of posts on the 2channel forums, written by a person describing the experience of a friend employed on a government “whale research” vessel.
To date, no solid evidence has been presented to confirm the existence of the Ningen. The government is believed to have kept detailed records of the sightings, but they have released no information to the public and have reportedly instructed eyewitnesses to remain silent.
The Mongolian Death Worm
Known to Mongolia’s nomadic tribesmen as the allghoi khorkhoi (sometimes given as allerghoi horhai or olgoj chorchoj) or ‘intestine worm’ for its resemblance to a sort of living cow’s intestine. It is said to be red in colour, and is sometimes described as having darker spots or blotches, and sometimes said to bear spiked projections at both ends. They are said to be thick bodied and between 2 and 5 feet long.
The Mongolian Death Worm is said to inhabit the Southern Gobi Desert in Mongolia. The first reference in English to this remarkable beast appears in Professor Roy Chapman Andrews’ 1926 book On the Trail of Ancient Man, although the American palæontologist (apparently the inspiration for the Indiana Jones character) was not entirely convinced by the tales of the monster he heard at a gathering of Mongolian officials: “None of those present ever had seen the creature, but they all firmly believed in its existence and described it minutely.”
Czech Explorer Ivan Mackerle:
“Sausage-like worm over half a metre (20 inches) long, and thick as a man’s arm, resembling the intestine of cattle. Its tail is short, as [if] it were cut off, but not tapered. It is difficult to tell its head from its tail because it has no visible eyes, nostrils or mouth. Its colour is dark red, like blood or salami… It moves in odd ways – either it rolls around or squirms sideways, sweeping its way about. It lives in desolate sand dunes and in the hot valleys of the Gobi desert with saxaul plants underground. It is possible to see it only during the hottest months of the year, June and July; later it burrows into the sand and sleeps. It gets out on the ground mainly after the rain, when the ground is wet. It is dangerous, because it can kill people and animals instantly at a range of several metres.”
The creature is reported to be able to spray an acid like substance that causes death instantly. It is also claimed that this creature has the ability to kill from a distance with some sort of super charged electrical charge. Numerous Mongolians have reported seeing this creature including a Mongolian Premier. The creature is reported to hibernate during most of the year except for June and July when it becomes active.
It is believed that touching any part of the worm will bring instant death, and its venom supposedly corrodes metal. Local folklore also tells of a predilection for the colour yellow and local parasitic plants such as the Goyo. It is also believed that the worm likes to get out on the ground generally after the rain, when the ground is still wet.
A team of scientists based in Las Vegas has been conducting a study that may be different from anything that’s ever been tried. The research is focused on a ranch in rural Utah where, for 50 years or more, paranormal activity has been reported, including UFOs, Bigfoot, mutilated animals and poltergeists. Some call the place Skinwalker Ranch, and George Knapp of the I-Team is the only journalist allowed to visit the property.
Oil executive Gregory Todd is one of the hundreds, if not thousands of north-eastern Utah residents who’ve seen weird objects — call them UFOs — over their homes in the past 50 years. The Utah basin has also been a hotbed of other strange activity including Bigfoot encounters and mutilated animals.
In a basin known for an array of unexplained phenomena, the epicentre of high strangeness seems to be a picturesque spread known to many as Skinwalker Ranch. Native Americans who live near the property advise members to steer clear because, they say, this is the path of the skinwalker, an evil force.
The last family to live on this spread lasted only 20 months. From the first day back in 1994, they were terrorized by an unseen intelligence that played mind games with them, shadowy figures inside their house, objects that moved on their own, disembodied voices and bad things happening to their animals beginning with cattle and bulls that disappeared and others that were carved up with surgical precision in broad daylight. A gigantic wolf that attacked one of their calves was tracked through the mud, but the tracks simply stopped as if the animal had evaporated into thin air. Three dogs were vaporized after while chasing blue orbs of light in a pasture.
In 1995, the ranch came to the attention of NIDS, the National Institute for Discovery Science based in Las Vegas. NIDS bought the property and began an unprecedented scientific study. Observation posts were built. Video cameras were installed and operated. Scientific personnel and former lawmen were on the property 24-7 for 8 straight years. Dr. Colm Kelleher headed up the NIDS study.
Dr. Colm Kelleher said, “We probably have, if you count all the pre-NIDS and post-NIDS incidents, close to 100 different incidents. If you look at all of them, the one thing that jumps out is how unreproducible they are.”
In other words, nothing ever happened the same. The scientists would spend all night out in the darkness and witnessed dozens of UFOs and odd balls of light. They also encountered large unknown animals, including ones that emerged from tunnels of light in the fields. Whatever it was proved elusive. The cameras that were installed atop telephone poles were attacked and dismantled, but whatever did it was invisible.
Dr. Colm Kelleher said, “We checked the time stamps on this pole versus this pole. We looked at when the camera lost power and nothing was on the tape. There should have been something visible because the range of these things is pretty good.”
NIDS still owns the ranch, but it appears the phenomena have gone underground, as if weary of being hunted. As yet, the mystery of Skinwalker Ranch remains unsolved. Kelleher said, “If anything, it has created more questions that I had when I came into this thing.”
The ranch remains off limits to outsiders. Visitors — from this world anyway — are not welcome.
The Jersey Devil
The New Jersey Pinelands is home to miles of pine trees and sandy roads, but it is also home to New Jersey’s most infamous resident… The Jersey Devil.
Designated in 1938 as the country’s only state demon, the Jersey Devil is described as a kangaroo-like creature with the face of a horse, the head of a dog, bat-like wings, horns and a tail.
For more than 250 years this mysterious creature is said to prowl through the marshes of Southern New Jersey and emerge periodically to rampage through the towns and cities.
The most widely held belief about the origin of the Jersey Devil is that Mrs. Leeds, a resident of Estellville, was distraught when she learned she was expecting for the thirteenth time. In disgust, she cried out, “Let it be the devil!” The story continues that the child arrived and it was a baby devil. The creature then gave a screech unfolded its wings and flew out the window and into the adjacent swamp.
Countless stories have circulated describing the Devils escapades, raiding chicken coops and farms, destroying crops and killing animals. His presence has been seen and felt by many in at least fifty different towns when he emerges from his natural lair in the Pinelands and wanders throughout Southern New Jersey, sometimes intriguing and sometimes terrorizing the residents. Posses were constantly formed to apprehend the Devil, but to no avail and at one point, as much as $100,000 was offered for the capture of the Jersey Devil, dead or alive. Several reports of the Jersey Devil’s death also proved to be inconclusive and even the scientific community could not explain its existence.
Belief in the Jersey Devil is quite real and based on records of concrete occurrences. Reliable people, including police, government officials, businessmen and many others who so integrity is beyond question, have witnessed the Devil’s activities.
To this day, people traveling down the Garden State Parkway or the Atlantic City Expressway reported sightings of “something” or tell stories of strange occurrences. Many continue to believe that the legendary being is still around disturbing the region and will continue to do so for generations to come.
The first Mothman reports seem to date from the mid 1960s. Mothman has been sighted many places in Virginia and West Virginia, but the largest number of sightings happened in or near a place known as “the TNT Area,” an abandoned ammunitions dump dating from World War II that is near Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
The TNT Area is mostly forest, dotted with numerous grassy clearings and concrete domes. It is also riddled with abandoned tunnels, most of which have collapsed, been sealed off, or became flooded with water. A wildlife sanctuary adjoins the TNT Area, and the whole region in and near the TNT Area is sparsely populated, with a great deal of nearly impenetrable wilderness. The system of dirt roads in the TNT Area form a popular hang out for hunters, lovers and naughty teenagers.
Mothman is described as being gray (or possibly brown) in color. He does not wear clothing, or if he does, it is tight-fitting, exactly the same color as the rest of his body, and blends in perfectly with his skin.
Mothman’s insect-like face and huge red eyes are central features in most reports. This is copyrighted by those who own the copyright to the book cover art for ‘Mothman: The Facts Behind the Legend’ by Jeff Wamsley and Donnie Sergent Jr.
He looks like his body is generally human in shape, with two notable exceptions. He has huge wings instead of arms, and he has gigantic red eyes that glow. The details of his face and his feet have never been adequately described. Only one witness ever saw the face clearly, and she could only say that the details were horrible and monstrous. She had terrible nightmares and nearly suffered a nervous breakdown. Anyone who gets a close look at Mothman seems to suffer from extreme fear and psychological distress, sometimes lasting for months or years afterwards, all out of proportion to how scared they ought to be. In particular, people say that a sense of pure evil overcomes them when they see Mothman’s eyes.
Mothman is perhaps four or five feet tall when standing. He can fold his wings and walk with a weird shuffle that many witnesses compare to a penguin. When he flies, he unfolds his wings and shoots straight up with great speed, then levels out to go wherever he wants to go. He has never been observed flapping his wings, not even on take-off. He just holds then straight and stiff. He can fly much faster than any bird should be able to fly, as measured by those victims who suffered from what seems to be Mothman’s favorite activity: chasing cars.
Mothman sightings have been associated with at least two other cryptids. Gigantic thunderbirds with gray bodies and red heads were sighted in the same area at the same time by a few witnesses. There was also a bizarre hairy humanoid of the type that researchers call “big hairy monsters” or “hairy bipeds.” This big hairy monster was quite weird because it was headless. The only footprints that have ever been associated with Mothman sightings are very bizarre, consisting of footprints that are unmistakably those of a dog mixed with a few classic Bigfoot footprints. However, these dog footprints have two abnormal characteristics. They are far too big for any known dog, and are pressed into the soil so deeply that they suggest the animal must have weighed several thousand pounds. So far, nobody has claimed to see the giant dog that is suggested by these footprints.