Creepy Creatures From Around The World

If you find yourself lurking in a swamp or backwoods on a dark and stormy night, you should be afraid ... very afraid. There’s probably a human-like beast hiding out there in the shadows. And it's ready to rip you limb from limb.

You may have heard of Bigfoot. But have you heard of his Brazilian counterpart, the Mapinguari? Or the vampire-hybrid, Aswang? People have spotted strange ape-like monsters stalking remote forests and mountains around the world. 

Here’s a guide to some of those big, hairy, ugly, stinky, nasty cousins of our most well-known monsters. Beware—wherever you are!

Sasquatch

The godfather of mystical humanoids, Sasquatch tromps around forests of the US 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 its missing eyebrows, eyelashes, and right ear.

The Leshy is mainly a trickster, but he can get violent. You wouldn’t like it when angry ... or anytime probably.

Yeti

Yeti comes from the language of the 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 troublemaker. When locals told an explorer that the large footprints he saw on an expedition 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 Chupacabra—Spanish for “goat-sucker”—is a gargoyle-wolf-thing, but in Puerto Rico it travels on two feet like a human.

Its Mexican kin achieved infamy by sucking the blood out of goats, but the Puerto Rican chupacabra isn’t picky—it'll drain cows, horses, turkeys, you name it.

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.

Skunk Ape

We travel back to the good ol’ US of A for our final frightening creature, 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!

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