There are perhaps no better known paranormal researchers that the world famous Ed and Lorraine Warren. Founders of the New England Society for Psychic Research, which is the oldest ghost hunting group in New England, the Navy Veteran and self styled demonologist Ed Warren and the psychic, clairvoyant, and medium Lorraine Warren were responsible for investigating some of the most prominent and terrifying cases of hauntings on record. Some of the most famous and indeed controversial of these are the Amityville haunting, the Annabelle haunted doll, the Snedeker family haunting, and the Enfield poltergeist, but they would claim to have investigated around 10,000 cases over the course of their careers, looking into hauntings, cursed objects, and demonic possessions. They have authored numerous books, opened the famed Warren’s Occult Museum, many of their cases have been made into hit horror films such as The Conjuring, and whether you think they were frauds or not, which many people do, there is no denying that Ed and Lorraine Warren have made an indelible mark upon the paranormal world. Yet for all of their dabbling in the spiritual world of ghosts and demons many people may not realize that they also had cases that were a little outside of their usual wheelhouse, and one of these is the time the Warrens investigated, and met, Bigfoot.
The whole bizarre tale was chronicled amongst many of their other more traditional paranormal themed cases in the book Ghost Hunters, by Ed and Lorraine Warren and David Chase. The Warrens apparently had been contacted by a news reporter at the time who said that something in the wilds of Tennessee had been menacing terrified locals in a poverty stricken area way out in the boondocks. The witnesses had said that their tormentor was none other than the legendary giant hairy wild man called Bigfoot, and although Tennessee is actually quite a hotbed of Bigfoot sightings, the Warrens had never been particularly interested in investigating the creatures until then. Lorraine Warren would say of this:
We had never paid much attention to stories about Bigfoot. I wouldn’t say that we dismissed them as fictitious, but Bigfoot just didn’t hold much interest for psychic investigators. That changed one spring when we were lecturing in Tennessee and a reporter from the Elk Valley Times contacted us and told us about some hill people who kept insisting that something was threatening their children.
The whole thing was too bizarre for them to pass up, and so the Warrens headed out to the heavily wooded back water hill country to check it out. The area where the sightings had occurred was described as little more than a collection of flimsy shacks without running water and with lights provided by a single electric wire that meandered through. Lorraine says she felt very sorry for these people and their abject poverty, and wanted to do something to help them, so the Warrens spent the day asking them about what it was they thought they had seen. Among the many reports, one of the residents claimed that just the day before, a massive ape-like beast had appeared from behind a tree and tried to grab a 2-year-old child, after which it had been chased away by men with clubs, and the whole settlement was completely terrified of whatever it was.
Although the Warrens didn’t necessarily believe that there was an actual Bigfoot stalking around in the sense of it being an undiscovered bipedal ape, they could see that these people were obviously very afraid of something, and that they at least believed they had seen what they said they had, and so they went about venturing out into the surrounding wilderness to investigate. The landscape of the area was described as nothing but “vast hills and forests so impenetrable they seemed beyond the reach of civilization,” and the next morning when they headed out the thick trees were wreathed in an ethereal fog to lend it a rather otherworldly, dream-like ambiance. The Warrens and their team headed out into this murky wilderness and spent most of the day uneventfully climbing about and struggling through the brush, but this would change when they stopped for a rest in a clearing at around 4:30 PM. They first noticed that something had smashed down the tall grass, and that was when Lorraine would claim to have seen the beast and even made telepathic contact with it. The book Ghost Hunters says of the creature:
He did, in fact, appear to be a fusion of man and ape, a tall slope-shouldered animal with very long arms that were covered with almost shaggy hair. His face was flat with a protruding bony shelf above the eyes. Two things about him were especially disturbing- first, his eyes, which shone with intelligence, compassion, and fear. Second, his ability to project images telepathically into Lorraine’s mind. No so-called dumb animal is able to accomplish such projections. Lorraine instantly knew she was dealing with a creature who- despite his fearsome and ugly appearance- was not the prehistoric beast most people assumed him to be.
Lorraine would claim that the creature had sent a flurry of images and emotions into her head like a projector onto a screen, including it standing in a cave by a river with a family of similar creatures, and an image of his injured foot, which it somehow conveyed was keeping it from seeing its family again, as well as waves of a feeling of isolation and sadness. It also allegedly expressed to Lorraine that it had merely wanted to communicate with the 2-year-old child and had meant no harm, indeed it seemed conversely rather terrified of and wary of human beings. When the other members of her team approached she told them to stay back, as she was in telepathic communication with the very creature they had been searching for, and she moved through the tall grass to get closer to it, smelling a foul, acrid odor as she did so, not uncommon in Bigfoot reports. She said they had a gentle and peaceful exchange of mental images until a bullhorn suddenly sounded off somewhere behind them and the startled beast retreated in terror. Lorraine would claim that she could sense the pain in its foot as it fled and see blood in her mind’s eye, and then the link, as well as the creature, were gone.
After this she and the others searched the area and claimed to have found huge footprints and a trail of blood on the ground and foliage, which they followed to the edge of a cliff, but they found no sign of the creature and no further psychic link could be established. It had simply vanished. It is all a rather spectacular account, and also interesting in that it fits in with similar reports of telepathic Bigfoot, which are more common than you might think. What was it Lorraine saw? Was it even real in any sense at all? Ed Warren would speculate that Bigfoot was not even a flesh and blood creature at all, but rather what is called a Tulpa, also known as a “thought form.” The concept originally comes from Tibetan Buddhism, and basically involves a visible construct built entirely from the mind and belief of human beings, basically willed into being. With enough will and belief, they are even said to be able to take on a life of their own, becoming a sort of independent apparition that can exist apart from its creators and can be seen and even interact with the world around them. Ed Warren would explain it all a little more ominously and link it to other strange phenomena, writing:
They are called Tulpas, physical manifestations that are in fact projections of the mind. They are creatures of black magic as practiced throughout the world but mostly by the monks in Tibet. It is my belief that Bigfoot is a Tulpa, a mind projection. So is the Loch Ness monster and many other now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t creatures that get reported in the press. Someone who is practicing black magic projects such creatures and we see them. This could also account for unidentified flying objects.
It is interesting that Ed Warren insists on linking the Tulpa phenomenon to black magic, as there is not really particularly any association to such things in the lore. It is supposedly merely the will of the mind creating a construct in the physical world, not necessarily the result of “black magic,” but he’s the demonologist so I suppose we just have to take his word for it. Nevertheless, Tulpas indeed are theorized by paranormal researchers to be behind a wide variety of strange phenomena ranging from Bigfoot, to ghosts, aliens, angels, demons, lake monsters, and many others. Is that what was going on here? Or is this all a load of bunk? It is unfortunate that in recent years Ed and Lorraine Warren have been increasingly accused of being frauds, with their cases accused of being either highly embellished or completely made-up, but this is still a very bizarre account from some of the most renowned and well-known paranormal investigators in the world. Whether any of it really happened or not, the thought of these demonologists running across Bigfoot in the wilds of Tennessee is quite delightfully outlandish, and it is all a wild ride.