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Satyrs

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 28th, 2006

Want to talk about a weird creature for Halloween? How about the really bizarre ones – the Goatmen, Hoofed Horrors, and other strange beasties that seem to have their legs on backwards and appear to have rigid feet? Is there another form of "Bigfoot" out there? One hominologist appears to think so, and a filmmaker has passed along new "old" stories for me, for us to ponder.

Goatmen stories have been heard about in cryptid circles from such high profile locations as Maryland-Virginia, near Washington D. C. And, no, people weren’t talking about the politicians. Thirty years ago, I was aware of reports from near Lincoln, Nebraska.

A year ago today, I was on a radio station out of Bangor, Maine, and the hosts were discussing stories they had been told by their parents of a "hoofed horror" from the woods up in the County. But tales sometimes are merely foggy remembrances of clouded memories of attempts to keep kids in line, and only vaguely are based in reality, of course.

Nevertheless, I was surprised by Mark A. Hall’s then recent (2005) attempt to categorize these sightings in a way that might be better understood. A hard pill to swallow perhaps, I thought, but at least worthy of being open-minded and reading about them. I’m not denying there’s a body of these reports, now what do we do about them?

You can find a definition for "Satyrs" in the sense of rethinking that Mark A. Hall is doing, at his Glossary of Living Fossils.

"Satyrs – A form of ape related to the Yetis. Their extraordinary physical capabilities have caused them to be called ‘goat-men’ out of a mistaken perception of their mode of locomotion….See ‘The Satyrs in Our Midst’ in Wonders for September 2005."

Right before I went to the Texas conference, I received my copy of Volume 9, No. 3 of Wonders, and read and re-read his Satyrs article. Hall has nicely pulled together all the scattered reports in one place, and I figured, okay, let me just, well, "wonder" about these for a few days. I hardly got the chance.

Next thing I know, I was at the Texas conference, being interviewed by a red-headed young man named Todd Partain with a XL-1 video camera. He was in the midst of shooting his documentary, "Eyes In The Dark," about the eye glow experiences of field researchers, his own childhood experiences, and the veil of isolation and ridicule society imposes on cryptozoology. Sounded like a good project, so I did the interview, signed his release, and we began to say good-bye, as I began to move on to another conference activity. But Todd stopped me in my tracks.

Off camera, post-interview and casually, Todd froze me with a simple question…"Have you ever heard of people seeing a Satyr?" I thought, now that’s an interesting cryptid name to use with me right now, considering what I had just re-read on the plane. Yes, I said, I’d heard about something like that, what did he mean, I asked him. He then briefly told me about a "thing" he’d heard about from Louisiana, his home state. Todd wasn’t aware of Mark’s article, and sent me the details after I returned home. Needless to say, I’ve done some more wondering about this whole subject.

So, for Halloween 2005, Todd Partain gave me permission to share his "Satyr" tales, maybe even sightings, with you. Here it is again:

++++

"The Plain Dealing Devil"

In 1993, some friends and I were sitting around swapping scary stories when a friend’s sister hesitatingly told us about a small imp or satyr type creature she encountered at a trailer park near Plain Dealing, Louisiana.

She related that she was outside when she heard a voice calling her name. Out of the darkness a pair of red eyes stared and moved closer until a small black hairy devil creature appeared and said, "I’ll follow you forever" then disappeared back into the forest. Later, a woman that lived in a nearby trailer home with whom she was friendly told her she was driving into the trailer home park one night and saw a small black satyr type creature dancing on top of a fencepost. I have to admit that at the time I wanted to write that one off as being too far out there. But it wouldn’t be the last time…

In 1999, I was working on the side as a projectionist in an Imax theatre and while the movies played, the staff gathered in the booth, one day the scary stories started. A young lady with no apparent connection to the aforementioned young woman intimated that her brother had been home alone in Shreveport and had stepped out back to smoke a cigarette next to the family swimming pool. He heard something call his name, and at first suspected some local children were hiding in the bushes near the fence after sneaking in to trespass in the pool. Then he caught sight of a "hairy little man with horns" and retrieved a .22 caliber pistol from inside the house he tried firing at the creature a couple of times but it managed to evade him and laughed the whole time. It then leapt to the top of the fence, turned it’s head and smiled at him – revealing sharp teeth. The creature then bolted over the fence and apparently ran off into the woods.

I’ve since lost touch with both of these young women, the first actually told her story on tape reluctantly by my urging in 1993 but that tape [has been misplaced through a friend]. I’ve seen her since then and she flatly refuses to be interviewed and won’ t discuss it for fear of ridicule, "It was just too weird, I want to forget about it!"

The second individual saw "The Blair Witch Project" and became convinced that she would make a similar movie about the devil. I don’t think it ever happened.

++++

Tales of Satyrs for Halloween, certainly. Folklore for the future, maybe. Different than Hall’s Satyrs, perhaps. Food for thought for today, yes. It’s like talking about a faraway carol at Christmas, I suppose, and merely, for now, another wonder for Halloween.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.


17 Responses to “Satyrs”

  1. Thorondor 33 responds:

    Good article! I had never heard of the “Plain Dealing Devil” before. Sounds like a pretty creepy monster.

  2. Bob Michaels responds:

    A good imagination is a must for story tellers. I reserve judgment until all the facts are in. In the meantime let’s find the real cryptids.

  3. clman1 responds:

    A good topic for Halloween. I know that my mother once told me a story that my grandmother was a passenger in an a Model T Ford back in the 20′s going down some deserted back country road when a man with hoofs ran across the road through the headlights and then disappearing into the woods.

  4. DreamKeeper responds:

    If these things are real, I would like to know how they got the people’s names.

  5. Raptorial responds:

    Trust me, I live in Louisiana. We don’t have things like that around here. Some bigfoot, maybe, but no imps. This sounds like Spring-Heeled Jack to me…

  6. CamperGuy responds:

    bigfoot yes.
    satyrs no.

  7. KnockOut responds:

    A couple of years myself and two friends were riding around in a neighboring county here in GA trying to locate our “gravity hill”. We stopped at a gas station in a small town in the middle of nowhere and asked the girl working at the register if she could tell us where the hill was. She said “I don’t know about Booger Mountain (the name of the hill) but I can tell you where the goatman lives.” We were like “yeah whatever” but our curiosity took over and we set off to find the goatman. Supposedly he lived in the woods and fields behind this tiny farm house on this backwoods road in the foot of the mountains. Well we drove down the road, which was scary enough, sat there for awhile and eventually left. A few minutes later we saw a police office at a gas station and we decided to ask him how to find Booger Mountain. He said he didn’t know, but told us about 10 minutes of stories about the goatman and how everyone in the area was well aware of his existence. It was crazy.

  8. Ray Soliday responds:

    Rather reminds me of the “devil’s hoof prints” found in the fresh-fallen snow, in England, 1800′s. In Jerome Clark’s book, I forget the name, Loren Coleman is referenced or a co-author of it; it has an entry on the Devil’s hoof prints, but I don’t recall a mention of a satyr in the article.

  9. U.T. Raptor responds:

    Those encounters sound more paranormal than cryptozoological.

  10. lorelady responds:

    Recently a woman originally from NYC with a doctorate in history and several published books overheard me talking about strange creatures at a “normal” writer’s conference and confided to me that she had seen a satyr in the woods near her N. Michigan home. I asked why she called it a satyr and she said, well, it appeared half human and half animal. I had a copy of Weird Michigan with me, and showed her my drawing of the “indigenous dogman.” She blanched and exclaimed that it was exactly what she saw. No horns, just the pointy ears and the canid legs, fur, bipedal, long muzzle. Not a Bigfoot. Smaller versions, perhaps “pups” of these creatures have also been reported.

    Linda Godfrey

  11. MrInspector responds:

    Ray Soliday Says, “Rather reminds me of the “devil’s hoof prints” found in the fresh-fallen snow, in England, 1800’s.”
    This was my first thought as well.

    KnockOut, I would very much like to hear more about your story. I too, am in Georgia, and I haven’t heard of this Goatman. What town/county was this in? I don’t suppose you got the officer’s, who related these tales, name by any chance? The clerk’s name in the Store?
    I would very much like to look into this .

  12. KnockOut responds:

    We had several different directions given to us about where Booger Mountain was, so we started in Cumming, made our way to Canton, and originally wound up in the outskirts of what I believe was Pickens County. I wish I could be more specific but the fact is we were a bunch of bored kids looking for something to do and weren’ conducting any kind of serious investigation. It wasn’t until a few years later that these subjects began to really stir my interest. The best detail I can give is that it was near Burnt Mountain, but that’s about all I remember. Sorry.

  13. MrInspector responds:

    Thank you, and no need to appologize. What you have is what you have. I’m familiar with the area. I grew up on a farm in Cheerokee not far from there.
    Thanks again.

  14. MrInspector responds:

    I forgot! Thank you Mr. Coleman for throwing this out here. You always have the best critters here.

  15. cor2879 responds:

    For anyone interested I decided to do just a bit of digging on satyr’s and imp like beings through history. It’s not as easy a search as one would think. There’s a lot of crap to wade through. But check this out from an online Wiki:

    “The demons mentioned in the Hebrew Bible are of two classes, the se’irim and the shedim. The se’irim (“hairy beings”), to which some Israelites offered sacrifices in the open fields, are satyr-like creatures, described as dancing in the wilderness (Isaiah 13:21, 34:14), and which are identical with the jinn, such as Dantalion, the 71st spirit of Solomon. (But compare the completely European woodwose.) Possibly to the same class belongs Azazel, the goat-like demons of the wilderness (Leviticus 16:10ff), probably the chief of the se’irim, and Lilith (Isaiah 34:14). Possibly “the roes and hinds of the field”, by which Shulamit conjures the daughters of Jerusalem to bring her back to her lover (Canticles 2:7, 3:5), are faunlike spirits similar to the se’irim, though of a harmless nature.”

    Any of that sound familiar?

  16. shumway10973 responds:

    kinda makes me wonder if some one is playing “God” with dna like the movie “Island of Dr. Moreau”. Although I will admit I saw a cute little one last night at the night club in the costume contest. Not sure what to think about this subject. I know every legend and myth has its beginnings, but most can be explained easily once you find the origins–ie: geographical area, the people who told the story, etc…
    It is kinda creepy that they know people’s names and can even speak.

  17. mystery_man responds:

    Great spooky story, but until further evidence comes forth I don’t feel these apparitions are good candidates for actual biological entities. Lots of spooky places have their own stories of things that go bump in the night. As it is now, it sounds like paranormal phenomena to me, ghouls from straight out of the goblin universe.



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