As you all know, old Hunter is a bit of a cryptid fanatic. It’s been my mission in life to drag these poor (oftentimes scary) creatures into my fictional world of mayhem and murder. As a lad who became fascinated by the likes of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster thanks to shows like In Search Of, I’ve always wanted to see these mythical beasts at their wildest and most terrifying.
Hence, I have a library of books I’ve penned detailing the fantastical adventures of the Montauk Monster, Dover Demon, Skunk Apes, Loch Ness Monster, Pukwudgies, Thunderbirds, Orang Pendeks, Jersey Devil, Loch Ness Monster, and now, coming out on Friday the 13th in May…The Goat Man!
When I was searching for a new cryptid to exploit…er, I mean explore…I reached out to my mega Hellions on Patreon and asked them to make suggestions. I was looking for a creature that has had little to no fiction written about it. When someone brought up the Goat Man, tiny bells went off in my head. I recalled my daughters loving an episode of Buzzfeed Unsolved where hosts Shane and Ryan go down to Denton, Texas to find evidence of the local legend…and maybe some devil worshipers!
I was hooked! I knew about the Goat Man, but I didn’t realize that the cryptid is not confined to just one place. There are Goat Man legends in Texas, Maryland, Louisiana, and the most infamous of all, Kentucky, home of the Pope Lick Monster, which, if you ask me, is a way cooler moniker. Goat Man conjures up too many images of Jim Brewer doing the Goat Boy on SNL.
But here’s what intrigued me the most. When you think of it, the Goat Man, a bipedal half man, half goat living in the woods, looks a hell of a lot like the devil himself, or at least something demonic. Sprinkle in tales of Satanic rituals being performed in places where the Goat Man has been known to dwell, and you have a pretty spine-chilling backstory.
And speaking of backstories, the Goat Man has plenty. He is sometimes said to be the offspring of one of those Satanic rituals. Others say he was an African American goat farmer who was hanged by jealous white farmers. He also may be the end product of a science project gone awry at a nearby animal lab. Like all juicy legends, speculation runs wild and give us space for our imaginations to soar. And when we’re left to fill in the blanks or expound upon an existing theory, the darkness creeps in.
I don’t know about you, but if I saw that thing in the woods, I’d hightail it all the way to Canada. I’ve always felt that the Goat Man in America is an extension of the mythological Satyr. What’s a Satyr? Well, here’s my favorite definition found on Wikipedia – “In Greek mythology, a satyr, also known as a silenus or silenos, is a male nature spirit with ears and a tail resembling those of a horse, as well as a permanent, exaggerated erection.” I know, I’ll never outgrow my adolescence. These beings are also half man, half goat, and have been around for three thousand years. Here’s another thing I love about Satyrs, thanks to those Wiki peeps – “Satyrs were characterized by their ribaldry and were known as lovers of wine, music, dancing, and women. They were companions of the god Dionysus and were believed to inhabit remote locales, such as woodlands, mountains, and pastures.“
Now, it seems like Satyrs have a whole lot more fun than our American Goat Man, which kind of makes me feel sorry for him. What I don’t feel sorry for are the cultists who have been known to sacrifice cats to the devil or the Goat Man or Linda Blair. Killing cats is not cool, though you never hear someone ask about a book or horror movie, “Did they kill the cat?” Down in Texas, it’s gotten so bad, local pet stores won’t sell cats.
Now, you can’t have a Goat Man without a bridge, it seems. The old Anton Bridge in Texas still stands after well over a hundred years. Known to residents and cryptid enthusiasts as the Goat Man’s Bridge, it’s a sort of gateway between our world and the underworld…and I’m not talking about the Mafia. All one needs to do to call upon the Goat Man is to rap on the bridge three times and utter its name. If you’re lucky, nothing will happen. If you’re one of the very unlucky, the Goat Man’s piercing eyes will appear out of the darkness, a growling voice compelling you to “get off my bridge!” And if you’re super unlucky, the Goat Man will chase you!
The Goat Man isn’t necessarily a killer, but he is territorial. Satanists, on the other hand, can be killers, especially if you wander into their ritual while wearing a cat suit. For my money, Devil worshippers are much scarier than a Goat Man. And that is how my next book was born. Out of a love for the Goat Man and a fear of Satanists!
There’s a lot more to come as we walk across the old Goat Man’s Bridge and see what we can do about rousting that modern day, unhappy Satyr out of his lair. Stay tuned, and if you find yourself in the woods at night on a decaying bridge, knock three times and tell me what you see.
After collaborating on my latest book, Bigfoot in the Bronx, Sasquatch and I celebrated by taking a four day bender fueled by cheap whisky and expensive cigars. Truth be told, I vaguely remember where we went during that trippy odyssey. It was all about celebrating the success of an interspecies project and just plain having fun after a year in lockdown and the mental assault of pandemic mania brought on by way too much media consumption. We were done and we were free to roam about the cabin.
Now the book was out, the party ended and we parted ways for a few weeks, Sassy disappearing into the wilds of the Catskills (where I hoped he wouldn’t come across the Wraith!) and I back to my belfry of broken dreams. He’d told me he had matters to attend to, while I had another book to start. We agreed to meet after a spell at the Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. There, we’d fish the Hudson, take in some sun and crack a few imperial IPAs.
Not one to waste a special moment, I asked Sassy if he would agree to an interview that I could share with my readers. It’s one thing to enjoy the fictional madness we had concocted, but another to get some insight into what it’s like to be a cryptid in a world of crushing, idiotic humanity. He clipped off the end of a Nat Sherman cigar, ate a raw fish he’d snagged a few moments before, and said, “Sure. Why the fuck not?”
What follows is all real, and so very, very true.
HUNTER – We humans have given you and your kind a load of monikers over the decades. What do you prefer to be called, other than Sassy?
SASQUATCH – Let’s get this out there now. You are the ONLY person who can call me Sassy. I mean, you get me, man, so we’re cool. But if someone came to my neck of the woods and tried that, things probably wouldn’t end well for them. For me, personally, I dig Bigfoot because look at these U-boats! That’s an undeniably big foot. In a formal setting, I’ll take Mr. Foot, too, I guess. And hey, we all know what it means when you have big feet.
HUNTER – I’m well aware, since you don’t wear pants. When you’re not hanging with this mid-list horror writer, where do you spend your time?
MR. FOOT (because it sounds funnny) – Let’s just say the Catskills. I have family and friends up there, and the last thing we need is Matt Moneymaker and Bobo coming up and invading our space. Nice guys and all, but after they leave, a gaggle of idiots come swarming in. You humans are loud and messy and annoying as hell with all that wood knocking. It’s like trying to sleep next to a demented woodpecker.
HUNTER – So, wood knocking is a myth?
MR. FOOT – Total. I don’t know who made that up, but it didn’t come from us. We’re not Neanderthals. We know how to speak. Do you just randomly pound on a tree when you want to talk to someone?
HUNTER – Never have.
MR. FOOT – Exactly. It’s dumb. Plus, it hurts the trees. I’m not saying I’m a tree hugger, but I do respect nature.
HUNTER – If you could have voted in the last presidential election, who would you have voted for?
MR. FOOT – Seriously? I would have voted both candidates off the quote, un-quote island. There are many reasons we keep to the shadows, and that’s just a glaring example. Shit, I’d rather see a Chupacabra in office than anyone you’d selected. And Chupacabras are jerks. But at least they have a lick of common sense and a moral compass.
HUNTER – Wait, Chupacabras are real?
MR. FOOT – If you don’t believe, ask any random goat.
HUNTER – Okay, let me switch gears. When we were working on Bigfoot in the Bronx, we took a little trip through my old stomping grounds one night.
MR. FOOT – Brilliant idea to do it during Halloween.
HUNTER – And that’s when you told me we had to set the book during Halloween, too. Remember how I wanted to set it during Groundhog Day?
MR. FOOT – Yeah, that still doesn’t make sense.
HUNTER – Considering how much we argued about it last time, I’m going to just let it go. Anyway, what were your impressions of the Bronx.
MR. FOOT – First, I dig how you people call it the Bronx. It’s like that with my kind. We live in the woods, not just woods. I have to say, I liked the tiny street your grew up on. Kinda quaint, which I wasn’t expecting. And that cemetery! There’s a world of history under that dirt. I could have explored that place for weeks.
HUNTER – Pardon the interruption, but you mentioned the cemetery. A lot of people claim that since they never find a Sasquatch body, you can’t exist. Some say that like us, you bury your dead. Is that true?
MR. FOOT – Different tribes handle it their own way. I once ran across this extended family down near Fouke who ate their dead. (Visibly shivers). Not cool, man. For us, we’re all about the cyclical nature of life and death. We know how difficult it can be to find a good meal when you’re a large mammal. We’re very in tune with others like us, say, like bears and big cats. When we die, we’re brought to where those guys hang out and fill their bellies.
HUNTER – Sounds pretty gruesome.
MR. FOOT – I mean, we’re dead at that point, so it’s not like we give an antelope’s asshole what happens to our body. Anyway, back to the Bronx, it was a cool place. That is, until you took me to where the subway runs. Look, I mark my territory, too, but the smell of urine there is bat crap crazy. What is with you people? And speaking of people, how can you live on top of each other like that? There’s a big, beautiful world out there. Why resign yourself to living like canned sardines? I have to say, when we were done, I kinda felt sorry for you as a species.
HUNTER – That’s funny, because my readers felt sorry for your character in the book.
MR. FOOT – Well, it was about time you didn’t just go all hog wild on killing cryptids. You’ve always been a stand up guy to me, but there are some cryptids out there who have dart boards with your face on them.
HUNTER – Jesus, really?
MR. FOOT – Oh yeah. What if I wrote twenty books about killing humans? You think I would be on any human Christmas card lists? No way. If you ever plan to go searching for a cryptid, come to me first. I’ll let you know if you’ll be treading on friendly ground or not.
HUNTER – Like the Jersey Pine Barrens?
MR. FOOT – That is now a no-go. JD is pretty pissed at you.
HUNTER – Telling a New Yorker to stay out of Jersey isn’t a bad thing. Now, speaking of whisky.
MR. FOOT – We weren’t talking about whisky.
HUNTER – Hey, I’m the interviewer here. What’s your favorite adult beverage of choice?
MR. FOOT – Honestly? I know you and I have poured a lot of that brown fire water down our necks, but if I had my way, I’d be just as happy with one of those Skinny Girl margaritas. Or their peach vodka. Good stuff, and I don’t have to worry about counting calories.
HUNTER – Are you messing with me?
MR. FOOT – Hell no. My wife loves it, too. Saturday afternoons, after a day of wrangling the kids, we like to split a bottle and just chill as we watch the sun set.
HUNTER – How many kids do you have?
MR. FOOT – Three with my current wife. I have seven in total from a mix of exes and a hookup here and there.
HUNTER – Sasquatches have hookups?
MR. FOOT – Unlike you, we don’t fight against our nature. It’s all about survival of the species, man. Don’t look at me funny. I’ve noticed quite a few of your kind excelling at spreading their seed. Like the world needs more humans. Sheesh.
HUNTER – This is not going where I had expected.
MR. FOOT – I’ve read your books. Neither is your career. (laughs his fool head off) I’m just kidding. You know I love you.
HUNTER – As much as the Jersey Devil hates me?
MR. FOOT – I wouldn’t go that far. The wife might get jealous.
HUNTER – Are there any other things you’d like people to know about you that they wouldn’t have guessed in a thousand years?
MR. FOOT – I like to retain some mystery. But let me see. You know those shirts that all say we’re the hide and seek champions? As a general rule, we HATE that game. Give me Stratego or poker any day. We’re much deeper thinkers than you give us credit for. I’ve binge watched the entire series of Homeland about four times.
HUNTER – Wait, you live in the middle of nowhere. How can you watch television?
MR. FOOT – (with a smile) That’s for me to know. I’m huge into Tex-Mex. Got a taste for it when I lived down in south Texas. Oh, and my favorite color is puce.
HUNTER – Puce? I don’t even know what that would look like.
MR. FOOT – Google it, buddy. Puce with a p-u. (laughs)
HUNTER – We need more cigars. How about we end this and go grab some?
MR. FOOT – Can we get some Skinny Girl?
HUNTER – Really? That’s how you want to end this? My readers will think you’re a wimp.
MR. FOOT – Yeah, well, the day they can call me that to my face is the day a T-Rex will march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
HUNTER – Good point.
As the great Bugs Bunny said, That’s All Folks! At least for now. Want to make Sassy a happy Squatch? Grab a copy of BIGFOOT IN THE BRONX. And next time you’re deep in the woods, leave a bottle of Skinny Girl margarita behind. Oh, and stop knocking on trees!
Believe it or not, it’s pure coincidence that the release of Bigfoot in the Bronx happens to fall on the same day as King Kong vs. Godzilla. I could never have planned it so well. Trust me.
So, who wants to squatch this place up?
It’s hunting season for best friends Shay and Vito. This year, with a bad economy and Shay out of work, it’s more important than ever to bag a deer so they can feed their families. Tucking their truck in their secret spot outside a state park in the Catskills, they settle down, waiting for a deer to come to them.
What they get is a giant creature that outruns a speeding deer and savages it with its bare hands and jagged teeth. Someone hidden in the woods shoots it with a tranquilizer dart. Shay knows what the beast at their feet is, and how its discovery can change their lives forever. They load it into their truck and head home for…
The drugged Bigfoot awakens in a cramped shed in Shay’s backyard. Confused, terrified, angry, it breaks loose in the middle of the night, seeking refuge in a nearby cemetery. When the bagpipes of a morning funeral drive it into a killing rage, the carnage has just begun.
From playgrounds to golf courses, apartment buildings to subway cars, the bigfoot is on the move – and it’s not happy. Can Shay and Vito find and recapture the beast before it burns the Bronx to the ground?
Because the writer is always the last to know, turns out I made my television debut on World’s Most Unexplained on the Travel Channel last night. Thank the fates that my friends watch these crazy shows all the time and they were quick to let me know!
Oy, look at that mug. I was filmed in a cramped hotel room in the height of the pandemic. Taking off my mask made me nervous as hell, which helped tamp down any butterflies I had about being on camera and interviewed by someone who was on a laptop in Ireland.
The episode is called Roadside Creature/Up in Flames. In the episode, I and several other Travel Channel mainstays talk about the very mysterious 2 night event in a bucolic Massachusetts town back in 1977. Several teenagers saw a bizarre creature on the dark, winding roads, all of them reporting basically the same odd being. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman was there on the scene and coined the name, the Dover Demon.
I’m sure you can stream the show. Here is a one minute preview –
When I was with Loren at the International Cryptozoology Museum, we got to talking about the DD and I was hooked. Not long after, my fictional take on the cryptid with UFO connections was born. If you’d like to explore the Dover Demon and what it could mean for the people who witnessed it when it returns decades later, grab a copy and be prepared for some high strangeness!
That’s right Hellions. You’ve all been incredibly patient waiting a whole year for my latest book, MISFITS, a brutal trek through the darkest woods populated by a race of humanoids who crave human flesh.
“A bad-ass love letter to small-town folklore.” – Splattergeist reviews
During the height of the 90s grunge era, five high school friends living on the fringe are driven to the breaking point. When one of their friends is brutally raped by a drunk townie, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Deep in the woods of Milbury, Connecticut, there lives the legend of the Melon Heads, a race of creatures that shun human interaction and prey on those who dare to wander down Dracula Drive. Maybe this night, one band of misfits can help the other. Or maybe some legends are meant to be feared for a reason.
MISFITS is available in hardcover, trade paperback and ebook. CLICK HERE to take a trip down Dracula Drive and face the horror of the Melon Heads!
Is the truth about the existence of a lake monster in Loch Ness just around the corner?
Scientists from the University of Otago have already gathered over two hundred samples from the famous Loch and plan to run Environmental DNA (or eDNA) testing to suss out the wide and varied life forms living under the dark waters. Even passing creatures will leave their mark, a floating residue waiting to be analyzed.
The kid in me is excited. As a matter of fact, so is the adult. It’s said that we should know if anything anomalous and Nessie-like has been found in a few months. Look, I’m not running to Vegas to lay down good money that we’re for-sure going to find out that Nessie is real. But I am fascinated to see what they do find. The Loch is bigger than you think and the odds of finding an elusive creature are slim, but for my money, this is the largest net cast yet for answers.
Wouldn’t it be fascinating to find out the Loch Ness Monster is real, and to finally know what it really is? Or is it better to let it remain a tantalizing mystery? What’s your take on this latest search for Nessie? Comment below and I’ll pick 2 random people to receive a free ebook of LOCH NESS REVENGE.
Severed Press has just brought THE DOVER DEMON back to life. Originally published by Samhain Publishing in 2015, the book was left in limbo when Samhain closed its doors. This little beastie has returned with a kick ass new cover!
Back in 2014, I was at the International Cryptozoology Museum for a book signing on my tour for The Montauk Monster. The museum’s owner is Loren Coleman, one of the most revered cryptozoologists in the world. Loren and I struck up a conversation and I asked him what cryptid I should write about next. He didn’t hesitate in urging me to look into the famous Dover Demon case, one that still baffles everyone associated with it 40 years later.
Over the course of two nights in 1977 during spring break in the affluent town of Dover, Massachusetts, six teenagers spotted a bizarre, bipedal creature scuttling along the dark roads. It appears that all saw the very same being, one of them (Bill Bartlett) drawing a sketch of the anomaly for the police.
Today, a lot of people would say, “Oh, that’s one of those gray alien things.” But you have to remember, this creature was spotted before the iconic image of gray aliens was a thing. Hell, Close Encounters of the Third Kind hadn’t even come out yet. Loren Coleman was called to Dover and was the one to give it its name. Cryptozoologists are still puzzled by what the teenagers saw. They look at it in terms of being a terrestrial animal. UFOologists look to the case as an early example of the grays making themselves known.
A cryptid AND an alien? I couldn’t turn down the challenge. THE DOVER DEMON is both one of my most personal and strangest books to date. So, if you care to take a trip to Dover, the gates are once again open. Beware, you might never be the same!
A little bit of trivia : The man character is a man named Sam Brogna. I named him after a New York Mets short-lived first baseman, Rico Brogna. The man’s career was cut short due to injury, but he lives on in The Dover Demon. Well, sort of.
The Dover Demon is real…and it has returned.
In 1977, Sam Brogna and his friends came upon a terrifying, alien creature on a deserted country road. What they witnessed was so bizarre, so chilling, they swore their silence. But their lives were changed forever. Decades later, the town of Dover has been hit by a massive blizzard. Sam’s son, Nicky, is drawn to search for the infamous cryptid, only to disappear into the bowels of a secret underground lair. The Dover Demon is far deadlier than anyone could have believed. And there are many of them. Can Sam and his reunited friends rescue Nicky and battle a race of creatures so powerful, so sinister, that history itself has been shaped by their secretive presence?
My favorite month of the year is just a few days away. I’ve already prepared my list of movies to watch and books to read, along with Halloween/horror events to attend (and beers to drink). How about you?
To help get you in the mood (and build on your TBR pile), I’m having a signed book sale. I have limited quantities of the following books, so it’s first come, first served. If you live in the continental United States and would like a signed copy of the following, email me at email@example.com. All prices include shipping and payments are made through Paypal.
MEGALODON IN PARADISE – $10
WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING (trade paperback) – $15 * 1 copy left!
WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING (1 limited edition hardcover left) – $50
THE JERSEY DEVIL (paperback) – $7 (7 CD audiobook) – $18
SAVAGE JUNGLE – $10
LOCH NESS REVENGE – $10
THE MONTAUK MONSTER – $7
TORTURES OF THE DAMNED – $7
THE DOVER DEMON (last of the out of print Samhain version) – $15
But wait, there’s more!
Available to anyone on this sphere we call Earth, I have a few codes to download copies of my ebook OPTICAL DELUSION . For just $1 (half off the cover price) you can dive into the world of my MAIL ORDER MASSACRES.
Enjoy mind bending X-ray specs, all for less than the cost of a comic book. 🙂
Happy Horrortober everyone!
The cryptozoology world has been buzzing this year over a wave of supposed Mothman sightings around Chicago. The mysterious creature that terrorized the town of Point Pleasant, WV between 1966 and 1967, culminating in the Silver Bridge collapse, appears to be alive and well in the Windy City. There have been almost two dozen reports of a large (7 foot or taller) hominid with massive wings both on the ground and in the air since April.
Other than the slew of Bigfoot encounters that are reported every year, this cluster of Mothman sightings represents one of the largest cryptid waves in the past 4 decades. What is truly out there? And is the Mothman circling Chicago a portent of something terrible to become?
I’ve always said the original Mothman case is one of the most bizarre and intriguing in all of cryptozoology. You see, Point Pleasant wasn’t just visited by the Mothman. The entire town also saw strange lights in the sky, were visited by mysterious men in black, were witness to apparitions and ghostly phone calls and so much more, it makes my head spin. My partner Jack and I tackled the subject in one of our earliest Monster Men episodes.
Reporter John Keel was on the ground in Point Pleasant in the 60s, delving into dark corners and interviewing terrified witnesses. His efforts there (and many other bizarre cases) made him the inspiration for Carl Kolchak on television’s The Night Stalker. He wrote the definitive book on the Mothman, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES : A TRUE STORY.
If you’re a true blue fan of cryptids and the unexplained, this is a must have addition to your bookshelf. It’s as terrifying as it is perplexing. Keel called it the Mothman Prophecies because it is believed that the creature was, in its way, warning the citizens about the impending destruction of the Silver Bridge, which killed 46 people on December 15, 1967. I’ve always found the connection between the cryptid and the calamity a bit nebulous, the biggest case for it being that all strange activity stopped right after the bridge collapsed. Since 1967, there have been scattered sightings of a winged creature that resembles the Mothman, but nothing like what is currently occurring in Chicago.
If you want to learn about the original story from a fresh perspective, check out the new documentary, The Mothman of Point Pleasant by director Seth Breedlove and his Small Town Monsters crew. They’ve previously explored the Boggy Creek Monster, Minerva Monster and Beast of Whitehall. Always a good watch.
There was also a 2002 film adaptation of Keel’s book called The Mothman Prophecies, starring Richard Gere. When I first saw the movie, I knew very little about the cryptid and it confused and disappointed. Viewing it after my own research into Mothman, I can now appreciate the movie and what they were trying to do. It’s very difficult to convey the high strangeness surrounding the Mothman to a wide audience.
What is the Mothman? Is it a flesh and blood beast? An unknown type of bird? An angel? A demon? A figment of our imagination? I don’t know. But I think what’s happening in Chicago bears some close scrutiny. I’ll be interested to see if there is a spike in other paranormal phenomena there this year.
What’s your take on the Mothman? And do you think something dark and deadly lies in wait for the people of Chicago?
For the latest cryptid news and more, sign up for my free Dark Hunter Newsletter today.
Whether they are real or fake, nothing makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up straighter than audio recordings of Bigfoot yelling, screeching and speaking in the woods.
Look, I’m a city boy. The woods without a Bigfoot are big and scary places to me. If you add being surrounded by squatches, well, just bury me under a pine tree and tell my momma I died knowing the truth.
Arguably the most famous of all Bigfoot audio recordings are the Sierra Sounds, captured back in the 1970s. You can hear people interacting with squatches throughout. For you Bigfoot enthusiasts, this is a must listen.
Now here’s one that is quite controversial (aren’t they all?). It was recorded just a few years ago and features a camper having a relatively pleasant conversation with a Bigfoot. Hell, even if this was some dude talking to me in the dark, I’d mess myself.
This one is strange but again, it sucks me down the rabbit hole. Not sure a Sasquatch would speak English, but the interpretation comes from the person making the recording, similar to EVP. You hear what you want to or think you should hear.
Team Squatchin’ USA has a host of Bigfoot audio you can listen to right on their home page. Play it so loud the neighbors can hear and wonder what the hell is going on in your house. Click their logo to go down a deep, dark, wonderful rabbit hole.
This is supposedly a very pissed off Bigfoot pitching a fit. Not sure if I’d stick around to record it, but hey, some folks are braver than me.