Ricky Rodson is an experienced cryptozoologist with several published books on the subjects of zoology, cryptozoology, and mythical beasts.
What Are Cryptids?
Cryptids are mysterious creatures that science has been unable to officially prove exist. They have been sighted all around the world for thousands of years. With so many different types of them existing, it can be hard to dig up information on cryptids local to you. Because of this, I made this list of cryptids specifically found in North Carolina.
Our List of Cryptids Still Living in North Carolina
- Cape Fear River Mermaids
- The Moon-Eyed People
- Beast of Bladenboro
- Wampus Cat
- Siren of the French Broad
- The Cross Fairies
- Skunk Ape
1. Cape Fear River Mermaids
Stories of mermaids in North Carolina date all the way back to the 1700s during the Revolutionary War. The legends claim that the half-fish creatures would swim upriver from the ocean and hang out on the sandbars to comb the salt from their hair. This area where the Deep and Haw rivers meet has since been named 'Mermaid Point' due to sightings. Sadly, the mermaids have been seen less and less over the years as more and more dams have been built along the Cape Fear River. It is thought that these dams either discouraged or prevented the mermaids from returning to their preferred location.
2. The Moon-Eyed People
The Moon-Eyed People, or as the Cherokee called them the Yuñwi Tsundí, are a mysterious race of little people believed to secretly live in North Carolina. These little people are said to grow to about three feet tall and had extremely pale skin. The Cherokee thought the Moon-Eyed People were unable to see during the day because of their large round eyes. They were thought to have lived in underground cave systems with little to no sunlight. Unlike most other North Carolina cryptids, these people were known to interact with humans on several occasions.
3. Beast of Bladenboro
The Beast of Bladenboro is a violent North Carolina cryptid responsible for a string of gruesome animal deaths in the 1950s. Not only did the monster kill its victims but it also left most of them crushed or decapitated. People that saw the creature claim it was around two feet tall and had dark fur. It was said to look like a wildcat, but larger than any known cat in the area. What makes this case weird, is that some of the animals were found without any blood left inside them.
4. Wampus Cat
The Cherokee Death Cat, more commonly known as the Wampus Cat, is a strange animal from American Folklore. Its beginnings can be followed all the way back to stories told by American lumberjacks and even further back to Cherokee legends. Most sightings of the beast depict it as being a jaguar size feline with the ability to walk on its rear legs. Luckily for us, the Wampas Cat doesn't really care about people and prefers to focus its attention on fish for the vast majority of its meals.
The BooJum is a weird creature known to live in the mountains of North Carolina. It has been said to be a humanoid-like beast covered in dirty grey hair. Despite its reclusive nature, the Boojum has been sighted a number of times over the years by everyone from hikers to local business owners. The southern term "Hootenanny” is believed to have originated in the area paying homage to the noise made by the creature and his bride 'Annie' when they would become separated in the woods. The BooJum is said to be harmless despite its fearsome appearance and size.
6. Siren of the French Broad
The Siren of the French Broad is another cryptid believed to be born from an old Cherokee legend. The most popular telling of the tale comes from 'Myths and Legends of Our Own Land (Volume 5): Lights and Shadows of the South', a book detailing mysterious creatures of the south. The legend states that the siren claims the lives of unknowing travelers by lowering them to the shores of her home with a memorizing song and pulling them under the water. Her skin is said to be extremely thin and as cold as snakes. The Siren is by far one of the creepier creatures found on our list.
7. Normie: The Lake Monster of Lake Norman
There are many strange things lurking beneath the surface of the man-made Lake Norman. The strangest of these is a mysterious sea monster known to the locals as 'Normie'. Normie is said to look like an extremely large and malformed alligator with a brownish/greyish skin tone. As of now Normie has not been reported to attack anyone but has scared the life out of several dozen fishermen over the years. Its exploits have made it famous enough to gain the attention of the TV show BOOGEYMEN. Unfortunately, at the bottom of Lake Norman lies the remains of an old town. This provides this beast plenty of places to hide and makes it nearly impossible to prove its existence.
Knobby is an ape-like creature believed to roam around the wooded areas of North Carolina. It is said to be covered in yellowish grey fur and to stand roughly 8-10 feet tall. All stories of Knobby describe it as a gentle creature, with one going as far as saying it allowed itself to be poked by a stick without attacking. One of the biggest drawbacks to Knobby is its strong resemblance to the legendary cryptid bigfoot. But despite the similarities, the stories of Knobby have been growing in popularity since the early 1900s. There is even a movie released in 1979 called "Knobby the Belwood Wampus Cat" based on this monster of a creature.
News Clip of a Knobby Sighting
9. The Cross Fairies
The Cross Fairies are one of the only North Carolina cryptids on the list that no one claims to have seen. Their existence is only known due to the strange cross-shaped rocks they leave behind. These shapes have only been found in five areas of the world making them extremely rare. The Cherokee people believe the shapes to be the result of the Fairies crying due to the March of Tears, but European settlers claimed the Fairies to have cried as a result of the death of Jesus, hence their shape. Whichever story is true, I would keep my eyes open if hiking in the mountains of North Carolina.
10. Skunk Ape
The skunk ape is a small humanoid that is known to live throughout the southeastern United States, including North Carolina. The first appearance of this bipedal ape took place in Florida back in 1818, but it wasn't until the 1970s that the National Park Service of the United officially commented on its existence. At that time, the organization claimed it to be either a case of mistaken identity or a well carried out hoax. Despite these reports, residents of North Carolina still fear running into the creature when camping in the woods or stopping on the side of the road in rural areas of the state.
Can Cryptids Still Be Living in North Carolina?
As the world continues to grow, these mysterious creatures have less and less room to hide. Even today, we have to question if it is even possible for them to still exist. But with North Carolina's diverse landscape, consisting of everything from mountains to coastlines, it is an excellent place for these hidden creatures to thrive. In fact, some of these creatures have been sighted within the last ten years.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.