THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Forty-Seven: Six Short Bigfoot Campfire Stories

The aptly titled Six Short Bigfoot Campfire Stories is a sampler of collected tales by prolific Bigfoot author and fly-fishing guide Rusty Wilson. According to Amazon, Wilson has written 24 books from 2010 to 2021, mostly about the “Big Guy.”

Released in 2011, Six Short Bigfoot Campfire Stories is a logical place to start on Wilson’s catalog, which features tales of Bigfoot encounters told by a half-dozen of his fly-fishing clients. 

Each entry includes an informal introduction about the storyteller. Their first-person narratives are plainspoken and sometimes folksy. For example, one storyteller says, “Oh sweet holy Scooby Doo” when seeing Bigfoot tracks. 

The opener titled “The Wild Cave” is told by a man named Jeremy, who found himself lost and injured inside a Colorado cave with a red-eyed, rock-throwing, smelly beast. 

Like “The Wild Cave,” most of the stories highlight the fear engendered by a possible Bigfoot encounter. 

In “Lunch Guests,” a land surveyor in Montana shares his experience as a pair of curious, whistling Bigfoot interrupt the crew’s work. 

“Peddling with Disaster” is the most traumatic of the stories as a woman’s friend goes missing on a mountain bike ride in Colorado.

In “Black Hand at Box Canyon,” a woman is lost and falls off a cliff. While clinging to a life-saving bush, she sees “a pair of green eyes staring at me from a massive black body.” 

My favorite tale is “Do the Monster Twist” because it attributes Bigfoot for saving a couple’s lives during a tornado in Nebraska. 

The last story, “Devil’s Playground,” details a sighting of more than two dozen Bigfoot near a lake in northern California. 

“The Bigfoot children swam and played just like human kids would, and the adults seemed to be visiting, just like humans,” the storyteller says. 

Of course, these are campfire stories, and even Wilson is not sure which ones are authentic or farfetched. 

“It’s listener beware,” Wilson writes. 

Whether real or imagined, Six Short Bigfoot Campfire Stories does provide insight into how humans view Bigfoot. There’s a mixture of awe and curiosity but mostly fear and some sympathy. Either way, if you like the storytelling approach to Bigfoot in this collection, there are more than a dozen books of Wilson’s Campfire Stories to check out. Click HERE to visit Wilson’s Amazon page.

NEXT UP: Chapter Forty-Eight: Bigfoot Country. I review the 2017 film directed by Jason Mills.


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THE BIGFOOT FILES

THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Forty-Three: Shadow of the Sasquatch

J.H. Moncrieff‘s 2021 novella Shadow of the Sasquatch follows the exploits of podcast host Nat McPherson after her harrowing adventure at Dyatlov Pass. The book is set more than a year after Nat returns from a tragic trip investigating the mysterious deaths of nine Russian skiers chronicled in Moncrieff’s intensely satisfying 2018 novella, Return to Dyatlov Pass.

Click HERE to read my review of Return to Dyatlov Pass.

Shadow of the Sasquatch opens with a prologue where Riley Tanner — wife of Jason and mother of 10-year-old Brooke — is getting the steal of a deal on a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house tucked into the Oregon wilderness. The reason for the low price is the previous owners were “city people … frightened by night noises,” according to the realtor. It’s not enough to deter Riley who agrees to buy the house.

The story then shifts to Nat McPherson in the midst of a therapy session. Nat once hosted the most popular podcast in the U.S. dealing with supernatural and unsolved mysteries. However, since the tragedy at Dyatlov Pass, her life has spiraled downward. Nat suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder that she medicates with alcohol. Her therapist urges Nat to go back to work to help her struggling financial situation.

A distressed call from the Tanners’ daughter in the middle of an apparent Sasquatch attack prompts Nat to return to action. When Nat arrives in Oregon, Riley explains the creatures only appear when her husband Jason is away on one of his trips as a long-haul truck driver.

When Jason goes on the road again, the creatures return, one nearly killing Nat and sending her to the hospital. While Nat recovers, the Tanners investigate the history of their house and locate the previous owners, Franklin and Elizabeth Riordan, in Phoenix, Arizona. They take a trip to Phoenix in search of answers from the Riordans.

Meanwhile, Nat’s emotional state is shaky at best as she sneaks out of the hospital and returns to the Tanner house to investigate further. Part of Nat wants to exact a measure of revenge on the creatures terrorizing the Tanners after what happened at Dyatlov Pass. And while the Oregon creatures are similar to the ones that Nat encountered at Dyatlov Pass, one major difference troubles her: “If they wanted to kill her, they could have.” Why didn’t they?

The answer is a shocker. The final quarter of Shadow of the Sasquatch hits the reader hard with a couple of stunning plot twists that effectively explain the creatures’ behavior. The epilogue neatly wraps up any loose ends.

Shadow of the Sasquatch is another outstanding entry into cryptid horror fiction by Moncrieff. I suggest reading Return to Dyatlov Pass first to truly understand and appreciate Nat’s state of mind in Shadow of the Sasquatch.

The key to the Nat McPherson books for me is Nat herself. Resilient but vulnerable, Nat is the perfect imperfect character to build a fiction series around. I look forward to hopefully more of Nat’s adventures in the future.

NEXT UP: Chapter Forty-Four: The Beast: A Bigfoot Thriller. I review the 2019 novella by Armand Rosamilia.


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THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Thirty: Bigfoot Horror Stories

Bigfoot Horror Stories is the first in a series of books by author Steven Armstrong, a native of Washington state.

“Having grown up in Tacoma, Washington, the subject of Sasquatch has been a somewhat familiar topic of discussion ever since I can remember,” Armstrong writes in his Foreword. “Although I have never had the presumably terrifying experience of running into a Sasquatch, the possibility continues to keep me on high alert while trekking through the desolate woods of the Pacific Northwest.”

Armstrong has released five volumes of Bigfoot Horror Stories in 2021, and they’ve garnered more than 260 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.2 stars (out of 5).

“I’ve spent close to two years gathering Sasquatch sighting reports and putting them into my own words,” he writes.

The first volume, Bigfoot Horror Stories, describes six sightings throughout North America. The stories don’t read like horror tales per se but more like eyewitness reports. However, a common thread of fear ties all the Sasquatch encounters together. As an avid Bigfoot enthusiast, I enjoyed Bigfoot Horror Stories.

Told in the first-person point of view by the eyewitnesses, the stories are straightforward and unembellished, which gives them a semblance of authenticity. They range from Bigfoot snatching a boy’s backpack to killing a girl’s horse.

The first story, “The Stolen Backpack,” is set in Oregon on an October day about 20 years ago when the witness – 11 years old at the time – describes an incident where a Sasquatch stole a backpack from his friend and disappeared into the woods.

“I still can’t believe how close that creature got to town,” the witness reported.

In “Tree Knocks near the Garden,” a Massachusetts woman describes an encounter three years ago. While working in her garden, she heard three knocks, which eventually led to an actual Bigfoot sighting. It scared her so much that she hid in her bathtub until her boyfriend returned home. He joined her in the bathtub after seeing the Sasquatch. The police responded to their 9-1-1 call and told the couple to vacate the property.

“They claimed they had found signs of wolves in the area and needed to call specialists to transport them elsewhere before they could harm anyone. The story felt very odd,” the woman reported.

Adding to the oddness is that the federal government funded their stay in a hotel.

“My gut tells me that a Sasquatch was either apprehended or killed at the site,” the woman said.

“The Rooftop Creeps” is a story set during a 1998 family Christmas in Anchorage, Alaska. The witness said his terrified sister claimed she saw “a big monkey” while building a snow fort in the yard. Their father investigated and discovered strange tracks but nothing else. Later, a skirmish on their rooftop “sounded like two large people started wrestling atop the roof and sliding down one side of it.”

“Since I never saw the animals myself, I’m unable to verify whether it was a couple of Sasquatches that were on our roof that night, but my sister insists that was the case,” the witness reported. “There’s not a single doubt in her mind that it was a Sasquatch that approached her while she was building her snow fort all those years back.”

The next two stories feature Bigfoot and other animals.

In “The Turkey Snatcher,” a young boy joins his uncle on a turkey hunt during a Thanksgiving in Ohio. He witnesses what his uncle called a “wood booger” during the trip.

In “The Runaway Horse,” Sasquatch allegedly spooked and then killed a girl’s horse during a ride in Northern California. The witness reported her cousin said, “There was a wild gorilla in the woods.”

The final story, titled “The Ridge Crawler,” happened in 2004 during a camping trip about an hour inland from San Diego. The witness and three other college students heard a scream and noticed a pair of eyes in a tree.

“I thought it was some strange person who had climbed up there unnoticed,” the witness reported.

The college students followed the animal to a ridge where it appeared to issue a warning with a bluff charge. They returned to their vehicles and waited until sunrise before retrieving their tents and camping gear.

“We quickly agreed that it had to have been a Sasquatch that we encountered,” the witness said.

Click HERE to check out Armstrong’s Bigfoot Horror Stories on Amazon.

NEXT UP: Chapter Thirty-One: The Red Book. I review the 2020 short story by Jill Hedgecock.

THE BIGFOOT FILES : Chapter Nineteen/ Sasquatch

Released in 2014, Sasquatch by K.T. Tomb is Book 1 in her five-book Sasquatch Series. It’s a throwback adventure story about a motley crew of investigators hired by a wealthy cryptozoologist to find the legendary creature.

Tomb Sasquatch.jpg

The team is led by a conflicted but strong female character named Lux Branson. Lux is a professional tracker who’s talented but broke and needs the money offered for the job. Her task is to guide a group of four people, including an anthropologist and a biologist, deep into the Piney Woods of Texas and return with proof of Sasquatch.

Lux is not a believer in cryptids, but once in the forest, she starts to see proof of something lurking in the woods. However, she can’t shake the feeling the trip may be a hoax even as the evidence piles up.

When the team’s anthropologist commits an overzealous act in the name of science, Lux must face the shocking truth and rely on her instincts to survive.

Lux is the heart of the story, and I liked her. She was tough but not invincible, and she showed the fear of a normal human. Lux reminded me of a less tech version of Sanaa Lathan’s guide character Alexa Woods in the 2004 film Alien Vs. Predator.

With a couple of surprising encounters in the second half, including a stunner near the end, Sasquatch is a memorable series opener sure to please readers of Bigfoot fiction.

NEXT UP: Chapter Twenty: Track: Search for Australia’s Bigfoot. I review the 2020 documentary.


OTHER BOOK REVIEWS FROM THE BIGFOOT FILES

THE BIGFOOT FILES | Chapter Seventeen: Bigfoot Trail

THE BIGFOOT FILES | Chapter Fifteen: Night of the Sasquatch

THE BIGFOOT FILES | Chapter Five: Wood Ape

THE BIGFOOT FILES | Chapter Four: ‘The Road Best Not Taken’

THE BIGFOOT FILES | Chapter Three: Swamp Monster Massacre

THE BIGFOOT FILES | Chapter Two: Dweller