A South Carolina Sighting

This sighting occurred in Pickens County, South Carolina in approximately 1981. I have since spoken with the witness and he has agreed to allow us to use his name. His name is Robby Raines and he’s spent his career in Law Enforcement. Also, I checked the BFRO database and there were other sightings in that same area at the same time, so that really corroborates his story. I spoke with him via video chat, and he was very sincere and forthright about his sighting. I could also see that, even after all these years, it still affected him profoundly. The following is his account, in his own words. The only edits I made were punctuation and grammar.

D.A. Roberts

The Nightmare Hunter Project

Ok this will probably be long, and I know that I am not the writer that you are, but I will try to describe my first encounter to you as best I can. As I told you earlier, I am also in law enforcement and have been since 1996 so I’m now one of the grizzled old veterans. I say that to let you know that like yourself, I prescribe to the evidence and what the evidence shows or tells me. I became an officer to follow in my stepfather’s footsteps and I approach things in much the same way as him.

He retired from Our local county Sheriff’s Office. After 25 years as a Lieutenant in the juvenile division of the Criminal Investigation Division and then he went and worked another 15 years as a School Resource Officer at one of the small municipalities within the county. This encounter happened in early 1981. Dad was a Sergeant on the road at the time and he was on second shift on the day in question, so he was not at home. We live in a small community in Pickens County, South Carolina, which was very rural back in those days.

We lived in the Dacusville community and there was a lot of woods and farmland and not much else. Back in those days we still sat on the front porch in the summer evenings and talked instead of what most people do nowadays. This one summer night, my mom and I, along with my grandparents and my great grandparents were sitting on my great grandparent’s front porch. Well, my mom and the others were sitting on the porch, and I was inside my great grandparents’ house watching TV. It was probably after 2100 hours (9 PM) because it was dark outside when I finished watching whatever show I was watching.

My great-grandparent’s house was just an old-style farmhouse with an open floor plan and where I was in the house was the den and it directly lined up with the kitchen and the back porch. So, from where I stood up to turn off the TV, I could look straight into the kitchen, the back porch, and right out the storm door into the back yard. As I turned the TV off, and to this day I do not know why I looked to my right instead of walking straight out onto the front porch where my family was, but I looked to my right after turning off the TV and the back storm door was 15 to 20 feet away from me.

The light was on in the room I was in, but no other lights were on inside the house, so as I looked out the storm door, I saw a big shape standing in the door. I wasn’t sure what I was seeing at first or if I was seeing anything at all other than a trick with the shadows and lights, but then I saw it move. And it moved exactly how you described it in Odin’s Call. That side-to-side sway. I will never, as long as I live, forget that movement.

The top of its head was at the top of the storm door and the significance of that is that the top of that door was probably a good 12 feet off the ground. I sat there staring at this thing for what seemed like forever, but was most likely only a moment, staring into the deep sunken black eyes. It had black leathery looking skin on its face, and it had dark fur/hair everywhere else I could see. It constantly did the side-to-side sway, but it followed my movement with its eyes. I was terrified but I found the courage to finally run outside to my mom and grandparents on the front porch.

Long story short, nobody believed what I saw. At least at that time. My stepdad was on a call and being before the cellphone age we could not get a message to him, but my mom did call my uncle to come down and try and talk me down. My Uncle, who I also looked up too, is no small man. At this time, he was probably close to 6’6 and weighed over 350. He played college football and was a center, so you get the picture.

Anyway, he went to the back porch and stood in the doorway to see if maybe I saw a person looking in on me, but he did not even come close to taking up the doorway like the creature had, and he was standing on the steps and his head was not at the same height as the creature’s. The next day, my dad looked for any footprints, but it had not rained in a few weeks, so the ground was really hard packed and there was no sign of anything.

Like I said nobody believed me then, but my stepdad has since become a believer and believes that I did in fact see a bigfoot that night. I have always believed that is what I saw, and I have been laughed at many times when I told this story, but it is what it is, and I saw what I saw. I would love to sit down and talk to you sometime, either on the phone, or face to face and discuss this and my other encounters further. Anyways, thank you for your interest in my encounter.


That’s his story in his own words. I, for one, totally believe him. You can check for yourself on the BFRO website. Just check Pickens County, South Carolina. I look forward to more conversations with Robby and plan to have a beer with him the next time I’m in South Carolina. I even want to visit the spot where the sightings occurred.

Folks, this is what the Nightmare Hunter Project is all about. You can help and become a member of the project. Strange things are happening every day, all around us. You just have to look beyond the shadows. Welcome to The Nightmare Hunter Project.


The Ozarks Howler

The Ozarks Howler

The Ozarks Howler

The Ozark Mountains are part of one of the oldest geologic formations on the planet, the St. Francois Mountains, which date back to the Protozoic age. Over the ages, these mountains have eroded and shifted, leaving little of what they once were. What remains is scattered sections of highlands that range from Ohio to Texas. A large section of this extinct mountain range is the Ozark Mountains or Ozarks Highlands. Ranging from just south of St. Louis, they run through Missouri, Arkansas, and parts of Kansas and Oklahoma. By extension, they join with the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma, offering a vast area of heavy forests, waterways, lakes, rivers, valleys, caves, and thick brush. This provides the perfect backdrop for all sorts of legends, tales, and cryptids. But every legend has its roots in the truth.

Since the settlement of the Ozarks Region by European settlers, there have been strange tales of creatures in the woods. The entire area is rich with folklore, legends, stories, and myth. Stories of creatures like the Missouri Wildman, MoMo the Monster, ghostly apparitions, strange creatures, hauntings, and the Ozarks Howler. These stories date back to the early 1800s, long before stories of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster were ever heard reported. Some of these stories even predate European settlers, coming from the Native American tribes that lived in the area for centuries before the first explorers arrived in the area. Even in modern times, sightings are still being reported. Out of the dozens of eyewitness reports, many more go unreported. In some cases, hundreds of accounts go unreported because of the insular and untrusting nature of the people who live in remote areas.

Dozens of blog entries could be written, just focusing on the Ozarks. More will undoubtedly come from that area, but this article will focus on one, the Ozarks Howler. If you’ve never heard of the Ozark’s Howler, then you’re not alone. Many people outside the Ozarks haven’t. As legends go, it’s very localized and seldom reported. The origins of the legend are lost to antiquity but easily trace back to the first settlers in the area.

The Ozarks Howler is also known as the Ozarks Black Howler, the Black Howler, Devil Cat, the HooHoo, and the Nightshade Bear. Eyewitness accounts of the Ozarks Howler describe a massive predator, roughly the size of a bear. Descriptions mention glowing red eyes that can be seen from a distance. Witnesses also describe a creature with a body of a bear or large dog. Some accounts say it’s a large cat, bigger than a mountain lion. They all describe the coat as being black with thick, shaggy fur. Accounts also describe the creature as having horns. Descriptions vary, calling them deer-like or like the horns of a ram. Then there is the howl, which is said to sound like a mixture of a wolf’s howl and the bugling of an elk. A blood-curdling scream that is said to turn the blood to ice in your veins.

Accounts of the Howler range from sightings to animal attacks and mutilations, to missing people. People who have had a face-to-face encounter describe the feeling of fear and pure evil. Undoubtedly, whatever they saw frightened them deeply. Having spoken to several witnesses personally, I have found their accounts to be credible and the fear in their eyes told me that they weren’t lying. Over the years, I have developed a good sense of when someone is making up a story and there are always inconsistencies. Unfortunately, some people seem to delight in hoaxing or making up stories, which is terrible. Hoaxes and lies only serve to discredit actual accounts, making it harder for the truth to be found. Due to the negativity in the press and stigma placed on people who have had encounters, many true accounts are never reported.

One of the earliest accounts of the Ozarks Howler was from Daniel Boone, who claimed to have wounded one and later to have encountered it again new Cuba, Missouri, where he was able to kill it.  Allegedly, he had the animal stuffed and added to the collection of trophies he kept in his home. This can be verified by a letter written by Boone, himself, to his sister.

During my research, I have found several similar legends that range across the United States and beyond. The legend of the Shunka Warakin is remarkably like the Howler. As are the Black Dogs of Death from English Folklore. The legend of the Black Dog is an omen of death and misfortune. There are other similarities to the Cù-Sìth of Scottish folklore, the Barghest of Northern England, the Black Shuck of East Anglia, and most notably, the Hellhound. This could be due to overlapping of the legends or, possibly, that they were all describing the same creature.

Whatever the origins of the legend, it has been part of the local folklore for over two hundred years. Despite claims of hoaxes and false stories, there are still sightings happening all over the Ozarks. There are numerous similarities to the appearance of these creatures as well as the behaviors exhibited. Far too many similarities to dismiss them outright. Add to that the fact that many eyewitnesses are telling the truth, then we start seeing a pattern. Say there are a thousand reports. Tossing out 90 percent of those reports as false would still leave you with one hundred reports that aren’t false. If even one report is true, then that means the creature must exist. Now, I know from experience, the percentage of false or hoax reports is much smaller than the percentage of honest accounts. That’s very telling.

Some accounts could be a simple misidentification. Many accounts are from experienced hunters and woodsmen who know the animals in their area. I cannot accept that every account is a simple misidentification of a known animal. I once read that “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbably, must be the truth.”

I submit to you that it is impossible to dismiss all these reports as either a hoax or misidentification of a known animal. I’ve interviewed too many people personally to ever believe that they’re all making it up. Too many people have seen something in those dark Ozarks woods, things that they know shouldn’t exist. Yet, saw them, they did. The experience haunts them to this day, casting doubt on every odd sound they hear in the night or outside their own homes. Fear like that leaves a stain that you carry with you for the rest of your life. You can’t fake that kind of fear. That’s how I know they weren’t lying.

So, the next time you find yourself walking alone in those deep, dark Ozarks hills and you see glowing red eyes followed by a blood-curdling howl, try telling yourself it’s just a wolf. It’s just a cougar or something similar. Convince yourself that those glowing red eyes aren’t following you. Try not to run, because that’s the worst thing you can do. It triggers the hunting response in predators. They will chase you and you will not escape.

The Ozarks Howler is out there. It’s very real to the people who have experienced it, firsthand. Sightings have been around since the early 1800s and continue to this day. It’s easy to sit behind your computer or television and dismiss these creatures as pure myth, as a hoax, or just as the imaginings of a scared person. It’s quite another to be out in the deep woods at night when the howling starts, and you can see the red eyes in the distance. The old expression “there are no atheists in foxholes” comes to mind. Don’t believe me? I can give you a few places to go and see for yourself. Don’t forget to take a good flashlight.

There are many strange things in the world that we don’t fully understand. Science discovers new species every day. Most are just insects, but sometimes they find something big. We’re fooling ourselves by saying that we know everything there is to know about this planet. There are places in those Ozarks woods, and in many places in the world, where man either has never been or rarely goes. Those woods are dark, deep, and mysterious. They have yet to reveal to us all that they know.

I believe that the Ozarks Howler is out there. Much like Bigfoot or the Dogman, I do believe they exist. We cannot, in our hubris, dismiss the legends and folklore of the Native Americans. All three of those creatures were known to them. We’re fools to ignore their wisdom. You do so at your peril.

I am the Nightmare Hunter. This is what I do. Join me as I search for the truth. Be safe, be careful, take precautions, and do not go alone. The Nightmares are real.

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Mysterious and Frightening Cases of Dogman Attacks

Mysterious and Frightening Cases of Dogman Attacks

Mysterious and Frightening Cases

of Dogman Attacks

by: Brent Swancer

One of the strangest phenomena in the realm of the paranormal and cryptozoology is that of supposed real werewolves and in particular that of what is known as the Dogman. Much like Bigfoot, these appear as hulking, massive mountains of fur and muscle, yet rather than ape-like they are described as having decidedly canine features, often with a tail, and of alternating between walking on two feet or all fours. They have been sighted in a range of locations, and serve to really go out into the truly outlandish. Yet for as weird and scary as all of this is, even more, frightening are the scattered reports of these spooky entities actually attacking people.

One very weird report of an apparent Dogman attack of some form comes from the site Beyond Creepy and occurred in the country of Mexico. The person who made the report says that it happened to his uncles as they were driving a cargo truck through a rather remote jungle area at night. As they made their way along the rough and rugged unpaved road, something very large and heavy reportedly jumped into the back of their truck, and the person telling the account says of what happened next:

They didn’t stop to see what it was because there were no lights on the road. My uncle on the passenger side saw this devilish creature that looked like a dog climbing closer to the cabin of the truck. They said the thing was huge. My uncle’s screaming in fear when they saw it, said they tried to shake the truck but it would fall off until they hit it against a tree on the opposite side of the road/path. They kept driving all night to the morning all freaked out. When they got to a gas station in a village, they saw gash marks and hand but animal prints on the windows where it was trying to get in and on the back trailer. They told their story to some of the villagers or farmers and they told them that dogmen-like demons roam those areas. And they were not the only ones who have been attached before. They were so freaked out the hair on both arms rises even telling their experience. They said they never drove through Central America besides the cities or villages at night ever again. I wish I could have recorded them telling the stories. They have died already, but even before they died, they stuck with what happened to them and they never did drugs.

The site Phantoms and Monsters has several reports of apparent Dogman attacks. One of these supposedly happened on a tract of forested land near the Ohio River in Maysville, Kentucky. The witness was a teen at the time, with a group of other teens just out messing around exploring an abandoned hospital in the area called Hayswood Hospital, but this night was about to prove to be a bit more eventful than any of them could have imagined. They had split up to go poking around the dusty ruins of the dilapidated hospital and at some point, the witness became aware of a fetid stench like something rotting as he was exploring the basement of the building, which incidentally had once been used as a morgue. The flooded floor was covered with about 3 inches of water, and as he sloshed through it he then heard a metal door slam and something run through the water some distance away.

The witness thought this was just his friends playing a practical joke on him, so he wasn’t scared just yet, but he soon would be. He decided to get up on top of one of the long-abandoned coolers that had once been used for storing dead bodies, hoping to get the jump on his friends and scare them, but as he lay there, he says the darkness was pierced by someone screaming. He still thought that one of his friends was just messing with him, so he stayed still, but soon that smell of rotting meat pervaded the air around him once more and he could hear footsteps in the water, as well as a sound like panting or a “labored breathing and sniffing.” At this point the witness was overcome by a sense of pure dread, jumping down from the cooler to go running towards the exit to the morgue, hearing that panting and the water splashing right behind him, as well as an ominous low growl. In a panic, he slipped into the boiler room and stood as still as possible. As he waited there, something very large and strong allegedly started to slam into the door to the boiler room, and there was a sound like the scratching of claws against the steel. The terrified witness then ran towards the other end of the boiler room in a bid to reach the access to the generator and the dock doors trucks used to unload and the hillside that leads to the woods, and he says of what happened next:

I opened the door to the dock room and when I looked back I saw the arm of this creature sticking through the opening it had made and it was like a horror movie. It was a gray and brown mass of fur. It looked like a human arm but it didn’t because the hand was all wrong. The hand had five digits but the claws would have made a bear run in fear. I slammed the door behind me and ran for the dock doors. The dock doors wouldn’t budge and I could hear the gurneys overturning and the lockers sliding on the floor. It was getting through and the only thing between me and it now was a single door. I ran to one of the windows by the dock doors and proceeded to bust it out which mangled my hand from the glass. Then as I was pulling myself through the window I heard the door get slammed into and one of the hinges completely flew off the door and hit the wall. I tumbled out of the window and hit the cold wet ground. When I stood up I saw it in the doorway.

Now I’m 6’4 and 250 lbs. Not little by any means, and this thing took up the entire doorway, an 8 foot tall 3-foot wide door. It was covered head to toe in gray-brown fur. It had a very narrow snout, almost like a Doberman Pinscher and its ears were just barely visible because of the doorway. But I could tell they were pointing up just like a dog. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was completely paralyzed. This thing was staring right into my soul. Then it snarled and that woke me from my disbelief of what I was seeing. I turned and ran. I ran up the hill into the woods to get around the hospital to get back to the street where the car was parked. I hadn’t made it 25 feet when I heard it clawing to get out the window. I knew I would never make it to the car this way.

So I ran back towards the hospital where the fire escape ladder was. I had used the ladder before to climb to the roof to take pictures of the entire town. I completely skipped the first 3 rungs on the ladder and was now inside the enclosed part of the fire escape. Again this thing howled and I could feel waves of pure terror filling my body. My hand was killing me at this point and I was getting blood on everything. Just as I was reaching the first-floor window I could climb into, this thing slammed into the fire escape ladder, knocking me down a couple of rungs. It leaped onto the outside of the fire escape and began clawing at my feet. Just as I reached the window I felt it. Pain like nothing I’ve ever felt. It had grabbed just above my ankle and yanked, and in doing so shredded my boot the end of my jeans, and into my flesh. I was able to pull myself into the first-floor window and I heard it push itself off the fire escape and head back the way it came.

I’m now dragging my left leg and trying to keep my right hand in my hoodie pocket. The entrance we came in from is only about 150 feet away down the main hall and around a left turn. As I’m halfway down the hall I hear the steel doors slamming again. I’m dragging myself down the hall just trying to stay focused on getting out of this hell hole. Then the howling starts again and I can hear it getting closer. I make the turn and hear the pounding coming up the stairs from the basement. I make it to the entrance and hear the patting of hands and feet on the floor. I made the mistake of looking back just as it rounded the corner and it was running on all fours like a real dog! I bolted down the hill towards the street where the car was parked and realized the car was gone! They left me! My only way of escape was gone!

He claims that he careened off into the night, running down the hill to start banging on the door of the first house he came to. Luckily for him, an elderly lady let him in and seeing the state he was in called the police. When the authorities arrived, he told them his wild tale, but they did not believe him, despite the fact that he had injuries to corroborate his story. The witness says:

When the cops got there and asked me what happened I told them the same thing I’ve said here. Of course, they didn’t believe me and thought I was on drugs. The EMTs took me to the hospital and when they did blood work and found no substance in my system, they then concluded I was attacked by a wild dog. I ended up with 36 stitches in my leg and 17 in my hand. I had to get rabies shots and tell the local wildlife officer my story. He informed me that they had reports of wild dog packs running around the outside of town ransacking garbage cans and killing some of the local pets. I informed him that it wasn’t a pack of wild dogs and it was a giant dogman. But they all just thought I was crazy. The only thing I had in my favor was the claw mark on my leg. Even the doctors were confused about how a wild dog could make a mark like that.

It is hard to know what to make of this case. It is so dramatic and spectacular that it has the feel of a movie script or creepypasta, but who knows? Perhaps just as sensational is another report from Phantoms and Monsters, this one supposedly from back in 1977, in a rural farming community in the U.S. state of West Virginia. The witness was apparently just a boy at the time and claimed that his grandfather often spoke about large “strange animals” roaming about the property, with the old man taking to constantly keeping a gun with him at all times. The grandfather also told the boy to always lock his window at night and to be careful when walking around outside at night. One evening, the boy heard something outside his window as his grandfather fell asleep in the living room with his gun on his lap, and the boy said he could hear a low growling from out past the window, but he couldn’t see anything. The report says of what happened next:

The witness looked and saw nothing in the window. He then went to get some candy from a bowl in the living room and that’s when he observed a claw coming in through the window, palm facing down as if it was going to push the window up. The witness clearly saw three fingers. The middle finger was the longest. Years later, he claimed the fingers reminded him of the claws of the creature in Krampus (specifically the scene where he pointed his finger into the woman’s face). He screamed in fright, which woke up the grandfather. The creature also screamed. The grandfather went into fight mode and proceeded to hit the creature’s fingers with his gun. The witness grabbed a knife from nearby and also stabbed at the fingers. At that moment, the grandmother rushed into the room and turned on the outside light, which lit up the yard. The witness could see the creature clearly standing in the window. He even looked into its eyes. The creature took off running just as the grandfather raised his gun to shoot it. According to the witness, the creature appeared to be angry and was growling as it ran. The witness acknowledged that he had wet himself during the exchange. At some point, the grandmother stated that the creature had returned. “It’s back!” she said, which surprised the witness. They proceeded to tell him that the creature had been seen around the property 3 years earlier but had left. They assumed it had been killed. It had only started appearing again some 2 weeks earlier. This upset the witness, as he had been playing on the property and should have been alerted to it.

The grandparents told him that in 1974, the grandfather was in a deer stand bow hunting when a strange creature attempted to climb the tree and enter the stand through a door latch. The grandfather shot at it and stabbed at it, but it never stopped coming. Eventually, it attempted to poke its nose through the opening in the stand. That’s when the grandfather stabbed it in the nose. It managed to get a paw through and slashed the leg of the grandfather. The creature fled after that. The scar was visible on the nose of the creature standing at the window. As well, the grandfather also had a scar on his leg. The grandfather claimed he waited in the stand for 3 hours before feeling safe enough to climb down and leave. They had never heard of a dogman at the time so they just referred to it as a werewolf.

According to this report, over the coming weeks there would be found dead farm animals on the property, apparently having been mauled by something very large and fierce. One day, when the grandfather failed to show up to pick him up from school, he walked home to find the old man dead in his truck, mauled in a similar fashion as the farm animals. Supposedly the police would come to the conclusion that the man had died from an attack “by an unknown animal.” What is going on here? Did any of this really happen at all? It is hard to say.

Another report is tied to the apparent mauling of a 13-year-old boy in Knott County, Kentucky. Apparently, the boy had been playing in his yard when his relatives saw him get attacked by a “canine type creature” and dragged off into the woods. The police were called and arrived to find the boy dead, his body located 400 feet up a mountain through treacherous, rain-slicked terrain. The body had been mauled by a large animal of some sort, but interestingly the coroner would conclude that it was not a mountain lion or bear, but rather something canine. Could a dog have possibly killed this boy and dragged his 100-pound body all the way up there through thick forest terrain? Authorities have apparently still not come to a firm conclusion on what actually attacked this kid, and Dogman or not, it is a rather eerie mystery. We are left with some bizarre cases orbiting an already bizarre phenomenon. Are any of these reports or indeed any of the Dogman in general real in any sense? If so, then what could this possibly be? Is it a flesh and blood creature, a supernatural phenomenon, or perhaps even interdimensional interlopers? Or is this all just spooky werewolf-type stories and urban legends to tell around the campfire? It is hard to say, but the Dogman phenomenon has definitely not gone away, and it doesn’t appear that it will any time soon.

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