Fouke is a picturesque little city in central Miller County, Arkansas, about 150 miles outside of Little Rock. Boasting its gorgeous Mountain Lake Park Hotel and a spacious festival plaza, Fouke seems ideal for a relaxing getaway amongst the more attractive facets of nature. However, not all of nature’s creations are necessarily friendly, as warned by a legend which has haunted Fouke since the 1840s; The Boggy Creek Monster.
Boggy Creek Variations
Also referred to as the Fouke Monster, or Swamp Stalker, The Boggy Creek Monster is a hulking ape-like creature standing upright between seven and eight feet tall. Long and dense fur covers its arms and legs and it walks or runs with a hunch, swinging its arms like a primate. It has a similar description as the legendary Bigfoot and a strikingly eerie resemblance to the Momo seen in Louisiana, Missouri. This prompts some to believe that these are part of the same genus of elusive ape-men which still live hidden lives in the denser woodland of the earth. The Boggy Creek Monster has been said to kill livestock, chickens and dogs in the area and while it hasn’t been reported to have killed any people, many have claimed of its vicious nature.
Two families in the late 1860s were allegedly terrorised, and one hospitalised, by the beast. Then in May 1971, Bobby and Elizabeth Ford claimed that a great hairy beast with red eyes and rattling breath attacked their home. Bobby claimed that the beast grabbed his shoulder, him only having narrowly escaped its clutches and ploughing himself through his front door. Elizabeth also claimed to see the red eyes and fur-covered arms coming through the window as she slept in the living room one day.
The legend spread like wildfire and made it into a low-budget cult horror film in 1973 entitled The Legend of Boggy Creek. While the film was panned critically, many fans saw it as a chillingly atmospheric dive into their favourite Arkansas urban legend, and the film actually spawned two very odd unofficial sequels, one of which featuring the monster as a disney-esque character who helps a band of lost children. The original was also said to have paved the way for films like The Blair Witch Project, meaning the Boggy Creek Monster could have had more impact on the world of film than once realised.
The people of Fouke used to capitalise on the legend with their Monster Mart featuring a huge screaming Boggy Creek Monster holding up its sign, with the Haunted Texarkana Ghost Walk and with plenty of signs around the town. These are not so much the case any more and it appears the locals have tired of the legend and the outsiders it brings to their quaint place of residence. That being said, 1997 saw over forty sightings of the Swamp Stalker, primarily walking along the dry creek bed just outside of town. While tourism seems to be dying out, the legend of the Boggy Creek Monster is as prevalent as ever.
Joe first knew he wanted to write in year six after plaguing his teacher’s dreams with a harrowing story of World War prisoners and an insidious ‘book of the dead’. Clearly infatuated with horror, and wearing his influences on his sleeve, he dabbled in some smaller pieces before starting work on his condensed sci-fi epic, System Reset in 2013.Once this was published he began work on many smaller horror stories and poems in bid to harness and connect with his own fears and passions and build on his craft.
Joe is obsessed with atmosphere and aesthetic, big concepts and even bigger senses of scale, feeding on cosmic horror of the deep sea and vastness of space and the emotions these can invoke. His main fixes within the dark arts include horror films, extreme metal music and the bleakest of poetry and science fiction literature.
He holds a deep respect for plot, creative flow and the context of art, and hopes to forge deeper connections between them around filmmakers dabbling in the dark and macabre.