Mysterious sightings and local folklore have pushed curious crypto hunters into the woods and onto deep lakes to reveal the truth. Maybe, just maybe, that local legend will show itself to you. In horror movies, they are true, and they will WRECK you. The Scariest Things talks about some of our favorite cryptid creepies in Episode 134.
Cryptid (from the Greek “κρύπτω” meaning “hide”) is a term which is used in cryptozoology to refer to a creature whose existence has been suggested but lacks scientific support. Such entities include Bigfoot, Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster.
It’s true, I tell you! I have photo evidence. Yes, it’s grainy and out of focus, but that… that’s not a man! Wait! Where are you going? How do you explain these things about the broken branches, strange footprints, and missing cats in the neighborhood? I’ve seen it with my own eyes. OK, it wasn’t me, it was my Uncle George. And yeah, he was drunk at the time, but he SWEARS it was real.
Such is the way of cryptids. There is almost a cultish belief that there are mysterious monsters lurking in the forgotten corners of the world. The true believers will find concrete evidence that without a doubt proves the existence of their cryptid. On the other side of the equation are the doubters who will debunk said evidence as coincidental and inconclusive, and that the fanciful stories are those conjured from minds wishing for the fantastic to be true.
The two touchstone media pieces for Cryptozoology are the Television shows In Search Of and The X-Files which popularized the tropes as described above. Mysteries are being deliberately shrouded from an unsuspecting public, and that the world is full of amazing (and terrifying) truths if we are just willing to go out there and find them.
Some of the other popular cryptids of legend (or reality) are:
- The Oklahoma Octopus
- The Fiji Mermaid
- The Bunyip
- The Jersey Devil
- The Chupacabra
- Alligators in the Sewers
- The Wendigo
- The Mothman of West Virginia
- The Lake Ogopogo Monster
- The Fresno Nightcrawlers
- The Owlman of Cornwall
- The Mokole Mbembe
Communities love their cryptids. They become tourist attractions. Who, after all, wouldn’t want to take a trip to Scotland and just take a look into the deep dark waters of Loch Ness to see if maybe, just maybe, you might be the one to get the fateful view of Nessie? Monuments have been made and festivals created to celebrate the mere chance that a strange beast may be in the back-woods, just over that hill.
What’s more, even the U.S. Government has gotten in on the act. The Bureau of Land Management has a beautiful web page dedicated to a few lesser known U.S. Cryptids: The Mollogon of Arizona, The Hodag of Wisconsin, The Van Meter Monster of Iowa, and South Bay Bessie, the Lake Erie Monster. It even provides historical maps so you can go take a look for yourself. So there you have it, folks, the government is in on it! (And hooray for that!)
“But where are the UFOs?” you might be asking. Well, we’re reserving a whole separate paranoid podcast segment dedicated to your favorite extraterrestrial sightings. We are preserving the cryptids for their own showcase. For now, enjoy the findings of The Scariest Things, as we explore the hidden mysteries of the world of cryptids on film!
Thanks to Becky Belzile of Audiences Everywhere for some great deep-cut cryptid movie references.