The Dark Watchers is a name given to a group of entities in California folklore. They are purportedly seen observing travelers along the Santa Lucia Mountains.
Known by early Spanish settlers as Los Vigilantes Oscuros, the Dark Watchers are described at tall, featureless dark silhouettes. People report seeing them wear brimmed hats or carrying walking sticks. Seen often around twilight and dawn, they are said to motionlessly watch travelers from the horizon.
The Dark Watchers gained some notoriety when John Steinbeck mentioned them briefly in his collection of short stories, The Long Valley in the story Flight.
“Pepé looked suspiciously back every minute or so, and his eyes sought the tops of the ridges ahead. Once, on a white barren spur, he saw a black figure for a moment; but he looked quickly away, for it was one of the dark watchers. No one knew who the watchers were, nor where they lived, but it was better to ignore them and never to show interest in them. They did not bother one who stayed on the trail and minded his own business.”
Psychologists have proposed simple solutions to these strange beings. These range from illusions to hallucinations or misinterpretations of natural stimulus that can be brought on by exhaustion or isolation.
Another possibility is infrasound. Infrasound can be generated by wind and cause feelings of unease and anxiety. People frequently connect it with paranormal sightings.
Lastly, an optical illusion known as the Brocken spectre is given as a plausible explanation. A Brocken spectre can occur in certain atmospheric conditions when the sun is at a particular angle. The suject's shadow can be cast onto a cloud bank around them and create the illusion of a large shadowy figure.
What do you think? Are these mysterious figures a figment of our imagination? An optical illusion? Or something more sinister? Have you ever seen a shadowy figure that you can't explain?
Today for Monster Monday, we search for Arizona's Mogollon Monster. Thanks to Heather Holden for telling me about it in last month's post on The Michigan Dogman.
Mogollon Monster is a type of cryptid that originated from Mogollon Rim, Arizona. Reports of footprints, video, and hair samples have been documented, but much like the more famous Bigfoot, no conclusive evidence of this cryptid has been found to date.
The oldest documented sighting was reported in an edition of The Arizona Republican in 1903. I.W. Stevens described a creatures seen near the Grand Canyon. It had "long white hair and matted beard that reached to his knees. It wore no clothing, and upon his talon-like fingers were claws at least two inches long."
The Mogollon Monster is reported to be bipedal and humanoid. It is over seven feet tall with inhuman strength, and large eyes that some people claim to be "wild and red". It's body is covered with long black or reddish-brown hair, except for its chest, face, hands, and feet.
A POSSIBLE EXPLANATION?
Like Bigfoot, there are skeptics. Many in the scientific community attributed sightings to other creatures like bears, mountain lions, or elks. In fact, grizzly bears were known to roam the forests of Arizona in the 1930s.
What do you think? Is the Mogollon Monster just misidentification? Or a cousin of Bigfoot? What cryptids are lurking in your neck of the woods? Let's chat about it in the comments.
Every state in the US has its own cryptozoological creature. For Michigan, our creature is the Dogman. It was first reported in 1887 in Wexford County. The creature was described as a seven-foot tall bipedal canine-like animal with a man's torso, the head of a wolf, and terrifying howl.
The tale really gained traction in the twentieth century. A disc jockey named Steve Cook played the song "The Legend" as an April Fool's day joke in 1987. After the song air, reports of sightings poured into the station. According to author Linda S. Godfrey the area around Kalamazoo and the Manistee National Forest are hotspots. (My sister lives by Kalamazoo. I better tell her to watch out!)
Ever since, people from all over Michigan have reported seeing dogmen.
Except me. I can say I have yet to see a dogman or dogboy. I didn't even know it was a thing most of my life. Of course, now that I'm aware of it, and being from Michigan myself, I really want to write a story featuring the dogman.
What cryptozoological creatures does your state have? Ever seen one? Bigfoot maybe? He likes to hog the limelight.
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