Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Screaming Bigfoot

IN 2003, Kris Monk and her boyfriend moved to Wilderness, a small town in South Africa along the Garden Route, which is popular for its natural forests. When they moved there, the town was still relatively small, although in recent years it has grown substantially.

The couple found a flat on top of a garage on a nice quiet road. The main house was empty as the owners were from overseas and only used it in December for holidays. “From the beginning,” Kris says, “whenever we were outside we always had a feeling like we were being watched. We also had two cats that behaved very nervously all the time we stayed there.”

One evening, Kris was at home alone waiting for her boyfriend to get back from surfing when she heard a strange, high-pitched screaming sound from the valley right next to her house. “Let me explain the set up of our street quickly,” says Kris. “It had houses only on the one side, and on the other was a forest valley. So I heard the screaming coming from the forest.”

Thinking the screaming might be coming from a hurt animal, Kris took a flashlight and found a makeshift path into the bushes. She got halfway down the slope when she was overcome with a very eerie feeling. Too scared to go on, she turned back. Within a few minutes, the screaming stopped.

The growling

After the couple was in the apartment for six months, Kris’s boyfriend had to go away to work on his degree, leaving Kris alone in the flat for four nights of the week. She took a waitressing job at a restaurant down the street as she could walk there in a few minutes. “Wilderness is safe to walk around at night,” she says, “even if you are a girl. My dad, however, made me phone him when I was walking home, just so he knew I got there safely every night.”

One night Kris was talking to him and was almost at the steps that led up to her flat when she heard a deep growling from the bush next to her. Terrified, she ran up the stairs and into the house, locking the door behind her.

Kris began to notice that every night her cats would just sit and stare at the front door. “Our flat was all open plan, one big room, with only the bathroom being separate,” Kris explains. “Our bed was situated behind the bathroom wall, so the front door was not visible from there, but the cats would sit in the middle of the room a few meters from the bed and just stare at the door, with all their fur standing up for hours on end.”

The knocking

Kris’s boyfriend came home for his two week holiday. One evening when she was alone, waiting for him to return from surfing, she heard a knocking on the floor of the flat, which was the ceiling of the garage. “I went to the window, which overlooked the forest, and I could see the garage clearly from there, too,” Kris says. “I called down, hoping the person would come out of the garage and tell me what they were doing. I got no answer, but the knocking went on for a few more seconds. I closed the curtain and looked out through a small gap in them for about ten minutes, but no one exited the garage.”

By the time her boyfriend got home, Kris was a nervous wreck.

More screams

Shortly thereafter, a woman from up the road moved into the main house while she waited for her new home out of town to be built. She had two dogs, and from the first night, she told Kris, the dogs were very restless there. About a week later, Kris woke up one night to the same horrible screaming as before. Her cats were both on the bed with her but sitting up, listening with all their fur raised. She eventually fell back asleep after about an hour of the screaming.

The next morning, the woman from the house asked Kris if I had heard the eerie screaming. Kris confirmed that she had. The woman then said her dogs had both been very frightened by it, which was unusual because they were normally quite gutsy. The women heard the screaming every night for about a week.

A week or two later, the woman moved out and Kris was on her own again. Nothing unusual happened, aside from the cat continuing to stare at the door at night.

Something huge

By this time, Kris had bought a car and no longer had to walk home from work. Her boyfriend had another two weeks holiday, and one day while Kris was at work he went down the path into the forest. When she got home at about 4 p.m. that day, he took her down the path.

“As we got to the bottom of the slope, something huge ran past us into the bush,” Kris vividly recalls. “My boyfriend is six-foot-four and this thing was taller than he. We glimpsed its silhouette as it crashed through the bush. It was definitely furry. We proceeded into the bush, not being too afraid as it was still light. We went further and found there to be a stream running through the valley. Right near the stream we found and oddly shaped root formation. It was shaped like an igloo, but hollow inside and big enough for two people to sleep in easily. It had leaves all over the bottom, as if it were a nest.”

After this discovery, Kris and her boyfriend left very quickly.

Two days later, her boyfriend's brother came to visit. He parked his car in the garage, which was left open all day so they could get their cars in and out freely. “As he got out the car, he heard growling,” Kris says. “He promptly got back in the car and phoned my boyfriend from his cell phone asking him to come down and meet him. He told my boyfriend what happened, and my boyfriend told him the same thing had happened to me.”

A month later, the house was sold and Kris and her boyfriend had to move out. “Since we moved, we have not once had the creepy feeling of being watched while outside or anything,” she says, “though driving back up our old road we both get goose bumps. And our cats stopped behaving so nervously, too.”

What was it the terrified the couple with its tortured screams? Kris says, “We like to say it was a Bigfoot.”

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