I think Bigfoot lives in my backyard. That may sound like the strangest thing you’ve ever heard, but if it’s not Bigfoot it’s something incredibly big, ugly, and dangerous that’s back there. It’s one of the reasons I hate the backyard.

Little Bigfoot
Creative Commons License Richard Elzey via Compfight

When my wife and I were looking at houses back in 2000, we saw a lot of houses that didn’t quite work out for us. Some had one beautiful room and that would be it; others would have one floor that was immaculate but another floor that looked like squatters had taken over. We did see a couple houses that were pretty nice, but we just couldn’t pull the trigger.

Then one evening, after almost signing papers for a house that we really didn’t want, I decided to go online to see if I could find something I liked. In less than 15 minutes I found something I liked. One of the strangest things is that it happened to be on a street that I knew very well from my childhood; okay, from my teens, which wasn’t quite my childhood. The next day we called the realtor and asked her if she could set something up so that we could go and take a look at this house.

When we saw the house in person, we thought it was pretty neat. It’s a ranch style house, something I’d never thought about ever living in, but it had this look that we liked. It had been on the market for a long time, and the price had been reduced, and my wife and I being kind of green when it came to houses thought that we were getting a steal.

Truth be told, if I had listened to my Spidey senses the day before we signed the papers we might not have ever bought this house. Oh sure, every house has issues, and I can say this house has certainly had a bunch of them. One of the strangest issues this house has had has come from the critters.

Critters you say? You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. The day before we bought this house my parents came to town so they could see what we were buying. My mother came out with a phrase I’d never heard before, but it was pure her: “Not bad for a used house”. My dad and I took a walk around the house, and for the first time I saw the mosquitoes. There were a lot of them and they were large, to the extent that my dad commented on our Jurassic Park mosquitoes. He wasn’t kidding, and we’d seen mosquitoes in the past. I started to wonder what we might be in for by buying this house, but we went through with it anyway.

Bigfoot's out there

It took us two months to move in because we still had time remaining on the lease for our apartment. It also gave us time to move things over a little bit at a time and to take our time in painting the place.

During those two months I learned that I did not want to be outside at night when it was warm. I say that because I saw some of the largest bugs I had seen in probably more than 20 years of my life, and I saw those things briefly at the State Fair. I say briefly because I don’t like bugs; actually, I have a great fear of bugs of any size, so seeing large ones didn’t enchant me all that much.

Still, the house was coming along fine and we were pleased as punch to finally move in. I was overjoyed because I never thought that I would own a home. We moved in on a Saturday, and got acclimated to the house pretty quickly.

The first Friday evening in the house, my wife happened to be working a second job, so she wasn’t coming home until really late. I was sitting at my desk in what became my office when I heard a noise in the backyard, as my office happens to face the woods behind our house.

I neglected to mention that we have woods behind the house. I would call it a forest but my wife would say my words were overkill. In the middle of the woods somewhere is a swamp and a stream of some kind. I’ve never seen it, but I have seen the pond near Wegmans, which actually borders my backyard, so I know the water is there (more on this later).

Back to the noise. I swear to this day that it was some kind of loud, dangerously threatening growl. I don’t know what kind of growl, but I know it wasn’t a dog. I also know it was kind of loud, and it sounded like it was close to the house, and I didn’t like it.

I didn’t do what any other man would’ve done, based on the few scary movies I’ve seen, because my sense of self-preservation kicked in. I got up from my desk without looking out my window, walked across the way into the master bedroom, closed the door, and sat down on the bed. I took a quick look at my window in the bedroom to make sure the curtain was closed, which it was, and I just sat on the bed for a bit. I didn’t turn the TV on because I wanted to make sure I could hear the glass breaking if Bigfoot happened to come through the window.

I sat there for about an hour; Bigfoot didn’t come through the window, but that doesn’t mean he might not be out there somewhere. I do know this; we have all sorts of other critters out there that have been quite interesting and at times scary, things I had never seen when I lived in this area many years ago. When I was a teenager, if I had seen even one of the things that I see now on a regular basis, or at least know is out there because I have seen them at one time or another, there’s no way I would’ve ever bought a house in this neighborhood.

What have I seen?

Another Deer on Santa Teresa Golf Course
Creative Commons License Don DeBold via Compfight

The two things I’ve seen most often are the deer and the rabbits. I can handle the rabbits and most of the time I can handle the deer, but I hate the deer when they decide to run across the street while I’m in the car, and that has happened a few times including right in front of my house.

I see the hawk that likes to circle the house, although truthfully I can’t tell you if it’s the same hawk all the time. My wife once saw one swoop down and grab a snake in her front garden; that had to be freaky.

I saw my first chipmunk only a few years ago, and now we see those things all the time. One of their favorite hiding spaces seems to be a little space underneath the siding in the front of the house; luckily they can’t get in that way.

I’ve seen squirrels, snakes, frogs, foxes, coyotes (or coy dogs; I can’t tell the difference but I hear we have both and they both have big paws), turkeys, turkey vultures (some of the biggest and ugliest things you’ve ever seen), skunks, those big fat fuzzy things that run very fast that might be groundhogs, the largest crows I’ve ever seen, moles, mice, and of all things something called a star faced mole, which ended up in our basement.

On that star faced mole, the exterminator we called to come verify it didn’t believe us until he got to the house and looked at it, then said not only are they very rare in this area but that it’s extremely rare that they end up in a house because they can’t see, which was why he didn’t believe my wife when she told him she thought that’s what it was (the Internet can be a wonderful thing but when I saw a picture of this thing I wasn’t very pleased). See, we do have strange things around here…

I haven’t seen Bigfoot, and I haven’t seen a bear, which supposedly was running around this area a few summers ago, though slightly north of here. Based on some research, I don’t think there’s a bear in the swamp for two reasons: one, because bears don’t like swamps; two, because that sound I heard all those years ago didn’t sound like the kind of noise that I think bears make; at least not like bears in those nature documentaries. I know the noise didn’t come from a coyote because coyote sound like women screaming, and I know it wasn’t the fox because foxes sound like little dogs.

I also have never seen the bats that I know have to be out there, but they don’t roar. We’ve never seen the mosquitoes as thick as they were the year we moved here because we cut down a lot of trees and the guy who cuts our grass trimmed some of the bushes back there.

I’ve seen some very weird and ugly creepy crawlies that make my skin crawl. And what’s the deal with all the ladybugs?

My wife says she’s seen a quail, and of all things, we also think there might be some storks or cranes or whatever those things with the really long legs are from time to time (my friend Scott says they’re herons, but they look different than the ones at the lake). Strange, but for all the seagulls in the area, we’ve never seen one setting down in the neighborhood. But none of these things growl, so I know it’s none of them.

The reason I keep thinking it’s Bigfoot is because I remember a movie from 1973 called the Legend of Boggy Creek that scared me so much I was afraid to walk home, and I lived on a military base. I’d swear the noise I heard out back sounded like the noise Bigfoot made in the movie. I remember that night because I swore I heard Bigfoot following me after that movie, and I ended up running home, which was the first of two times I ran home (I also ran home when I left the movie Night of the Lepus early; I can handle aliens but these things?).

I’ve told a few people about Bigfoot being in the swamps out back, and all they do is laugh. I know one thing; I’m not going out there to track him. I’m going to continue to hope that by keeping my curtains closed in the evenings that Bigfoot will think there’s nobody home here, even if he sees a little bit of light through the curtains. Let’s see if my neighbors, with their windows and curtains wide open, will end up being as lucky as me as time goes on.

With that said, I did go into the back area behind the house once… only once… and I took my big stick & filmed it in case I was attacked by something; you can’t be too careful. Check it out:


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