A string of bizarre sightings across rural West Virginia in the mid-1990s birthed the legend of a beast that by all accounts appears to be an unnatural hybrid of sheep and Sasquatch.  The reports of these unusual encounters, which took place across Boone, Kanawha, Putnam, and Mason counties, describe a tall creature with shaggy white hair and long, ram-like horns--in other words, a Sheepsquatch.

The earliest known sightings were reported in 1994, with perhaps the first of those being the tale told by a group of women driving nearby West Virginia's TNT area--a region already made famous among forteans for its prevalence in the Point Pleasant Mothman sightings of 1966-67.  This group of women were said to have been driving on an icy road near the TNT area when they were surprised by a large creature lumbering into their path out of the forest.  The witnesses, who were moving appropriately slowly for the treacherous conditions, said they got a good look at the thing, which they described as being between seven and eight feet tall, covered with long, shaggy white hair, and a head with a pointed snout and ram-like horns.  According to their story, the Sheepsquatch froze momentarily in their headlights before fleeing into the darkness.

The other well-known encounter to emerge from 1994 is that of a former Navy seaman, who was said to be out chasing UFO reports along the bank of a creek north of Bethel Church Road in Mason County, when he was surprised by something large crashing through the brush in front of him.  Thinking at first that it was likely a harmless member of the area's local fauna, he stood still to see what approached; hoping that he wasn't wrong.  What he claimed to see was far stranger than he could have imagined; a large creature with dirty, matted white fur appeared within view of him and went to the creek.  It walked on all fours, but as it approached the water to drink, it did so with the help of forelimbs that ended in what looked more like hands than paws.  The former seaman said the creature reeked of sulfur; although he thought that could be explained by his proximity to the TNT area, which is only a mile or two north of Bethel Church Road.  The lingering pollutants from the manufacture of explosives had a sulfurous odor, and were said to leech into the the surrounding plants and animals.  The man waited until the Sheepsquatch was finished drinking and had moved on before he felt comfortable enough to break cover and run back to the relative safety of his car.

Other accounts from that year include a motorist who witnessed a large creature with white fur on a hillside, and a group of children in Boone County who claimed to see a beast that looked like a white bear walking on its hind legs move along the edge of their property as they played outside in the yard--the beast allegedly fled at the sound of their screams, leaving a trail of snapped saplings and tree branches as evidence of its passing.

Sightings continued throughout the 1990s, including one story in 1995 of a couple being attacked by a white, bear-like creature while in their car. The couple had apparently slowed down while driving after spotting the beast in a roadside ditch.  As they went by it, the being stood up on its hind legs, revealing a horned, four-eyed head that it used to bash the side of their car, while simultaneously raking the vehicle with its claws.  The terrified couple reportedly drove away at speed, only to find when they returned home that the side of their car was damaged by what looked like long claw marks.

Several years later, in 1999, a group of campers was supposedly scared off of their campground by what they at first thought was a bear, only to be met by a huge, white monster lunging at them out of the forest.  The beast gave an otherworldly scream, and the terrified campers fled for their lives--when they glanced back at their campground, they saw what they said was the Sheepsquatch staring them down from their former camp.

More recently, in 2013, an episode of Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America featured an encounter two hunters had with a nine-foot-tall, white creature with long talons; the hunters shot at the beast as they fled, but either failed to hit it or it was unaffected by their firearms.  A 2014 episode of Mountain Monsters on the same network showed a video shot by a witness who said he saw Sheepsquatch attack a pile of lumber.  Finally, in 2015, a group of campers claim to have seen Sheepsquatch while camping in Fulks Run, Virginia.  Their encounter began when one of their number saw a strange creature crouching on a nearby hill around midnight.  When he left to warn his fellows, the thing stood to its full height of between eight or nine feet tall, and gave chase down the hill towards their camp.  A river blocked the creature's way, and after failing to find a way around the obstruction the Sheepsquatch decided to wade into the water in pursuit.  The curious campers gathered to watch the monster ford the river, and said when it finally emerged that it resembled a large, white bipedal dog with long fur.  Luckily, a shriek then emanated from the forest, which seemed to frighten the creature, which whimpered its way back into the woods, ending the encounter.

So if you find yourself in a rural part of the Virginias, be on the lookout for a flash of white fur in the forest accompanied by a blood-curdling scream; it may be the only warning you get in anticipation of an incoming attack by the Sheepsquatch.

Tobias Wayland