RWWGroup blog

The “Awful” Truth – Because It’s Weird Wednesday

Continuing our scream season celebration of the delightfully disgusting and marvelously macabre, we offer you this excellent excerpt from The Weiser Field Guide to Cryptozoology, by Deena Budd (also the paranormal editor at BellaOnline -check it out!):

The Awful

The awfulness of  “the Awful” must be beyond compare, as this monster is said to be the basis for many horror tales penned by the storytelling master, H.P. Lovecraft.

In 1925, Lovecraft traveled to the towns of Richford and Berkshire,Vermont, to investigate sightings of “a very large Griffin-like creature with grayish wings that each spanned 10 feet.” The “serpent-like tail equaled its wing length” and its “huge claws…could easily grip a milk can’s girth.”

The creature was first seen by several sawmill workers as they were walking across a bridge in the middle of town. The beast was sitting on a rooftop looking angrily down at the men. One man was so frightened that he had a heart attack. He recovered, but for weeks he would awaken in the middle of the night screaming.

Spotted often over the next few weeks by farmers and their wives, locals were absolutely petrified. The Awful would fly over fields in the daylight, land on roofs, and appear to watch people as they went about their daily chores.

One witness claimed the creature was holding a little crying baby as it flew 50 feet over a field. No infants were reported missing in the area, so it was assumed to be a baby animal.

The creature was rarely seen after the 1920’s – until recently. In October 2006, H.P. Albarelli Jr. wrote in the County Courier about a respected citizen of Richford,Vermont, who had seen the Awful appear from “nowhere and plucked a huge black crow” out of the top of a pine tree. The incredulous witness went on to say the creature circled his house three times.

After Albarelli’s article appeared, other witnesses reported sightings of the cryptid. One lady talked about a time when she was about ten years old; she and her friends saw the monster “sitting in a tree near the Trout River.” The large winged beast watched them for several minutes. She said it had a strange beak and reminded her of a pterodactyl.

A dowser in the Richford area, Edith Green, told Albarelli that people have been nervous about the Awful for a very long time. Another older gentleman said that the creature has been seen often in the Gibou area of Montgomery for the past quarter-century, even very recently. The man also explained that locals felt “we don’t bother it and it doesn’t bother us, maybe with a few exceptions.”

One longtime resident of East Richford claims that the Awful has been seen recently around the Slide Road area. He added that “you can usually hear the thing before you see it.” It makes a low screaming sound. When it is close enough, you can hear the flapping of its huge wings.

Mr. Albarelli is in posession of a “petrified jawbone” from an Awful given to him by a logger in the Richford area. It is “stone hard” and “bears a number of very large teeth.” At last report, he was attempting to have the jawbone examined by an expert from the University of Vermont.

from The Weiser Field Guide to Cryptozoology by Deena Budd.

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25 thoughts on “The “Awful” Truth – Because It’s Weird Wednesday

  1. Hi visiting from Mrs. B’s 31 days of Halloween. I am happy to find the Weiser Book website, and to find new authors for witches. I enjoyed the blog post about the Awful…and it does sound awful!

  2. Wow! I don’t know if I want to rush up to Vermont and investigate or avoid it altogether! lol Happy Halloween!

  3. What an aweful tale! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hello there! Stopping by from Mrs. B’s giveaways–lovely blog!

  5. Love this book!

  6. What a wonderful (Awful) legend!!

  7. So many wonderful books you have contributed to Mrs. Bs giveaway.. thanks for your generosity

  8. Thank you for your contribution of so many wonderful books to Mrs. Bs giveaway… Most generous.


  9. Wow! I can’t eave my son read this, he loves gargoyles and griffins! lol Great post as always!

    Kisses from Nydia.

  10. Wow…great post! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Thank you so much for the wonderful story and your contribution to Mrs. B!!!

    May your day be filled with many smiles,


  12. I had no idea there were so many other mysterious creatures out there beyond Nessie, Ogopogo and big foot.

    This book looks like a fantastic read

  13. hm, left a comment earlier that didn’t seem to post. LOVE this.. a definite must-have on my wish list!

  14. Dianne in UT on said:

    It is truly interesting how many different “animals” exist on this planet. I’d love to have a look-see at the jawbone of an Awful!

  15. Patricia on said:

    Every region has their own monster tale. I’m just surprised that it’s described as looking like a griffin. Those are mostly European legends and it’s interesting to find a tale in the U.S.

  16. Thanks to all who made the trip on over from Mrs. B.’s place! It’s nice to meet you!

  17. visiting from mrs b’s blog – love your blog

  18. Hi, I’m here from Mrs. B’s! My husband is a big Lovecraft fan. I will have to pass this post on to him. We love Cryptozoology tales!

  19. Visiting from Mrs. B’s blog. What an awesome story! The book sounds amazingly interesting. I’ll have to check it out.

  20. I saw this book on the shelves when it first came out and I’ve wanted it ever since. It has an honored place near the top of my books-to-buy list =)

  21. this reminds me of the movie “jeepers creepers”- I wonder if this story is where that movie came from.

  22. I’m dying to get a copy of your book, really! This just makes me want it so much more!

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