Jun 04, 2017 I Brett Tingley

Australian Town Bands Together to Confront Yowie

Hairy ape-men are like the armpits of world cultures: every culture’s got one, and they all stink. Well, most likely they do; not all witnesses get close enough to smell the man-beasts. From North America’s Bigfoot to China’s Ye Ren to the Nepalese Yeti, the ape man can be found in every continent on Earth. In Australia, tales of tall, ape-like humanoids have been passed down in aboriginal oral traditions for centuries, while reports of the creatures have appeared among Australia’s Anglo peoples since the late 19th century. The ape man goes by the name Yowie when he’s down under, and has been terrifying the residents of a coastal Queensland town for years.

Several Yowie sightings had been reported along this road in Joskeleigh, Queensland.

Well, in their minds, at least. According to Australia’s ABC News, South Sea Islanders from the historic town of Joskeleigh have for years been plagued by fears of both Yowie and ghosts along certain rural stretches of roads in the town. Finally, the townspeople decided to band together against their fears of their community’s supernatural interlopers. The brave residents went on a three-kilometer nighttime walk along a supposed haunted road where two alleged paranormal hotspots can be found: Bong’s Corner, where a former medicine man lived; and a local church where several Yowie sightings have been reported.

Residents brought lights when them. Yowie hates lights.

One local man named Dean Edmund, however, thought the march was silly and rooted in the community’s version of the “Boogeyman”:

Some of those ghost stories were probably relayed and passed down by them to their kids to get them home and inside before dark. 'Get inside before the big hairy man up the road gets you.' They probably told those stories and embedded them into the hearts and minds of their children, and they passed them on and everyone believes all these ghost stories but they're probably all myths.

Sure, but even those ghost stories told to kids probably had some version of truth in them when they were first passed down. The prevalence of certain creatures or symbols (ape men, serpents, floods, etc.) in so many different cultures’ folklores is likely rooted in the deeply-embedded collective human subconscious. These shared myths and legends are vestiges of our deep ancestral past, passed down in the form of stories and folklore to help us stay wary against formerly formidable foes we once encountered deep in our ancestral past.

Joskeleigh was settled by Pacific Islanders who were brought to Queensland against their will to serve as laborers on sugar cane plantations.

As for ghosts, who knows. They might just reflect our fear of death and the unknowns of the afterlife (or lack thereof) . One thing is certain, though: candlelight marches likely don’t mean a whole lot to the denizens of the spirit realm. They make for good news stories, though.

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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