History is full of bizarre stories that can’t easily be explained. And the mother load of unexplainable tales are those involving alleged monsters. From a swamp dwelling lizard man, to a man-eating tree – here are 10 historic encounters with deadly beasts.
Beast Of Gevaudan
In 1764, a large wolf-like monster attacked and killed a young girl in the French region of Gevaudan. Similar reports soon followed as the monster terrorised the region for 3 years. It came to be known as the beast of Gevaudan. Described as a massive wolf, the French government put huge effort into hunting it down. The beast was eventually shot by the hunter Jean Chastel. Legend tells that he shot it with a silver bullet blessed by a local prist, and inside it’s stomach was found human flesh. Modern studies of historical records estimate the beast attacked over 200 people, killing at least 90.
The Lizard Man Of Scape Ore Swamp
In 1988, encounters with a reptilian humanoid were reported in a swamp in South-Carolina. 17 year old Christopher Davis claimed to have been driving past the Scape Ore swamp on June 28th. While changing a tyre, he heard heavy footsteps behind him. He turned around to see the lizard man running at him. Davis did what any brave man would. He got back in his car and drove away. Apparently the lizard man jumped onto the car roof, but soon fell off. It was described as a 7 foot tall humanoid covered in scaly lizard skin. It had long dark hair and only 3 fingers per hand. Ever since Christopher Davis encounter with the lizard man, many others have reported seeing it.
The Nameless Thing Of Berkeley Square
50 Berkeley square is one of London’s oldest buildings. It gained notoriety in the late 19th century for supposedly being haunted. Many believed the 2nd floor was occupied by a monster so strange it was never given a name. In 1840, a man named Robert Warboys decided to spend a night on the second floor to see if the legend was true. Bringing only a candle and a pistol, he booked a room for the night. Each floor was taken care of by a guard who stood in the hallway. After a while the guard heard a gunshot coming from Warboys’ room. The guard entered the room to see Warboys dead body. But his death was judged to be of unknown causes – not by the gunshot. Since then there have been more than one encounters with the nameless thing of Berkeley square.
Beast Of Bladenboro
In 1953, the American town of Blandenboro was terrorised by an unidentified animal. Known as the beast of Blandenboro, it killed many dogs before disappearing into the local swampland. Witnesses described it as a large monsterous cat with dark fur. It killed so many dogs that a group of 500 hunters entered the swamp to kill it. They didn’t find it. So two days later, a thousand locals joined the hunt. They didn’t find much, other than a bobcat, which they did kill.
The Bauman Story
During the 1800s, a man named Bauman was camping in the woods with a friend. Their goal was to trap small animals for their fur. One night, Bauman looked out of their shelter to see Bigfoot standing there. The terrified Bauman shot it with his rifle – which scared the beast off. The beast returned to damage their camp whenever they were out setting traps. One day the split up to check their traps. On returning to the camp, Bauman saw his friend dead on the floor. His neck was broken and he was surrounded by large footprints. Bauman ran away and survived the experience. Many people believe this story is true simply because it was published by Theodore Roosevelt in his 1892 book.
The Jersey Devil
Urban legend has long told of a mysterious beast in New Jersey. Known as the Jersey devil, it’s described as a hooved biped with wings, the head of a goat, and t-rex arms. Joseph Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon and king of Spain, claimed to have seen the devil in 1820. But this was just one story involving the Jersey devil. In 1909, local newspapers began publishing reported encounters with the devil. There were hundreds of them; most of which described the same thing. And since then there have been thousands more. It’s said to be heard from miles around by it’s terrifying scream.
African folklore has long told of a monstrous plant that kills and eats humans. In 1874, newspapers began reporting the first documented encounter with the tree. The story told that the German explorer Karl Liche witnessed the tree kill someone. He was in Madagascar spending time with a local tribe. The tribe wanted to impress him so they took hold of a local woman and sacrificed her to the tree. The tree wrapped it’s branches around her arms and neck and she was soon dead. The story describes in detail how the natives laughed the whole time this happened.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many claimed to encounter a strange monster known as Spring-heeled Jack. They called him that because of his ability to jump great distances. Urban legend tells man stories of him attacking people as they walk through London at night. He looked like a gentleman at first until you noticed his horns and sharp claws. He attacked so many people in London that the mayor even recognized his existence. People were advised not to go out alone at night as just looking at Jack could cause you to have a heart attack.
Since the 18th century, a legendary monster has been reported in Norwegian waters. Known as the Kraken, it was basically a giant that could destroy entire ships. In the late 12 hundreds, Icelandic sailors encountered 2 Kraken while on route to Canada. At first they looked like two small islands. But it soon became clear that they were living creatures. Their mouths were bigger than the sailors ships. In 1802, a French Zoologist called Montford claimed that the beasts had destroyed 10 British warships one night in 1782. In reality, the ships were destroyed by a hurricane.
Black Shuck is a terrifying dog monster that apparently lives in the English countryside. It’s just one of many ghostly dogs who have been reported for hundreds of years. It was first reported in the 12th century by a group of hunters. It had large red glowing eyes and dark shaggy fur. Just one could kill and devour a whole village of people. It’s most notorious appearance was in 1577. In 1577, a Black Shuck burst through the doors of a church during a storm. It killed two people almost immediately before fleeing into the night. They say it left the ground scorched where it’s paws landed.
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