; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Elliot Lake Ape-Men

My grandpa, a WWII veteran and born in Scotland, came to Canada with my great-grandparents and lived by Elliot Lake from about 2 years of age, until paranormal activity plagued him and his large family, when, at about 11 years of age, they moved to the golden-mile region of Ontario to Alliston. He, his 4 brothers and his father used to pan for gold in the various rivers and streams, near Elliot Lake and, that part of Northern Ontario, known to be rich in other precious metals and gems, especially Amethyst, took them to Elliot Lake, in search of many other minerals, stones, silver and gold, various other times, whilst his family lived there.

He recounted, to me, the 1st time, of many paranormal experiences, where he recalled an anomalous or paranormal experience, during a week long camping/gold panning excursion with his father and two of his brothers and one of his sisters, when he was about 9, where they'd been cooking fish, caught by his sister, over a campfire. He had little memory of any experiences that preceded this memory, although he'd overheard much discussion about them. Anyhow, as they waited to eat his sisters catches, creepy screeching, howling and then chattering sound(s) could be heard, almost as if close-by but emanating from somewhere within the forest that surrounded their campsite.

He told me that, they were sitting around on logs, as their father was quite strict and, although the three boys were talking loudly, the creepy unknown sounds, quickly reduced the talk to nothing and, his dad, who had picked up his shotgun had really instilled a deep sense of fear, to which they remained vigilantly silent and continued to listen, in earnest. Due to the pending sense of danger these queer sounds they'd heard, coupled by their father having picking up the shotgun, they continued to listen, in complete silence, the only other sound came from the popping and crackling of the burning wood on their campfire.

At first, what they heard was screeching and the boys thought nothing of it but, later, his older sister told him that she'd asked their father what it was. Once silence set in between the boys, it became obvious that this screeching sound did not sound like anything human, the growls and chatter, at first sounding like monkeys, was more gutteral and quite frightening. There had been some talk of "ape-men" in the area, during the 1930's but, not many would talk about it openly, for fear of being labelled as delusional or crazy yet, in whispers to one another, the boys speculated that these sounds were coming from an "ape-man". Then, after being hushed up again by their father, it sounded like the chatter was eminating from two or more unknown creatures and, within a short time, these sounds came closer towards them.

What truly frightened them was the screeches or screams, as if an unknown creature was injured or in pain or trouble and the theory, later on, was that this creature was calling for the help of one of it's kin.

These sounds came nearer and nearer, the screeching began to subside and the chatter between these 2 or more creatures grew. Quietly but quickly, my grandfather's dad, after instructions to my great aunt to hide, he and the boys snuffed out the fire, buried the fish and, grabbing only necessary items, to carry on their backs, abandoned camp, grabbing grandpa's sister and hastily scrambled away from the approaching sounds. One of his brother's strings of his pack broke and important tools were in this bag so, two of the brothers stopped to save what they could and place in the other brothers bag.

My grandpa and his sisters were in front of their father, who was in the middle and guarding the boys as they saved this gear. The two boys were, of course, behind him and somewhat still exposed to the opening of the trees and most near the lakefront where their now abandoned camp stood. Suddenly, my great-grandfather hollered out "leave the gear and run, run", amongst other things that grandpa said he'd not repeat. My great-aunt screamed which distracted the two boys, in turn, a fear inducing howl, unlike anything any of them had ever heard before, came very loudly and very close by too.

My great-grandfather hollered "there's 4 or 5 of them" and "God help us". My grandfather said that the two brothers left everything and the group ran, whilst their father fired shots at one of them, because, two "ape-men" retreated, one was carrying a smaller one but, one was running towards them, growling and shrieking aggressively. Fortunately, all 5 family members were unharmed and able to get away. To where, I don't think grandpa said.

They only ever discussed this encounter, amongst themselves but a couple of times, until many years had passed. By the time my great-uncle George had brought it up with my grandpa and my great-uncle Gord, they'd all been married and started families, scattering about different areas of Ontario. Grandpa believes it was in 1949, before my mom and two of her older sisters were born. He and grandma had only 2 of 5 of their children, at the time but, what prompted the discussion was a Bigfoot/Sasquatch story in Dawson's Creek BC, where my grandparents were about to move.

From the time this Bigfoot sighting, of 3-5 of them, happened in the 1930's to the late 1940's, many stories had been appearing in many newspapers, especially post WWII. My grandfather was a closet Sasquatch researcher, amongst other areas of paranormal research and collected any article he'd come across, over those nearly 2 decades.

Afterwards, this open discussion about the experience the brothers had, grandpa shared the research with George and Gord and Sasquatch had a name, here in Canada. Throughout grandpa's lifetime, proceeding his childhood experiences on Elliot Lake, after this discussion in 1949, grandpa began to write stories for newspapers in, both, Ontario and British Columbia publications, most notably The Toronto Star.

This was not his only paranormal experience but, it was one in which there were other witnesses. Grandpa had numerous paranormal experiences throughout his life and Elliott Lake was the place where some of the more frightening but, accepted experiences took place.

He and his brother Gord saw UFO's there but, other anomalous creatures/entities were seen by him and others he knew, as a child. I believe that everything grandpa ever shared with the people who read his newspaper stories were true. He did not always mention that these stories were based on, if not 100% real-life, true accounts but, he was well read. Unfortunately, back in the 50's and 60's, a published story only paid an average of $200. His highest paid story published was in 1973, for which he was paid $1,000 but it was not a paranormal story. It was a comedy called "Mother Drives", a non-fiction account of him trying to teach grandma, a 4' 11" Scotswoman how to drive a huge Cadillac "boat", as she called it.

In short, I have no idea where these Bigfoot cryptids come from, be it underground, in caves or possibly inter-dimensional but, I too think they're real. Also, there is some kind of tie-in with UFO's and Elliot Lake is a popular destination for Bigfoot/Sasquatch hunters to date. His other paranormal experiences/publications are fascinating too. I have kept every original manuscript or writing he's ever written, whether published or not and, one day, in honour of him and his unpublished work especially, plan to put together a book full of his stories. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend ahead! God bless you and your family and friends too! Kimberly Mills Parker

Beyond Creepy

Bigfoot: The Dark Side

Rusty Wilson's Canadian Bigfoot Campfire Stories

The Locals

Sasquatch: Bigfoot : The Continuing Mystery

The Bigfoot Book: The Encyclopedia of Sasquatch, Yeti and Cryptid Primates

Lon's Suggested Reading List - Books & Films / DVDs