The Ozark Howler is a mysterious creature that is said to live in the remote areas of the Ozarks, a mountainous region that covers parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. The Ozark Howler is a legend that has been passed down for generations by the locals who have heard its eerie howls and seen its frightening appearance.
History of the Ozark Howler
The origin of the Ozark Howler legend is not clear, but some sources suggest that it may have Native American roots. According to one story, the Howler was a spirit animal that protected the land from invaders. Another story claims that the Howler was a curse placed on the region by a witch who was burned at the stake by European settlers. Some believe that the Howler is a manifestation of the fears and hardships that the early pioneers faced in the wilderness.
The first recorded sightings of the Ozark Howler date back to the 1950s, but many families have stories of their ancestors encountering the creature well before that time. The legend gained more popularity in the 1990s, when a cryptozoologist named Chad Arment published a book called Cryptozoology: Science & Speculation, which included a chapter on the Ozark Howler. Arment claimed that he had collected dozens of eyewitness accounts and physical evidence of the creature’s existence. He also speculated that the Howler might be a new species of felid or canid, or a hybrid of both.
In 2015, the legend received more attention when a local television station in Arkansas reported that they had received photographs of the creature from a viewer. The station contacted the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, who dismissed the photos as a hoax. However, some people still believed that the photos were genuine and that they showed proof of the Howler’s reality.
Description of the Ozark Howler
The Ozark Howler is typically described as being around the size of a bear, with a thick body, stocky legs, black shaggy hair, and prominent horns. Some witnesses also report seeing glowing red eyes, long fangs, and a long tail. The most distinctive feature of the Howler is its sound, which is said to be a combination of a wolf’s howl and an elk’s bugle. Some people also compare it to the screams of a woman or a half-human creature. The howl is said to be very loud and terrifying, and can be heard for miles.
The Ozark Howler is said to be nocturnal and elusive, preferring to stay in the dense forests and caves of the Ozarks. It is also said to be territorial and aggressive, especially during mating season or when protecting its young. Some stories claim that the Howler can kill livestock and even humans with its powerful jaws and claws. Others say that it can cause bad luck or misfortune to those who see it or hear it.
Sightings of the Ozark Howler
There have been many reported sightings of the Ozark Howler over the years, mostly from hunters, hikers, campers, and residents who live near the woods. Some of these sightings are more credible than others, but they all share some common elements. Here are some examples of notable sightings:
- In October 2014, a motorist in Benton County, Arkansas reported that he nearly collided with an unidentified animal on Pump Station Road in Springdale. He described it as a bear-sized, gray, fast-running animal with horns.
- In December 2015, a viewer sent photos to 40/29 News in Arkansas claiming that they showed images of the Ozark Howler near Devil’s Den State Park. The photos showed a dark animal with horns and red eyes hiding behind some trees.
- In June 2016, a group of friends camping near Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma claimed that they heard loud howls and saw glowing eyes in the dark. They also found large paw prints and scratch marks on their car.
- In August 2017, a couple hiking near Branson in Missouri said that they saw a large black animal with horns crossing a road. They said that it looked like a cross between a bear and a goat.
- In October 2018, a hunter in Texas reported that he shot and killed an animal that he believed was an Ozark Howler near Big Thicket National Preserve. He said that it had black fur, horns, fangs, and red eyes. He took photos of his trophy and sent them to a local newspaper.
Possible Explanations for the Ozark Howler
There are many theories and opinions about what the Ozark Howler really is or if it even exists at all. Some people believe that it is a real animal that has yet to be identified by science. Others think that it is a hoax or a misidentification of known animals. Here are some possible explanations for the Ozark Howler:
- A new species or subspecies of felid or canid: Some cryptozoologists suggest that the Ozark Howler might be related to big cats like cougars or lynxes or to wolves or coyotes. They argue that these animals could have adapted to their environment and developed horns or other features over time.
- A hybrid animal: Some people propose that the Ozark Howler might be a result of crossbreeding between different animals like bears and goats or dogs and cats. They point out that hybrids can sometimes inherit traits from both parents and exhibit unusual characteristics.
- A known animal with mutations or deformities: Some skeptics claim that the Ozark Howler might be nothing more than an ordinary animal with genetic defects or injuries that make it look different from normal specimens. They cite examples of animals with horns or antlers growing on their heads or bodies due to tumors or infections.
- A hoax or prank: Some critics assert that the Ozark Howler might be simply a fabrication or joke by people who want to create publicity or scare others. They accuse eyewitnesses of lying or being mistaken about what they saw or heard. They also accuse photographers of using Photoshop or other editing tools to manipulate images.
- A folkloric creature: Some scholars suggest that the Ozark Howler might be just a legend or myth that has been passed down for generations by oral tradition. They compare it to other legendary creatures like Bigfoot or Loch Ness Monster that have cultural significance but no scientific evidence.
The Ozark Howler is one of the most intriguing legends of the Ozarks region. It has captivated many people with its mysterious appearance and sound for decades. Whether it is real or not remains an open question, but one thing is certain: it is part of our imagination and folklore.