Filiko Teras

Date of Discovery

To this day, the Ayia Napa Sea Monster has not been photographed, but according to legend, it has been around since 2nd century AD.


Filiko Teras, also known as the Ayia Napa Sea Monster and the Cyprus Loch Ness. To Filiko Teras translates to “the friendly monster,” which is how this sea serpent is known to local fishermen.

Physical Description

Speculated to be some type of sea serpent or crocodile-like beast.


Cape Greco, home of Filiko Teras
Photography by Anna Anichkova

Some accounts tell that Filiko Teras is linked to the ancient sea-monster known as the Scylla within Greek mythology.

Despite having an ocean of space to roam, Filiko Teras is only known to frequent Cape Greco, of the Ayia Napa Sea off of the coast of Cyprus—which is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. This little area of Cyprus actually used to be a popular tourist destination on the island, but the political powers of rival governments have resulted in an abandonment of this entire coastal tourist destination. Cape Greco is a cape that encompasses a small peninsula in the eastern Cypriot district of Famagusta, it exists in a National Forest Park that is known for its natural beauty and abundant sea caves.

Mythology and Lore

While there is no documented proof that this monster actually exists, there have been countless reports through folklore and various sightings by tourists and locals, which have spurred paranormal truth seekers, such as the hosts of Destination Truth to go searching for the creature. The Ayia Napa Sea Monster has never been reported to have caused any harm, but it has been reported to drag away fishing nets and there have been countless sightings of this creature. The government of Cyprus has begun to search for evidence of this creature’s existence, and tourists continue to flock to the destination on day-long boat trips, in the hopes of spotting this elusive monster. Although speculation attempts to link the sightings of Filiko Teras to the monsters living in Kouris Dam, these reports have been discarded, as the belief is that the monsters of Kouris Dam are far more likely to be crocodiles that had been kept as pets, then unlawfully released.

The Scylla

A Painted Vase of the Scylla at the Louvre in Paris, France
Photography by Jastrow

This ancient mythological creature of Greek origin has been depicted in mosaics one, in particular, remains in the House of Dionysus, in a Roman villa from the 2nd Century AD that still stands in Paphos, Cyprus which is only a short way away from the most frequented location of sightings for the Filiko Teras. Interestingly enough, the Scylla, despite its modern link to Filiko Teras is depicted as a gigantic creature with the torso and head of a woman, with six snarling dogs protruding halfway from its midriff, and a tail that resembles that of a giant serpent. While the paintings always illustrate exactly six heads, all of the original authors of these initial sightings, including Gaius Julius Hyginus, states that the Scylla actually possessed, “more heads than the vase-painters could paint,” and whoever was unlucky enough to encounter this creature was immediately killed.

Is there anything we missed about Filiko Teras? Let us know in the comments section below!



Join "The Horror List" for Weekly Horror in your inbox

Great Spider

Date of Discovery

First discovered in the 1890s, the Great Spider has been sighted as recently as 2014. The first sighting of the J’ba Fofi by a western observer was in the 1980s near Lake Nyasa when British missionary Arthur John Simes and his men stumbled upon one of the creatures. Having gotten themselves tangled in the enormous web, a male and female spider came out of their tunnel and attacked them. Despite being bitten, Simes managed to escape after shooting one of them with a pistol, but afterward exhibited symptoms that suggested he was poisoned—paleness, chills, and swelling around the bite. These symptoms worsened, Simes became delirious, before falling unconscious and ultimately succumbing to his wounds and dying.


Giant Spider
Photography by Andre Tan

The Great Spider is also known as J’ba Fofi, or the Congolese Giant Spider.

Physical Description

The Great Spider is known to be a spider-like cryptid, but much larger than the average house spider.


This giant arachnid can be found in the Congo, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, the state of Louisiana, as well as Zimbabwe.

Mythology and Lore

Said to inhabit the forests of the Congo, it is suspected to represent a new species of arachnid—behaviorally speaking it is classified as a burrowing spider, digging shallow tunnels under tree roots and camouflaging it with large screens of leaves. Their webs are said to be nearly invisible when stretched between their burrow and a neighboring tree, which act as a network of trip lines and alert the spider when new prey is in the immediate area. This type of behavior is said to be reminiscent of a trapdoor spider, which leads investigators to believe that it really is just a new, unclassified species of trapdoor spider.

Natives to the area say that the J’ba Fofi lays pale yellow eggs, then the hatchlings are bright yellow with a purple abdomen, but as they mature, their coloration deepens, darkens, and browns. Many natives actually suggest that these giant spiders have always been in existence, that their prevalence used to be in much greater number, but they have since become more of a rarity. That encroachment of civilization has driven the spiders from their natural habitats.

A far more believed account, again by western sources, was in a book dedicated to cryptozoology by George Eberhart, where he relates the experiences of an English couple traveling through a region of the jungle in the Congo. He says that “R. K. Lloyd and his wife were motoring in the Belgium Congo in 1938 when they saw a large object crossing the trail in front of them. At first, they thought it was a cat or a monkey, but they soon realized it was a spider with legs nearly 3 feet (in length).”

William J. Gibbons, a cryptozoologist and naturalist believed he was hunting what was called the Congolese dinosaur, or Mokele-mbembe, when he came across natives who told him of their experience with the J’ba Fofi, in his narrative he said that “on this third expedition to Equatorial Africa, I took the opportunity to inquire if the pygmies new of such a giant spider, and indeed they did! They speak of the J’ba Fofi, which is a “giant” or “great spider.” They describe a spider that is generally brown in color with a purple mark on the abdomen. They grow to quite an enormous size with a leg span of at least five feet. The giant arachnids weave together a lair made of leaves similar in shape to a traditional pygmy hut and spin a circular web (said to be very strong) between two trees with a strand stretched across a game trail.”

Is there anything we missed about the Great Spider? Let us know in the comments section below!



Join "The Horror List" for Weekly Horror in your inbox


Date of Discovery

The first records of the Grootslang come from a rock painting in a South African province which has yet to be dated correctly. The first sightings started around 1867 and continued to multiple through the last 1890s. In 1963 newspapers began reporting the sightings sending locals into a frenzy.


Grootslang, Grote Slang, “Great Serpent”, Kayman, Ki-man, !Koo-be-eng

Grootslang Painting - Big Snake

Physical Description

This giant snake is described as being 20 – 39 feet in length with a neck 8 – 10 feet long, and its head is 7 – 8 inches wide. It some tales its body is completely snake-like; however, in others, the body takes on a hippo or elephant-like shape with a long snake-like tail. Its skin or scales are pitch black from head to tail.


The origin of this legendary cyrtid snake comes from the African regions, most notoriously a deep cave in Richtersveld, South Africa. This creature has also made its way to treading water in the Orange River of the North Eastern Cape Province, as well as the Vaal Dam of Free State Province. It has even been said they dwell in the deep pits of the Congo.

Mythology & Lore

According to legend, the Grootslang is as old as the world itself crafted by the gods themselves in the early time’s creation. This giant primordial creature would prove to be a terrible mistake, as they filled it with tremendous strength, cunning, and intellect. The gods tried to split their creature into two smaller animals, elephants and the first snakes, but one of the original Grootslang escaped the gods. Hiding in the cave known as the “Water Hole” or “Bottomless Pit” it continued to live and breed creating more of its kind. It would lure elephants into the cave to feed itself and little ones.

According to the local legends living in the deep caves of Africa is what drives this great serpent to covet gems and diamonds. This lust of the gems curves the creature’s cruelty and dark nature leaving a bargaining room for its victims to gain freedom from certain death. In 1917 while searching for treasure in the Richtersveld, South Africa English businessman Peter Grayson and his party were attacked and disappeared. Locals blamed the Grootslang for claim yet again another victim from the lions and coveting the riches the party was rumored to have found.

Most of the other significant sightings report the creature attacking from the deep waters of rivers with few people surviving the encounters. Some gave details of a large wave rushing toward them or their boats before swallowing them down into the water. Other reports like Frederick Cornell’s in 1910 say the creature emerged from the wave raising its massive head 12 feet into the air before attacking them.

Many people have tried to rationalize possible explanations for the numerous reports of slightly different creatures. One being a large rock python, another water monitor lizard, or even an unknown species of monitor. Some have even claimed this is could be the same longneck seal that people mistake Nessie and other lake monsters for. Though some of these are good theories none have been proven leaving locals to go on fearing the dreaded Grootslang and its greedy need for the beautiful gem’s African lands hold.


Modern Pop-Culture References
Books & Literature

Is there anything we missed about Grootslang? Let us know in the comments section below!



Join "The Horror List" for Weekly Horror in your inbox


Date of Discovery

First sighted in the 1900s.


The Gumberoo, with a scientific name of Megalogaster repercussus.

Physical Description

This bear-like creature is described as being incredibly fat–in some cases, compared to the shape of a football–with no hair, and dark leathery skin. Oddly enough, this creature has a large grin with sharp teeth, a beard, and prominent eyebrows. Their dark complexion is said to be as black as coal, but there is speculation that this is due to rubbing up against the inside of the charred cedar tree.


The Gumberoo originated in the foggy region along the Pacific Coast from Grays Harbor, WA, the entire coast of Oregon, all the way to Humboldt Bay, CA as well as the forests of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Its origin is spun from the folklore of lumberjacks and forest workers–with particular emphasis on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

According to Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth by Carol Rose, the Gumberoo belongs to a group of beings within this mythology called the Fearsome Critters. All of the Fearsome Critters are noted to have exaggerated proportions and activities which are believed to be the explanation of the strange sounds and bumps in the night when in isolated and remote locations. They also provided some amusement for the men in the camps, as they told stories to pass their down-time.

The Gumberoo is said to be a scarce creature due to the fact that it is quite combustible, and forest fires are relatively prevalent. They are said to be as flammable as celluloid film; during and after a forest fire within the heavily forested cedar region near Coos Bay, lumberjacks reported that they heard loud sounds that were not identifiable as well as the smell of burning rubber.

Mythology and Lore

When the lumberjacks, responsible for its discovery, attempted to kill it–except the Gumberoo didn’t die, its skin was apparently impenetrable. It is said to hibernate a majority of the time and it lives in old enormous, burned, and hollowed-out cedar trees. When it does come out, it only comes out at night and has an insatiable appetite when it does. The Gumberoo will devour anything that crosses its path, even reportedly a whole horse at one point, which was still not enough to discomfort nor satiate it.

Modern Pop-Culture References


Is there anything we missed about the Gumberoo? Let us know in the comments section below!



Join "The Horror List" for Weekly Horror in your inbox

History of the Werewolf from 1500 to Modern-Day

Werewolves have been around for hundreds of years as seen in art, folktales, horror books, and movies. Join us while we explore where it all started and how it has impacted modern writers and filmakers. Starting at the date of original discover here is the history of the werewolf.

Lycanthropy wood carving from 1500's

Werewolf Date of Discovery

In the countryside near the German towns of Cologne and Bedburg in 1591, the first werewolf sighting took place.

Name Variations

The Werewolf is derived from the Old English werewulf, which translated into, “man-wolf.” They can also be known as a wolfman, a loup-garou which translates from French to mean, “wolf man-wolf,” and a lycanthrope.

In Serbian, the term vulkodlaks has the meaning of both vampires and werewolves.

There are a number of cryptids known to be associated with the werewolf, most any shapeshifter can be regarded to as a “were-,” of sorts; this would suggest that they were originally a human and regularly shapeshift into another creature, such as the weretiger, werehyena, wererat, werebear, or werepanther.

Physical Description

Despite the varied lore that exists for the werewolf, there are common physical attributes between them all, Zachary Graves describes these attributes and the differences in-depth within his book Werewolves.

Attributes of the Wolf

Often described as having superhuman strength as well as the fortune of enhanced senses that far surpass those of wolves, not to even mention that of humans. They possess the typical attributes of a wolf, with strong jaws, sharp teeth, and large paws–however, they maintain their human eyes even after transformation into the wolf, but it’s also said that they are unable to cry, due to their fiery nature when they’ve been enraged. While the lore varies from culture to culture, most of them maintain that a werewolf doesn’t possess a tail.

Attributes of the Human

During the initial werewolf paranoia, people who had eyebrows that met at the bridge of their nose were suspected to be werewolves; in their human form, they would have curved fingernails, lowset ears and walk with a long, swinging stride. They’re reportedly listless, often fatigued, and uneasy in direct sunlight. Once a person has been turned to a werewolf, they would be repelled by cooked meat.

In some of the legends it is said that if you cut the flesh of a werewolf while they’re in their human form, you will see fur underneath. Meanwhile in Russia, it was considered proof of lycanthrope if a person possessed bristles underneath their tongue.

From Werewolf to Human

While in the werewolf form, the creatures are unnaturally powerful, when they have returned to their original human state their physical form is devastated. They are said to be weak, fragile, and often experience severe depression. This lugubriousness is caused by any crime or violence they may have unwittingly committed while in their feral wolf form, followed by an immense feeling of guilt.

Origin of the Werewolf

The first werewolf appeared in Petronius Arbiter’s The Satyricon, set in southern Italy, originally written in Latin and published some time in 60s AD. It talks about four poor, degenerate, self-centered companions who experience a series of increasingly outrageous and debaucherous exploits–as this is the first time the werewolf appears in any type of literature, it is referred to as a wolf or shapeshifter, the word for werewolf came much later.

Mythology and Lore

Man disguising himself as a werewolf ancient art

As dark and mysterious as the werewolf is, it has quite an illuminating history of folklore from all over the world; stories of creatures–massive wolves, stalking rural areas to terrorize and subsequently mutilate or kill their victims.

The First Werewolf

While the writers of the more ancient societies don’t exactly rise to what modern reader’s expectations may be, they contribute valuable information and a foundation of the legend. The Satyricon is one such legend that was considered to be an interesting first look of the creature.

Chapters 61-62 from The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter

After they had all wished each other sound minds and good health, Trimalchio turned to Niceros. “You used to be better company at dinner,” he remarked, “and I don’t know why you should be dumb today, with never a word to say. If you wish to make me happy, tell about that experience you had, I beg of you.” Delighted at the affability of his friend, “I hope I lose all my luck if I’m not tickled to death at the humor I see you in,” Niceros replied. “All right, let’s go the limit for a good time, though I’m afraid these scholars’ll laugh at me, but I’ll tell my tale and they can go as far as they like. What t’hell do I care who laughs? It’s better to be laughed at than laughed down.” These words spake the hero, and began the following tale: “We lived in a narrow street in the house Gavilla now owns, when I was a slave. There, by the will of the gods, I fell in love with the wife of Terentius, the innkeeper; you knew Melissa of Tarentum, that pretty round-checked little wench. It was no carnal passion, so hear me, Hercules, it wasn’t; I was not in love with her physical charms. No, it was because she was such a good sport. I never asked her for a thing and had her deny me; if she had an as, I had half. I trusted her with everything I had and never was done out of anything. Her husband up and died on the place, one day, so I tried every way I could to get to her, for you know friends ought to show up when anyone’s in a pinch.

“It so happened that our master had gone to Capua to attend to some odds and ends of business and I seized the opportunity, and persuaded a guest of the house to accompany me as far as the fifth mile-stone. He was a soldier, and as brave as the very devil. We set out about cock-crow, the moon was shining as bright as midday, and came to where the tombstones are. My man stepped aside amongst them, but I sat down, singing, and commenced to count them up. When I looked around for my companion, he had stripped himself and piled his clothes by the side of the road. My heart was in my mouth, and I sat there while he pissed a ring around them and was suddenly turned into a wolf!

Now don’t think I’m joking, I wouldn’t lie for any amount of money, but as I was saying, he commenced to howl after he was turned into a wolf, and ran away into the forest. I didn’t know where I was for a minute or two, then I went to his clothes, to pick them up, and damned if they hadn’t turned to stone! Was ever anyone nearer dead from fright than me? Then I whipped out my sword and cut every shadow along the road to bits, till I came to the house of my mistress. I looked like a ghost when I went in, and I nearly slipped my wind. The sweat was pouring down my crotch, my eyes were staring, and I could hardly be brought around. My Melissa wondered why I was out so late. “Oh, if you’d only come sooner,” she said, “you could have helped us: a wolf broke into the folds and attacked the sheep, bleeding them like a butcher. But he didn’t get the laugh on me, even if he did get away, for one of the slaves ran his neck through with a spear!” I couldn’t keep my eyes shut any longer when I heard that, and as soon as it grew light, I rushed back to our Gaius’ house like an innkeeper beaten out of his bill, and when I came to the place where the clothes had been turned into stone, there was nothing but a pool of blood! And moreover, when I got home, my soldier was lying in bed, like an ox, and a doctor was dressing his neck! I knew then that he was a werewolf, and after that, I couldn’t have eaten a crumb of bread with him, no, not if you had killed me. Others can think what they please about this, but as for me, I hope your geniuses will all get after me if I lie.”

The Legend that Followed

When considering the acts that were committed by werewolves had a man behind them, there was a common belief that the werewolf was in league with the devil; they committed heinous acts of violence throughout rural communities, craving flesh, and blood in the dark of the night. Amongst the most awful crimes that were attributed to werewolves in medieval Europe, was the discretion and consumption of the recently deceased. For this reason, many of the earliest serial killers were actually believed to be werewolves, because who else could commit such horrifying acts than a beast working for the devil?

Transformation into the Wolf

The innocent wolves that were blamed and slaughtered to atone for the crimes of werewolves started a fire under the communities that were afflicted. The knowledge of their very existence created widespread panic, just as it did for witches during the Salem Witch Trials, and for Satanists during the Satanic Panic. This kind of fear and uproar of panic is more dangerous to the community than the beasts themselves because it results in accusations against the innocent, as well as a rise in public anxiety, fear, and suspicion. Physical attributes such as eyebrows meeting over the bridge of a person’s nose were enough of an offense to accuse someone of being a werewolf and subsequently provide them with a torturous execution. It gave way to new traditions of cautious living, in order to prevent catching the affliction of lycanthropy–such as not accepting ointments or salves from strangers, not drinking from streams that were thought to be enchanted, and killing the seventh child born into the family–believing that one day it would transform into a werewolf.

Other strange things were associated with becoming a werewolf, wearing a wolfskin belt, a lycanthropic flower, or consuming the flesh (in particular, the heart) of a wolf or a werewolf’s victim was believed to immediately transform a person into one. This last belief was so deeply held in the mid 700s that Egbert, Archbishop of York actually forbade people from eating the flesh of animals that had been attacked and killed by wolves so that there would be no chance of transformation. In France and Germany, it was said that if a man slept outside on a Wednesday or Friday night during a full moon in the summer, it would lead to lycanthropy. There were also those who actually wanted to become werewolves–wherein it was recommended to drink from certain streams, or ponds that were common for wolves to drink from, or drink water from the tracks of the wolves themselves.

Stopping the Beast

In some of the oldest accounts of werewolves, followed by the stories of their demise, the tried and true method of ensuring the beast didn’t come back from the dead was decapitation. Some of the newest lore has integrated what was originally a bane to vampires, according to the oldest mythology about the blood-sucking demons, has added silver to the repertoire of what is lethal to werewolves.

Werewolves in Other Cultures

In Fennoscandia, Scandinavia werewolves were considered old women with claws that they would coat in poison–they had a special ability to paralyze both children and cattle with their gaze.

In Serbia, vulkodlaks would gather together during the winter around a bonfire and strip off their wolfskins and hang them from trees–during every such gathering, they would throw one of the wolfskins on the fire to release the possessor from the curse that had transformed them into a vulkodlak.

In Haiti, jé-rouges which were wolf-like creatures would attempt to steal children from their mothers in the dead of the night–they would gently wake the mothers and taking advantage of their half-sleep state would ask permission to take their child–there would on occasion be a mother so disoriented that they would say, “yes,” a word they would regret for the rest of their lives.

Inuit legends talk of the Keelut which has many similarities although no shapeshifting.

The werewolves are certayne sorcerers, who having anointed their bodies with an ointment which they make by the instinct of the devil, and putting on a certayne inchaunted girdle, doe not onely unto the view of others seeme as wolves, but to their owne thinking have both the shape and nature of wolves, so long as they weare the said girdle. And they do dispose themselves as very wolves, in wourrying and killing, and most of humane creatures

Excerpt from Restitution of Decayed Intelligence by Richard Verstegan in 1628

Modern Pop-Culture References

Werewolf Books

Werewolf Movies

Werewolf Television Series

Is there anything we missed about werewolves? Let us know in the comments section below!



Join "The Horror List" for Weekly Horror in your inbox

Join The Horror List