; Phantoms and Monsters - Real Cryptid Encounter Reports - Fortean Researcher Lon Strickler

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Pennsylvania Bigfoot Encounters

Here are a few Pennsylvania Bigfoot encounter reports I've received over the years:

In the mid-1980's, I was told about an encounter that occurred not too far from State College, PA. A 19 year old local resident happened to be looking out his bedroom window which provided an excellent view of a pasture just west of his house. It was early morning (about 6:30 am local time) but there was plenty of light to see clearly. He was in the process of getting ready for work.

When he looked out the window, he noticed a tall, hairy creature walking in the pasture, coming from the north. The creature was taking long smooth strides and it's arms moved back and forth as a human would. It did not appear to have a neck but capable of turning it's head as it was constantly looking around. Except for the face, the creature was covered entirely with brown or black medium length hair. The witness was able to see the face and noticed that the forehead protruded distinctly. Also, it appeared the nose was wide and pushed close to the face. The height was approximately eight feet.

As the witness observed, the creature continued walking until it was south of the house. Suddenly, the creature stopped walking when the witness noticed 2 other similar creatures join it. Both were about about a foot shorter than the first. At this point, one of the creatures reached down and picked up a piece of lumber that was part of a new shed being built. The larger creature started walking swiftly towards the house until it was within 50 feet of the residence. It stopped suddenly, made a few loud grunting sounds and glared toward the window from where the witness was watching.

The witness ducked and crawled to the far end of the bedroom. After a few minutes, the witness got up and looked out the window. The creatures were gone. Later that day, the witness and a friend discovered large unusual tracks in the pasture.

It's not known if this incident was ever reported but I do know that at least one local police officer knew what had happened and confirmed it with me. He seemed to be convinced that the witness was upstanding and honest but very private. The witness did move away from the area not long after the encounter fearing that the creatures would harm him.

NOTE: this account was told to me several years ago by a woman who worked with the witness as well as the referenced police officer. I was in the area (Huntingdon, PA) investigating a haunting at the time and happened to come in contact with her. She did say that there were Bigfoot sightings before and after this incident...Lon


I received a telephone call today from a woman who claims to have seen a small bigfoot-like creature on July 18th, 2008 near the town of Red Lion, Pa. She stated that she had been shopping and was on her way home. As she was driving south on Rt. 624 about 2 miles from Red Lion, she noticed something running across a field near a home construction site. At first, she thought it was a large dog but it stood upright like a human. She pulled her car into an unfinished side road and observed the creature for several minutes as it would stop, look around, then it would continue running until it reached a small woods. She states that it was around 7PM in the evening and clear.

She described it as stocky with muscular arms and legs and no more than 4 foot in stature and sparsely covered in dark gray hair. It had no clothes though she could not determine the gender. At one point, she says that she was near enough to notice the head was smaller than that of a human child of the same height. She said that only one other person (a neighbor) was told of this sighting and that she did not want any notoriety. Her only reason for contacting me was because she had seen my blog and that I lived nearby (about 50 miles south in Baltimore) and thought I may want to check the area out for myself.

Note: She only gave me the name 'Macy' as a reference (I assume this is not her actual name) and refused to disclose her address and other personal information. There have been Bigfoot sighting reports in this area of Pennsylvania in the past as well as in neighboring Maryland. This very well could have been a juvenile Bigfoot. There have been local and Indian legends of a small hominid (the Albatwitch) in Lancaster and York Counties. The 'Albatwitch' is a small (about 4 feet tall), manlike creature which supposedly lived in wooded areas. Their main area of residence seemed to be near Chickies Rock, a heavily wooded area along the banks of the Susquehanna River about a mile or two north of Columbia, Pa. Albatwitches were also reported from wooded areas all along the river's shore and were said to be fond of apples thus their bizarre common name is short for “apple-snitch.”

Legend also says that the albatwitches either became extinct or were driven nearly into extinction in the later years of the nineteenth century. Chickies Rock, where the creatures supposedly lived, does have a tradition of strange sights and sounds. In the 1950s and 1970s, a man-like figure was seen several times, and local legends also speak of sounds like the crack of a whip heard in the woods at night.

Several sightings of Bigfoot-type beings have been recorded from this area. A vague report concerning the sighting of a hairy humanoid came from Lancaster in 1973. Lancaster is 10 miles east of Columbia. Another came from the town of North Annville (about 20 miles to the north) in the same year. In addition, a number of reports have surfaced out of neighboring York County, where Red Lion is located...Lon


Three Amish men were working in their field near Strasburg, Lancaster County, PA when an odd looking man approached them from the direction of a neighboring farm. The man was yelling and jumping about. The Amish men were alarmed and noticed that this 'man' had arms, legs and a face that seemed different...more animal than human. He had coarse dark hair on his limbs and face and wore what appeared to be a dark colored and tattered pair of old style boxer shorts. As the man-creature approached closer, he was yelling something but it was not understood by the men.

The men ran towards their house...the man-creature was right behind them. One of the Amish men ducked into the dairy barn and the other two immediately went in the house. An elderly Amish woman, who had been in the garden, came to see what was going on. When the man-creature saw her it suddenly stopped running, sat down on the grass and remained quiet while staring at the sky.

The men came out of the house and one of them slowly walked over to the man-creature and attempted to talk to it. The man-creature continued to look at the sky but started to mumble. The man and woman noticed that a horrible stench permeated from this creature...described at rotting flesh.

After several minutes, the creature got to its feet and started to walk towards the dairy barn. As it did, the witnesses noticed that the creature started to 'fade away.’ Eventually it completely disappeared from view just before it reached the barn. Shocked, the Amish witnesses dropped to their knees, not knowing what they had witnessed.

NOTE: this account was communicated by one of the witnesses to a non-Amish friend who periodically purchased produce from them. It was disclosed to me several years after the incident though I do know of the location and who two of the witnesses were (I was raised in the general area). The other witnesses have since passed away. The witness who gave the account still lives at the location and has (reluctantly) verified the incident to me. In turn, I promised to keep personal information confidential.

Historically, Wild Men and/or Bigfoot-like creatures have become part of the Lancaster / York County folklore. There have been sightings as old as the earliest settlers in this area as well as the Susquehannock people who inhabited the land previously.

In 1987, I had a conversation with a self-described shaman whose Susquehannock relatives had moved to Ohio after many others were killed off by smallpox and invading settlers. The Susquehannocks were said to be 'giants' by John Smith and the early settlers. Most were described as being 'well over 6 foot high' and broad-chested. This shaman told me that the Susquehannocks had placed a curse on the land before they left and that the dead would rise as shape shifters and torment the white man...Lon

NOTE: Pennsylvania Bigfoot sightings can be reported to Report a sighting - PBS Researchers

Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook

Monsters of Pennsylvania: Mysterious Creatures in the Keystone State

The Bigfoot Filmography: Fictional and Documentary Appearances in Film and Television

Phantoms & Monsters: Cryptid Encounters