User Submitted Folktale: The Bubbajax
(*Note: The following account was submitted to us under the category of “Cryptid Sighting”, but after giving it some thought, we at the PBI feel that it fits more in line with a Folklore Tale rather than cryptid. Because of this, we have made the decision to re-categorize it on the website.)
Name: Anonymous at request of submitter
Number of witnesses: 1
Location of sighting : West Virginia
Date of sighting: 4\6\2009
What you believe the creature was : “The Bubbajax”
Message: “I am man in my mid 30s living in a forest area of West Virginia. This story is short, but certainly the creepiest and most horrifying thing that has ever happened to me.
I had just gotten a German Shepherd puppy from the dog pound, and needless to say I watched her like a hawk. I didn't want anything to happen to her. Unfortunately, things don't often go the way we want, to they? She escaped a week after I got her. It wasn't that I wasn't a good owner to her, but she must have just gotten interested in something and ran away.
I put up lost dog posters everywhere. But no one ever called, despite the $5,000 cash reward I had offered to anyone who found her. I soon got discouraged. It was hard to believe that I would ever see her again. One night, I was sitting in front of the TV, not paying attention, but just thinking. And I heard a familiar bark.
I reacted out of foolish excitement, and burst out my door. I heard the bark again, coming from the woods. Without thinking I ran into the forest, shouting her name. I got no response, and took the time to figure out where I was. I was deep in the forest, I had no light except my phone, and had no sense of direction. I began to panic, and suddenly forgot all about my dog.
And then I heard an ungodly shriek. It echoed, and then faded. I was so terrified that I thought I would pass out. I kept walking and soon found myself on a dirt road. It seemed wide enough for a car. I started walking down it, and then saw headlights ahead. In the darkness, I couldn't see the car or even 2 feet ahead of me, but I was sure that I was looking at headlights. I ran towards them, waving and making a stupid amount of noise.
The headlights stayed still, not getting any closer. And then they blinked.
That's when I knew I was staring at huge white eyes, not headlights. I stopped cold in my tracks, and almost cried. The eyes lifted higher, but whatever the creature was it was standing up. And my God it was freaking tall. 9 feet up, and about 20 feet ahead of me. I didn't want to run, I don't think I could have in my state of fear. Instead, being the idiot I am, I turned on my phone and aimed the light at it.
He was wearing a red plaid shirt, and jeans. His skin was a grayish bluish color, and something was horribly wrong with his face. I screamed and dropped my phone, and ran like heck. I didn't care where I ran, I just had to get away from that creature. I looked back, and it just stood there, eyes glimmering. It made no attempt to chase me.
I eventually found my way back to civilization. I spent the night at an older couple's home, and told them the story.
"Oh yeah." The old man said, leaning back in his chair as I described the creature. "I've met a few folks who have seen that thing. Around here we call him “The Casawinch”, he's kind of a legend around these parts. "
The couple drove me home the next morning, and we've been friends ever since. I haven't seen the Bubbajax/Casawinch again. And I hope never do.”
First off, let me start by saying thank you for sending us your tale. It was certainly an interesting read! Your story involves a subject I have never heard about before, so it certainly made the account much more exciting. So again, thank you for that!
Now, as for the creature itself, I am going to admit that I have a bit of an issue with labeling this as a “cryptid sighting”, the category in which it was originally submitted under. The reason for this is that the subject in question did/does not appear to possess any true animal characteristics. You yourself even stated that it appeared to be wearing a shirt and pants, and honestly because of that fact alone, we feel this falls more in line with a piece of modern folklore rather than anything within cryptozoology. Also, to be serious for a moment, I cannot think of any modern or even classic cryptid sightings that have made any mention of the creature in question wearing human clothing. That is truly a new one for me.
We will be the first to admit that when it comes to cryptid classifications, we can be considered purists. To us, a true cryptid is an animal that is considered to be unknown and is officially regarded as undiscovered (think Sea Serpent or Thunderbird) by most researchers. Anything that would cause the creature in question to touch the lines of the supernatural/magical/spiritual would remove it from true cryptid status and would instead re-classify it as something else. That is what we believe is going on here.
The subject in your story, that thing you refer to as “The Bubbajax”, seems to have an almost modern day boogeyman quality to it, somewhat reminiscent of The Rake or Slender Man. It appears to dwell deep in the woods and has a humanoid appearance, locals in the area are said to be aware of it and speak of it as a legend, and it appears to have almost supernatural abilities with its large self-illuminating eyes, powerful shriek, large stature, and unnatural skin tone. These qualities do not conjure up the image of an animal in our mind, rather, something supernatural or paranormal shows up instead. It honestly reads as a good scary story that you would tell around the fire late at night while camping, and that actually brings us to one more area we would like to touch on.
Since we have never heard of a creature known as either The Bubbajax or The Casawinch before, we took to the internet to do a quick bit of research. After Googling the name, we were instantly brought to a website known for sharing user submitted creepypastas and “true” scary stories. This was our first red flag that the creature in this story may have been created in imagination rather than born in real life. Checking the FAQ section, this website states that it is “a horror community where fear lovers can enjoy reading true encounters with the paranormal, sightings of strange creatures, or good ol’ fashioned creepypasta. You can also submit your own stories, whether they are true experiences or short horror fiction.” Boom, more red flags.
Now, with all this info collected, I can honestly say that we here at the PBI are much more comfortable in placing this “creature” into the folklore category. But just like all the other submissions sent our way that involve sightings and encounters, I cannot 100% state whether the above actually happened or not. I wasn’t there nor do I know the full background on this event. For all I know, a true creature of some sort could have been encountered that day and while trying to figure out what they saw afterwards, the submitter stumbled across the creepypasta website and sort of blended the two to help categorize what they saw. Or perhaps the entire story above is simply made up and someone is trying to pull the wool over our eyes and make a piece of clever fiction go viral. Again, I just don’t know and I am going to leave it at that.
-The Pine Barrens Institute
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