Horror flicks are full of grisly monster attacks. Freddy Krueger chops up teenagers, Godzilla burns down cities, Dracula sucks blood, and the Gill-man carries off lovely ladies. But it’s all good fun because it’s just fiction . . . right? Perhaps. Throughout history, thousands of people, wide-eyed with terror, have claimed they were attacked by monsters, demons, and things with very sharp teeth. Maybe they were lying, confused, or just drunk. Or maybe they were telling the truth.
As we’ve seen before, 50 Berkeley Square is the most haunted house in London. This infamous home is supposedly full of spirits, but what if there’s something worse crawling through its halls? Ever since the 1840s, there have been stories of a nameless horror lurking in the upper floors. While some claim the “thing” is a violent ghost, others believe Berkeley Square is home to a real-life eldritch abomination.
In the 1840s, paranormal skeptic Sir Robert Warboys accepted the challenge of spending a night in the second story of London’s hell house. At the nervous landlord’s insistence, Warboys armed himself with a candle and a pistol and was ordered to yank the bell pull if anything strange happened. At 12:45, the landlord was jolted from his sleep by the ringing of the bell and the roar of a gunshot. He charged up the stairs and burst into Warboy’s room to find the young man huddled in a corner, smoking pistol in hand, and very much dead. There was no sign of an intruder, but the landlord could tell by the look left on Warboy’s pale face that he’d seen something horrible.
The second encounter took place in 1943, when two sailors named Martin and Blunden, both broke after a night of carousing, decided to spend the night in the abandoned house. They found a relatively dry and rat-free room upstairs, made a nice little fire and fell asleep on the floor. But after midnight, Blunden woke to the sound of creaking hinges and sat up to see the bedroom door slowly opening. Petrified, he woke up Martin, and that’s when they heard something wet, something slimy, dragging its way across the floor, slowly oozing towards them. Martin saw the creature, something he could only describe as a “hideous monstrosity” (perhaps because it was too awful for the human mind to comprehend), and it was blocking the door.
The monster suddenly sprang toward Blunden, wrapping around the man’s throat, choking the life out of him. Martin took off screaming and found a police officer patrolling the neighborhood. The cop was skeptical of Martin’s story, but after searching the house, he found Blunden’s body in the basement. The sailor’s neck was broken, and his eyes were bulging out of his head. Obviously, a more plausible scenario would be that Martin murdered his friend, but then why would he make up such a preposterous story? And what about numerous other sightings where witnesses described seeing a massive, viscous blob armed with tentacles? There are things man was not meant to know, and it might be that one of them lives in 50 Berkeley Square.
Despite Monsters, Inc., the yeti isn’t adorable—not if Lhakpa Dolma is telling the truth. In 1974, 14-year-old Lhakpa was tending her yaks in the cold Nepalese mountains when something came charging down the mountainside. A yeti grabbed the girl and hurled her into a stream. Scared but unhurt, Lhakpa watched as the creature turned its attention towards her livestock.
According to Lhakpa, the monster was dark brown with a wrinkly face and long nails, and it walked on both its hind legs and all fours. She also said it was about 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall, meaning the yeti is the same height as Danny DeVito. But what the yeti lacked in height, it made up for in muscles. It punched the yaks, and like a psychotic cowboy, grabbed their horns and twisted until their necks snapped. After killing three, the rampaging snowman ate their brains.
Lhakpa was traumatized, and her family found her in tears. They notified the police, who found strange bite marks on the yaks and odd footprints in the snow. So could a yeti actually have attacked Lhakpa Dolma? Whatever the culprit, it certainly was abominable.
Believe it or not, the Lone Star State is full of werewolves. In 1958, Mrs. Delburt Gregg of Greggton awoke to find a wolf-man staring through her window. According to one old tale, settler and tombstone carver N.Q. Patterson of Kimble County etched the gruesome face of a local lycanthrope into the limestone rocks near his home. And in San Antonio, the Crimson Blood Wolf Pack is a group of self-proclaimed teenage werewolves who wear fake fangs, slit-iris contacts, and animal tails.
But the most terrifying Texas tale is the legend of the Converse Werewolf. The story goes that an old rancher armed his son with a rifle and sent him into the woods to shoot a deer and prove himself a man. When the boy didn’t return after several days, the rancher formed a search party and set out to find him.
As the rancher made his way through the underbrush, he heard a strange noise in the distance. Hoping it was his lost son, he tore through the trees and found his boy . . . being eaten by a gigantic wolf monster. Horrified, the rancher shot the beast, which dropped its prey and ran away. But the rancher was too late—the boy’s body had been ripped to shreds. After the werewolf encounter, the rancher lost his grip. He shut himself inside his cabin, refused to eat, and died a lonely death. It’s like H.P. Lovecraft wrote a western.
Located in the North Cascades National Forest, the beautiful waters of Lake Chelan certainly look inviting. But there’s something dangerous lurking beneath “Washington’s Playground.” According to one legend, Native Americans discovered a devil living in its depths and tried to kill the beast by damming the lake. But, like any good horror movie monster, it survived.
The creature resurfaced in 1892. According to a local newspaper, an unidentified young man was bathing in the lake when some very sharp jaws locked onto his legs. The man screamed for help, and two of his friends tried to pull him out. But the hungry monster had other plans. After a life-and-death game of tug-of-war, the men dragged their friend onto the beach—with the creature still clamped onto his legs.
The thing had the legs and body of an alligator, the head and eyes of a snake, a scaly tail, and bat wings. And though its skin was “soft as velvet,” the beast was impossible to kill. The men attacked the monster with knives, rocks, and sticks to no avail. The creature wasn’t letting go. Eventually, they built a fire and dragged the dragon over the flames. That got a reaction—a bad one. The dragon flapped its wings and soared into the air, with the man still in its mouth. Suddenly, it dived into the lake, disappearing along with its victim.
Let’s say you’re being chased by a demon. Your first instinct is to run to a church because evil beings can’t step foot on holy ground, right? Well, that rule doesn’t apply to hellhounds. These black canines have been spotted across the world, and while some think they’re Satan’s attack dogs, others say they’re the devil incarnate. And despite their hellish nature, churches offer no sanctuary.
The most infamous hellhound attack took place on Sunday, August 4, 1577 in Suffolk, England. As the citizens of Bungay prayed inside St. Mary’s Church, a thunderstorm rocked the countryside. Hail pelted the church, and lightning flashed outside its walls, when suddenly a giant dog appeared. The canine leaped into the congregation and began ripping out throats. Just the heat emanating from the beast vaporized anyone who got too close. Some even say it used its front paws to strangle worshipers. By the time it was done, the hellhound had killed three churchgoers, but the night was still young! The black dog ran towards Blythburgh Church where it continued its carnage, claiming more souls before disappearing into the night.
So did a hellhound really attack Bungay and Blythburgh? Records show there was a thunderstorm on August 4, 1577, and that St. Mary’s steeple was struck by lightning. Further, the Churchwarden’s records indicate that two men died in the belfry that night. So was it a natural occurrence? Perhaps. But an old verse claims, “All down the church in the midst of fire, the hellish monster flew. And, passing onward to the quire, he many people slew.” And if you visit Blythburgh, you can still see where the hellhound supposedly scorched the church door.
The Santu Sakai of Malaysia are half-human, half-animal creatures with a nasty habit of raiding villages and carrying people off as midnight snacks. Their name translates into “mouth men,” probably because they have butcher knife fangs and a penchant for eating humans.
Of course, most don’t believe in the Santu Sakai. They sound like a bad dream you’d have after eating spicy food while watching Beowulf. But Henri Van Heerdan would disagree. In 1967, he was hunting in a forest near Kuala Lumpur when he heard growling and screaming coming from the trees. As a hunter, Van Heerdan was used to such noises, but these unnerved him, and he ran.
As he ran, Van Heerdan looked back to see two gruesome ogres barreling straight at him. They were big, blocky, and armed with very sharp teeth. Van Heerdan decided to shoot them down, but before he could aim his shotgun, the Santu Sakai were all over him, knocking his weapon away. Desperate, Van Heerdan clubbed the beasts with a rock and staggered into his car. As he fumbled with his keys, one demon tried smashing through the rear window while the other mounted the hood. Finally, Van Heerdan got the motor running and ditched Thing One, but Thing Two was still battering the windshield. So Van Heerdan hit the brakes, sending the monster sprawling. Then he sped toward civilization, leaving the mouth men to choke in his dust.
Purchase a copy of the May 1965 issue of Fate Magazine, and you’ll find a chilling story titled “My Escape From a Sea Monster” by Edward Brian McCleary. McCleary was just 19 when he and his four teenage friends (Warren Salley, Eric Ruyle, Larry Bill, and Brad Rice) said they were attacked by a prehistoric beast.
On March 24, 1962, the five friends decided to check out the USS Massachusetts. The navy had sunk the decommissioned ship off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, and the boys thought it would be the perfect place to scuba dive. Adventurous teenagers, creepy location, evil monster—you see where this is going.
As the boys sailed towards the battleship in a rubber raft, they hit a fierce storm. After being tossed around by strong winds, they found themselves lost in the fog. While they didn’t run across undead pirates, they did find something worse. As the sun sank, the boys heard something splashing nearby. It was then they smelled the stench of rot . . . and heard something hissing.
McCleary claims he then saw something like a 3 meter (10 ft) pole, or a very long neck, coming straight at them. Panicking, the teens ditched their raft and swam for the battleship, but as they paddled, McCleary saw the monster pull Eric Ruyle under the water. Then he heard Warren Salley shout, “It’s got Brad!” A few moments later, Salley screamed in pain, and Larry Bill vanished into the fog.
McCleary swam to shore, where was discovered by a rescue crew. Three years later, he sold his story to the magazine and sketched an image of the beast that supposedly killed his friends. The illustration bears a striking resemblance to a plesiosaurus. But is there any truth to McCleary’s tale? According to the website “Cryptomundo,” Brad Rice really did wash ashore dead, but the fate of the others remains unclear.
Leonardo Samaniego isn’t your typical monster attack victim. Aside from being a police officer, Samaniego didn’t encounter the standard apeman or sea serpent. Instead, Samaniego claims he was attacked by a “bruja” (Spanish for “witch”).
Officer Samaniego was patrolling the streets of Guadalupe, Mexico on January 16, 2004, when he noticed something jump down from a nearby tree. Curious, Samaniego flicked on his brights to get a better look, and saw a woman clad in a black cape, cloak, and pointy hat. This witchy woman had solid black eyes (no moon in there), no eyelids, and most importantly, her feet weren’t touching the ground. Without warning, the bruja soared toward the car, landing on the hood and glaring at Samaniego with her soulless eyes. As the terrified officer threw his car in reverse, the witch pounded on the windshield, trying to break through and grab Samaniego. Samaniego radioed for backup, but suddenly hit a wall, knocking himself unconscious.
Samaniego awoke inside an ambulance and was tested for drugs and alcohol, both of which turned up negative. He passed all psychological tests, and he’d never had hallucinations before. When reporters arrived, the frightened officer stuck to his story. After his tale went public, hundreds of people reported seeing a woman flying across the sky. Had Samaniego’s story sparked mass hysteria? Or did something really attack his cruiser? If you ever visit Guadalupe, maybe you should take a bucket of water for protection.
The uber-spooky tale of Bauman the mountain man was transcribed by none other than Teddy Roosevelt himself. The story comes from Roosevelt’s 1892 book The Wilderness Hunter, and Bauman’s tale is as creepy as they come.
Bauman and his partner were beaver trappers who’d set up camp and built a lean-to near Montana’s Wisdom River. Leaving their bags behind, they went to set traps, returning as night fell. But when they came back, they found something had torn down their shelter and emptied their packs. Bauman assumed it had been a bear, but his partner was uneasy. Using a torch, he carefully inspected the tracks. “Bauman,” his partner said, “that bear has been walking on two legs.”
That night, as the two slept in a newly built lean-to, Bauman awoke to see a giant standing in the opening. He panicked and shot the intruder, which then took off into the forest. For the rest of the night, the two men sat by the fire, cradling their guns, watching the trees.
The creature returned the next day, wrecking their campsite again while they were trapping. And that night, the men heard the beast howling in the woods. When the sun rose, Bauman and his friend decided it was time to pack up and go. But first, they had to collect their traps, and they made the all-time classic mistake. They split up. Bauman went to the river while his partner stayed to pack their gear.
When Bauman returned to camp, he noticed their fire had gone out. All their belongings were packed, but where was his partner? Bauman called for him, but there was no answer. And then he saw the body. His partner was sprawled on the ground, his neck broken, his throat covered with puncture wounds, and there were giant footprints everywhere. Terrified, Bauman took off running through the forest, leaving behind everything except his gun.
So what was the creature? Bauman believed it was a goblin. Modern cryptozoologists think it was Bigfoot. But Roosevelt was undecided. Perhaps it was just an animal . . . but then again, perhaps not. As he put it, “No man can say.”
Near Mount St. Helens is a narrow gorge called Ape Canyon, and if Fred Beck is telling the truth, its inhabitants don’t care for visitors. In 1924, Beck and four friends were mining for gold near the canyon when weird things started happening. For a week, they’d been hearing strange noises, whistling, and loud booms, like something beating its chest. One day, when Beck and a buddy went to fetch water, they saw a hairy hominid step out of the woods. Perhaps it just wanted to say hi, but Beck’s friend panicked and shot at the creature, driving it into the canyon.
Naturally, the miners were spooked and planned to leave the following morning. The Bigfoot had other plans. That night, the miners were sleeping when something crashed against their cabin. Beck jumped out of bed and heard things, very big things, running around outside. As the cabin had no windows, one of the miners peered through a gap in the logs and saw at least three monsters plotting an attack. The monsters began hurling rocks at the cabin, and they pushed against the door and climbed onto the roof, looking for an entrance. The miners began shooting back, firing through the roof and through gaps in the logs.
The attack continued through the night, with the creatures pummeling the cabin. One of the miners was so afraid that he sang in hopes of appeasing the “Mountain Devils.” But when the sun rose, the beasts melted into the forest. The miners quickly packed and then bolted out the door toward their car. After the miners made it to safety, they told their wild story to several newspapers. When reporters investigated the site, they found mysterious footprints but no Bigfoot, not even dead ones. Obviously, most believe the story was a hoax, and one man even took credit. In 1982, a man named Rant Mullens claimed that not only had he been faking Bigfoot tracks since the ’30s, but that he’d rolled rocks onto Fred Beck’s cabin that night in 1924. So the whole thing was probably a twisted prank . . . but this author still won’t ever spend a night near Ape Canyon.