Something in the Woods

In researching historical documents of the area, I came across a strange remark in an article...

Something in the Woods:
     Nipigon, Ontario and area has always been the site of many strange stories and native legends, from ghosts to cryptozoological creatures witnessed by locals over the years. I don't think you will be able to find any other online reference to this story, as it is only found in the historical archive in the township of Red Rock.

The River as it appeared 2 years ago during initial pre- construction of the new bridge.

     In the early days, a man came to the area under the HBC. While coming across the company of the local natives, they told him the whole settlement was forced to the Eastern shore (St. Sylvester's side,) as something was in the woods with them. Locals had seen this creature and were being terrorized. It seems a native girl was taken from their group one night and could not be located. The next day a party was sent into the deep woods, she was found running in terror and mad, clothing ripped, scratched by branches and full of mosquito bites. She was carried off and held captive by a monstrous being, and given a chance to escape she took it.

     This creature had terrorized the villagers long enough that it was even given a name. They told him to beware as the "Monsookan" was in the area. It was described as a wild man bent on kidnapping and murder. Every night it screamed wildly and threw rocks at their dwellings. It had killed one of the villagers and the lot was forced to leave. They took to canoe and paddled each family across the treacherous waters of the Nipigon River to safety. Upon hearing the story, the HBC man made light of it and shrugged it off. He finished his travels, and eventually the story made it's way into archival documents.

The only other reference to a "Monsookan" on the internet from an article on - Walter Trout Returns to Des Moines on July 22 - "Anyway I debriefed my mom over and over again and she wasn't lying and she would always say ask your brother his face turned white and heard the creature outside the trapping cabin. Johnny always said it was 'MONSOoKAN' the Ojibwa wild man stands about 12 feet tall and has a shiny black skin face which looks like human and ape, if you saw it you would stand frozen shivering. Its real but I have never seen one and I lived in the bush 40 years. My mom called MONSOoKAN too."

Dead Man's Curve:
     A story along the same lines, is found about 3 - 6 miles away on Highway 11, (I never did check the milage,) at a point where many truckers and travelers have met their demise. A treacherous corner called Dead Man's Curve. Often slamming into the rock or sliding off road into the water. Historically, a death trap. More recently it is now being widened and straightened, being made safer for those traveling this stretch. One day it's deadly mangled history will be forgotten, so I am glad to make reference to it.

     One instance, not having to do with the curve itself was a story relayed to me by a local. It seems he and another fella were hunting the area in autumn, the year I don't know, and came across a wild man in the woods. He was actually given the description which completely reminded me of the Wolf Man from classic movies and was estimated at an average height. This fanged creature stood in full view of the hunter, he drew his weapon to strike it down but could not do it. I do not have the man's drawing anymore, but perhaps he will make an anonymous submission. The creature walked off into the woods.

     My thoughts on this were perhaps a reclusive family generations old, and eventually adapted to the cold weather of Northern Ontario, as animal and man's seed can not mix. This leaves me with either it is just a story, or possibly there IS a recluse in the area, but right now I am reminded of the previously stated encounter by the natives of the past and the article.

     Another quick reference to a cryptozoological Native legend of the area is the Maymaygwayshi, translated Rock Medicine Man. A creature said to inhabit the rocky shores of Lake Superior and area and its form is found in some of the pictographs on the Lake. These creatures were described as 3 foot tall, and lived in watery rock faces, where small watery caves open up into bigger ones. Another version of the Maymaygwayshi in legend, is a giant flying creature like a thunderbird, but with no eye sockets and made of forest vegetation. It was a massive creature and often talked with Nanibijou, and opened the land of the Nipigon for the future generations of people to inhabit.

The Windigo:
The area also has a legend about a spirit creature who use to play pranks on the Natives, and was described as a cannibal spirit who can manifest into a physical being at will whether human or animal and could possess it's prey.

Jumbo Cove:
     When deciding to shoot an episode of Dark History at the Macdiarmid train tunnel September 17, 2012; It was my first time being there, parking the car about 50 meters from the tunnel on this unused track line, I exited and grabbed my equipment to begin production. I made my way to the entrance of the 1000 foot tunnel. Approaching about 10 meters of the tunnel, what did I see on the far end? A massive white being making it's way across from the rock cuts from right to left. I said to myself, "What the hell!!!?" I pulled my camera out of the bag as fast as I could, opened it up, (it had just finished drizzling and was beginning to clear up, I remember it was very cool that September) and would't you know it? It would not focus because of the mist on the lens. I managed to get a shot just a second after the encounter. The first thought was it looked like the Wampa ice monster from The Empire Strikes Back.

     Upon exiting the tunnel, I found the rock face to be at least 25 feet tall, and whatever it was had to have climbed this rock face. I was here for ghosts, and never thought I would see what could have been a Sasquatch. I estimate the creature to have been at least 17 feet tall with massive build. Upon returning home, I wrote the encounter up right away and included the photo taken. It is included here as well. If watching the video taken that day, marked as Dark History Reel 03 Ep 05 2012, you should be able to make out estimations of the size of the tunnel and rock face, especially as I walk in from the exiting side of the tunnel where the creature was.

Photo ©2012 Thunderstryker Films Dark History

Link to Dark History's Reel -
     I wish to this day that I would have captured it to video, or even at least a photo. I asked a friend about this, and he said, "Maybe it was white because of the season, and was already getting it's Winter fur." I have no idea if there is anyone out in MacDiarmid who has witnessed this being over the years as well.

Because I could not catch it in time, it will have to remain as just another story.

Dee McCullay - Dark History.


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