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Exploring American Monsters: Colorado

Known for its Wild West history, and great skiing, Colorado also boasts a wealth of dinosaur fossils, is the birthplace of Frank Welker (the voice of Fred from Scooby Doo), and a variety of geography, such as high plains, most of the Southern Rocky Mountains, and desert. The perfect habitats for Bigfoot?

Well, sure. Colorado has a long history of Bigfoot encounters, but “Exploring American Monsters” isn’t about well-known cryptids like Bigfoot, it’s about bizarre hidden monsters like the Slide Rock Bolter.

Slide Rock Bolter illustration by Coert Du Bois in the 1910 book “Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods.”

Slide Rock Bolter illustration by Coert Du Bois in the 1910 book “Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods.”

Slide Rock Bolter

Miners and lumberjacks in the 1800s came out of the mountains with tales of a land whale that lived on the slopes, and fed off any animal that wandered in front of it – especially people. This huge creature would lurk at the tops of mountains, lying in wait for days, unmoving. It latched itself onto the mountainside with hooks on the end of its massive fluked tail. When prey approached, it would release the hooks, and slide down the slope, tearing through trees, and boulders, before swallowing its dinner with its huge, saw-toothed mouth.

One of the earliest accounts of the Slide Rock Bolter in print was in the 1910 book, “Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods,” by William T. Cox. As the years went on, and Colorado became a vacation spot, the Slide Rock Bolter has been blamed for missing tourists it apparently loves to dine on.

The grave of Fodor Glava – the Lafayette Vampire.

The grave of Fodor Glava – the Lafayette Vampire.

Vampires

In 2010, a woman drove her SUV into a canal in Mesa County, Colorado, and told authorities the wreck was caused by a vampire, according to The Denver Post. She drove on a dirt road near the town of Fruita on the Western Slope when she saw a vampire on the road. Terrified, the woman, not identified by police, put the SUV into reverse, and drove it off the road where it overturned. Authorities said she was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

This isn’t the first report of a vampire in Colorado. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the mining town of Lafayette, east of Boulder, attracted workers from the eastern United States, as well as Europe. One of these workers was Fodor Glava from Transylvania – the Lafayette Vampire.

When Glava died in 1918, rumors started circulating that he was a vampire. When a tree sprouted from his grave on what would be the chest region of Glava (now six feet under), people were convinced the tree grew from a stake driven into his heart, Claudia Lund, curator of the Lafayette Miner’s Museum, told Colorado’s News9. A blood-red bush that grows next to the grave didn’t help matters.

Living dinosaurs have been reported in Colorado.

Living dinosaurs have been reported in Colorado.

Living Dinosaurs

Myrtle Snow, of Pagosa Springs in north-central Colorado, in 1982 told Empire Magazine that, as a child she’d seen living dinosaurs. In 1935, when she was three, she saw “five baby dinosaurs.” After the dinosaurs attacked a local farmer’s sheep, the farmer shot one, and she got a good look at it. “My grandfather took us to see it the next morning,” she told Empire. “It was about seven feet tall, was gray, had a head like a snake, short front legs with claws that resembled chicken feet, large stout back legs and a long tail.”

A fanciful tale? Maybe, if it was the only one.

Over the years, residents of Pueblo, in southeastern Colorado, have claimed to see Tyrannosaurus-Rex-type dinosaurs running through the countryside. The creature, a small T-Rex at about three feet tall, has powerful hind legs, tiny front legs, and a long tail.

Next up: Connecticut. 

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Jason Offutt is paranormal investigator, an author of several paranormal books such as “What Lurks Beyond,” “Darkness Walks: Shadow People Among us,” “Haunted Missouri,” and “Paranormal Missouri” and a teacher of journalism at Northwest Missouri State University.

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