Cryptober day 7 – the Vermont Pigman

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October 8, 2020 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)

Our next weird creature is both our first entry from Vermont and the one most likely to be mistaken for one of the less popular He-man characters. I mean, it’s no Snout-spout, but…

“My elevator pitch is ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ meets ‘The Elephant Man’, but in space!”

Our tale begins in 1971 in the small Vermont town of Northfield. A group of teens are having a drink in the woods before a school dance. Suddenly a strange looking nude man stumbles into sight. He is covered with a fine coating of white hair and, more alarmingly, has a pig’s head instead of a a man’s. The liquored-up youths did not hesitate a moment to abandon their half-finished beers so that they might not become more familiar with the porcine intruder.

May I interest you in a subscription to Grit?

According to Citro, while the teens were the first to report an encounter, others had spotted something weird around two, including one man who said he had seen something similar rooting through his garbage. Some people wondered if it might be a local farm boy who had gone missing six months before (I guess the pig head was assume to be a mask?) Others claimed to have found signs that someone or something had been sheltering in one of the several small caves near the site of the original encounter.

That area, called the Devil’s Washbowl by locals, was favored by the Pigman and was the most common site for future sightings years later, either by passing motorists or by teenagers looking for a secluded place to socialize.

Interestingly, after first being publicized by Vermont paranormal author Joe Citro in 1999, the legend of the Pigman has grown and added an elaborate back story. He is said to be a local youth named Sam Harris (not that Sam Harris) who sold his soul to the devil and was transformed into a half-human, half pig monster. Others suggested it was the result of scientific experiments cross-breeding humans and pigs… or worse, the spawn of some bestial union (a la the Cretan Minotaur). The story was told and retold numerous times online and gained a lot of details but very few, if any facts.

Today, all we have are a scattering of stories and a lot of internet chaff that obscures what if anything actually happened in 1971. The Pigman, as far as I know, has not been seen in recent years.

(There is also a goat man in Cherryfield, Maine, but that is a tale for another time.)

The Master will not be pleased.

If you’d prefer to learn more about this cryptid in an audio format, it was the subject of an earlier episode of the New England’s Legends podcast. When in doubt, assume it was some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cosplay.

Have you ever really looked at your hand Rocksteady?

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