Mysterious Cryptids in Kentucky: What Can You Encounter There?

Kentucky’s wide variety of habitats, albeit forests, swamps, or grasslands, are capable of supporting a diverse range of wildlife, both woodland and aquatic. For this reason, Kentucky has the highest number of unknown animal encounters.

Bigfoot

Bigfoot is by far the most prevalent cryptid in Kentucky. Of the 120 counties, at least half had had at least one Bigfoot encounter. The majority of these incidents occur in Eastern and North- eastern areas of the state.

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The earliest known encounters happened in Nelsen County in the early 1800’s; the most recent sighting was in Rowan County in September 2010. The Kentucky Bigfoot is described as slightly smaller than their Pacific Northwest cousin.

Most are described as standing 7-8 feet in height and weighing about 400-500 pounds. Overall, the Bigfoot is a shy reclusive creature, but they do seem to have a definite dislike for dogs.

There have been numerous reports of fights between dogs and Bigfoot.

Unidentified flying creatures

Kentucky is not a Mecca for this type creature, but reports of a giant vulture-like bird, often called a Thunderbird have been reported along the Ohio River. Also, while Mothman is usually reported in West Virginia, a winged creature matching the same description was sighted in Pike County.

In 1938, inhabitants of Ashland, Kentucky, and Kentucky’s Elizabethtown reported seeing a massive, black, human-like being with huge wingspan, and blazing red eyes.

Although the sightings had died out in 1939, they reappeared in 2008 when farmer Harley Foster said he saw a red-eyed bird-like creature near his barn. Foster has said he was chased by the creature.

Mothman was considered as an omen of doom. When Mothman disappeared from Kentucky in 1939, people believed it a precursor to war in Europe. It foretold the collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967.

So what did Mothman foretell in 2008? The spate of tornadoes ripping through the United States? China and Japan’s Earthquakes? The Earthquake that destroyed Haiti? It all depends on whom you ask.

The Bearilla

The Bearilla is a relatively a new cryptid and very little is known about it. They are mostly spotted in the Northern states and Canada ad goes by several regional names, such as Michigan Dogman and Beast of Bray Road.

In Kentucky they are known as Bearillas. The first sighting of one these creatures, to go public, occurred in Nicholas County in 1972. The elderly gentleman who reported it described it as half bear and half gorilla , thus it became known as the Bearilla.

This creature is a biped creature that stands roughly six feet tall. It is covered in fur, usually light colored, it has a canine type face with a very pronounced snout and teeth. It is often referred to as a werewolf.

In fact another name it is known by in Kentucky is the Gateway Werewolf. This creature is sometimes referred to as a dog faced Bigfoot, but make no mistake, this entity is by no means a Bigfoot.

Bigfoot is normally docile, whereas this creature does have an aggressive streak. There have been three instances of aggressive behavior by this cryptid. Two of these resulted in physical injury, one of which had to be treated at a local hospital. The victim was treated for severe scratches on the back and shock.

Aquatic Cryptids

Many may be surprised at the number of unidentified aquatic creatures native to Kentucky. Kentucky has more running water than any state in the union, other than Alaska.

Two lakes Calks Lake and Reynolds Lake, are known to be the habitat of a giant snake. Both creatures are similar in appearance. They are described as being about 40 – 50 feet in length and often described as “big around as a telephone pole”.

Both creatures made brief appearances in the 60’s and 70’s and then disappeared. Herrington Lake has been the location of numerous sighting of what is best described as a ‘underwater pig”.

This creature has been sighted since 1924 and sighting reached a peak in the mid 1970’s. It is basically described as being about 15 feet long with a wide, rough back and having a curly pig-like tail.



The Ohio River, near Newport, and Kentucky Lake are the homes of a catfish reported to be 18 – 20 feet in length.

Whenever you are in Kentucky, enjoying its great outdoors, remain ever vigilant. You may be surprised at what is watching you!

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