Humanoid Monsters: Creepy Creatures Worldwide

Beware Creepy Bipeds

People have spotted strange ape-like monsters stalking remote forests and mountains around the world. No matter which swamp or backwoods you find yourself stuck in on a dark and stormy night, there’s probably a human-like beast lurking out there in the shadows, ready to rip you limb from limb. Here’s a guide to some of those big, hairy, ugly, stinky, nasty cousins of ours.

Sasquatch

The godfather of mystical humanoids, Sasquatch tromps around forests of the U.S. and Canadian Pacific Northwest, leaving large footprints while avoiding paparazzi. The word sasquatch comes from the native Halkomelem (Salishan) language and means “wild man.” Bigfoot, as he (or she?) is also known, is huge and has hair everywhere except on the feet - sort of a reverse hobbit.

Leshy

Over in Europe, The Leshy wanders Slavic woods looking for young women to kidnap. This forest spirit is the most human-looking cryptid, or mythical beast, on our list, with pale white skin and bright green eyes. You can always recognize one, however, by his missing eyebrows, eyelashes and right ear. The leshy is mainly a trickster, but he can get violent when angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

Yeti

Yeti comes from the language of Tibetan Sherpas, and the snowy man-ape looms large in their mythology. In Folk Tales of Sherpa and Yeti, the creature is depicted as a man-eater and general trouble-maker. When locals told an explorer that large footprints he saw on anexpedition of Mount Everest belonged to “metoh-kangmi," or "man-bear snow-man," a reporter mistranslated metoh as “filthy” and then changed that to “abominable."

Aswang

Next, let’s head to the Philippines and drop in on the Aswang, a demented cross between a werewolf and a vampire. Aswang comes from the Sanskrit word asura, meaning “demon,” but this creature takes it up a notch by feasting on unborn fetuses and small children. According to legend, its favorite parts are the liver and the heart. 

Yowie

Heading south again, we come across the Yowie, Australia’s answer to the Sasquatch. Of all the bigfoot-like cryptids, the Yowie is one of the most aggressive. If you find the torn-off head of a dog or kangaroo in your backyard, chances are a Yowie’s been having a bit of a barbie. They’ve been known to attack humans as well, so if you find yourself Down Under, you might want to pick up one of those Crocodile Dundee-type machetes for self-defense.

Mapinguari

Whether you go east or west (and just a wee bit north) from Australia you’ll end up in the Brazilian home of the Mapinguari, a sloth-like humanoid that rivals the Skunk Ape (stay tuned) for smelliest bipedal beast. Some reports say the mapinguari has a large mouth in the middle of its stomach. So either there’s a really weird critter roaming the Amazon, or somebody licked one too many psychedelic toads.

Chupacabra

In Mexico the ChupacabraSpanish for “goat-sucker”- is a gargoyle-wolf-thing, but in Puerto Rico it goes on two feet like a human. Its Mexican kin got famous for sucking the blood out of goats, but the Puerto Rican chupacabra isn’t picky--it'll drain cows, horses, turkeys, you name it. If we were a Puerto Rican monster, we’d want to be a mofongo-sucker.

Wendigo

The Wendigo doesn’t bother with livestock—it prefers human meat. Like many big-bad-wolfish beasts, the wendigo makes its home in deep, dark woods. The monster, first told of in Algonquian legends, can stand 15 feet tall and looks like a cross between an ape and a zombie--a zombape? A zombrilla? Whatever you want to call it, the Canadian cryptid is rumored to be very polite and enjoys hockey and back bacon. (Okay, we made the last bit up.)

Skunk Ape

We travel back to the good ol’ U.S. of A. for our final frightening freak, the skunk ape of the Everglades. Think of the Skunk Ape as bigfoot’s stinkier Southern cousin. If you want to avoid skunk apes, the good news is that you should be able to smell their foul stench a mile off, but if you want to try to track one down, you can go on an Everglades Skunk Ape Expedition via the Skunkape Headquarters in Ochopee, Florida. Tell ‘em Dictionary.com sent you!