South Carolina – The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp

Described by 17-year-old South Carolinian Christopher Davies as “green, wetlike, about 7 feet (2.1 m) tall [with] three fingers, red eyes, skin like a lizard, snakelike scales”, the Lizard Man was first reported in the Lee County region of South Carolina in 1988. Subsequent tales have made it onto CNN in 2008 and local WCIV TV news crews reported on an alleged sighting in 2015. Officials believe the Lizard Man is, in fact, just a bear.

Michigan – The Michigan Dogman

The first alleged encounter of the Michigan Dogman happened all the way back in 1887. Two Wexford County lumberjacks claimed they saw something that had the body of a man and the head of a dog while out working. The creature was also allegedly spotted in Paris, Michigan in 1937 and then again in the Allegan County and Cross Village areas in the 50s and 60s.

Arizona – Mogollon Monster

The Mogollon region of Arizona is a steep sloped mountainous area of land that forms the southwestern part of the Colorado Plateau. Within this expansive terrain exists the reputed abode of Arizona’s very own Mogollon Monster. The initial sighting of the Mogollon Monster dates back to 1903, when IW Stevens encountered a green-eyed, fur-covered ‘man’ during a journey to the Colorado River.

Arkansas – The Fouke Monster

With local folklore putting sightings of an ape-like creature as far back as 1856, it was in the 1970s that the small, rural town of Fouke first alleged that a monster was terrorising their residents. The alleged creature made local headlines in 1971, when it was reported to have attacked the home of Bobby and Elizabeth Ford. According to Elizabeth Ford, the creature reached through a screen window on the night of May 2 while she was sleeping on a couch.

Wisconsin – The Hodag

Credit: The Living Legend of Rhinelander’s Hodag via Wikimedia Commons

In 1885, Eugene Shepard, a deputy land surveyor and known prankster, brought the legend of the lumberjack-eating Hodag to life. Shepard describes the Hodag as having giant horns, a horned tail, and an unsightly face. The Hodag of local folklore says it can’t withstand its reflection, and that it would go to weep in the forest if it caught sight of itself.

New York – Champ

Credit: Yale Center for British Art via Wikimedia Commons

According to legend, a huge serpent-like sea monster known as Champ calls Lake Champlain its home. The legend grew after French cartographer Samuel de Champlain, after whom the lake is named, recorded the presence of larger than normal aquatic animals in his journals in 1609. Speculation ramped up over the following centuries, with over 300 reported sightings of Champ to date.

California – Bigfoot

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Made famous in popular culture by the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film, the legend of Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, is well documented. The Patterson-Gimlin footage was captured at Bluff Creek, California and attempts to prove its authenticity or to prove its a hoax have gone on ever since. Bigfoot enthusiasts have offered up plenty of ‘evidence’ over the years to support the existence of Bigfoot, from hair samples to footprints, yet scientists and sceptics alike are in agreement that Bigfoot is just a myth.

West Virginia – Mothman

According to West Virginia folklore, the Mothman is a humanoid figure that was allegedly scaring locals in the Point Pleasant area in 1966 and continued its reign of terror for over a year. The Point Pleasant Register newspaper ran a story in November 1966 under the headline “Couples See Man-Sized Bird … Creature … Something.” It is believed however that given the timeframe, it was most likely misidentified sightings of migratory sandhill cranes or herons.

Iowa – The Van Meter Monster

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Van Meter Monster tale emerged with the town’s founding in 1903. Local man UG Griffith noticed an odd light on a rooftop and as he approached, the light suddenly flew across the street. Another resident, Dr Alcott, claims a light visited him during the night and behind it he could see a half-human, half-animal creature. Soon the whole town was in search of the beast and when they finally discovered its lair and fired at the light, it vanished.

Ohio – The Lake Erie Monster

Credit: Dennis Jarvis via Wikimedia Commons

Lake Erie is renowned as the alleged home of Bessie, a serpent-necked entity supposedly sighted there. In 1817, two French settlers reportedly came across a stranded, dying creature. Described as a sturgeon-shaped 30-foot monster, it vanished before their return, leaving silver dollar-shaped scales on the shore. Much like Loch Ness in Scotland, Lake Erie towns have capitalised on the myth and Bessie is seen as a local tourist attraction.