Archive for the ‘cryptozoology’ category

“The Terror” is Coming!

March 19, 2018

I love creepy stuff, and there’s so little of it that’s done really well!  For this reason, I’m really looking forward to The Terror, an upcoming horror series on the AMC network. Based on a novel by Dan Simmons and the ill-fated real life Franklin Expedition, The Terror looks like wonderful stuff indeed.  

Incorporating elements of the movies The Thing with Alien and the rich period atmospherics and fine acting of the Penny Dreadful tv series, The Terror has it all.  It kind of combines a real-life historical event, the Franklin Expedition, with a horror/fantasy overlay. This kind of thing has been done in a lot of sci fi/alternative history fiction, and has lately been seen in films like Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter.

Now the ill-fated Franklin Expedition was real stuff which was kicked off in 1845 when the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror left England in search of a segment of the Northwest Passage, a kind of 19th century wormhole which it was felt would convey trade to the Orient.  The vessels, advanced for their day, became hopelessly ice-locked in the Canadian Arctic, forcing their crews to abandon ship and walk in search of a settlement.  They faced slow and miserable deaths from exposure, starvation, and lead poisoning caused by their badly-canned food.  All 129 souls on board the ships died from their ordeal.

In the television horror drama, the Royal Navy expedition instead of finding the Northwest Passage discovers a cunning, monstrous gothic-style predator who stalks the crew in a game of survival which could impact the region and its indigenous people forever.  For a tale of frozen wastes, sailing ships, and Arctic monsters I’m booking passage on The Terror for sure!


Revolutionary Soldier and Creature in the Woods…

December 24, 2017

How would you like to live right by a cemetery?  The neighborhood has been a bit dead lately, you say?!  Well, on the Season 1/Episode 7 installment of Terror in the Woods,  we are first told the ghostly story of Annie in Ohio, who when visited by her two sisters (Amy and Mary-Beth) at her Ohio house decided that it would be spooky fun to go on an after-dark graveyard walk in the adjoining cemetery.  This they did, complete with loud joking conversation and picture-taking. It was all fun and games until the night seemed to darken, and a presence was felt.  The sisters retreated to Annie’s house, where one felt a hand touch her when retrieving something from the car.  Returning to the cemetery the next day in broad daylight, they found graves of people sharing their names.  Looking later at the pics they had taken the previous night, a blurry but full-body image of a revolutionary war soldier was seen.  It seems that the cemetery was the final resting place of folks born in the area in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s.  Annie swore that she later momentarily saw a revolutionary war soldier in the cemetery from her window, and she would never again return to the graveyard.  

The second segment, Creature in the Woods, involved a couple in Nebraska (David and Laura) and their two children who went on a deep woods retreat to a cabin constructed by one of the lady’s relatives.  The woman had been going to the woods in general and that cabin in particular since childhood, and was not a nervous Nellie.  While fetching water, the family heard a deep grunting in the forest together with stamping on the ground which sounded aggressive.  They later heard resonant growls and thumps while preparing lunch.  Banging on wash tubs and an oil drum near the entrance to the camp was also heard, at which point the family decided to pack it in and fled in their car, afraid.  While no sightings were made, the inference was clearly made that they had encountered one or more Bigfoot-type creatures…

“Haunted Cabin” on”Terror in the Woods

December 11, 2017


The Haunted Cabin episode of “Terror in the Woods” (S1/Ep8) was basically a ghost story, but with a side order of cryptid thrown in.  The story was pleasantly scary and creepy, and I like that!

In deepest Kentucky in the Red River Gorge, a rustic cabin sat in the woods on an abandoned logging road that married couple Bill and Charisse chose as kind of a retirement retreat.  Bill held the fort while Charisse worked hard for the money at a city job about two hours away.  Now Bill was a college grad, not some yahoo, and he put up a security camera outside the cabin.  One night around two to three a.m., said camera picked up a sporadic green mist that seemed to morph in and out.  We, the viewers, were shown the actual footage, and it did look like a floaty mist to me! Alerted by the security camera, Bill went outside and thought that he saw a ghost…

…other creepy things then transpired.  Bill’s TV and Playstation came on twice by themselves!  Now Bill was suitably creeped out by this. I mean, would you want ghosts messin’ with your PlayStation?! They’d stay on it for hours, and leave slime all over the console and controllers, for cripes sake! Bill then did what any sensible person would do, and spent the night in his car.

A week later, Bill’s trusty security camera showed a ball of white light that seemed to come out of the ground and which floated along the area; ghost alert! Viewers were also shown this footage. Bill trucked into town, speaking to and showing locals the footage; not surprisingly, they thought it ghostly.

Now comes the Bigfoot alert; walking outside his cabin in the woods, Bill hit a tree with a branch, and thought that it was answered with other knocks. Bill experienced fear and panic, since ghosts and Bigfoot make for a full paranormal schedule. A friend later visited him, and they found strange footprints with four digits and hooked claws; pictures were taken of this, which viewers of the episode were again shown.

His wife later returned to join Bill, and things went smoothly for a time until they heard howling and barking of a guttural, hellhound nature. They tried to record the commotion, but the sound stopped. Later when watching a ghost show on television, the two decided it would be a kick to casually try and summon a spirit themselves. Be careful what you ask for, because a loud knocking then came to their door, although nothing was there when the door was answered!

So our protagonist again went to the nearest town, showing the locals and woodsmen his latest videos and pics of the strange footprint.  Not surprisingly, they couldn’t explain them but agreed that they were freaky.  It was learned, however, that the cabin Bill and Charisse had bought was built for an ailing daughter who died in the cabin.  The cabin has since continued to be plagued by paranormal activity…spooky!  

“The Shape of Water” is Extraordinary!

December 7, 2017

It’s being called everything from a sympathetic re-telling of “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” to an origins story for the Abe Sapien character from Hellboy, but by most accounts The Shape of Water is one of the best films that Guillermo del Toro has produced.  

Set circa 1962 during the depths of the Cold War, the fantasy drama concerns the unlikely relationship between a mute female custodian, Elisa,  and an intelligent amphibious humanoid creature torn from South America and kept in a secret government laboratory in Baltimore.  It’s readily believable for any dabbler in government conspiracy theories.  Called “the Asset” by his captors, the being faces exploitation and eventual “harvesting” in order that his biology might be further studied and applied to the space program.  As their relationship deepens, the humble cleaning lady resolves to take action to save a unique individual from captivity and worse…and “the Asset” has additional capabilities of his own…

The film works on many levels, and is rightfully up for numerous awards.  Seeing it might be the best Xmas present that you could give yourself!

“Hunted by Bigfoot” on “Terror in the Woods”

December 4, 2017


The S1/Ep2 episode of Terror in the Woods on Destination America was titled Hunted by Bigfoot, and was an hour-long account of a personal encounter with the legendary cryptic creature.  In Adams County, Ohio two men both named “Mike” and their son, Jordan, hunted for Bigfoot on their own, equipped with portable voice recorders and amplified listening devices.  On October 11, 2014 they drove deeply into the woods, initially setting up by a bridge where they mimicked Bigfoot howls in an effort to lure them in.  They successfully recorded howls, tracking them deeper into the woods and ending up in an isolated graveyard at night where they again set up.  Knocking on a tree with a baseball bat, they got a response perhaps sixty to seventy yards away.  Half an hour later, they heard a howl.  Footfalls and a whistling, aggressive howl were perceived coming in two different directions.  Coyote sounds were heard joining in, one apparently in distress.

The three decided to leave when the creatures appeared to be drawing closer.  They stopped for a deer on the road who appeared to be fixated on something in the woods.  Howls heard appeared to shift in front of them as if they were being pursued.  One of the men, recounting that he “was excited and scared at the same time,” saw a shadow or dark shape about six to seven feet tall standing by a tree which howled.  One of the men pulled his sidearm and went to the treeline where he heard a great inhalation of air followed by a deep, intense roar.  He fired a round into the air before they resumed their escape in the vehicle.  The son, Jordan, said that the night was life-changing…

Bigfoot and the Catacombs

December 3, 2017

The S1/Ep6 episode of Terror in the Woods featured an encounter with a cryptid and later a ghost, haunting, or restless spirit encounter.  First considered were the adventures of Rodney and fellow campers who were settled in at a campsite in Red River Gorge, Kentucky when a large rock landed near them, followed by others.  Guttural vocalizations then came towards night as well as tree-knockings, sounds reportedly generated by Bigfoot creatures hitting limbs against trees.  The campers heard bipedal footfalls, and Rodney saw the outline of a large creature, which shunned flashlight beams and began throwing tree limbs.  Later into night, camping pans were knocked over, rummaging sounds were heard, and Rodney despite having only a machete exited his tent to see a Bigfoot creature scraping a pan, presumably scavenging food.  The creature stood six to seven feet tall, and had broad shoulders and long arms.  This Bigfoot made long, angry vocalizations as it made off.  The other campers with Rodney were professionals who did’t want to speak of the incident.  Rodney, however, continued to wander the woods in later times with a camera and firearm in search of the creature.

The “Catacombs” segment took place in Savannah, Georgia.  Ashley and Jess with others climbed down into the catacombs which were located near an abandoned hospital that was used as a quarantine location for yellow fever patients in the late 19th century.  Some of the unfortunate patients had tried in the 1800’s to escape the grounds via the catacombs while others were simply contained there.  Anyways, the group held a seance in a large chamber of the catacombs and heard a large stone shatter on the wall.   The last person in the group to depart the catacombs is reported to have felt a suctioning force on her body which pulled her back into the underground chamber.  A second effort to climb up and out was successful, however.  It was related that guards were stationed in the catacombs in the past to prevent patients from escaping them, with the inference being that they had encountered one of these spirits, still trying to perform their duty…  

“Terror in the Woods” Werewolf and Demon in the Woods

November 23, 2017

Terror in the Woods does not refer to the state of the weeds and brush in my backyard, but is rather an entertaining if uneven offering on the Destination America channel network, your gateway to the paranormal!   While not the best paranormal show I’ve ever seen, Woods is certainly not the worst, and is probably worth a look if you’re into this kind of thing, especially in light of the dearth of new show material involving cryptids.

Now the Werewolf and Demon in the Woods episode (S1/Ep5) featured two segments, the first of which involved two campers, David and Lisa, who while traveling on Roanoke Island in North Carolina encountered a wolf-like creature with glowing yellow eyes that was about four feet tall and challenged the male of the pair who investigated sounds that he heard outside of his camper and the vehicle that he was pulling it with.  Things got freaky when the beast stood up upon two legs, which increased his standing height to about seven feet.  The wolf-thing then approached the guy, closing the distance while ambulating on two legs!  In the best Clint Eastwood tradition, the guy then pulled a magnum and fired a round at the creature, believing himself to have struck it in the shoulder.  This seemed to annoy rather than deter the beast.  When he perceived a second creature growling, the unhappy camper perceived himself to be outnumbered, wisely retreated to his vehicle, and beat a hasty retreat.  Later at a gas station, the motorist asked another person if he had ever seen something strange in the woods, and the reticent stranger admitted that he had.  This is the stuff of urban legends!

The second segment, Demon in the Woods, involved college-aged geo-cachers who carried their search for buried objects into the night where they found evidence of a satanic ritual in a clearing in the woods.  Discovered was a fenced-in circle with hanging objects around, similar to those portrayed in The Blait Witch Project.  The guys heard growling, grunting sounds which seemed to encircle them, and they took off running.  The tale-teller, Davey, went back for a straggler, and was again surrounded by a sound that seemed to pursue them as they fled.  Limbs and sticks were heard breaking as the duo fled.  While there was no physical presence seen, the sound seemed to be palpable, and shook them.  They felt that something was trying to drive them out of the woods.  It was later learned that a demonic cult held sessions in the area that they had visited… ooh!  (Face-palm scream)

So be careful when you go out in the woods, for “the nights are dark, and full of terrors.”  And that’s the way that I like it!