In the 19th century, much horror sprung from ghost stories. In other words, what we would call folk tales today. H. P. Lovecraft specifically and with intent crafted his weird tales around real and fictitious folklore creating a novel cast of horror characters and secret books.
Miskatonic Books continues that tradition by expanding it’s antiquarian horror blog post into more esoteric frontiers. Today, we highlight The Locals, a small press book from Hancock House published in 2003 and written by Thom Powell. A high school science teacher, Powell used to use Bigfoot legends in a scoffing manner to show students the downside with pseudoscience. One problem, along the way he studied the phenomenon so much, he became a believer!
Deep in the book, we read a story that could have come right out of Jack London, only it t’weren’t about wolves, it was about Bigfoot. Here is an abbreviated version of the 16 page adventure.
Rocky had went to hunt elk, and ran smack into some bigfoots. he began to notice twisted off saplings (Bigfoot territory markers), found some scat, hair, and other signs.
As is typical, they hooted, knocked sticks against trees, played mindgames with him in the shadows, and generally made him nervous enough to leave.
He contacted Thom Powell, a researcher at Bigfoot Field Research Organization, and after rehearsing the story and giving Rocky tips, Powell sent Rocky back out to find more evidence. He got more than he bargained for.
“I’m never going back there as long as I live”, he said to Thom. “I saw two with my own eyes…”, and he heard two more. On a trail, they surrounded him, but he stood his ground. This caught the bigfoots off guard, and they were not happy. “That’s when the big one stepped out … I’ve never been so scared …”
It began, this time, by laying out a big pile of apples to lure the bigfoots. They indeed, did so, but instead of approaching the apples like a bear, chimp, or other mammal, one laid on its stomach, and crawled toward the apples in order to leave no footprints. “I couldn’t believe it! I got out my camera …”.
Not a good move. The bigfoot was fixed, and could not run, and Rocky said, “Hemm no! … I didn’t take my eyes off …”. The other bigfoots made a racket, and escalated to hoots and screams. Still Rocky moved closer to get a photo, and never took his eyes away. Undeterred, Rocky moved forward. Then a nine foot bigfoot emerged from the trees. Rocky lowered the camera, looked away from the apples, glanced back, and the apple-crawling-bigfoot was gone.
Now Rocky was in trouble. He backed away, and then ran as fast as he could back to the car, and zipped back to civilization.
Would the bigfoots have killed Rocky? We have no known reports of death by Bigfoot, but why would one take a chance?
We don’t know what to make of the many stories in Powell’s book, or the hundreds of reports over the last 150 years, but we know a great story when we hear it, and this is as great a legend as there is. We also know that new species of primates are discovered all the time so maybe one day we will get the evidence we’ve always wanted.