Paranormal writers pride themselves on their knowledge of obscure cryptids, so this humble scribe was surprised to hear about one in Texas that wasn’t familiar – especially humbling since he spent a number of years living in the Lone Star State. Before you grin smugly, have YOU ever heard of the Horizon City Monster?
“It must have been around 7ish at the time when out of nowhere, I heard what amounted to a screaming howling screech in the foreground. Thinking maybe someone was on their phone, I shrugged it off, but then a few minutes later, I heard it again and even asked to cast to stay quiet to see if they could listen to it too. A minute later, sure enough, the howls came back one long one, followed by a few short ones.”
Our introduction to the Horizon City Monster comes from Monika (no last name), a DJ at KISS 93.1 FM in El Paso. On the station’s website, she shares her experience in early July 2021 when she was a cast member for Viva! El Paso’s media night. While waiting on stage with some of the cast at the McKelligon Amphitheatre, they all heard the strange howls “rolling through McKelligon Canyon” – a canyon on the south eastern side of the Franklin Mountains in El Paso popular with rock climbers, hikers, runners and families. No one, including Monika, had a cellphone to record the howls, but she was intrigued enough to do some searching … and found the Horizon City Monster. (Horizon City is near El Paso in El Paso County.)
“Montañez is a retired secretary, and moved to Horizon City from East El Paso in October of 2002. She has seen the creature known locally as the Horizon City Monster on two separate occasions.”
According to Paranormal World Wiki, the best chronicler of the Horizon City Monster is Cecelia Montañez, who witnessed the creature in 2001 and wrote about it in 2003 in the local paper. She first saw a “hairy figure crouched over a dead coyote” that “stood upright and walked up a nearby mesquite mound” and eventually appeared to vanish into the ground. Returning a day later, there was no coyote, no footprints and no cave or depression the monster could have disappeared into. This was before everyone had a cellphone camera, so there were no pictures. Montañez did her own investigation and found a 1975 story in the El Paso Times about three teenagers who had allegedly witnessed a gorilla-like creature near Horizon City Golf Course. A deputy sheriff found a single footprint which “appeared to have been dug” but the story worried locals and spawned the legend of the Horizon City Monster.
“Local witnesses say that the monster in question is between 7-8ft tall with broad shoulders and an elongated head. Montañez added that the entities ‘have very short hair and are a faded brownish-maroon color’ and mouths resembling those of bulldogs. Other witnesses have attested that the creatures can be seen late at night as they drink water from Lake El Paso, and others still have said that they have heard the creatures emitting humming sounds when they were driving through Eastlake Boulevard, and that they can tell when the monsters are around due to their noxious odor.”
Monika couldn’t attest to the looks of what she may have encountered and compare it to these descriptions, but she did find a recording of another howl (listen to it here) that she says sounded like what she and her fellow cast members heard. It also sounds like the “Bigfoot howl” recorded recently in West Virginia.
The descriptions of the Horizon City Monster are similar to other Bigfoot depictions, and the howl Monika claims it sounded is close to other howls attributed to Bigfoot. Texas is home to many Bigfoot reports, including some in Big Bend National Park, about 300 miles east of El Paso along the Rio Grande. However, most are in the Piney Woods on the far eastern side of the state. As a warning to the Horizon City Monster, Bigfoot hunting is legal in the Lone Star State and there’s no bag limit.
Did Monika hear the mournful howl of the Horizon City Monster? She doesn’t know. Is the Horizon City Monster a Texas variation of Bigfoot that lives in underground caves? Who knows? Being a good DJ, Monka provided her email address ([email protected]) for any other reports.
Add another cryptid to the list.