Sometimes, the languages of the world conspire against your unpeed pants. As the stupidest American, if I was hiking through Scotland and heard the legend of something that sounded like "I Am Fear," I'd tell my companions that we'd be better off hiding in the most populated area possible. I'd also be getting Scooby-Doo legs if I heard further details like "10 feet tall" and "creates a feeling of dread that's so unimaginable that it will cause hikers to consider jumping off a nearby ledge."
Also known as the "Big Gray Man," Am Fear was first acknowledged as something to get you to give up even looking at mountains in 1925, when scientist and mountaineer J. Norman Collie talked about him at a meeting of the Cairngorm Club, the oldest mountaineering club in Scotland. He spoke of footsteps emanating from a thing that he couldn't see and blindly rushing miles to get away from it. In 1943, continuing the trend of trying to murder anything that isn't human, climber Alexander Tewnion said that he'd shot at the creature after spying it in a mist.
Richard Webb/Wiki Commons
"I was just trying to protect my super-hot model girlfriend. You can't ask her, though, because she lives in Canada ..."
However, the scariest aspect of Am Fear are theories for what it might actually be, which includes it being a Brocken Spectre, which appears when a "hugely magnified climber's shadow is cast on a lower level of cloud through a particular combination of atmospheric conditions." I hope you're really proud of yourself, atmospheric optical phenomena, because you're ruining everything for the rest of us.
Despite my marathon viewings of Justified, I know very little about the state of Kentucky. So, when faced with the issue of whether or not Kentucky residents would be inclined to invent a ridiculous monster, I asked Cracked columnist and Kentucky treasure Asher Cantrell, who reported, "There's so much meth and bourbon in Kentucky that it would be amazing if they didn't."
"They started freezing the meth to use instead of ice."
The Pope Lick Monster is said to be human in shape, with the legs, horns, and fur of a goat, and is the lonely survivor of a train crash that killed the rest of the Canadian circus that it was originally involved with. Rarely do cryptids get tragic backstories like this, and even more rarely do they mess up what could have been a redemptive, Batman-esque lifestyle with outright evilness.
It hides under the trestle of a bridge and waits for people who know how to type "Pope Lick Monster" into Wikipedia to come around. Then it lures them out onto the trestle and scares them hard enough to force them to jump off. In actuality, three people have died from falling off of the trestle where the Pope Lick Monster is supposed to lurk, so maybe I don't want this one to get any more attention after all. Sorry, Pope Lick. I'll be hanging out with Ogopogo and a bobcat. You can swing by when you get your shit together.
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For more from Daniel, check out 6 Stupid Misconceptions That Ruin Classic Movies and 5 Reasons the '60s Batman TV Show Is Better Than You Think.
Imagine being trapped aboard the doomed Titanic on an icy Atlantic. . . with the walking dead. Check out Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon's Deck Z: The Titanic.