How real is the Mountain Monsters show? Let’s Take a Deep Dive
The Appalachian Mountains are infamous for their mysterious creature sightings. Children who live around the mountain range, particularly in the Smokies, often grow up telling each other great stories involving ghosts, werewolves and Sasquatch, just to name a few.
Since 2013, Travel Channel’s hit reality TV show “Mountain Monsters,” now in its 8th season, has been bringing these obscure mountain legends to life in living rooms across the nation.
Is Mountain Monsters real?
The Mountain Monsters show features a band of native West Virginians who call themselves the AIMS team (Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings). To explain, their mission is to explore the Appalachian Mountains and identify the legendary creatures that (allegedly) lurk in the shadows. Anyone who watches the show can probably see that the majority of the show is staged. However, much of the folklore discussed and the creatures the “hunters” (for a lack of a better word) look for are mostly, or at least loosely, based on popular mountain legends and folklore.
Some of the monsters are more well-known than others, such as Mothman and Spearfinger. Others are so obscure they make us wonder if they were manufactured by the show’s writers. And in the show’s defense, who among us didn’t make up a ghost story of our own every now and again? With this in mind, we’ve created a list of 24 of the most interesting unexplained creatures mentioned on the show along with a quick background of each, in order of appearance.
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1. Wolfman of Wolfe County, S1E1
Introduced in season one, the Kentucky Wolfman is one of the more obscure monsters mentioned on the show. The Wolfman is described as a 7-foot tall, 500-pound werewolf-like beast that can stand on its hind legs and specifically loves to terrorize the locals near Wolfe County, Kentucky. Legend has it that the monster spends most of its time hiding out in abandoned silver mines and only comes out at night.
2. Grassman of Perry County (BigFoot), S1E2
Several Mountain Monsters episodes are dedicated to BigFoot and his cousins. For the sake of brevity, we will mostly focus on unique varieties in this article. The Ohio Grassman of Perry County is a 1000-pound, 9-foot tall cousin of Sasquatch.
The Grassman, like BigFoot, is much more infamous than some of the other lesser-known monsters on the show with numerous eyewitnesses reporting “sightings” and a plethora of grainy footage available all over the internet, mostly coming out of Salt Fork State Park in Eastern Ohio. The nickname “Grassman” comes from early sightings of the beast originally appearing in the grassy plains.
3. Devil Dog of Logan County, S1E3
Devil dogs are another nocturnal werewolf-like creature known for killing coyotes, sucking their blood and eating their livers. They are reportedly almost 4 feet in length with red eyes and three-toed paws.
4. Wampus Beast of Pleasants County, S1E4
The Wampus Beast of Tygart Valley, West Virginia is reportedly a large black cat that resembles a black panther. The creature weighs 600 pounds and is said to be 6-feet long. Legend says that the Wampus Beast is a known livestock killer. Furthermore, the beast smells like a wet dog rolled around on a dead skunk.
5. Mothman of Mason County, S1E5
The legendary Mothman, perhaps next to BigFoot, is certainly one of the most infamous monsters to be featured on the show. Entire movies, documentaries and museums have been dedicated to the creature, and suspicious sightings are plentiful. The Mothman is a large man-like winged beast with a moth-like head. He measures almost 8 feet tall and weighs up to 600 pounds with a 10-foot wingspan.
Legend says it has the ability to hypnotize people. The Mothman rose to fame when locals reported seeing the creature near the Silver Bridge before its mysterious collapse in the 1960s. Since then, it has been said that sighting the Mothman is akin to a bad omen and a sign of impending doom.
6. Lizard Demon of Wood County, S1E6
The Lizard Demon, also known as the Lizard Man, is said to hide in the ponds, lakes and rivers of West Virginia and Tennessee. It’s a half-man, half-lizard-like monster that’s known for killing cattle. It is said to have yellow parietal eyes that glow in the dark and gills that allow it to breathe underwater. Legend says that it largely travels along the Ohio River.
7. Kentucky Hellhound, S2E1
Making its debut in season two, the Kentucky Hellhound is a dark blue werewolf-like monster that is capable of standing on its hind legs. It is reportedly 4 feet tall, nocturnal, weighs 600 pounds and has an affinity for skinning young calves. Like many mountain monsters, early sightings date back to the early 1930s and were originally reported by moonshiners (one guess as to why).
8. Grafton Monster of Taylor County, S2E2
The Grafton Monster of West Virginia, also known as the Headless Horror, is a giant 1500-pound monster with 4-foot wide shoulders. Its hunched-over posture makes its head difficult to see from behind.
9. Yahoo of Nicholas County (BigFoot), S2S3
The West Virginia Yahoo is yet another cousin of BigFoot. It’s said to be almost 8 feet tall and weighs in at nearly 1200 pounds. Sightings date back to the late 1800s. Furthermore, it’s distinct from other Bigfoots in that it reportedly makes a sound that resembles the word “yahoo.” Somehow you’d think that would make it less terrifying, but who am I to judge.
10. Werewolf of Webster County, S2E4
The Webster Werewolf is a 7-foot tall half-man half-wolf creature that weighs 400 pounds with black fur and glowing yellow eyes. It is said to only be active during the full moon.
11. Red-Eyed Bear Beast, S1E16
The Bear Beast of West Virginia is said to be a large bear-canine hybrid that preys on other “normal” bears. It has the body of a large bear, the head of a canine and red beady eyes.
12. Cherokee Death Cat, S2E8
Well-known to the locals of Cherokee, North Carolina and weighing in at 500 pounds with gigantic paws, this Death Cat closely resembles a deranged lion. In particular, legend states that the Death Cat seeks vengeance for the Trail of Tears which forced the relocations of nearly 100,000 Native Americans in the 1800s.
13. Shadow Creature of Braxton County, S2E9
The Shadow Creature of West Virginia looks a bit like the creature from the Alien movie franchise. It is said to stand 8 feet tall with an exoskeleton and also sports huge teeth. Legend states that it once attacked and mutilated a small group of Union soldiers during the Civil War.
14. Snallygaster of Preston County, S2E10
The Snallygaster is a huge flying reptile that resembles a pterodactyl. In fact, it supposedly has a 20-foot wingspan and greenish-gray skin. The Snallygaster was first sighted in the mid-1700s. It is said to have an especially high-pitched piercing scream. If you’ve ever driven through West Virginia and noticed a 7-point star painted onto the side of the barn, the origin of this tradition relates to the Snallygaster. In particular, legend states the star keeps the monster at bay.
15. Cave Creature of Greenbrier County, S2E11
The Cave Creature is a human-like cave-dwelling monster with sharp teeth and goblin-like ears. The creature is also said to be hairless. Legend states that the Cave Creature is the leader of ghosts of the Azgen settlers who were killed off by Shawnee Indians in the 1850s.
16. Hogzilla of Hocking Hills, S2E12
Hogzilla of Ohio is said to weigh nearly 1200 pounds and measure over 9 feet in length. It’s basically a giant pig with gorilla-like paws that’s been terrorizing locals since the 1700s. Apparently, a lot of these monsters also have access to the fountain of youth.
17. Harrison County Howler, S2E13
The Harrison County Howler looks like an albino lion with white fur and a white mane. The Howler has a feline head with a canine body and is said to drink the blood of its victims. It’s also supposed to be bulletproof, which conveniently seemed to be one of the only factoids that the AIMS team was skeptical about. But then again if they aired an entire episode without ammunition, it would have felt more than a little off-brand.
18. Raven Mocker of Lee County (BigFoot), S4E10
Introduced in season four, the Raven Mocker of Lee County, Virginia is another variety of BigFoot. A foe of the Cherokee, the Raven Mocker has jet-black fur with white eyes – a bit like a large gorilla. Legend says that this particular BigFoot was a shapeshifter that could turn into any animal that it wanted to, including a human. It is said that it would frequently enter the body of a raven to see through its eyes. It is also said that when it would consume the hearts of the elderly, sick and dying.
19. Woman of the Woods the Black Wolf and the Little Girl, S5S3
This trio of mysterious characters, despite having little to no historical basis in folklore (at least that we could find outside of Mountain Monsters) spanned multiple episodes. Also according to Mountain Monsters, all three haunt something called The Dark Forest in Lee County, Virginia.
20. The Waya Woman of Jackson County, S6E1
This one was introduced in episode one of season six in correlation with a variety of related creatures (The Waya Woman, The Cherokee Devil, The Raven Mocker, The Silver Giant, The Cherokee Death Cat, Coyote King and Spearfinger). The Waya Woman – frequently misspelled and mispronounced in a variety of ways (Wyatt Woman, Wild Woman, White Woman, Whya Woman, Why A Woman, etc) – is a wolf-type werewolf creature. Also known as Queen of the Blood Wolves, she was known to emit a scream like a woman that was capable of drawing in other nearby wolves and control their minds.
21. Coyote King of Cherokee North Carolina, S6E1
The Coyote King is a giant canine with coyote-like features, yellow eyes, a tail and blunt claws. It’s capable of standing up on its hind legs and when it does, is said to measure in at about 6-7 feet tall.
22. Spearfinger, S6E1
Spearfinger roamed the mountains between what would become North Carolina and Tennessee. According to Cherokee legend, Spearfinger is a shape-shifting witch with stone skin and also a long obsidian spear in place of one of the fingers on her right hand. She would come in the guise of an old woman, fooling Cherokee children into trusting her because she appeared to be a village elder. Spearfinger would offer to brush their hair until they fell asleep, then she would stab them with her finger through the back of the neck or the heart and withdraw the liver, which she would devour. Legend has it, she has a mouth red with blood.
23. The Silver Giant, S6E4
This monster is a massive bear creature that stands at 11 feet tall. The Silver Giant is capable of running on its hind legs and also has a tell-tale silver streak running along its back.
24. Cherokee Devil (Cherokee BigFoot), S6E9
And last but not least we have the Cherokee Devil. The Cherokee Devil, also known as Tsul “Kalu”, is a well-known figure in Cherokee mythology. It has sloping eyes and also the appearance of a white gorilla. It is also believed by some, to be yet another variation of BigFoot.
What are your thoughts about Travel Channel’s Mountain Monsters show? What is your favorite monster? Let us know in the comments!