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Wampus Cat, Grassman And The Other Bizarre Creatures of "Mountain Monsters"

Vampires and zombies? Pff. Meet lizard demon and the men tracking him (?) in Mountain Monsters.

As a culture we’ve been obsessed with one kind of paranormal beast for the past decade—the fictional vampires of Twilight and True Blood—and yet right under our noses there have been bizarre creatures allegedly wandering the mountains of Appalachia. A new show on Discovery America, Mountain Monsters, which airs on Saturdays, is about trappers who have devoted their professional lives to tracking these mysterious critters and trying to prove whether or not they actually exist.

The investigators on Mountain Monsters look like extras from the Louisiana-based reality show Duck Dynasty. They all have enormous, bushy, gray-streaked beards and favor wide-brimmed, well-worn hats. The head monster investigator is a guy named John "Trapper" Tice, who has his own organization called Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings, or AIMS. He and his band of plainspoken coworkers say things like, "First thing is wolfman is a big son of a bitch," while they ride around the empty stretches of rural America in their truck.

Each episode is structured like a procedural, similarly to the paranormal reality shows Finding Bigfoot and Ghost Hunters. Initially we are introduced to the monster they’re seeking—in the first episode it’s a wolfman in the appropriately named Wolfe County, Kentucky. The investigators speak to a man who claims to have seen the wolfman, a trap shooter named R. R has a beard so long that it’s wrapped with several rubber bands, like an elaborate beard pony tail. Then the trappers spend the rest of the episode setting up cameras to surveil the wolfman, building a trap to catch the wolfman involving a baby goat as bait and wearing headlamps while being filmed with night vision.

Whether or not you believe a wolfman may exist—and I imagine most of you are skeptical that the wolfman, the wampus beast, the lizard demon or any of the other monsters featured on the show are real phenomenon—the show is sort of charming and strangely gripping. I didn’t believe in the wolfman before I watched the debut episode, and while I still am not checking my yard for footprints or wolfman scat, I was invested in whether the trappers found the wolfman, and concerned for the fate of that adorable baby goat. I won’t spoil the ending for you and tell you whether or not that baby goat met her end in the jaw of a marauding wolfman.

If nothing else, the show gives you a cursory crash-course into the folklore of Appalachian America, which is fascinating. Click through the slide show of mountain monsters and see what strange critters might be lurking in the woods, terrorizing your house pets.

[Images courtesy of Discovery Network]

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13 Comments

  • Kentucky

    I watch the show all the time and personally I think its all made up...I mean what are the odds of them sighting something EVERY TIME. A wampus cat I can see bc realistically it looks like an over grown panther...so that is possible, but a wolf man? Come on! A devil dog...what ever! and The episode about the moth man is also funny bc there hasnt been a sighting of the moth man supposidly since the silver bridge fell in 1968 but magically he appeared for the episode! It's common since guys we are smarter than that just sayin...

  • Rickthomas

    My name is Rick, I am from Pennsylvania...I have spent my entire life in the woods, hunting, fishing, hiking, etc...I have always been fascinated with this topic of unknown things in the woods. However, i have 2 comments on the subject, number 1...with all the technology out there and trail cameras, etc..i truly feel there would be a lot more proof by now if something like bigfoot really existed...number 2...my opinion of these shows is this..first...if these creatures are so elusive...then how come these yahoos find them in like an hour..and second..if they are so gung ho about finding one of these creatures..then how come when they claim 2 find where one is...why don't they stay there til they get it?!?!?! Instead they just go...oh well...lets go to a different state & make the next episode...this is where the non-realistic part comes out to me...honestly...i wish someone would find something out there! BUT...I DON'T THINK THATS REALLY EVER GONNA HAPPEN

  • atlanta

    People can claim they have seen whatever they want. Anyone who has camped at night or has been in the woods at duck - has probably "seen something". Shadows and other animals plays with human physky.If you have common sense and watch the show - it is obvious, unless you are really dumb, that what they are doing is staged/ fake.

    There is no BIGFOOT, or other crazy silly creatures. WHY? Because there is no REAL photo or Bones. Think about it people - there are dinosaur bones and we can reconstruct a dinosaur - The reason why there are no BIGFOOT bones or any other monster is because THEY DONT EXIST!!!! Just like a Unicorn or anythng from The Lord of the Rings - IT IS FANTASY - GET A GRIP PEOPLE!!!

  • Conyers

     If you look on today's (08-15-12) news, you will find that they have just discovered a new species of mammal in Equador and Columbia. They are calling it an Olinguito. Up until now, it had been hiding in plain sight, too. Never claim fantasy just because something hasn't been seen.

  • atlanta

     "woods at dark" "psyche" all of you dumb people are making me crazy/ mistype

  • Terri Sluder

    Hi again not all of the south has critters but the Appalachia Mountains are different there are things living way back in there that most folks have not seen so to the 62 yr old man that has lived in the South I suggest that you pay those woods a visit and spend some time there. I was there in the early 80's seeing some folks that have a huge cattle ranch and I know for a fact that the wampus cat is real for I saw it plain as day and I don't care if folks don't believe me I know the difference between a mountain lion and a big black cat. When ya see full grown cattle ripped apart and then you have folks out hunting during the day and night you see things that make you take notice of all your surroundings and pay close attention, because your actions may safe your life. Big bears don't kill like big cats.. I think folks should spend some time in those mountains they are different big time but don't go alone.Terri

  • Terri Sluder

    HI just so ya know the wampus beast is real enough seen it when I was in Wv visiting friends that live on a cattle ranch, I saw a huge black cat that is bigger than our mountain lion here and they are not small by no means. I would like to know is why is this showing ending for I really like it and it needs to stay on. So if you don't believe in a huge black cat then you need to spend some time in Wv and see for yourself but don't go to the woods alone better to be safe than sorry and as for the grassman yeap he's real to just like our bigfoot, explore the woods sometime spend a week or two and see what I have. Terri

  • WEBRV

    WHAT A CROCK OF SHIT,ALL THESE VARMINTS THEY ARE HUNTING BOGUS AS HELL,I'M FROM THE SOUTH.HEARD THIS SHIT ALL MY LIFE..I'M 62 YEARS OLD..NO SUCH DAMN THINGS.

  • Thomas Brunswick

    I don't doubt that there may be animals that have not yet been classified, however as so eloquently stated by webrv, without a corpus delicti , it don't feed the Bulldog.

  • dieselAnn

    we live in mon county and my popz seen the wampus beast. He told me a story when I was little that he was out huntin and a big black cat, bigger than any panther, was in a tree and he shot at it, which he's a damn good shot too, but it didn't phase it. It jumped to another tree and jumped from there and vanished. Then him and someone else were up in the woods with 2 dogs....they heard one dog yell out a huge cry and when they found him, he was tore up. Popz said there ain't nothing out here known to man that can do any damage like that.

  • Terri Sluder

    I know that the big black cat is real for I have seen it  in the late 80's and then again in 2012 last yr when I went back for another visit to see my friends. I just think folks should go to the Appalachia mountains and spend some time there then maybe they will see what I have. Your pops was right just be careful if you go there I did some fishing last yr and saw some huge tracks in the mud that made me nervous even though I had lots of friends with me.. Its beautiful up there  for sure.. terri

  • kosher12ga

    Its obvious this is staged nonsense. If I were truly hunting one of these monsters with my "posse", and we came across one of these creatures as is portrayed in the series, we wouldn't affirm that we found signs of the existence of, say, wampus beast, and summarize with "good investigation guys, lets go find mothman now, and onto the next. We would stay put and bring a screaming wampus beast in a cage to foxnews, or the carcass of wampus beast to the American museum of natural history.