September 22, 2012

The Man Eating Monster of Mt. Bandai

In the late 1700s, a small village at the foot of Mt. Bandai in the Tohoku area of Fukushima prefecture, Japan, was held in the grip of terror by a mysterious creature.

Mt. Bandai, Fukushima, Japan.

The incident began when villagers started reporting sightings of a strange creature lurking in the surrounding woods. This creature was said to look like a large primate of some sort, with a huge mouth, claws, and spiky fur running along its back. ┬áIt was most often seen in the evening hours and its eyes were said to reflect light like a cat’s. In addition, loud shrieks were often heard at night emanating from somewhere on the mountain.

These night-time howlings and sightings of such a frightening creature would have likely been enough to instill fear within the small, rural community, but this just the beginning. Around the time that this enigmatic beast was first spotted on the outskirts of town, animals such as pets and livestock were reported to have disappeared without a trace. One farmer was said to have had every single one of his chickens disappear in a single night. These animal disappearances continued, and It did not take long for villagers to connect these vanishings with the odd visitor lurking in the woods. People became more afraid, and they became wary of traveling outside at night.

An illustration of the creature from the time.

This still would not be the extent of the bizarre occurrences unfolding around them. As time went on, several children disappeared, some taken directly from their own homes. The creature was even purportedly seen kidnapping children and dragging them into the night. It was at this time that the villagers took action, and hired a hunter to track and kill the beast that was terrorizing them.

After several days of tracking the creature in the wilderness, the hunter allegedly shot and killed it in 1782. The carcass was purportedly of somewhat of an ape-like creature, 1.5 meters long, covered in hair, and with a large mouth filled with fangs that was described as being like the head was split from ear to ear. It also had a long, sharp nose and short limbs with webbed hands. The creature was reported to exude an extremely rank, overpowering odor, which unfortunately led to the body being discarded not long after.

With the death of this baffling monster, the kidnappings and animal disappearances ceased.

What is going on with this case? The creature matches no description of any Japanese cryptid that I know of seen before or since these events. The sightings and disappearances started abruptly, with no apparent prior history of such creatures being seen on the mountain, and ended just as abruptly with its reported death. Nothing like it has been seen since, and the case remains a complete mystery.

One thing that does strike me concerning this case is how the descriptions given almost sound to me like something akin to the Chupacabras. Did some sort of Japanese Chupacabras terrorize this small rural community?

Chupacabras

Considering that these events unfolded in the late 1700s, and that the alleged carcass of the creature was not preserved or examined by any sort of scientist, it seems that this one will forever remain an enigma.

Mt. Bandai is a stratovolcano located in Fukushima prefecture. It is most notable for it’s eruption in 1888, which killed 477 people, left thousands more homeless, and remains one of the worst volcanic disasters in recent Japanese history.

Mt. Bandai

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Filed under Chupacabras, Cryptotourism, Eyewitness Accounts, Feral People, Mystery Man's Menagerie