BeetleMilk's Favorite Cryptids
As a fan of horror, I absolutely love the stories of Cryptids. All over the world, stories of these beings have circulated, and in some cases you even see regional variants. Some of them even go on to be immortalized in song, or in the movies.
But what is a Cryptid? Although we have all undoubtedly heard of them, with the most famous being Bigfoot or Nessie, I think many people classify these as "Urban Myths", or something along those lines. The term "Cryptid", in my experience, goes a little bit deeper and implies more investment into the overall concept.
Webster defines Cryptids as such: "An animal (such as Sasquatch or the Loch Ness Monster) that has been claimed to exist but never proven to exist."
I find this definition to be lacking in many ways, but the most obvious one is that anybody can claim anything. I could claim there is a monster outside of my home in Minnesota that sips tea and has red eyes, it doesn't make my stoner neighbor a Cryptid. No, Cryptids need to be famous. They need to have many correlating stories or at least enough people that believe they conceivably could exist.
Nessie and the Sasquach are the biggest ones, the stars of the Cyptid world, so I'm going to skip over them. A gorilla and a Plesiosaur, we get it. For this list, I'm going to start a bit more humble, a bit more regional...
1. Black Shuck: "That dog don't give a fuuuuuuuuuck!" The Darkness, in the first song on their debut album "Permission to Land" dedicated that prime auditory real estate to this Cryptid.
Black Shuck is a dog. A black dog. I mean, I don't know what to tell you, it's a black dog. Some accounts give it fiery red eyes like the Hound of the Baskervilles, some just say it's a really mean looking mutt. It seems to be a uniquely British Cryptid, that has taken on the stance of legend in the areas around East Anglia. The song "Black Shuck" recounts a retelling of when the Black Shuck apparently tore down a church door in England and somebody died (Although the going theory is lightning, if you're a hater of imagination and childlike wonder). But Mr. Shuck doesn't stop at being alluded to in song. You might know him by another small piece of British media, under name The Grimm. Yes, folks, the author of the Harry Potter books, She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, wrote in the legend of the Black Shuck and gave it another name. Also a British series. Coincidence? I think not. Sirius Black's appearance as the Grimm checks all of the boxes, and the superstition surrounding him as well. The bit about being destined for death and all. So, you might want to avoid any stray dogs if you're out and about in the UK... you might just run into Gary Oldman. *Here, your esteemed author shudders visibly*
2. Skinwalkers/ Wendigo: Before you come at me, I know they aren't the same thing. I grouped them together due to both legends being traced back to Native Americans. The basic idea is that skin walkers are shapeshifters - Shamans that are essentially slowly losing their humanity and can shift into any animal form they'd like. Skinwalkers are known most for being the namesake behind the location "Skinwalker Ranch", a purported paranormal hotspot in the US. Post Malone visited the Ranch, which is off limits to the public, and survived - so maybe Skinwalkers really like "Sunflower"?
Wendigo, on the other hand, are cannibals. The idea is that they slowly, over time, became more and more beastlike until they finally became the monsters that we've all seen images of. Wendigo are even featured in "The Witcher", the video game, and common depictions of the Jersey Devil look a lot like how people imagine them. They are creepy, to be sure.
3. Mothman: Any who's who of Cryptids would be remiss without a mention of Mothman. The subject of numerous sightings in West Virginia, MothMan is a Cryptid with a pedigree. I'd argue that MothMan is a modern day Sasquatch or Nessie - famous beyond belief. So famous, in fact, that a statue was erected to pay tribute.
Do any of these exist? Who knows? Would you want them to exist? Probably not.
That's it this week! See ya!