Woods Devil is a name given to a possible group of Bigfoot-like creatures that have been reported in the woodlands and hills of Coos County, New Hampshire since the 1930s. These creatures are said to be tall, skinny, and covered with shaggy tan-gray hair. They are also very elusive and stealthy, using the trees to hide from humans and staying perfectly still when there is no cover. The Woods Devil is similar to the more famous Bigfoot or Sasquatch, but it has some distinctive characteristics that set it apart.
According to eyewitness accounts, the Woods Devil is about 7 to 9 feet tall and has a slender build. Its hair is long and shaggy, and ranges from tan to gray in color. Its face is horse-like, with a long snout and small eyes. It has large feet and hands, with long claws or nails. It also has a strong and unpleasant odor.
The Woods Devil is very shy and secretive, avoiding human contact as much as possible. It uses its agility and intelligence to hide behind trees or other objects when someone approaches, and moves silently through the forest. It can also stand perfectly still and blend in with its surroundings when there is no cover available. It is mostly nocturnal, but can be active during the day as well.
The Woods Devil is a carnivore, feeding on small animals such as rabbits and rodents. It also scavenges on carrion (dead animals), especially during the winter when food is scarce. It may also raid garbage cans or livestock for food. It makes loud screams or howls that echo through the hollows of Coos County, possibly as a way of communication or territorial display.
The Woods Devil has a long history of sightings and legends in New Hampshire, especially in Coos County, which is the largest and most remote county in the state. The name “Woods Devil” may have originated from the lumberjacks who worked in the area in the 1930s, who gave it various nicknames such as “glutton”, “Indian devil”, “ommeethatsees” (a Cree Indian word), “carcajou”, “quickhatch”, “nasty cat”, and “skunk bear”. These names reflect the creature’s ferocity, cunning, stealth, and smell.
Some of the earliest reports of the Woods Devil date back to the 1940s and 1950s, when several hunters claimed to have seen or heard the creature in the woods. One of them was George Lavoie, who said he saw a tall hairy creature standing behind a tree near his hunting camp in 1948. He described it as having a horse-like face and gray hair. He fired his rifle at it, but missed. He later found large footprints near the tree.
Another hunter was Robert Goulet (not the singer), who said he heard a loud scream while hunting near Dixville Notch in 1952. He followed the sound and saw a large creature running away on two legs. He described it as being about 8 feet tall and having gray hair. He also fired his rifle at it, but missed.
In more recent years, sightings of the Woods Devil have continued to occur sporadically in Coos County and other parts of New Hampshire. Some of them have been reported by outdoorsmen, hikers, campers, drivers, and residents who have encountered the creature or its signs. Some examples are:
- In 1942, a hunter named George Wentworth claimed to have shot and wounded a Woods Devil near Dixville Notch. He said that the creature was about 8 feet tall and weighed about 400 pounds. He followed its blood trail for a while, but lost it in the thick brush.
- In 1973, a group of hikers near Mount Cabot reported seeing a large hairy creature standing on two legs behind a tree. They said that it was about 7 feet tall and had grayish-brown fur. They also noticed a strong odor coming from it.
- In 1977, a man named John Horrigan claimed he saw a large hairy creature cross Route 3 near Pittsburg at night. He said it was about 7 feet tall and had gray hair.
- In 1983, a woman named Linda Newton-Perry claimed she saw a large hairy creature standing behind a tree near her home in Colebrook. She said it was about 8 feet tall and had tan hair.
- In 1994, a man named Bill Brann claimed he saw a large hairy creature run across Route
- In 1997, a man named Bill Driscoll was driving on Route 26 near Errol when he saw something cross the road in front of him. He said that it was about 9 feet tall and had long arms and legs. It had gray fur and a human-like face. It looked at him briefly before disappearing into the woods.