Monsters haunt us from Hollywood, video games and storybooks… even energy drinks. But a real freak (or could it be just legend?) has been famous in Arizona for generations.
The Mogollon Monster is a “Bigfoot” creature said to live along the Mogollon Rim. He is reported to be a “bipedal humanoid” between 6 and 8 feet tall. Except for his face, he is covered in long, dark hair. Those who have encountered the Mogollon Monster speak of a strong, pungent odor similar to decaying fish, that surrounds the big fellow.
By Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher
Legend says this monster is a rather shy creature who most often creeps out after dark. It reportedly likes to explore campsites and often emits a whistling sound as if communicating with unseen fellow ghouls.
First reports of the Mogollon Monster came in 1903 in the “Arizona Republican” newspaper. I.W. Stevens said he came upon a creature near the Grand Canyon who had “long white hair and a matted beard that reached to his knees.” Stevens claimed the creature was feeding on the blood of two cougars it had killed. He said the creature let out an “unearthly screech” when Stevens came upon it.
Over the years, many have reported seeing or hearing the Mogollon Monster rushing through the forest undergrowth. There are multiple websites with pictures and videos of this big fellow. (If that’s not proof enough, The Mogollon Monster even has its own Facebook page.)
The best likeness of the Mogollon Monster might be the large wood sculptures carved by chainsaw artist Trent Penrod of The Burly Bear mountain gift store in Pinetop. Penrod has sculpted the likeness of five of these highland critters that are now displayed along the main streets of several Mogollon Rim towns.
Whether the Mogollon Monster is a true inhabitant of Arizona’s wonderful Mogollon Rim Country or just a legend to spook young children around a campfire—it is surely a great Arizona story.
If you want to hunt for the Mogollon Monster, he’s thought to wander from Prescott east to Hannagan Meadow, north to Springville, west to Williams, south to Prescott. Payson is the epicenter of most Mogollon Monster sightings.
Info: mogollonmonster.com and here