What's Hiding in the Woods? The Legend of the Fouke Monster
Updated: Apr 7
Well hello stranger!
Welcome back to Abnormal Arkansas.
I hope you are ready for an interesting story (the first AA story to be exact) about the monsters that supposedly live among us. This story has been passed down over the years, and the monster is even a local (and state) legend. I don't live near Fouke, and I have even heard this story several times since growing up in Arkansas. This is definitely not a story you want to read while you are sitting alone or in the dark... so take this as your personal warning from me.
Fouke, Arkansas is located in southwest Arkansas near the border of Texas. The town is located a few miles from the Red River and also just 17 miles from the border of Louisiana, a state known for its swamp land and extensive wilderness.
Being a small town made up of around 900 people, all of the locals, and even visitors, are seen as part of the Fouke family, but one thing is for sure... in small towns, news spreads like wildfire. An unexplainable creature is said to make its home within a network of creeks around the Sulphur River Bottoms of southern Arkansas, and this story has been a favorite of the locals for years.
Let's start from the beginning...
The first local report of the unexplained creature dates back to 1955, where a a 14 year-old boy was alone when he spotted something he could not comprehend. He stated that the creature was "very tall" with "reddish-brown, shaggy hair." He said that he fired a single warning shot from his shotgun, but the creature didn't react.
Other locals during this time reported a creature who stood between 7 to 10 feet tall, weighing anywhere between 300 to 800 pounds, with a terrible smell that could only be described as a "mixture between a wet dog and the scent of a skunk." The creature was said to be "humanoid-like," and the creature walks on two legs while swinging its arms like an ape. Most witnesses report that what caught their attention was the creature's large, bright red eyes and the creature's size (all witnesses feeling small compared to the creature). All reports stated that the creature had shaggy, dark, reddish-brown hair, and witnesses reported that they felt that they had seen something that was almost human.
Around this time, farmers began to report that their livestock had been startled by something unknown, and some reports stated that some livestock and some of the Fouke residents' dogs had been attacked by an unknown creature that disappears into the woods. Some tracks had been found in areas around the local reports, and the tracks are said to have been foot prints of something with three toes that walks on two feet.
According to some locals, there were some earlier reports that date all of the way back to 1906 beginning in the Jonesville/Boggy Creek area of eastern Louisiana.
May 2, 1971: The most notable encounter of the Fouke Monster
It is the evening of May 2, 1971. Just a week prior to this date, Bobby and Elizabeth Ford had moved into a rental farmhouse on the outskirts of Fouke. That evening, Bobby had his brother, Don Ford, over at the home (some reports state that their friend Charles Taylor was there with them as well). Throughout the afternoon, the men stated they would hear strange sounds coming from around the outside of the home and even said they had seen a dark creature lurking around the woods. The men reported that they heard a woman scream coming from the direction of the house while they were outside. Bobby said that he ran back towards the house where he came face-to-face with a creature standing between 7 to 8 feet tall covered in long, dark fur. (Some reports state that Bobby was grabbed by the creature, but Bobby was able to escape). Bobby was able to send the creature retreating back into the woods, but not until Bobby and Don were able to fire at the monster with their guns. They also stated that they believed the monster was wounded.
Local law enforcement was called to the home where they were unable to find any hair or blood from the creature that the men had reportedly shot. In the reports, it was said that the siding to their home and a window was damaged. Elizabeth reported that she had been the one screaming because the creature had broken the window, reached into the home, and attempted to grab her as she slept on the couch in the living room.
Several other encounters were reported in the months following the attack on the Ford family. The encounters of 1971 inspired Charles B. Pierce to create the movie The Legend of Boggy Creek, which drew inspiration from the Ford family attack and other local stories. After the release of the movie, the story of the creature "blew up," and many eye witnesses came forward with their stories. Many Fouke locals were also cast as extras in the movie. This movie included three different spin offs, and the Fouke monster has since become a local celebrity.
In 2013, the town of Fouke created the Boggy Creek Festival, which is a celebration centered around local history and stories of the Fouke monster. This festival generates tourism to the area, and people who share their love for the unexplained are able to gather and tell their stories.
To this day, locals still report an unexplained creature, almost human-like with dark, shaggy hair, lurking around southern Arkansas and the Fouke area. For updated encounters with the Fouke monster, visit http://www.foukemonster.net/sightings.htm. (A big shout out to Lyle Blackburn for investigating these reports firsthand and creating a site to document the creature!)
One thing is for certain... I know I wouldn't wonder around the Fouke area by myself at night.
Thank you all for taking the time to read my very first story! I plan on posting at least one story a week until I can get the Abnormal Arkansas podcast up and running.
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Stay strange, my friends!