Skunk Ape Seen at Tate’s Hell Forest

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on March 7th, 2016

David Lauer tells the story of a man who had an encounter at Bloody Bluff campground.


About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

3 Responses to “Skunk Ape Seen at Tate’s Hell Forest”

  1. Goodfoot responds:

    Well, it is a campground.

  2. Fhqwhgads responds:

    This is of some interest to me, because not only am I from that general area originally, but my family has lived thereabouts for almost exactly 200 years, and “Bloody Bluff” is connected with an Indian massacre that claimed the life of Thomas Cupples Richards, one of my great^5 grandfathers. The following is taken from here, but is originally from the Panama City News Herald (as cited below):

    James Richards lost most of his family in a Creek Indian massacre. Under the threat of removal to lands in Arkansas, the Indians staged several uprisings. The exact date of the massacre that claimed the lives of members of the Richards’ family is uncertain. But one spring day while the men were away hunting, sometime around 1838, a wandering band of Creeks sounded the dreaded war whoop and attached. They killed Mrs. Richards and her three small sons in their log house. Harriett and Jehu, who were playing outside, went undetected by the Indians. They managed to steal into the deep swamp known today as Hunter’s Head. When Richards returned home that night he found his home in ashes. In the midst of the smoldering rubble, he discovered the remains of his wife, who had been scalped, and his three children. Richards searched the woods for the other two but found only feathers fluttering in the breeze from the bed pillows that had once been inside the house. The next day Richards and his neighbors combed the swamp with their dogs. They found both children safe — Jehu at a place known today as Jehu’s Landing and little Harriett in another section of the alligator infested swamp. According to legend, Richards swore vengeance against all Indians after the massacre. He became a “madman” and spent his time “Indian hunting.” In retaliation for what had been done to his family, Richards, along with several others, slew a band of Indians camped on a bluff on the Chipola River. Although lost today, the site was known for many years as “Bloody Bluff,” because of the blood that ran downinto the river after the attach.Following the confrontation with the Indians, several members of the Richards family left the area. John Richards returned, however, after some settlers pleaded with Washington for protection. As a refuge against further attacks, Richards and others constructed a fort to house families in case of further uprisings. This structure, of typical blockhouse design, measured 16 by 32 feet. It was built from heavy hewn logs, 10 inches square, and pegged together with oak pins. The second floor extended out over the first. It was made with an opening in one side throught which a ladder could be lowered and raised. Portholes were built into the walls of both stories for light and firearms. A central stick and mud chimney heated the fort’s two rooms. The two-acre parcel of land was enclosed with a stockade of vertically-placed logs. (Panama City News Herald; February 24, 1991, page 5C and February 2, 1992, page 5B)

    Oddly, the date of the attack is actually known: January 14, 1838. If Bloody Bluff was actually on the Chipola, it would have been at least a few miles to the northeast of this campsite. I am descended through the “John Richards” mentioned above.

  3. Fhqwhgads responds:

    Sorry, I meant that the Chipola flows into the Apalachicola from the northWEST. Honestly, I had not even known that there was “Bloody Bluff” campsite; I had been lead to believe that the site of the retaliatory massacre was somewhere near Blountstown, probably because that’s one of the few places in Florida where there are actually meaningful bluffs along a river. Actually, a little downstream on the Apalachicola makes sense, because the settlement of West Point (now Apalachicola) was that direction. The story in my family is that James Richards was taken the Indians to a settlement for some kind of government justice when he passed a spot on the river with special sentimental meaning and just lost it.

    For what it’s worth, my brother thought he saw a Bigfoot when he was a child. I can’t say I ever believed him, though. For one thing, he was a fan of Bigfoot, even in such doubtful manifestations as his fight against the Six Million Dollar Man and “Bigfoot and Wildboy”. Also, my brother had earlier claimed to have actually seen Santa’s sleigh. Today my brother is not sure what he saw — he knows what he remembers, but does not trust the memory.

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