Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Legend of Walnut Creek



There is a small creek called Walnut Creek in Chilton County, Alabama. Driving down I-65 you cross it near Clanton. Most of my relatives are in that county, having moved there sometime around 1812. We have a lot of people who live on the Coosa River or Lay Lake. I got to thinking about it the other day and remembered a story I heard from the time I could sit up late enough to listen to the grownups talking. The Legend of Walnut Creek.

Back in the fifties, yes before I was born, my grandfather was the sheriff of Chilton County. He kept receiving calls about missing pets and cows around the Walnut Creek area. He checked around, finding nothing but noticing a horrid smell near the water around some pushed down trees. He thought no more of it until late one night he received a call about some horrible screaming going on by the creek. He and a deputy went to the area and started walking toward the sound, which he likened to a cross between a woman screaming and a coyote or wolf. As they walked down the steep slope, pushing through brambles and barely able to see in the pitch black, a large tree came crashing through the woods directly at them. Never said we had any fools in the family. He and the deputy hastily made their way back up to the road where a crowd was gathered. Now the animal was slamming things into trees, making banging noises and still screaming. One of the onlookers, a man who’d partaken a bit too much liquor, told everyone he wasn’t scared and that he was going down to see what this thing was. My grandfather tried to talk him out of it but the man plunged down the slope, hell-bent to find out the source of the noise. The screaming increased and then there was another loud crash followed by another, different scream. The man emerged at the top of the slope, a lot more sober than when he went down. He said it was a big creature, about eight feet tall that “stunk to high heaven.” His wife had to drive him home because he was shaking too hard to turn the car on. The animal stayed around a few more days, making noise and scaring the locals but no one ever attempted to make contact again. I haven’t heard of any more sightings around the area.

I guess the animal was a Skunk Ape or as the Northwesterners call it “Sasquatch.” It certainly fit the description. Florida has the “Skunk Ape.” Rhode Island has “Big Rhodey.” Tibet has the “Yeti” and Australia has the “Yowie.” Whatever the thing is, I believe we had one for a while in Alabama on a little creek called Walnut. Would he be "Big Walnutty"? Catchy. I like it.

I do believe there is some basis for these legends as do a lot of other people. The Animal Planet even has a television series “Finding Bigfoot,” which airs every Sunday night at 9 pm. I watch it and I believe.

What do you think? Does Sasquatch exist? Or do you believe it’s just a bear or escaped ape? I think there is a novel in this somewhere. A romance. They went in search of Bigfoot and found each other…. (Not Harry)


11 comments:

  1. I don't think believe in Big Foot but I did really enjoy reading about the local legend of Walnut Creek.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aw Stephanie! I am supposed to be the pessimist in this group! I looked through the old newspapers, 1952, and there are reports of Big Walnutty. I think it's hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Did you know that New Jersey has the Red Devil? Their hockey team is aptly named after the thing, Jersey Devils. Very real. True stories exist of this creature.

    I've always been interested in Big Foot. (Used to get called the name when I was young and my feet grew to a size 10 by the time I was 13.) You see, they do exist. LOL!

    I have quite a delightful story about a Big Foot documentary, a theatre, a boy and a vengeful young girl. Might have to tell it sometime. Muahaha!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Of all the legends out there, Big Foot has always seemed far less possible than, say, Nessie.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yeah, but he has glowing eyes Kathy! And wings. The Jersey Devil scares me. I've seen some of the television shows that have hunted him. He seems pretty vicious.

    And did you notice? As we get older our feet get bigger. Wonder how old these Bigfoots are? ~g~

    ReplyDelete
  6. Aw now, not you too Maven Linda! I was sure you'd believe! I know what you mean - where's the bodies? They have to die at some point so why hasn't some redneck shot one and strapped it to the hood of his truck?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh and I want to believe in Nessie too, Maven Linda. Nessie seems more possible because Loch Ness is connected to the sea by underground tunnels. Seems like a big dinosaur could live in the ocean and occasionally visit the Scots.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ever see that terrible great movie, "The Legend of Biggie Creek" ? You must.

    ReplyDelete
  9. LOL! That's Legend Of Boggie Creek, Jean. ;)

    When I lived in New Jersey, I heard that the Devil is said to have been a deformed child, raised by animals because the family had been ashamed and abandoned it. It apparently lived wild and ate livestock to survive.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Plot Summary for
    The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) More at IMDbPro »
    ad feedback

    A documentary-style drama which questions the existence of a monster in an Arkansas swamp. It is really more of a glimpse at lower-class swamp culture from the seventies, though, than a monster flick. Written by Sean Taylor

    An early 1970's docudrama about a Sasquatch-type creature that terrorized the small town of Fouke, Arkansas for several years. Many of the persons who claim to have experienced these events actually played themselves in this movie version. The film had a big premiere in Fouke and went on to become a minor drive-in hit, grossing over $20 million domestically and appearing repeatedly on many late-night horror TV slots throughout the rest of the 70s, and spawning two sequels and a remake. In addition, the film's visual style is cited as the inspiration for the look and pacing of 'The Blair Witch Project'. Written by

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh yes Jean, I have seen the Legend of Boggy Creek. I was in my teens in the seventies and there were still drive-ins then so we all had to see to the movie! Thanks for remembering it!

    I heard that about the Jersey Devil too, Kathy. Seems kind of sad but scary!

    ReplyDelete