The Dungavenhooter is another so-called “fearsome critter” in American folklore, and one I was tempted not to cover. Why? It may seem like a regional bias that I am covering the Dungavenhooter, especially after I covered a different cryptid linked to where I live (Pressie the sea monster, from the UP of Michigan). However, I swear to you it’s entirely a coincidence that the Dungavenhooter was next on my list, and I didn’t know it was linked to where I live! (To be fair, it’s also said to have existed in Maine, according to the Fearsome Critters” book.)
Initial apology aside, the Dungavenhooter is easily as interesting as any “water lion” or, let’s say, the Illinois Piasa Bird. Basically, the Dungavenhooter is a crocodilian creature that has no mouth, deriving its nourishment somehow from whacking prey with its tail, then jumping on its prospective kills and inhaling their blood mist (or some variation on that theme)! To my mind, this alone makes one of the creepiest and strangest fearsome critters or cryptids I have covered so far. The question is: Does anyone believe in it?
No evidence for the Dungavenhooter
There is no evidence whatsoever that the Dungavenhooter exists, nor can I can people claiming to have genuinely experienced the creature. So, ultimately, one can make stuff up about it and expand the legend. Want a bulb at the bottom of the tail, or sharp barbs down its length? You can pretty much go for it, and who would offer any pushback? There is one description that seems common: It has large slits for nostrils to ease its blood-mist-huffing!
I didn’t find anything regarding the Dungavenhooter’s colors or whether it is translucent, or if it has body hair (I would assume its color varies based on whoever’s telling the tale, frankly). I have read that, like so many fearsome critters, it commonly targets lumberjacks, so stay away from those trees, and stay sober in those great Northwoods! Personally, it seems like lumberjacks would not be a reliable diet, and like it would be more suited to eating animals, or have diets at least as varied as those of a tarantula or lizard.
If you look at depictions of the Dungavenhooter, most show it as having a short neck and legs, spines on its back and shoulders, and no hair (or fur). Its stance appears to be crouched rather than broad. Its quirkiest supposed feature involves blood mists. I haven’t seen many other zany characteristics (For example: The animals could also turn their heads completely around on their necks!).
Because it is crocodilian, I assume that, while underwater, its tail and back and front legs combined could propel it at fast speeds. However, the legends have it looking more like a land-based beast, with a laughable main diet of lumberjacks. In other words, you wouldn’t want to live in a small hut near the wooded locations this creature is said to inhabit. Well, okay, this fearsome critter is absolutely fake and, generally speaking, the woods are not as dangerous as some think anyway. Still, the idea of this critter is freaky enough to give one pause.
For fun, here’s a trailer for a good horror flick that has alligator/crocodile elements:
What are your thoughts on the Dungavenhooter and other cryptids/fearsome critters? Let us know in the comments!