; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, July 19, 2013

Was It The 'Fairvilla Gorilla?'

I recently received the following account:

Late one night in 1968 my mom jumped out of bed and into her housecoat and grabbed her clothes basket, as she had remembered she had left some clothes on the line in the backyard. A few minutes later she came back into the house and as she walked into her bedroom I heard her say to my dad, "Sam, there were two red eyes staring at me from the grove!" Now I'm up and scared. So the three of us went out into the Florida room (sun room) and my dad turned on the backyard light as he opened the door. I was too scared to go outside and too scared to stay in the house alone. As we went out into the backyard my mother showed us where she was standing at the clothesline when she saw the red eyes peering at her in the darkness.

"It was standing right over there between those two orange trees" she said as she pointed toward the darkened grove. My dad told her she had probably seen a 'possum or a raccoon as we went back into the house and back to bed.

I had almost drifted off to sleep when all of a sudden we heard a loud THUMP at the back of the house. My dad almost fell out of bed as he jumped up and exclaimed, "What was that? Greg, did you hear that?!"

Once again, the three of us went to the backdoor to investigate. Daddy turned on the backyard light and just as he opened the door an overwhelming odor permeated the air. "A skunk! It's a doggone skunk!" Daddy said as we walked out into the yard. But the odor was so overwhelming and nauseating it made us beat a hasty retreat back into the house.

Nothing more was seen or heard - or smelled - of our night time visitor.

Years later I became a fortean and developed an interest in cryptozoology. In my readings of the Florida Skunk Ape I learned of the "Fairvilla Gorilla" that was sighted occasionally in the 60's. Fairvilla is a community about three miles north of where we lived in Orlando, Florida. Back in the day it was known for its shopping center which was built on the edge of a large wooded area. Route 441 is known as the Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando. It runs through Fairvilla north to Plymouth, a small community that is on the outer fringes of the Ocala National Forest.

There is an account of a woman who was frightened by the sound of heavy footsteps around her mobile home in that rural area. She grabbed her rifle and ran out of her house toward a swamp which lay between her home and the highway. In her panic she fell. When she looked back, she saw a 'bigfoot' standing beside her house. The frightened woman ran through the swamp and thicket to the highway where she flagged down a motorist. Later that day she returned to her home with friends and found the door had been ripped off by the hinges.

There are many other accounts of the Florida Skunk Ape but for some strange reason they were most numerous back in the sixties. Greg May

NOTE: The 'Fairvilla Gorilla'....I haven't heard that moniker since I was in Orlando and the Indian River area in 2004. Lon

Abominable Snowmen, Legend Comes To Life: Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Oh-Mah, Grassman And Skunk Ape: The Story Of Sub-Humans On Five Continents From The Early Ice Age Until Today Illustrated

Sasquatch The Living Legend

The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster