Creature Feature: The Dover Demon

The Dover Demon was first sighted in the 70’s by one teen late at night, although there were two others present. Bill Bartlett (our sole witness), Mike Mazzocca and Andy Brodie were all cruising down Farm Street in Dover, Massachusetts when Bartlett noticed something creeping around in the beam of the headlights.

dover-demon-sketch

He goes on to describe the creature as having eyes like “…two orange marbles,” as well as a large head on a thin, lanky body with long hands and feet. “A baby’s body with long arms and legs,” Bartlett would go on to say and only around 4 feet tall. Neither Mike Mazzocca or Andy Brodie claimed to have seen the monster and many who knew Bill Bartlett weren’t sold on the idea that he couldn’t have just made it up. (Yay for double negatives, my wife is cringing so hard.)

Then another sighting occurred on the very next night.

On a dimly lit road, John Baxter found himself being approached by a small figure. He’d just left his girlfriend’s house. It was around midnight, and the only person he thought it could be was a friend of his who lived nearby. Baxter called out, but the figure did not respond, just continued walking toward him. Suddenly it stopped. Again, there was no response. He moved toward it and the small form darted off into a wooded area.

Baxter gave chase, and after a short run found it standing on a rocky outcrop. Its feet seemed as if they were “molded” to the stone and its two lightly colored eyes looked straight at him. The creature’s oddly shaped head began to make him feel more than a little unnerved so he beat feet out of there until a car picked him up at the intersection of…Farm Street. The same street on which Bill Bartlett claimed to have seen the creature.

dover-demon-baxter-sketch
Glamour shot!

Now explanations abound. Some say it was a calf (possible, there are ample farmlands around) or a baby moose (unlikely since moose aren’t found in the area.) Others have ventured to guess it was an escaped helper monkey that lost its hair due to some infection like mange. There are those that think the Dover Demon is, in fact, an alien due to the slight similarities with abductees’ descriptions of Grays.

The theory that I find most intriguing, however, comes from Native American mythology. The Cree Indians believed in a water spirit called the Mannegishi which they say had a head with no nose and was very thin with long arms and legs. Other tribes had similar creatures in their beliefs with varying descriptors. Some were hairy for example, but all legends had the common thread of the Mannegishi being attached to the water in some way. (They were often said to flip canoes over and drown unwitting people.) That, the connection to water, and the descriptions are what sell me on the Dover Demon being this Native American creature.

Farm Street, as well as Miller High Road (where Baxter first started his encounter), are crossed by parts of Trout Brook which feed small ponds and lakes near the encounter sites.

dover-rivers

(If you enjoyed the Dover Demon, please feel free to check out other fascinating cryptids under the Creature Feature category.)

Sources:

  • http://www.native-languages.org/legends-river.htm
  • http://cryptidz.wikia.com/wiki/Dover_Demon (Great place for further monster hunting)
  • http://www.newanimal.org/dover-demon.htm

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