Lair of the Beasts: On the Monstrous Road (Mania.com)
Date: Saturday, March 02, 2013
Last week, here at Lair of the Beasts, my subject-matter was the top three expeditions I’d like to go on in search of strange and enigmatic creatures. My choices were to search for (a) the massive, presumed-extinct, Australian monitor lizard called Megalania that might not be so extinct, after all; (b) Morag, the lake-monster of Scotland’s Loch Morar; and (c) the Chinese equivalent of Bigfoot, which is known as the Yeren.
It was an article that prompted one reader to email me: “What are the top three, favorite expeditions that you’ve already been on?” Well, that’s a very good question. And it’s one that I can answer easily.
On several occasions now I have traveled to the island of Puerto Rico in search of the legendary Chupacabras. No, I’m not talking about the many mangy-looking coyotes that, in the last few years, have been given that name in the United States. Rather, I’m talking about the original beast, which surfaced in Puerto Rico’s El Yunque rain-forest in the 1990s.
There’s nothing dog-like about the Puerto Rican creature. It’s described as being bipedal, with red eyes, vicious claws, a line of spikes that runs down the back of its skull and which gives it something of a punk-rock Mohawk appearance, and even, occasionally a pair of bat-style wings. H.P. Lovecraft would be very proud!
On my various excursions to the island I’ve interviewed many farmers, police officers, members of the public, and veterinarians who have either seen the Chupacabras or investigated its blood-sucking attacks on local livestock.
There’s no doubt in my mind the beast is a very real one. Plus, Puerto Rico is a great place to visit and hang out, especially so San Juan. So, that’s my number one: my quests for the truth about the Puerto Rican vampire.
Number two: my September 2009 expedition to Trempealeau Mountain, Wisconsin, from where – at the time in question – reports were surfacing of huge, bird-like creatures that would have even had the legendary Mothman, of The Mothman Prophecies fame, flying for cover.
For three or four days, I scoured the mountain by both night and day as I sought out the beast. Well, I didn’t find it, but – as on Puerto Rico – I did come across a great deal of highly credible witness testimony. Collectively, it led me to conclude that Wisconsin was indeed – and may still be – home to some bizarre, and possibly even paranormal, flying fiend of the night.
Now on to number three: The beast of Ghost Light Road. Despite the image that many people have of Texas being all desert, plains and cacti, that’s not the case at all. East Texas is massively wooded. And one area of such dense forestland really stands out. Its name is the Big Thicket.
Deep within the heart of those vast woods reports have surfaced, since the 1800s, of large and marauding creatures that seem to be a combination of Bigfoot and primitive, hair-covered wild-men. And many of the sightings have occurred in the direct vicinity of a long road which cuts right through the woods and that, locally, is known as Ghost Light Road.
It takes its intriguing name from the fact that the woods are not just home to hairy man-monsters, but also to strange and ethereal balls of light – anywhere the size of around a baseball to a basketball – that flit and float through the trees in the dead of night. In other words, two mysteries for the price of one! So, that’s my number three.
I have many more on-site investigations lined up for 2013, and as soon as they are completed, you’ll get to read about them right here.
Nick Redfern is the author of many books on strange creatures. His next book on the subject, which is titled Monster Files, will be published in May by New Page Books.