It has taken a long time to finally identify what exactly that creature was that charged me all those years ago in that small park in southern Indiana. You see, it happened back in the dark ages; in the summer of 1993. The internet was unheard of. Home computers were very rare, phones were still for houses, and U.B. 40 was tearing up the air waves with their rendention of Elvis Presley’s classic, “I can’t help falling in love with you.”
I was sixteen that summer. It was one of those summers I’ll never forget. A lot happened to me that summe. From riding around in a stolen car, moving away from all my friends, and even learning how to play chess. It was a summer to remember for sure.
Still, though after all these years the one event that stands out over all the rest was the night I came face to face with Piggly Wiggly. I am 41 now and that sighting has changed the way I see the world and nature but especially the way I think of the supernatural world.
I didn’t know much about Cryptids at that time, like I said, no internet. I had of course heard of Big Foot and thought it was a myth or perhaps a case of mistaken identity. I had seen werewolf movies but at that time thought they were nothing more then folklore. Made up to scare people in the days of the Salem witch hunts or to keep children close to their homes at night. I don’t believe like that anymore. I can’t, I’ve been forever changed by what I encountered that summer night.
I was never much of a stoner. Pot always had effects on me that I deemed, less then enjoyable. First it always made me very, very paranoid, second it made me very hungry, and lastly very sleepy. Despite never really enjoying it, I would partake from time to time with friends in the spirit of going along to get along. Such was the case the first time Piggly Wiggly ever entered my reality.
Jeremy was new to the apartment complex, but he and I hit it off right away. He also got along with my very best friend, Charlie. Jeremy had a very troubled home life and his mother was a very avid pot smoker. Thus, he had access to it pretty much at will.
One day he invited Charlie and me to go with him to the “woods” behind the apartments to smoke a little. I say woods in quotes as they are not really what I think of when I think of the woods. Not the kind of area you would expect to experience nature or anything like that. It was just a bunch of trees for maybe two or three football fields in length and as wide as two or three football fields as well. It had basically one trail that led from the apartments to a little park where we use to go to play basketball. Apart from that it had a creek bed that ran adjacent the trail on the south side with maybe another 50 to 100 yards of woods on the far side of the creek and then it was houses. Lots of houses. So like I said, not a place you expect to encounter nature. I had lived with my dad in West Virgina for several years and I had hiked up in real woods and encountered real nature. We had even came face to face with a bear once on an afternoon hike in a West Virginia state park. At that time I doubted if these little woods even had deer. I had seen squirrels but that was all I figured lived in that tiny section of “woods.”
One important thing to note however is that on the north side of the woods and park was a fenced in rock quarry. Anyone who has ever studied deep underground military bases or D.U.M.Bs might find this fact interesting. I don’t know if this quarry was linked to any of the supposed underground secret bases but it is an interesting aside.
So as I was saying, the three of us walked back into the woods to find a safe place to smoke. We got far enough off the trail where we felt secure and actually came all the way to the creek. We decided that this was secluded enough to smoke a little. We took turns hitting the joint and as one would smoke the other two would kind of face away from the creek just watching towards the trail to make sure no one was heading our way. I had hit it 2 or 3 times already and felt that first wave of paranoia start to creep in. I was thinking I hope the F.B.I aren’t out here on patrol. Now, I know the thought of F.B.I agents in the tiny wooded section of a local neighborhood park is absurd, but remember pot always made me stupid paranoid. The thought was still in my head when I heard it. From the other side of the creek I heard foot steps running as if in a mad dash, running down the creek bed hill splashing through the shallow water. I knew all that was left for the runner to do was to come up the creek bed hill on our side of the creek. Exactly where Charlie was standing, and smoking.
Jeremy an I were facing the other way but we both heard the splashing water and I think most of Southern Indiana must have heard Charlie scream “RUN”.
We darted off through the woods and back toward the trail. I had this visual image in my head, as I darted off, of two men with blue wind breakers and ball caps with the letters F.B.I on them, hot on our trail. I ran even faster not sure exactly where Charlie and Jeremy were in relation to me. I could hear them but I was running so hard my eyes had started to tear up and mixed with the buzz from the THC it was as if I were running through a tunnel and everything in my peripheral vision was darkened. I just kept listening for my friends foot steps and adjusting my direction towards them. As I was running I ran right through a giant spider web. The park was full of spider webs that year. They were huge, perfectly circular and made by these large black and yellow spiders. They were creepy and I hate spiders.
I realized I now had a thick web all over my head and stuck to my face while running full speed through the woods. If that wasn’t bad enough, it got even worse! As I was wiping the web off my face and out of my hair one of those ugly spiders came dangling from my head and was swinging right in front of my face! I never touch bugs, especially spiders. I hate bugs with a passion. Still, without thinking about it I swatted this ugly mother away from me before the momentum would allow him to swing right back in my face.
About 90 seconds after the initial call to run all three of us made it out of the woods past the park and into the neighborhood. Charlie had made it first and I was last. I saw Charlie slow down and begin to walk and since he was the one who knew what was going on I figured it was safe to stop running too. I looked at my friend and asked with sincerity “Was it the F.B.I?”
“What? No” Charlie hesitantly said “it was a monster.” I laughed right away. Oh my goodness here I thought I was being chased by authorities and it was my best friend’s imagination. His face was pale he was shaking and although I knew he was not joking, I couldn’t help myself from teasing him.
“Yeah right like a Piggly Wiggly monster?” I don’t know why I said that. I had seen a Piggly Wiggly grocery store once or twice in my lifetime but why that came out of my mouth, I’ll never know, still the name stuck and all these years later the creature is still called that by my old friends and me.
I could tell Charlie didn’t want to talk about it. But I couldn’t let it go. We took the long way back to my apartment. Navigating through the neighborhood streets and staying away from the woods. The whole way back I kept pressing him to talk to me. He was very reluctant to speak. I was never known to go easy on my friends when they said or did something foolish so I could understand why he didn’t want to open up, he knew I didn’t believe him already and I had teased him when he first said it was a monster. His mannerisms and strange behavior made me think it was more than just that though. It seemed almost as if he was hiding something from me. Charlie and I didn’t hide anything from each other in those days. We were closer then brothers we knew everything about one another, or so I thought…
When we got back to my place Charlie said there was something he wanted to tell us. He said it’s something he was swore to secrecy about and that’s why he had never told me. By this time my buzz was gone and if the chase didn’t sober me up, then this completely surprising revelation that Charlie had a secret that he had never shared with me, was plenty enough to do the trick.
The next part of this story is what happened to Charlie about 3 years prior to that day. He says he was camping with some friends in those woods very near to that park. If I remember correctly there were about 6 of them in the tent that night. Two of the boys were brothers that I met when I first moved into the apartments but they moved very shortly after I moved in. Besides the brothers and Charlie I don’t remember who else he said was there that night. It was dark and the boys were in their tent telling stories and just doing what teenage campers do.
He said they kept hearing a rustling sound maybe 30 to 60 feet away in some taller brush. They tried to ignore it at first but it wouldn’t stop. A couple of the boys decided to take some flash lights and check it out. Two of the boys walked out to the brush where the sound was coming from and shined their lights at the thing moving around. In horror they both turned towards the tent where the other campers were watching with their heads sticking out of the zipper, and yelled “RUN!”
At that point he said a monster came charging at the boys. He headed straight towards the tent and it was a mad scramble as the boys tried to get out of the tent and away from the beast. They left the tent all their gear, obviously. They all made it out safely and retreated to the apartment of the two brothers where they all stayed the rest of the night. They told their dad who happened to be a police officer. He took their story serious enough that he took another officer with him the next day and searched those woods.
From what Charlie told me, he said brothers told him, that their dad searched the woods and found what appeared to be a homeless man sleeping near a creek bed near the quarry. This would have to have been a different creek then the one we were at that day as that creek and the quarry were on opposite sides of the trail. I am guessing this is beyond the no trespassing fence line that belongs to the quarry. The sleeping man woke up and saw the officers and ran. That’s all he was told happened that day. But after that the boy’s dad called all the boys and warned them to never speak of this to anyone, ever again. Then the dad took the boys and moved away. This I can confirm. The family did move away suddenly.
I sat there taking all this in. Charlie was not lying. He may have been completely wrong about what happened and I was pretty sure he was, but what he was saying he sincerely believed happened to him.
I didn’t believe there was a monster living in those shallow woods. Not for a second, but still the thought of it being true excited me. I had to know, I had to find out for myself. I decided we had to go and find out. Jeremy was more skeptical than I was; but he was all for a monster hunt as well. Charlie was very, very much against it. It took a lot for me to convince him. I used the old reverse psychology trick saying “no one will believe you unless we see it for ourselves.” Eventually, something I said finally got through to him and he agreed to go with us.
I came up with a plan to find Piggly Wiggly. I would take some steaks out of my freezer and tie them to a tree about 3/4 of the way to the park along the trail. Then we would take some flash lights after dark and walk along the trail until we arrived at the park and see if this thing was real or not. We would stop along the way and see if the steaks were still hanging in the tree or perhaps catch the supposed beast in the act of eating.
We went and enlisted two other friends of ours to join the search party. I told them my plan and took one with me to verify that I set up the bait. I didn’t want to be accused of rigging the outcome. We walked about 3/4 the way to the park and then I found a tree that would be easy to spot at night and climbed up about 10 feet from the ground. I didn’t want it to be low enough that a dog could get to it. I tied it up an we walked back. I have to say I was growing very excited for that adventure. I spent the rest of the day telling other friends what we were doing and trying to get them to come along. In the end though only the original 5 said yes.
That night when it got dark we met at my house. We had only two flash lights and Charlie brought a small bat. I went over the plans again. I told them we would walk the whole trail to the park and on the way check on our bait.
We started towards the woods we could just barely see the the trail when one of the boys who agreed to come Piggly Wiggly hunting with us got cold feet and said “I have to go home and take a dump.” Of course I used this to tease him of being a scaredy cat. Honestly, I couldn’t understand how anyone would want to miss out on this fun!
So now we were four. As we approached the edge of the woods I was surprised by how timid Jeremy had become. He believed in this story less then any of us yet I could sense a little fear from oozing from him. I wasn’t afraid at all and decided to take the lead position. Besides, I hung the steaks and would know when we got to the tree.
It was dark on that trail. The tree tops covered any light the moon would have supplied. It still seemed fun to me as we began down the trail towards the park. I knew everyone behind me was a little scared but honestly I don’t think I was, not yet anyways. I had spent so much time in much deeper woods often by myself and this to me was not really the woods at all. Besides, nothing could live in this tiny wooded area. However, out of respect for Charlie, who I knew didn’t want to be there, I decided to not clown around and try to scare the others.
We were only about a quarter of the way to the park when the sounds started. It sounded like it came from the direction we were heading to. I swear it sounded like someone or something was breaking sticks. “Snap, snap” and then nothing for a few minutes then “snap crackle snap”. I had to admit that was weird. But in my mind only a human would be doing that, why would a Piggly Wiggly monster be breaking sticks? Then again why would a person be at the park at night breaking sticks? It made no sense either way I thought about it.
As we progressed the sound was louder and louder as we got closer to the park and I did start to get that creepy feeling in my stomach. Because the others too were getting creeped out by the sounds as well, a mutiny was beginning. The other guys were talking about going back. I kept trying to press them by “saying just a little further to the tree guys. We have to see if the steaks are still up there.” I used all the power of persuasion I had acquired over my 16 years on earth. I didn’t want to turn back yet, and by now I wasa little to creeped out to go the rest of the way by myself.
After what seemed like it took 3 times the normal amount of time, we arrived at the tree. I took a flash light and began to search for my steaks. By this time the cracking of sticks had stopped and it was very quiet all around us. I waved my light to and fro and back and forth. Nothing! They were gone! Admittedly, now I was very creeped out. What in these woods could climb a tree? What in these woods would even eat steak? I felt fear begin to grow in my bossom. I did not want to let it show though. I said “Let’s get out of here” in the most calm voice I could muster at that moment. I was the leader and I decided we were closer to the park then the apartments. The park had lights on the far end and houses just past it. I wanted badly to be in that neighborhood by this time. Besides, we had not heard the breaking stick sounds from the park for several minutes. I didn’t run. I didn’t want to spook the others but I did pick up the pace tremendously and no one complained about that. The fourth kid to join was whimpering a little the rest of the way, which actually kind of made me more afraid. I kept thinking what have I got us into?
Then we came to the end of the trail and out of the woods. I was relieved. Not to far off was the street light and all the houses. We kept on walking right through the park and that’s when I saw it. Piggly Wiggly. Standing just outside the moon light in the shadows of a park picnic shelter. It was far enough away that I couldn’t get a great bit of detail but close enough to know it wasn’t quite human. It was standing on two legs a little hunched over. Hairy with long strong arms and maybe 6feet tall when erect.
At first I thought it was my imagination playing tricks on me. It’s hard to describe what you think when your natural mind comes into contact with the supernatural. It’s confusing and overwhelming and very real and yet unbelievable all at once. It feels very similar to being in a dream.
The boy behind me who had been whimpering had stopped walking as well. I could tell he too was seeing what I was seeing. Charlie had now spotted the figure as well. All this seemed like minutes but was acutally only seconds. The creature was definetly starring at us. Then he stood up and now seeing it shift it’s position, I knew it was not my imagination anymore. We took off and sprinted to the house line just outside the park. We were gasping in unbelief. When we stopped we were talking over one another about what we just saw. Charlie never told us what it looked like. What the “heck was that thing” we asked each other? A monkey or bigfoot a werewolf? We were all teared up and in shock, well all of us except Jeremy that is. You see, he was the last in our single file line and by the time he reached the end of the woods where we had all stopped to see Piggly Wiggly the three of us took off running before he had seen the thing. Not wanting to be left behind he too began to run without knowing why.
Great, I thought to myself, without Jeremy, the most skeptical of all of us, to collaborate our story we might as well not even of come on this search party. The whole thing would be fruitless. I decided the only way for him to believe us was for me to show him the creature. The other two boys refused to take one step closer to the park. They were much wiser than I was. I walked back about 200 feet or so with Jeremy. I stayed within the light of the street lamp that lit up the drive way of the park. I felt for some reason that being in the light we were safe. I have no idea why I thought that. We could see the picnic shelters fine from there but I didn’t see the monster at all. He was gone. I was bummed that the monster was no longer standing where he was before. I thought great now he is going to think we are all crazy just like I thought about Charlie all day. Serves me right I guess. I sighed very heavily in defeat and said to him “he was right over there man, I swear.” I pointed to the dark shelter. But as I turned to where Jeremy had been standing, I noticed I was alone. Jeremy was gone. I thought to myself, huh, what is that all about? As I straightened my head back to it’s natural position, I saw Piggly Wiggly charging at me full speed. He was already within the light of the street lamp and I now had a perfect view of this freak from less then 20 feet away. It had a long muzzle like a wolf, it was covered in brown fur with some greys mixed in. Around it’s head was even longer hair almost like a lion’s mane. It was very muscular and when it ran it would touch it’s ape like arms on the ground for stability. It’s face was canine. Not quite like a wolf, but definetly a dog. I took all this in as I breathed in a very tight and shallow breath. My mind was processing information at a rapid pace as fight or flight kicked in. I sure as hell had no intention on fighting!
I turned and ran faster then I ever had or ever have since. I even passed Jeremy, who had spotted the beast before me and failed to say anything to me before fleeing. Some may think this was a turdheaded move as I did at the time as well. Later, he would admit he tried to yell but in fear nothing came out. He had seen the thing as it approached us just before it came to the light. He didn’t get great detail but he saw enough to satisfy his skeptical mind. He knew he was looking at a bipedal dog creature. He would later describe it as a dog bear looking thing that ran like an ape.
We made it back home safely. I took my dog to the park the next day. She was going crazy. I let her go and she kept barking at a tree that had fallen. I inspected the tree and noticed a bunch of broken sticks beside it. I immediately thought of the sounds from the night before and then I noticed something else inside a hollow of the tree. Bones, lots of small animal bones. I don’t know if they were local dogs or squirrels. I don’t know and I didn’t bother to find out. I never hunted Piggly Wiggly again after that.
Thanks to the internet and the collective hive mindset, I am fairly certain what almost caught me all the years ago was a Dogman. Probably of the type 3 variation. It wasn’t a bear or a lion. It wasn’t a saquatch. It wasn’t an ape or a werewolf. It had characteristics of all these but it was very much canine. It was a Dogman.
I like to camp and hike in the woods but I never go alone. More then that, I never, ever, ever go into the woods after dark. You never know what is watching you.