True Stories of Monsters and Cryptids

Real people see cryptids, monsters, and other strange creatures

William Andrew / Getty Images

The number and variety of strange creatures that people report seeing is astonishing. Of course, it's possible that they are misidentifying known creatures, but what if only some of these sightings are accurate? Here are real reports of cryptids, monsters, and other strange creatures.

Cornfield Creature

Frank saw a creature he could not identify in a cornfield.
Frank saw a creature he could not identify in a cornfield. inhauscreative / Getty Images

I used to work at a cheese factory on the edge of a cornfield in southwestern Minnesota. There were a series of days in the summer of '04 or '05 where it was so hot that the milk being delivered to us in trucks would evaporate before we got it. It made work easy; the dearth of milk denied us any actual labor, but management wouldn't let us not come to work, so we would show up and mess around all shift.

I was working nights at the time. It was 2 or 3 a.m., and I was out on the loading dock watching bats fly around the floodlights, because I liked being out in the cool night air. The corn was about as high as my shoulder, so about 5' 10".

As I was watching the bats, I looked down at the edge of the cornfield. Something was moving there. It was the size of a small child and very, very skinny. Pale, with something that looked like a head of straight, black hair. It moved in a sort of jerky gait, like someone dancing "the robot" badly. It moved in chunks: legs, then hips, then torso, shoulders, neck and finally head. It was looking back into the cornfield, or at least I felt like it was.

I felt prickly all over. I didn't know what it was. I thought it was a heron or something at first, but it looked too much like a person. It didn't move like a person, though. Gradually, step by step, it moved toward me. Letting my curiosity better my fear, I moved toward the edge of the dock, which was raised a few feet off the ground. When I got within a few feet of the edge, the thing looked at me. I was paralyzed. I could have run, but I was stuck somewhere between terrified and intrigued.

It moved, its "face" still pointed at me. It ratcheted its body in that disconcerting, jerky movement toward the cornfield and went into it. I tried to watch where the field moved as it passed, but the corn remained perfectly still. I noticed that all the crickets were silent. After a few minutes, nothing happened. I stood out there for an hour, but it never came back. I never saw it again.

— Frank Semko

Forest Cryptid

The creature slithered through the grass like a snake, yet climbed a tree like a cat.
The creature slithered through the grass like a snake, yet climbed a tree like a cat. Amanda Hitch / EyeEm / Getty Images

My strange story took place on the 26th of September, 2009. My church was on a retreat in Indiana, in a forest. The place we stayed at was a small building in the center of the forest. We decided that evening to go out and play in the forest with the children, so we came up with a game to play. It was like police: the kids were the police and we would pick an adult to be the hostage. So when we began the game, we had to find the adult hiding in the forest in the middle of the night.

So we start going around the back of the building and we spotted a tall figure. It had to be at least six feet tall. It was running toward the trees where there was a small open area with tall grass that goes up to your knees. It ran with its arms at its sides, but it stopped at the edge of the tall grass, as if to wait for us to get closer.

We chased after it, thinking it was the adult. When we were finally a few yards away, it dove into the grass and started to crawl very fast, almost snake-like. We got weirded out, but stood there staring at it. When it got across the tall grass, it began to climb a tree! It looked somewhat like a deformed cat-like animal when it was climbing. Then a few moments later a kid yelled, "I see him!" and was pointing in an opposite direction. We saw a similar figure running a couple of yards away, so we chased it. But then it vanished behind a tree!

Turns out, a few minutes later we found the adult hiding in the parking lot in the front of the building the whole time. So who knows what we saw that night in that forest. At least 15 kids saw the thing with me, so I know I'm not crazy!

— Joanna H.

Primehook Swamp Creature

Perhaps the Primehook creature was an unfamiliar or unusual species of wild cat.
Perhaps the Primehook creature was an unfamiliar or unusual species of wild cat. Hillary Kladke / Getty Images

I was driving on Broadkill Road in Broadkill Beach Delaware around dusk in July 2007. This road borders a swamp area. Standing on the side of the road by the swamp, my daughter and I saw a creature like we've never seen before. It stood about 2-1/2 to 3 feet tall with long legs, a tan body, a flat, almost puggish face, and a long tail. It had small ears and looked to be about 30 pounds.

My other daughter and her friend also saw this same animal the year before around the same area, except it was night and it ran in front of their car. I asked the lady who owned the Broadkill Beach store about it and she said she had seen it once when she was dirt biking with her dad in that area years before, and both her and her dad had no idea what it was even though she was raised around Broadkill.

She said we were lucky to have spotted it as very few people have seen it. We went to the Primehook Reserve (this is what the swampy area is called) museum and they had no idea what it could be. I am wondering if anyone else has seen it and what the heck it is.

— Helen J.

Florida Sea Monster

They were unafraid of the green blob, but it was a creature none had seen before.
They were unafraid of the green blob, but it was a creature none had seen before. MisterM / Getty Images

This story takes place, I think, in the summer of 1995, making me 9 years old. Practically every other year, my family would take a trip to Florida. We would usually go to Disney World, but my mother was getting sick of that, so that year we actually didn't go to Disney World to my sister's and my dismay.

On one of these days, we were on a beach. I don't remember what the beach was called, but the people sitting next to us mentioned it being the bottom tip of Florida. After a while of nothing happening, everybody was either in the ocean or sunbathing silently. A woman sitting to the left of us pointed past us, to our right, asking, "What is that?" We all turned and looked to a surprisingly vacant corner of the beach. There were no people down there, but what was there was something really strange.

We all got up to get a better look, very quickly forming a crowd around it. If I had to describe the creature we saw in one word, that word would be "cartoonish." I will never forget what it looked like. It was green and looked like a ball of slime about the size of a basketball. It had tentacles resting on the ground around it with two longer tail-like tentacles sticking out of its back. The thing that was the most bizarre and made it look cartoonish were its eyes, which were on stalks that stood about a foot off its body. The eyes looked creepily human and just looked at us in an almost disinterested way. The other strange thing about it was its mouth, which never seemed to close, and where you'd expect teeth were tooth-shaped fleshy protrusions. No one, not even the creature, seemed scared, and after a while it lazily slithered back into the ocean.

There were roughly 10 witnesses to this thing, and we all spent most of our time talking about what it must have been. One idea was that it was a parasite organism for a much larger creature, one also possibly never identified.

— Adam G.

The Mothman

Artist's impression of the Mothman.
Artist's impression of the Mothman. Tim Bertelink

You will never believe what I saw one very cold, dry November night. My family and I moved into a new house upon a hill on a little back road, in the very small town of Fort Gay, WV. Fort Gay sits right on the east side of Kentucky. The population of my town then was probably just a couple thousand. My family and I were unpacking. We had not yet put the furniture in its rightful places and everything was still in boxes. Overwhelmed with working all day, I retired around 11:00 p.m. I put my little brother on the couch and I took his bed, since my bed wasn't put together yet. His room faces the front of the house; his window is around 20 to 25 feet or so off the ground.

I was looking out the window when I saw "it." It stood about 7 feet tall. I had no idea what it was, but I was frozen. I had never been that scared in all my life. All I could do was lay there and just stare at this thing. It was sitting in a tree about 50 feet or so off the ground, about 50 feet from the house across the yard. It felt like an eternity. I couldn't breath; I couldn't even blink. It had big, red, bright glowing eyes looking dead into my face. I finally worked up enough courage to close my eyes and put my head under the covers, when all of a sudden this thing smacked the window.

I went through the house screaming, "There's something outside!" I was crying. My mom and dad looked at me and said, "What's wrong with you? It looks like you have seen a ghost!" My face was snow white. I said, "I dont know what it was, but please, daddy, don't go outside." I begged and I begged. He came back in and said they was nothing out there. I kept screaming saying, "Yes, there is! Yes, there is."

When I explained to them what I saw and how I felt, they said I was crazy, but to this day I will not go outside by myself, and even in the day someone still has to watch me to my car. I have heard of some pretty crazy things going on up on that road, but I never expected to experience anything myself. My husband and I went to the theaters and watched Mothman Prophecies. I was reliving that night all over again. The way they described feeling and what saw was remarkable. My husband looked over at me and said, "Isn't that what you described to me when we first started dating?" I couldn't say a word. After that moment I knew what I saw. I believe in all heart of hearts I saw the Mothman. It's just a little weird. I only live about 80 miles south of Point Pleasant, WV, where all that took place 37 years ago. It was exactly 32 years to the month when I saw "It."

— Scarlett

The Kitsune (Fox Spirit)

In Japanese shrines, fox statues may be adorned with red bibs as a sign of devotion and connection to the Kitsune.
In Japanese shrines, fox statues may be adorned with red bibs as a sign of devotion and connection to the Kitsune. cwithe / Getty Images

Back in September of 2004, I was hiking in the Arashiyama area outside of Kyoto, Japan. I had decided to leave the touristy area and set off alone in a random direction toward the mountains. I found myself on an old trail through the forest.

After a while, I encountered an old man with a long white beard. He carried a staff and was dressed in coarse blue robes, like a peasant out of a Samurai movie. He saw me and told me to follow him. Being more curious than anything, I walked after him as he led me further into the forest.

He spoke at length about the beauty of nature, how people cut down forests and polluted the Earth, and told me that humans must learn to protect and respect nature. During the whole exchange he never spoke about himself or asked any questions of me. After a while he said he had to leave and showed me another trail, saying I should take it when I wanted to go back to the city. He then left by that trail.

I happened to pass the same place on the way back that evening, so I took the trail the old man showed me. Only minutes later, I ended up completely lost and couldn't even find the trail itself to retrace my steps. It was getting dark out, and as I shone my flashlight around I noticed an old white fox watching me from nearby. I could have sworn it was watching me with an amused look on its face, but as soon as I shone my light on it, it ran off into the bushes.

I remember reading all sorts of old Japanese stories and legends about fox spirits that can take human form, and I feel like I may have seen one that day.

— Bryan T.

Invisible Sprinting Humanoids

The speed camera saw the silver woman, but she was invisible to the officer.
The speed camera saw the silver woman, but she was invisible to the officer. Stanislaw Pytel / Getty Images

Working as a police motorway patrol-woman in Portsmouth, England, I'm frequently confronted with situations that are both bizarre and unnerving. However, the incident that occurred on the 25th of November last year is by far the most unusual of them all. During a routine speed camera set up in the city, around 6.30 pm (at which time it was completely dark,) our speed trap picked up random tracings of nonexistent objects hurtling past at 30 to 40 mph.

The devices are not actually known to malfunction, so we trained the camera on the road surface to see what we picked up. Sitting in the back of the patrol van, we were shocked to discover on the screen that the camera was picking up what can only be described as human figures, running up and down the street approximately 40 ft away from the vehicle, only barely visible through the night vision filter. They were of average height, had a silvery hue, and were sprinting up and down the central reservation (the dividing surface between two opposite lanes on a motorway) repeatedly, and very fast.

I admit I did not exit the vehicle to investigate, but apparently I didn't have to. Only about 10 feet away, at the side of the road, one of these silvery entities just appeared on the screen. Female, approximately 6 foot, and standing motionless facing away from the van. She was dressed in scantily clad clothing, not unlike that a young woman on an evening out may wear. I was extremely freaked out, especially considering that leaning out of the window, there was absolutely no evidence of anyone standing that close to the vehicle. As the first vehicle only five minutes from the first sighting drove past, all visible evidence of the entities had vanished. Nothing occurred from that time till the end of my duty at 9 p.m., and yet, when I played back the footage from the camera, the silvery objects and the woman are not on the tape!

Obviously, I did not report the incident, but friends and fellow officers agree that it is highly unusual, and none of them had experienced anything of the like before.

— Cassandra J.

Red-Eyed Roadside Cryptid

Is there a Bigfoot living in East Texas?
Is there a Bigfoot living in East Texas?. Nisian Hughes / Getty Images

The following happened in Vidor, Texas on June 20, 2000 around 1:00 am. I just got off from work and was headed east. On this road there is a 90 degree turn, and at times you have to watch because cattle might be out and on the road.

That morning that's what I thought had happened. No one else was on the road, but I saw red eyes that would look at the truck lights and look down over and over, and I knew something was not right.

I was driving on the left side of the road, and when I got close I noticed that this red-eyed creature stood about five foot tall and sported black hair all over its body.

I stopped the truck and got out my spotlight and shined it on this creature. It seemed like forever, but I know that it was only a few minutes. This creature raised its arm above its head and let out a terrible scream that I have heard before. It turned around and went behind a house and left.

I have heard this sound before when I lived on Teal Rd. in Orange, Texas, just a few miles from this location. I have traveled this road many times hoping to see this creature again and never have. I'm told this creature is related to Bigfoot.

— Britton J.

Bizarre Australian Creature

Perhaps the Australian cryptid was an unknown species of salamander.
Perhaps the Australian cryptid was an unknown species of salamander. Photo by Eduardo Barrera / Getty Images

I'm not entirely sure on the exact date of when this happened, but it would have been around 1999, maybe in spring or summer. Living in Australia, you are bound to see strange things from time to time, although most have an explanation behind them. This is different.

I was young at the time, probably nine or so, and my family was having a barbecue in the backyard of our house. We were all sitting at this table on the patio, eating and talking, not really paying attention to anything surrounding us. Suddenly, I heard a "plop" noise come from the leaf cover in the garden along the back fence. I immediately turned and looked to see what had made the noise.

To my horror, I saw a small, blue creature look at me then run into the shrubbery. It was about 15 cm (6 inches) tall, on all fours. It didn't have any toes that I could see. Its face was vertically oval shaped with small black eyes, a long, protruding nose and a grimacing mouth filled with almost needle-like teeth. The outer of the face was dark blue, sort of like a mane, but it looked hairless. The rest of the face and body was light blue. The best I can describe the body is like that of a lion, except with short legs, no tail and less sculpted.

I looked at my brother and he said, "What was that!?" He had seen it, too. When my mum calmed us down, she took my brother and me to separate rooms of the house and got us to draw what we had seen. We both drew the same thing. I was terrified for the rest of the night. To this day, I still don't know what the creature was that I saw, but it still gives me the creeps.

— Jessica C.

Edited by Anne Helmenstine