Exploring American Monsters: New Hampshire
Compared to most of the United States, New Hampshire is small. The Dominican Republic – which shares a Caribbean island with another country – is twice the size of New Hampshire. Yes, New Hampshire is small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty. Forests of white pine, red oak, northern hardwood, and birch stretch over great swaths of the state, along with lakes – 944 of them (natural and manmade), the biggest of which is the 44,586-acre Lake Winnipesaukee. And mountain ranges, sixteen with forty-eight peaks taller than 4,000 feet. New Hampshire is known for the following: winter sports, being the first colony to form a government independent of England, and being the birthplace of people who changed the world, by which I mean the McDonald brothers –founders of McDonald’s Restaurant. Oh, sure, President Franklin Pierce is from New Hampshire, as was astronaut Alan Shepard, and rocker Ronnie James Dio. “Rainbow in the Dark,” baby. Then there are the Devil Monkeys.
Something hairy lurks in the New Hampshire area of the Appalachian Mountains. Monkeys reported anywhere from three feet to eight feet long have been seen in the mountains, and more recently in towns. These primates, with dog-like muzzles, have long black hair streaked with white, pointed ears, and a nasty temper. Devil Monkeys have been known to kill pets, and livestock.
Sightings of Devil Monkeys go back to the 1950s when a baboon-like monster attacked a couple’s car. The most recent report came from 2001 in the small town of Danville, population of just more than 4,000. A group of twelve people encountered an enormous, hooting monkey inside the city limits. “It wasn’t a sound I had heard before,” a witness said.
What is the New Hampshire Devil Monkey? An escaped pet? A North American primate? A spirit? Until one is captured, the residents of New Hampshire will never know.
There seem to be a lot of devils in New Hampshire.
These tall, thin, gray-haired bipedal monsters live deep in the forests. Alert for intruders in its territory, witnesses tend to only see these creatures by accident. Wood Devils are adept at hiding, standing still against a tree, and blending in with the bark. When spooked, Wood Devils can run at great speed.
An account from 1991 near the Androscoggin River paints the Wood Devil as elusive, and silent. The witness, walking through the trees, heard twigs snap behind him. When he turned, nothing was there. However, looking closer, he saw a tall, thin grey figure move away from a tree, then vanish behind another. The creature was about seven feet tall and covered in hair.
Although people now consider New Hampshire’s Wood Devil sightings to be of Bigfoot, the slight build, and slinking behavior makes this unlikely.
Dublin Lake Monster
Dublin Lake, sometimes called Dublin Pond, is a 240-acre, sixty-four-foot-deep body of water in southwestern New Hampshire that has a less than savory reputation. According to the book, “America’s Loch Ness Monsters,” by Philip Rife, Dublin Lake has resident creepy-crawlies that lurk in its underwater caverns.
In the 1980s, a scuba diver apparently ventured deep into Dublin Lake, and disappeared. He was found naked days later, unconscious amongst the trees along the shore. When revived, he mumbled about eel-like monsters he’d encountered under the cold waters of the lake. A similar story about Dublin Lake involves a diver encountering a dry pocket in an underground cavern, and witnessing some sort of cryptid.
Although the tale of Dublin Lake monsters has taken on a fanciful status, you never know what hides under the cold, dark waters of America’s lakes.
The Wampanoag Indians of New England told tales of gray, child-sized trolls with big ears and noses, that could use magic, such as disappearing, morphing into a walking porcupine, and create fire by thought.
Never make one angry.
According to the legends of the Wampanoag, the Pukwudgies became angry at the affection the Wampanoag showed the legendary giant Maushop. Well, Maushop did create land for the Wampanoag, and feed them, after all. The Pukwudgie played tricks on Wampanoag Indians, stole their children, and burned their villages. Jerks. The Pukwudgie are also known to lure unsuspecting hikers to their death, or, if they’re feeling particularly spunky, they simply shoot people with poison arrows.
Pukwudgie encounters are still reported to this day. Small human-like creatures pester lone hikers and bicyclists, and attempt (and succeed?) to push people from cliffs.
Next up: New Jersey (Woo-Hoo, Jersey Devil).