GOLDEN POND, Ky. (WKRN) — Stories of supernatural encounters in densely forested areas are not uncommon, and a National Park located just beyond the Tennessee border is no exception. Nestled deep in the Land Between the Lakes National Park (LBL) lies a creature terrifying enough to strike fear into lifelong law enforcement officers, campers and seasoned hikers alike.
According to historian and paranormal enthusiast Lyle Russell, legend described a “tall, hairy, wolf-like creature that walked on two legs and could be smelled from a great distance away” with glowing, red eyes, dating back to the early 1700s. There were tales of Native American curses on white settlers who stole land from the local tribes, as well as hauntings and mysterious floating orbs in several of the more than 220 family cemeteries in the area.
While some descriptions of the creature vary as to its estimated size, most accounts concur that it has glowing, red eyes and extremely aggressive behavior, according to Russell.
The most credible and modern report of the beast comes from the late 1980s. A gas station attendant, Jan Thompson, said two regulars at her store – both police officers – once stopped late at night visibly shaken from seeing a crime scene of the beast. According to her hand-written account of the men’s story, they were called to assist on a remote site investigation in the park.
When they arrived on the scene, the carnage left behind was devastating. The officers saw bodies torn apart at the ruined campsite. Other investigators identified at least three victims – likely a mother, father and child – before a fourth victim was also found similarly ripped apart nearby.
The coroner on the scene said the victims had to be “torn apart by teeth and claws,” but that the bite marks were far too large for that of a mountain lion or a wolf. Bears also weren’t native to the area, so it wasn’t likely to be from a bear attack. Whatever the creature was that did it had a “much longer snout” than a bear, the coroner said.
No matter what, however, all the investigators swore to each other never to mention what happened that night to anyone, especially any media outlets, the legend says. The identities of the victims of the supposed beast remain unknown to this day.
There is also one report of a supposed survivor of the Beast. A man known only as Roger claimed he encountered the creature in 1982. Roger claims he was about to start some target practice shooting with this shotgun in the park when he heard a family he was traveling with shouting. Upon exiting the motor home they traveled in, he saw the son, Steven, killed by a large, black, hairy creature. The father, Levi, reportedly grabbed Roger’s shotgun and fired at the animal, hitting its shoulder and forcing it to drop Steven onto the ground.
But the shot wasn’t enough to kill the creature, and it lunged for Levi in anger, mauling him before throwing him to the ground and turning for Roger, who was behind the door of the motor home. Roger then grabbed his shotgun and fired at the creature, hitting it again in the shoulder area but closer to the neck.
According to Roger, the creature then let out a blood-curdling growl and went for the mother and daughter of the family next, Diane and Connie. They were hidden inside the camper, but the beast broke the back window of the vehicle and slaughtered the two women. Roger had managed to crawl underneath the camper above the driveshaft, listening to the beast kill Diane and Connie.
According to Roger’s story, the beast was able to take Connie’s body with him, but didn’t get far, as Roger’s shot at the creature wounded it gravely. Connie’s body was found about 50 feet away from the camper, and the creature managed to climb up a large tree before it, too, perished.