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Pigmania

11/04/04 12:00AM By Joe Citro
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(Host) Some of Vermont's legendary monsters, like Champ, are quite well known. There are some however that are not quite as famous or cute. Commentator Joe Citro introduces us to a new creature.


(Citro) For my belated Hallowe'en broadcast, I'd like to tell a story and pose a question. Because it's a Hallowe'en my story involves a monster.

It all started in Northfield, Vermont in 1971 when a man on an isolated Turkey Hill farm heard animals rooting in his trash cans. He rushed to the window and flicked on his floodlights. There, at the edge of the illuminated circle, he saw a man-sized figure standing upright.

The two glared at each other and the man couldn't believe his eyes. The intruder was naked, covered with light, possibly white, hair. And - most terrifying of all -- it had the hideous face of a pig. Seconds later the abomination bolted into the woods.

Shortly afterwards a cluster of terrified teenagers met the creature behind the high school. They ran into the safety of the gymnasium, white with fear. Again the description was the same: It was hairy, walked like a man, and had the horrible face of a pig. Recounting the events later, one of boys referred to the creature as "Pigman." The name caught on.

More sightings occurred on an isolated road near what locals call the "Devil's Washbowl." There numerous drivers had nighttime encounters with an odd, oversized "animal." It appeared ghostly white in their headlights, darting from tree to tree or dashing in front their vehicles. One terrified traveler reported that the beast jumped onto the hood of his moving car before it leapt off into the bushes.

Another young couple parking at a nearby turnoff claimed that when the boy got out he was seized and brutally smashed against the side of his own vehicle. His girlfriend heard him yell, felt the impact of his body against the car. The shaky lad swore his assailant was the Pigman. He'd seen it clearly. It was 5'8 to 5'10. It had white hair with that monstrous boar-like face. But he added this detail: the creature's hands were not like those of a man or a pig. It had long claws or talons. To prove it, he displayed livid slashes across his chest and arms.

Civilian and police searches revealed nothing and eventually the "Pigman Encounters" ended just as suddenly, mysteriously, and unexpectedly as they began.

So here's the question: Why is Vermont's Pigman so little known? Why hasn't he been elevated into the National Bizarre Bestiary along with such mystery superstars as Champ, the Dover Demon, Mothman, the Jersey Devil, and the ubiquitous Bigfoot?

Shouldn't Northfield have its own unique monster? We could call it, "Pigfoot."

This is Joe Citro.

Novelist Joe Citro is a native Vermonter. He lives in Burlington.

Copyright 2004 Joseph A. Citro
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