Beasts of Bladenboro & Bolivia Revisited

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 5th, 2008

Beast of Bladenboro

A drawing of the Beast of Bladenboro by Gary Longordo ~ Click on the image to enlarge it.

“MonsterQuest” on Wednesday, June 4, 2008, dealt with the cryptid most often known as the “Beast of Bladenboro,” in its “Vampire Beast” episode. It updated the story with the reports from the fall of 2007, when residents of Bolivia, North Carolina, started losing pets and farm animals to an unknown creature.

Upcoming repeats of the program will occur on History (nee, the History Channel), to wit:
“Vampire Beast” – Sunday June 15 05:00 PM Eastern
“Vampire Beast” – Wednesday June 18 08:00 PM Eastern
“Vampire Beast” – Thursday June 19 12:00 AM Eastern

beast head

Recent and past sightings of the “Beast of Bladenboro,” usually described it as a Mystery Cat, Phantom Panther, Black Panther, or Cryptid Felid, have been discussed in past postings at Cryptomundo, here, here, and here. Two items on the closely related “Beast of Bolivia” are to be found here and here.

bolivia track

The Beast of Bolivia track compared to a human hand.

beast logo

Okay, “MonsterQuest” has brought recognition to the local creatures. Now what will the North Carolina towns do with it?

With all the excitement of the “MonsterQuest” shoot and the planned History broadcast, the town of Bladenboro staged a festival in 2007. The 2nd Annual Beastfest `08 will occur on October 25, 2008, in Bladenboro, North Carolina.

Here is the local development group’s explanation for their cryptid’s local festival:


BeastFestBy Hiram Hester

The legend goes back to 1954 when a series of vampire-like killings of pets and livestock set the town on edge. The dead animals were found with their jaws broken, their heads crushed, and their bodies drained of blood.

The mystery threw the town in a panic and drew attention from across the nation. Many theories about what the beast was, (or wasn’t), added to the anxiety of these unexplainable occurrences. And on top of it all, hunters came from near and far in an effort to kill the dreaded beast.

As the days passed many became weary over the growing hysteria and both Mayor and Police Chief sought to squash the madness before someone was shot by an anxious “beast hunter”.

The entire episode lasted about two weeks but before the terror subsided, the story became legend, and the legend continues today.

From time to time, a story will appear in a newspaper about the beast, complete with interviews of locals who recalled the dread.

The beast now enjoys global celebrity status thanks to the World Wide Web. That’s right-if you do a web search you’ll find an abundance of information about the Beast of Bladenboro.


The caption to this photograph reads, “We had to do something and we had to call it something.”

This is a photograph of a recent meeting of the ‘BoroBoosters, who seem to be trying to come up with ideas on how to stimulate more interest in the town via their local Beast.

Perhaps the time is ripe for the townspeople to get a bit more energized about their cryptid and their BeastFest!

How about some speakers? Cryptofiction author D. L. Tanner is NC local and probably available for a cryptozoo talk, or perhaps get some out-of-state presenters.

Perhaps a BeastFest parade? Take some lessons from Point Pleasant.

How about offering a million dollars for “a verifiable photograph” of the Beast of Bladenboro? It worked for Bushnell.

Right now, the only message from the ‘BoroBoosters: Vendors have until October 15th to apply for tables at the BeastFest.

Come on, people. Cryptozoology is exciting, arousing, and stimulating.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

22 Responses to “Beasts of Bladenboro & Bolivia Revisited”

  1. shumway10973 responds:

    I’m sorry, but that paw print next to the hand didn’t look very big feline to me. It looked more coyote or canine of some sort. Why does any animal that is already carnivore (cats or dogs) have to have vampire tendencies? If the prey gets bit on the neck, they will bleed and the carnivore will lap up the blood.

  2. erykmynn responds:

    Are there any known animal diseases that could cause a predator to prefer a blood meal? Seems to me an animal strong enough to strike, but weak overall might choose blood as an easy meal. That would help explain a lot fo “bloodsuckers”

  3. bill green responds:

    hey loren new segment on monsterquest about the beasts of bladenboro & bolivia was wonderfuly done it realy keep you guessing what kind of animal or cryptid could kill dogs goats etc. thanks bill green

  4. crowmagnumman responds:

    I thought MonsterQuest brought up a very viable theory. A cougar seems extremely likely.

    I’m glad the townsfolk of Bladenboro are getting all excited about cryptozoology, but I hope they’re not just trying to cash in on this for the sake of tourism. Scientific discovery is all that would matter to me.

  5. Artist responds:

    Where were the necropsies of the FRESH kills? Why dig thru an exhumed, decomposed carcass instead of those entire goats??

    Did the culprit really exsanguinate those goats, and if so, was it thru hollow teeth or by licking or sucking on the wound? There was very little blood on or under the goats, but were the bodies empty of blood (as in cattle mutes), or were their necks broken? A necropsy might have answered many of those questions.

    If the victims were bled to death, why didn’t they struggle more? Even fawns nabbed by a cougar in my back yard will bleat and thrash around until they lose conciousness!

    The idea of a single predator traveling 200 miles between meals could have been examined – compare pawprints, bite marks and other evidence, view intervening terrain for unreported events, act like serious investigators, for crying out loud!

    They repeated that a cat would kill for food, not just kill all the goats and leave them there uneaten. Then they suggest a cougar! They have a whole series of paw prints in a line, but all we see is a couple of vague impressions in dirt.

    What did the two TrailCams show – anything??

    What a disappointment – let’s get some meat in there, instead of all that repetitive filler. MonsterQuest desperately needs a professional to run the show, or it won’t make it thru this season!

  6. red_pill_junkie responds:

    I still think that pawprint looks more like a wolverine.

  7. maslo63 responds:

    Shumway, how many predators do you know of that kill animals and don’t feed on their flesh, how about and entire herd of goats? Coyotes don’t do that. Personally I find the theory that this animal is a coyote or a dog to be laughable. That claim is even more outrages then the claim of an unknown animal running about. A coyote weighs roughly 50 lbs give or take, the domestic pitbulls covered in the show weighed over 100 lbs. I find it difficult to believe a coyote could take down a pitbull without the pitbull at least putting up a good fight and making some noise. Same goes with a feral dog, too evenly matched. Also consider that canines are very vocal animals, I’m sure if these attacks were from coyotes the identify of the killer(s) would have been known long ago. And as the program said a bobcat is very unlikely also because of its small size. IMO this animal is a cougar. People are hearing cat-like noises and seeing cat-like creatures, cougars historically lived in the area, they have the power to take down larger animals and are very secretive. Why a cougar would kill a herd of goats and not feed on any of them is beyond me. Attacking and killing dogs might be just the cougars way of eliminating competition. A cougar makes the most sense, either that or some sort of cult is running around cutting the necks of pets and livestock.

    Also I found it interesting that the show dealt with the Beast of Bladenboro and NOT Chupacabras like I thought it would.

  8. Doug responds:

    The show was very interesting to me. I doubt it is one beast doing all the killing. Could be more than one kind of predator.

    It would have very interesting to have had at least two of the bodies autopsied. “Animals were drained of all their blood.” I would like to see proof of that.

    As the episode showed us in the end, a puma could be the culprit, but the real mystery is why kill so many without eating? And why are the victims falling to prey so easily without hardly a struggle? Whatever the cause is, it must be one swift and powerful animal.

  9. Beyond legend responds:

    I have tracked may things around the Northern United states, and that is most definitely a canine track, about the size of a large black lab.

  10. camperwoman responds:

    That paw print looks like a coyote. It’s definitely not a cougar. Cougar tracks are larger, more rounded with the “palm” pad lobed. If you look closely, you can see the claw marks in the imprint. It’s not a cat.

  11. maslo63 responds:

    I agree that the paw print is not from a cat but that doesn’t mean a cat is not responsible for the killings.
    As for the episode overall. I had never heard of “the beast” before so in that aspect it was interesting. But I did find the episode repetitive, frustrating and kinda boring, as is the case with many MQ episodes.

  12. sschaper responds:

    Didn’t we beat this one to death a few months ago?

    They make a good case for a cougar, including the range, but all of you have good points on the track and the abandoned kills.

    I thought that for entertainment TV, they did all right for this one, though like the rest, I wish they’d confirmed or denied the exsanguination claims.

  13. cryptidsrus responds:

    Unlike many MQ episodes, this one defintiely was not boring. It (surprisingly) held my interest throughout.

    Geniune mystery. I agree with the explanation that it could be a cougar, although I, like Artist, have my questions. The obvious one is—why were the dogs and goats just desanguinated, not eaten?

    And that paw does not look like a cougar paw, I agree with Camperwoman.

  14. jwf responds:

    My hometown in NC is 12 miles from Bladenboro and I remember growing up with many exciting stories circulating about the folks in Bladenboro chasing a big two-footed smelly red-eyed beast through the swamps outside of town.

    One swamp was even name Barefoot Swamp, denoting the large humanoid footprints often found in the muck.

    My impression as a child was that folks were talking about Bigfoot or the lesser known Lizard Man that popped up in SC just across the border in the late 70’s or early 80’s.

    Big cats, both Cougar and the unusual big black cats have been seen by many all over NC since I was a child. In my opinion the Eastern Cougar never left our eastern states and the Eastern Bigfoot, even more popular, is a mainstay.

  15. Sordes responds:

    BTW, the picture above is inspired by a painting of the great fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, it was some kind of mars-lion or so. But I don´t remember the title of the painting.

  16. DWA responds:

    Artist: I feel your pain. 😀

    This is why crypto never gets any traction with the scientific community: crypto is Just the Rest of Us, with limited attention spans, kids, real jobs, no funding to search, etc. Nothing about these killings merited any more attention that this? That’s what happens, when science isn’t on the case. People move on to the Next Big Thing. Been going on with the sasquatch for half a century.

    We’ll never know what’s behind any sequence of events like this, anywhere, no matter the evidence that’s left behind – until mainstream science latches on, and never lets go, no matter what.

    Every cryptid needs its Jane Goodall, its George Schaller.

    And every one of those needs focus.

    Which in the sciences, is spelled M-O-N-E-Y.

    ‘Til then, we’ll keep having annual Sas Blowouts, BeastFests, and other synonyms for “bake sale.”

  17. joegottago responds:

    I live in this area of NC and because of my work I travel the roads in Bladen & Brunswick Co. alot. I believe that the attacks which occurred in Bolivia are that of a cougar establishing his territorial rights. (yes, we do have large cats in the area, contrary to popular belief. These I have seen for myself, but that’s another story.) Then the media compares these attacks to the “Beast of Bladenboro” due to the timing of the Beast Fest event in Bladenboro last fall.

    Bolivia beast = mad cat
    Beast of Bladenboro = unsolved even after 50 years…REAL STUFF!!!

  18. djm749 responds:

    A local man last year near Bolivia took a picture of a mountain lion on his cell phone. Also Deer hunters here in the swamps of South Carolina have been reporting siteings of large cats for years. Even the DNR has looked into it.

  19. slh0451 responds:

    Im from raeford nc,and have some land in bladenboro that my family uses for hunting.i can agree with the cat theory for two reasons,the first being i have actually seen a large feline track on our land,and two a local farmer that we get our grain from and that also farms our land ,just had one of his 2 black labs killed in september of last year and the other was mauled really in my opinion it is possible that there is a cat still around.

  20. santee-delta responds:

    John Lutz of EPR has told me he has recieved that cell phone pic of the cougar twice in the last few years from seperate individuals claiming to know the photographer. I believe him. Blood will hydrate a mammal longer than water, and the recent major drought conditions could be a key factor in this.

  21. Wildman of Lagoon responds:

    Wasn’t sure how else to post, but the Beastfest is coming up in Bladenboro this eekend. I wrote an exhaustive piece on the opriginal beast episodes when I was still at the Bladen Journal. Lorne was kind enough to post it here sometime ago.
    I was pleasantly surprised the other day to find a list by a local man who has compiled firsthand sighting reports of the beast and/or beasts in the Bladenboro area through the years. I’ll try to get permission so it can be posted here.

  22. Unit086 responds:

    I used to live in North Carolina and about three years ago some friends and I went out into the swamp like we always did and while we were out we had some stray dogs following us then we found a pile of what we thought were racoon bodies that had been ripped to shreds then we noticed that the dogs had dissapeared We started our way back to my friends house when all of the sudden we all noticed that we were being followed We kept turning around and looking behind us and seeing glimpses of what looked like a large black dog After a while we made it to the edge of the woods and turned around to see the creature standing on all fours about three feet in height jet black fur a small head and a much larger front than back it then proceeded to smell and circle a makeshift lean to we had built that mourning Afraid we ran inside and did not leave the house for the rest of the day The next day we went out and the lean to was completly destroyed.

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