10 Mountain Monsters Found Lurking In Appalachia

The scariest beasts in Appalachia aren’t found in zoos.

A Werewolf lurking in the dark woods

Photo by: rudall30 via iStock / Getty Images

rudall30 via iStock / Getty Images

Sure there are black bears, bobcats, wild boars, and venomous snakes, but dozens of eyewitnesses claim they’ve seen bigfoot, headless monsters, mothman, and shapeshifters walking through the Appalachian Mountains.

Wampus Beast

The large, black feline-like creature lives in the woods and has been spotted around Pleasants County, West Virginia. Wampus beasts are four times the size of male mountain lions and weigh in at 500 to 600 pounds with massive paws. The predators have a strong odor like a cross between a wet dog and a skunk.

Wolf Man

A large canine-esque mammal is roaming the hills near Wolfe County, Kentucky. Believed to weigh in at 500 pounds and stand taller than seven feet in height, the wolf man is bipedal and has fur similar to a bear or a gorilla. It is believed to live in caves and has been seen around the area since the 1970s.


The Appalachian Mountains are believed to be a haven for Bigfoot. The elusive creature has been spotted throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. Eye witness accounts describe the creature as having different colored fur, though one of the most striking species of bigfoot is a nocturnal creature with black fur and glowing green eyes.

Smoke Wolf

The solid black Smoke Wolf is a massive canine with “eyes as red as the sun.” One witness who has heard Smoke Wolves howl and scream at night on his property describes them as pure evil, noting they kill for fun. The only thing known to deter a Smoke Wolf is the sound of rattling chains.


The bat-like winged cryptid was first documented in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, prior to the collapse of the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River in 1966, and sightings have been reported ever since. According to legend, the creature is 7-to-8 feet tall, has a 10-foot wingspan and nests in caves. Mothman tends to be spotted just before a catastrophe.

Grafton Monster

The Grafton Monster was first spotted in West Virginia in the 1950s and is described as a massive bipedal creature with short fur. It’s estimated to weigh between 1000 and 1500 pounds and boasts broad shoulders. Its head sits low in front of its body, making it appear headless from behind. It is believed to eat livestock.

Raven Mocker

According to Cherokee legend, the Raven Mocker is a shapeshifting bigfoot standing 7feet tall with black fur and solid, white eyes. This type of bigfoot is believed to inhabit southwest Virginia and is able to shift into any animal and can also take on the appearance of an old man or woman. In its human form, the Raven Mocker can lurk among unsuspecting people and eat their hearts from their chests without ever leaving a mark.

Silver Giant

The Silver Giant is similar to a bear and can run as easily on two legs as it can on four. When standing, it is between 9 and 11 feet tall. While its fur is generally dark, it has a silver streak of hair running down its back.

Cherokee Death Cat

This cat-like beast is said to look like a lion and measures approximately 4 feet tall at its front shoulder and 9 feet long from head to tail. The creature can leap extremely far and is an expert climber, navigating the trees with ease. It feeds on large livestock like cows and horses, and focuses its attack directly on their jugular veins.


These red-eyed beasts guard some Appalachian cemeteries. Legend has it that settlers throughout the region believed that burying the family dog alive in the cemetery would mean the dog’s spirit would morph into a Grim, a black dog with red eyes, and that the dog would then protect the graveyard.

Follow along as the Mountain Monsters crew tracks these cryptids through the forest. Stream new episodes every Sunday on discovery+.

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