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

Friday, October 18, 2019

Tall Pale Skinned Humanoid Encountered in Willow Creek, California

I recently came across the following account:

I saw a tall, pale skinned being in my grandparent's yard in Willow Creek, CA in 1994.

Full Story - I had grandparents (dad's father and step-mother) who lived in Willow Creek until their respective passing in the early 2000's. Before then my dad, sister, and I would visit at least once or twice in the summer and sometimes for a Thanksgiving or Christmas. We lived in San Jose, CA at the time, which is an 8 hour drive away. We loved going to hike in the surrounding forests and play in the Trinity River. We grew up hearing about Bigfoot (the famous Patterson video was shot in the area and the town is Bigfoot tourist heavy), but we were taught to watch out the very real pumas and bears.

I need to explain a bit about how my grandparent's house was laid out for some aspects of this story.

They had a small 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house set at the corner of two streets. The road into the neighborhood off the main road ran along the back yard and the house ran along the other road off of that road. Several houses ran each side of the street and a house sat behind their yard. Chain link fencing six feet tall went around their back yard and most neighbors yards instead of solid wood fencing, so you can see into most yards. From the street and their house, it slopes down into the backyard and neighbor's yard by roughly 10 feet in total. Their back yard was mostly just grass and weeds with a small semi growing garden near the neighbor's fence line and a big tree (maybe oak of some kind?) next to and partially over the solarium. They had a raised deck running the length of the back of the house with stairs down into the yard at one end and a solarium off their kitchen at the other end. Inside the house, the kitchen and dining room are immediately next to each other with the living room and front door next to it. At the back of the living room is a short hall with master bedroom behind the kitchen and along the wall with the deck on one side, and the bathroom and guest room along the wall facing the side street on the other side. Grandparents of course got their master bedroom, dad would take the guest room, and my sister and I would sleep in the living room in winter or in the solarium if it was summer.

This story takes place in mid-August 1994. One last summer trip before school started in a couple weeks at the request of my sister for her 9th birthday earlier that month. I was 11 at the time. We left early to get there before dinner so dad could nap from the drive a bit while me and sis went down to the portion of the Trinity River that ran at the very back of the neighborhood. The afternoon and evening went as usual. That night, we went to sleep in the solarium as was custom for summer trips.

At some point in the night, I woke up. No real reason, not even to go to the bathroom. I just have always done that from time to time, even still. I did what I usually do and stared up at the stars and moon (around half visible, couldn't tell you if it was waxing or waning). All of a sudden, I got an intense feeling of dread that skipped fight or flight to straight "freeze or you're dead." After some time (most likely just a minute or two), I turned my head to the side to look into the yard. I had to turn to my side and lift myself a bit to get a better look, but the source of my feeling was impossible to miss. Standing at the bottom of the yard next to the neighbor's fence line stood a tall skinny creature with skin the color of the moon. It had no hair on it's head or anywhere else that I could see. It's eyes where shiny white with a reflective quality, but not bright like a bright light was shining on them right then. Just moon light. Its face had human features, but seemed squished flatter. It's arms seemed really long, but that could be just because it was really tall. The chain link fence came up to it's armpits, so it had to be around 7-8 feet tall. Not enough to just step over the fencing, but I didn't hear it climb over unless it had been in the yard before I woke up and just didn't get the dread feeling until later. It's body had dirty brown-dark gray looking rags over its chest and around its hips cover its crotch.

It was looking right at me. I got scared and ducked down into my sleeping bag as far as I could. My sister has always been a heavy sleeper and I didn't want her to wake up for this anyway. Next thing I hear heavy steps on the deck coming towards the solarium. There's a wood door with a screened window in the top of it (not opened at the time as far as I can remember). All was quiet for a while, so I peeked out through a small fold of the sleeping bag. Through one of the bottom windows of the solarium next to the door I saw it's pale large feet. The skin was rough and the toes were gnarled with dirty nails. I curled up trying not to make a sound or move much. The bag was getting stuffy.

Next thing I know my dad is gently moving me with his foot asking if I was cold because I was still huddled down into the bag. I looked around kind of disoriented. There was no evidence if that creature from the night before. No marks or footprints or bent fencing. My dad was a HUGE skeptic of anything paranormal, cryptic, and otherworldly, but I told him anyways. He of course blew it off as a dream. Sis, being a deep sleeper, didn't notice anything. I asked my grandparents if they heard or felt the thumping on the deck, which would have been along their bedroom wall. Nope. Both seemed weirded out by my story and my grandma later privately told me "There's lots of strange things up here. That's why we avoid being out at night." She wouldn't elaborate though.

It's obviously not a classic Bigfoot, but I don't know what it it. I've wanted to ask someone from the Hoopa Native Americans up there, but I haven't yet. I've never seen anything like it since. Although I have experienced plenty of paranormal things, but those are different stories. AD

NOTE: Most likely a Wendigo...or what some people refer to as a Rake or Fleshgait. As well, it could have been an apparition...but that is doubtful. These tall pale humanoid sightings are usually in area where Bigfoot and upright canine sightings have occurred, so there may also be a connection. Very interesting story. Hopefully someone in the area can get back to me on this. Lon

I Know What I Saw: Modern-Day Encounters with Monsters of New Urban Legend and Ancient Lore

The Curse of the Wendigo (The Monstrumologist)

Native American Myths & Legends

Dangerous Spirits: The Windigo in Myth and History

Cryptid Country (Cryptid Zoo)

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

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