OK: One more article about a local Bigfoot - or something - and then we’re off the subject for a good while.
One of my friends in Canandaigua, NY, ran across a recent, local report of a curious, large kangaroo-critter crossing a rural road at night just south of 20-A in the town of Hall. It reminded her of an article in my first book "Shadows" and reports of a similar beastie in Nunda, NY. Since it's the summer, prime time for such encounters, we'll revisit the region's most famous 20th century flap - one that happened about the Allegany County town of Black Creek for a stretch of the mid-1970’s. From SPIRITS OF THE GREAT HILL (2001).
It started in 1973 when some Cuba high schoolers built a cabin on open land. Overnighters were routine, and almost from the first there were unsettling noises - like feet running around the cabin, eventually heading off into the nearby swamp. Dogs often chased and never caught them. So far it sounds like an Iroquois bogie called “the Legs,” though this pair had something on them.
One night in 1975 a camper took a walk. By a fence he looked up and saw it: humanoid, tall and white. Kid and critter made eye contact, then split, one into the brush (“at astonishing speed”) and the other back to the cabin, little slower.
Years after his three friends would recall his streaming tears, but at the time they were unimpressed. The panicked camper headed home in his truck. The others slept, and laughed when something banged and shook the cabin an hour later, presuming it their missing mate. At daylight the joke was over. They visited the boy’s house. He’d gone home and stayed. Their cabin had visible dents.
In the year that followed, the region of Spring Valley Road knew strange reports. Big white “things” were spotted in the woods and in car headlights, and few dogs would chase them. People felt watched when outside. A strange horrible smell surrounded a barn full of terrified livestock. (“Their eyes were just fire,” said a witness.) A mutilated calf was found outside. Hunters scoured the region, but the swamp - in which beeping noises and strange lights were rumored - was nearly impenetrable.
As with any paranormal report, there’s the chance that Black Creek’s white Bigfoot is all make-believe. No direct physical evidence of it was ever found, and people were clearly fishing for things to add to the story, the folkloric “piling on” effect. For those who’ll listen further, the beastie has paranormal possibilities:
An extraterrestrial: The sounds and lights are fixtures of UFO tales.
A ghost: It was pale, fitful, and supernaturally elusive.
A white-ass bigfoot: It was big, white - and stinky. Also linked with killed livestock and rattled cabins, the fiendishly fragrant Bigfoot is in some quarters called “The Skunk Ape.”
The last reported sighting of the Black Creek Whodat was in the spring of 1976. At three in the morning two young men camping in a pickup truck woke to hear themselves circled by footsteps, which ominously stopped. Someone opened the back door of a nearby house and a dog tore out howling. The young men came out of the truck and saw the apparition - way too fast to be human - outracing the dog to the woods. After that, the sightings and all other reports simply stopped, and Black Creek’s beige Bigfoot retreated into its own legend. It’s been two decades since the contentious cabin burned and its site was cultivated and cleared.