Monday, October 24, 2011

Beware of the Devil Monkeys!

Thus begins for days leading up to Halloween on ghosts, monsters, the Bunnyman and other serial killer urban legends, and other terrifying things. Then on Halloween, there will be a special Halloween horror fiction of mine for all to enjoy.

Today, we'll talk about a Southern legendary monster, the devil monkey. Devil monkeys are described as baboon-like creatures able to leap like kangaroos. They have dark, “mean” eyes, pointed ears, short to shaggy fur that varies from red to gray to black, and large flat feet. Ranging in height from three to eight feet, it is said that they won’t back down, even from dogs, and although thought to be vegetarians, there are stories told of them killing livestock and small game. They exhibit a range of primate hoots, calls, screeches, whistles, and unearthly screams, and have an odor so bad, they have been also called Skunk Apes. It has been seen in the area of the Appalachian  Mountains to even in British Columbia.

A cryptozoologist, Chad Arment, investigated the sightings of these creatures that one Virginia family and their friends had experiences with. This occurred from 1959-1990s, in the mountains that surround Saltville.

Paranormal investigators Pauline and James Boyd’s parents were attacked in 1959 by a creature that left three scratch marks on their car. Not long after, a couple of nurses were driving home when an unknown animal attacked their vehicle, ripping the convertible’s top off. Badly shaken, they escaped otherwise unharmed.

Friends of Pauline saw one of these creatures trotting across the road in front of their car. It leaped over a ditch, glided over a fence, and bounded through weeds along the road.

Other sightings have occurred as recently as 2001, when a giant black monkey was seen nine different times over the course of two weeks in rural New Hampshire. It has even been told that a search party was formed to track one of these they thought was a devil monkey, but that the dogs refused to follow the trail.

Another beast, the "Belt Road Booger” was encountered by several people in Georgia in the 1970s. It was thought this might have been a devil monkey. The Nalusa Flaya of Choctaw legend bears a strong physical resemblance to the devil monkey, though the devil monkey does not appear to have any of the supernatural abilites attributed to this legendary monster.

 What are these devil monkeys? Some people think devil monkeys are feral monkeys released into the wild or escaped from research facilities, such as the ones that broke free in Florida due to Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Cryptozoologists think that are a surviving species once thought to be extinct, like a fruit-eating spider monkey originating from Brazil, or a large baboon that lived 650,000 years ago in East Africa. Maybe they could even be a sort of Sasquatch?  Or could these beasties be nothing more than an illusion? Whatever devil monkeys are, they are a fascinating tale to tell on Halloween around the hearth fire or around a campfire.

In 1996, a woman named Barbara Mullins was driving down a stretch of road in Louisiana known as Highway 12 when she noticed something odd on the side of the road. At first Mullins through the carcass she had found was that of a dog, that was until she saw it’s baboon like features. Mullins snapped several pictures of the carcass with her camera; the resulting images have been the topic of much debate in the cryptozoology world. The creature was described as being about the size of a large adult Saint Bernard and covered with a think coat of dark wooly hair. It's most notable attribute was its decidedly simian features, extended feet, and small, presumably pointed ears. I went to the website with the pictures and concluded myself it was nothing more than some dog, maybe gone feral. To me, there was nothing ape-like or monkey-like in the dead animal's appearance.

Was that a screech you heard in the night? Beware, it just might be the. . .devil monkey!


Bonnie said...

Great post! I love to learn about weird creatures.

Anita Clenney said...

Wow, I really enjoyed this post. When I was young, I lived not far from Saltville, Va but have never heard of these monkeys. Fascinating. I love bizarre things.

Sharon said...

Good lead-in to Halloween. Legends are everywhere about everything. Oooooooooohhhhh!

Nina Pierce said...

Whatever it is, I certainly wouldn't want to encounter it on a lonely stretch of road in the middle of the night! My scientist mind would certainly go with the feral monkey theory.