By Braeden Pelton
Summer break is on its way, and spooky stories are going to be needed around the campfire. Using tales from here in Michigan, maybe you could creep out your friends with stories of the cryptids that roam our fair state. What is a cryptid? Cryptids are urban legends, monsters made to be spoken of at night. Mothman, Yetis and Wendigos are some of the more popular examples. Our own cryptids are more interesting than you’d think, at the very least this will hopefully give you a greater appreciation for them. Each creature will link to a news article on them for further information.
A classic. Bigfoot and sasquatches in general are the poster children of the cryptid community. Sightings have been reported all the way back to 1811 from all across the Northern United States and Canada. Some information varies such as height, with reports ranging from a basic six feet all the way up to 15 feet! It has counterparts all over the world such as the Almas or the Abominable Snowman.
Usually depicted in a glamorous manner, the ¨Woman in White¨ isn’t your typical witch. The story originates with a woman in the 17th century who was caught sneaking out to cheat on her husband only to be murdered by him. Now she comes back as an eerie spirit for the locals of the village of Ada. If you want to go looking for her, she can be found in the Findlay cemetery in Ada appearing usually on full moons in a mist.
This creature is the most well known Michigan-specific cryptid. Our Dogman has gained enough fame to have a song written about him with ¨The Legend¨ by Steve Cook. The Dogman has been being used as a means to spook local kids for years. According to legend, he lurks in the woods, keeping his eye out for unsuspecting victims. Reports from many people, initially loggers, have been coming in since the late 1800s.
Nain Rouge is often compared to the Jersey Devil, Nain Rouge is a small imp-like devil bearing a deep crimson skin tone residing in the Detroit area. In recent years, he’s gained quite the following. There’s even a brewery sharing his name, along with a parade dedicated to him called The Marche du Nain Rouge. The parade is related to a tale about driving Nain Rouge out of town due to all of the evil he caused.
Saugatuck is home to its own group of mysterious monsters. Several origins of the Melon Heads have been suggested. Some say they´re aliens probing the land for people to experiment on. Others believe that back in the day there was a group of deformed people at an insane asylum near town who revolted against their doctors. The most likely story is a group of students who attended a local Catholic school who were referred to as ¨Melon Heads¨ by the locals (they did not have a positive view of these kids) as they were seen as smarter.
Like other entries, Pressie resembles other cryptids. It’s essentially our very own version of the Loch Ness Monster. Pressie roams the depths of Lake Superior, and got its name from the first few sightings, being seen near the Presque Isle River. Pressie is said to be 75 feet long at least, dark blueish green, with a long neck. But who knows with a lake that size, maybe a beast could dwell in the depths.