A Fearsome Critter To behold: The Whirling Whimpus
The Whirling Whimpus was a large Fearsome Critter that had the pleasure of calling the Cumberland Mountains in Tennessee its home. The blood-thirsty critter is described as having a head much like that of a gorilla and the upper body to match. Both the hands and feet of the critter and oversized while the legs are quite thin and short. The description of this critter is quite reminiscent of modern day sasquatch descriptions.
Lumberjacks of the day use to blame the Whimpus for the disappearances of many inexperienced hunters while out in the woods. If the lone hunter made the mistake of venturing out into the woods alone in the morning and did not return home before the sun set, there was a good probability that they became the most recent snack of The Whirling Whimpus. Because the Whimpus was so blood-thirsty, there were often times no large and identifiable remains, clothing, or weaponry left behind. The Whimpus would devour every last bit of them. How the critter accomplished this was that it would stand directly in the middle of a well-traveled hiking or game trail, often times in the bend, where it would just wait. As its soon to be meal approached from a distance, the Whirling Whimpus would start to live up to its namesake and begin to whirl around in circles. Once the critter started to spin, it would raise both of its arms out horizontally and would gradually increase its speed. As the fast approaching meal moved closer, the Whimpus would spin faster. Eventually, the critter would be spinning in circles so fast that it would practically become invisible, the only evidence that it was in the area would be the faint buzzing sound emanating from the center of the trail due to the speed at which the critter was whirling. The dull buzz was much like that of a swarm of insects hovering in a single spot.
As the unlucky hunter made their way down the trail, none the wiser to what was waiting for them up ahead, they would begin to take notice of the faint sound of buzzing. Now focused on locating the source of the buzz, the doomed hunter would walk directly into the spinning arms of The Whirling Whimpus where they would instantly be obliterated. The speed at which the Whimpus was spinning was so fast that the body of the unfortunate hunter (as well as the clothing and any weapons) would instantly turn into a tree sap like substance and stick to the gigantic hands of the blood-thirsty critter. Once the sap met the critters palms, the Whimpus would stop spinning and proceed to lick its recently acquired meal off its hands as it walked back into the woods. Sometimes the sticky sap would drip off of the critters large fingers and fall into the equally large footprints left behind in the dirt as it made its way off the trail and back towards its home among the trees.
Often times, search parties would come across large footprints left deep in the woods and filled with small pools of thick tree sap. Once they laid their eyes upon this evidence, they knew the unfortunate missing hunter would stay missing for good. Knowing full well what was in the trees around them, the search party members would huddle close together as they made their way out of the woods and would listen closely for the sound of buzzing. If they happened to come across what sounded like a swarm of insects in any particular direction, the armed members of the group would fire whatever weapons they had towards the middle of the trail in hopes of scaring off the Whirling Whimpus. As soon as the buzzing stopped, the group would leave the woods as fast as they could back to the safety of their camp.
“In early lumberjack folklore, fearsome critters were mythical beasts that were said to inhabit the frontier wilderness of North America. The critters were a part of lumberjack downtime and were often used to welcome and haze newcomers to the camp. Lumberjacks who would go from camp to camp would bring their entertaining stories with them and they would slowly spread as tall tales across America.”
-The Pine Barrens Institute
*Image Credit: https://loneanimator.deviantart.com/