Monster of the Month: Mogollon Monster

Sunsets are romantic, right? You and your honey decide to hike into the Mogollon Rim in Arizona, pick a place above the pine forest lowlands to watch the sun drop to the horizon, lighting up everything red and gold. And then the darkness descends. You start hearing whistles–birds and coyotes, probably. And that’s okay, nothing out of the ordinary. But then come the rocks, hurled at you from the treeline by an unseen hand. You’re dodging the onslaught, and then that inhuman shriek echoes out of the forest, followed by a silence so loud you can hear it in the blood beating in your ears.

You are about to have a close encounter with the Mogollon Monster.

The Mogollon Monster is Arizona’s version of the Bigfoot. It is described as humanoid creature that is at least seven feet tall, body–except for the chest, face, hands, and feet–covered with long black or red-brown fur. The large, red eyes glare from its naked face, and it emits a fairly hideous odor: dead fish, skunk, decaying moss, and musk. The smell alone seems enough like a reason to avoid running into the Mogollon, no?

Mogollon sightings date back to 1903, when The Arizona Republican newspaper ran a brief about someone seeing the creature at the Grand Canyon. I’m not sure how this report links to the legend, though–the brief describes the creature as having long white hair and a long matted beard, naked, with long fingernails. It sounds like a vagrant rather than a cryptid. But a future cryptozoologist on a Boy Scout trip in the 1940s says he saw something more on-brand–as have people in the 1980s and beyond. Nothing more recent, though, and certainly nothing that involves photographic evidence.

Like all good cryptid stories, you can celebrate the Mogollon Monster–with events! There’s a punishing 100-mile footrace called the Mogollon Monster 100, as well as a Mogollon Monster escape-type game.

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