Ever wondered what it might be like to encounter a marauding monster directly in front of you? What would you do? Run? Pass out? Take a picture? Piss your pants? Who knows? And with that said, let's begin with how to (hopefully) combat a Puerto Rican Chupacabra. While on Puerto Rico with Red Star Films in 2005 (Puerto Rico being one of favorite places to go to), I heard a strange but entertaining story. Our guide, Orlando Pla, told us something very interesting. Namely, that you could keep a Chupacabra firmly away by whistling at it! That was not all. On my third visit to Puerto Rico, I heard the exact reverse of that scenario: that a whistle would attract it. I was told that the Chupacabra – very, very occasionally, and when it felt in total danger – would emit an ear-splitting whistle that could make things feel like a needle pushed into the ear. The result: the targeted person would make a hasty exit. And who could blame them for that? To make things more complicated, I was assured on my third expedition to Puerto Rico that yes, the Chupacabra could be kept at bay by whistling, after all. Even to this day I'm not sure which claim is the real one. Both? None? One? The best way to find out would be to get close to such a beast and whistle at the top of your lungs. Let me know if it works! Moving on, there's the Loch Ness Monster.
No-one would deny the fact that the Nessies are elusive creatures. After all, there are only a handful of reports per year. Photos are usually not that great. And as for hard evidence: well, that's pretty much all lacking. But, surely these shy things are friendly. At least, to a degree? Nooooo! Should you come across a Nessie on the shores, run for your life. And if you're in the water, well, you just might find yourself in mortal danger. There is a deadly precedent to all of this. St. Adomnán’s Vita Columbae (in English, Life of Columba) is a fascinating Gaelic chronicle of the life of St. Columba. He was a 6th century abbot, also of Ireland, who spent much of his life trying to convert the Iron Age Picts to Christianity, and who, like Adomnán, was an abbot of Iona. In 563, Columba sailed to Scotland, and two years later happened to visit Loch Ness – while traveling with a number of comrades to meet with King Brude of the Picts. It turned out to be an amazing and notable experience, as Vita Columbae most assuredly demonstrates. Adomnán began his story thus: "…when the blessed man was staying for some days in the province of the Picts, he found it necessary to cross the river Ness; and, when he came to the bank thereof, he sees some of the inhabitants burying a poor unfortunate little fellow, whom, as those who were burying him themselves reported, some water monster had a little before snatched at as he was swimming, and bitten with a most savage bite, and whose hapless corpse some men who came in a boat to give assistance, though too late, caught hold of by putting out hooks."
Invoking God apparently had quite an adverse effect upon the Nessie, something which the pages of Vita Columbae makes very clear. St. Adomnán wrote that immediately after St. Columba made the sign of the cross and called on the supernatural power of God to save Mocumin, the creature fled for safety and vanished below the surface. This was very good news for Mocumin, who was barely ten feet away from the monster when it decided to cease its attack. The amazed group fell to their knees, praising God for having saved their friend. Even what St. Adomnán referred to as the local "barbarous heathens" were impressed by the astonishing spectacle of the monster being denied a second victim. One could quite easily make a rational case that the story was simply a parable, a fable; perhaps one designed to demonstrate the power of the word of God over the domain of evil. After all, St. Columba, as noted above, spent years trying to convert the Picts to Christianity, so what better way than to suggest that God had the power to repel deadly, Scottish lake-monsters? So, the next time you find yourself in the deep and dark waters of Loch Ness, and a long neck appears in front of you, do one thing immediately: bellow out, "Jesus Christ!" Doing so might just save you.
Now, onto the world's most famous monster: Bigfoot. Forget Harry and the Hendersons and the image of Bigfoot being a cuddly big beast who just wants to play, laugh and have a good time with us humans. Nope. Sorry. All totally bullshit. Reports of people vanishing in the woods where the creatures lurk, and rumors of people killed at the hands of the Bigfoot creatures, suggest we should be very careful when we get close to a Bigfoot. One guy got it figured out, though. His name: Albert Ostman. It’s one thing to see a Bigfoot. It is, however, quite another thing entirely to claim to have been kidnapped by one, and held hostage for several days! Supposedly, Ostman was carried off to the home of the Bigfoot which, Ostman learned, was also home to two juvenile Bigfoot (one male and the other female and a mom). Ostman had decided to do a bit of gold prospecting in the Toba Inlet, situated on the British Columbia coast. What a huge mistake that was: Ostman was on a road-trip to Hell. That was the controversial claim of a man named Albert Ostman, who was of Scandinavian extraction. Although Ostman claimed the traumatic event occurred in 1924, he did not go public with the story until 1957 – which is, perhaps, understandable, given its wild and crazy nature.
It transpired that the answer to Ostman's freedom came in a decidedly alternative fashion. Each and every morning, Ostman took a pinch of snuff from his snuff box. He noticed that the “old man” (the name that Ostman gave to the Bigfoot that had captured him) eyed him carefully on each and every occasion. Finally, when curiosity got the better of him, the immense giant grabbed the box out of Ostman’s hands and poured the entire contents into his mouth. In seconds, the beast was doubled up on the floor, rolling in agony, and gulping down water. As the rest of the family raced to help, Ostman saw his chance to make a run for it. He grabbed his gear, fired a shot in the air to scare off the creatures, and raced for freedom. Unsurprisingly, he was not followed, nor did he see the beasts again. So, the next time you go on a Bigfoot trek, be sure to take some snuff with you. It just might stop you from being ripped to pieces by a freaky, forest family. Finally, there are the Men in Black, the Women in Black and the Black-Eyed Children. They're all pale and skinny, all dress in black, and all should be avoided at all costs. They'll do everything they can to terrify you and drain you of your energy - the very thing they thrive on. They can be stopped by one thing, though: not letting them in your home. Yep, take the Van Helsing, vampire-style approach to stopping those black-garbed things. That will well and truly stop them in their tracks. Remember all of the above tactics. You know: just in case.....