Inside The International Cryptozoology Museum

Hey, fans of Bigfoot, Mothman, the Jersey Devil, The Dover Demon, Sea Serpents, Chupacabra and all creatures strange and undiscovered, did you know that there’s an International Cryptozoology Museum? I didn’t, and I have been vacationing right outside its doors for years! Located in Portland, Maine, it’s owned and run by world famous cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman. He’s the man who actually coined the terms for many now famous cryptids such as the Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon. You’ve seen him on TV and documentaries like Ancient Aliens, MonsterQuest and Weird Travels. The best part is, when you go to the museum, Loren is there to greet you and talk monsters.

As soon as I found out about it, I had to drag my kids to see it for myself. Located on a small side street off the main drag in downtown Portland, we were greeted by a flag depicting a Coelacanth, a large fish thought to have been extinct for millions of years until one was pulled from the depths in the 1930’s. Loren informed me that the prehistoric fish was the inspiration for my favorite Universal Monster, The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Crypto Flag

Loren quizzed us on what was on the flag and I passed the test!

Inspired by a fish!

Inspired by a fish!

The museum consists of two rooms jam packed with actual artifacts from cryptid investigations as well as recreations. I was immediately drawn to some of the Bigfoot plaster casts and the news stories accompanying them.

Squatch Feet

Squatch Feet

Loren actually owns the largest Bigfoot in the world and he’s happy to take pictures with everyone standing in front of old Squatchy. Being next to a legend in the field by a giant Bigfoot was the highlight of my trip.

Me, Loren and my favorite hairy dude

Me, Loren and my favorite hairy dude

Once we got through the huge Bigfoot displays, there was a host of other mysteries and wonders to explore. Turning a corner into the other room, I came face to face with the legendary Fiji Mermaid, a bizarre, mummified creature that P.T. Barnum used to proclaim was an actual mermaid. It kind of looks like a shriveled up Yoda with boobs. I wonder of Lucas got his inspiration from this.

“Powerful you have become, the dark side I sense in you.”

“Powerful you have become, the dark side I sense in you.”

The second room had a little bit of everything, from a small Chupacabra display…

A little goat sucker under glass

A little goat sucker under glass

To the Dover Demon, an alien-like creature that appeared in a Massachussets town over a 2 day period in 1977.

You can read about the Dover Demon in Loren's book 'Monsters of Massachusetts"

You can read about the Dover Demon in Loren’s book ‘Monsters of Massachusetts”

Turns out, Loren investigated the strange and creepy Mothman and was even friends with John Keel, the man who reported on the infamous cryptid. He was a consultant for the movie, The Mothman Prophecies and starred in a documentary on it. It’s my belief that what went on in that West Virginia town in the 60s is one of the weirdest events of all time. You can check out our Monster Men podcast on the subject here.

You could dedicate a whole museum to the Mothman

You could dedicate a whole museum to the Mothman

Loren told me that he was the man who gave the Montauk Monster its name. He also said it was just a decomposed raccoon. Bummer.

I don't know, this doesn't look like a raccoon to me

I don’t know, this doesn’t look like a raccoon to me

The museum has it all. For a guy like me, I could have stayed there all day, but it was getting late and we had a Duck Boat tour to take and a baseball game to see. So, if you’re ever in the Portland area, I highly suggest you check it out. It must be popular, because it was even mentioned on the Duck Boat tour. There are monsters everywhere….at least I hope.

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About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. His novels, Forest of Shadows, Evil Eternal , Swamp Monster Massacre , Sinister Entity, Hell Hole, The Waiting and Island of the Forbidden are published through Samhain Publishing’s horror line. Hell Hole was named Horror Novel Reviews #1 horror novel of 2014. His first thriller novel, The Montauk Monster, was released June, 2014 as a Pinnacle paperback, and was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the best reads of the summer. His follow up Pinnacle novel, Tortures of the Damned, a post apocalyptic thriller, will be out July, 2015. That will be followed up by his latest cryptid tale, The Dover Demon, in the fall through Samhain. His horror short story collection, Asylum Scrawls, is available as an e-book, straightjacket not included. Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. A copy of his book, The Montauk Monster, is currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME. He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years. Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, cryptid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

10 responses to “Inside The International Cryptozoology Museum”

  1. hookofabook says :

    That sounds AWESOME!! How cool!! I wonder if you got any more story ideas….;)

  2. Jack Campisi (@backinjack) says :

    A Cryptozoology Museum? And it’s in Maine? My god, it’s like they had you in mind when they built it. Awesome, just plain awesome.

  3. fuonlyknew says :

    I’d love to see the museum. I love the unexplained and the creepier the better! If only…if only…Wish all of them were real!

  4. Nina D'Arcangela says :

    Tell me you broke in at night and brought me a souvenir?????? ;]~

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