Thursday, October 10, 2013
Monsters of West Virginia: Mysterious creatures in the mountain state by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
I'm like Mulder from the XFiles. I want to believe. I really, really do. I want to think there are ghosts and other creatures that can't be explained by science. But the things described within the pages of this work are just...silly. There are the usual suspects, such as the Mothman. But The Yayho? And just a little fyi, that's pronounced "yay-hoo" to those of us that don't live in the area. And there's the Snallygaster, a weird reptile-like thing that evidently struck from the skies, attacking people, drinking their blood, and stealing children. It was huge, and scaly, and oddly enough, a cyclops to boot. Oh, and it was completely made up, a hoax whipped up by journalists George C. Rhoderick and Ralph S. Wolf, to boost sales, maybe even save, the Middletown Valley Register. But even though it was exposed in the early 1900s, there are still reports of the Snallygaster. Go figure.
Perhaps the most snort-inducing entry was the one regarding the Sheepsquatch, which falls into a special sub-category of creatures called White Things. Wow! Really stretching for a scary name there, weren't we? Anyway, said Sheepsquatch is "about the size of a bear, with woolly white hair, and its front paws are more like hands, similar to those of a raccoon but much bigger. The tail is long and without hair. The head features a doglike snout and single-point horns like those of a young goat. It carries a pungent sulfur smell." And it's rarely seen, something I do not find surprising. Thing sounds like its having a major identity crisis. And I'm thinking it might take more than one alcoholic drink to catch a sighting of this thing, if you know what I mean.
Good for a few laughs, in my humble opinion. Unless you really like this sort of thing. In which case, pack your bag and head into the hills of West Virginia - maybe you'll get lucky.