The Alabama ‘White Thang’
I pitched out ideas for weekly topics to write about with my sister, Tracy, this weekend. Since I love the supernatural and paranormal, I was leaning towards a well-known urban myth. My brother-in-law, Michael, joined in with a story from Cajun Louisiana. A story he used to scare his sister, Debbi, when they were kids. The story was about the Kokomama, which I’ve never heard of before. However, hearing the story got my creative juices flowing about the other states.
What if every state had a monster? I mean, each state has a flower and bird. Why couldn’t a state have a cryptid, myth, or urban legend synonymous with their state?
Michael and Tracy both liked that idea, so I started research on the first of fifty states, Alabama. Wouldn’t you know it? Alabama has five urban myths scaring the life out of her citizens, but I can only write about one this week. I settled on the most well-known of those myths. The one tale recounted most is the Alabama White Thang.
That is the correct spelling, ‘White Thang.’ It’s a bigfoot like creature that haunts Birmingham and Central Alabama. Magic City WEEKEND wrote an article on the white hairy creature. It states reports started in the early 1900s. At first, eyewitness accounts describing the elusive Sasquatch like creature widely varied. It was a dog; it was a wolf or a ghost. The physical descriptions also differed depending on the witness, but one crucial element always remained the same.
The monster had white hair, and it had an eerie scream. A scream, similar to the sound a woman, would make if she was screaming. Screams that are still heard today on a regular basis.
In the 1940s, another witness saw the monster. They described it as being between a bushy dog or a shaggy lion with a tail like a big bush of hair. It has been reported that the hairy beast can walk upright or on all fours. This bushy monster has even been known to climb trees, watching unwary victims walk underneath them. These witnesses never say if the creepy monster ever leaped at them from the branches or stayed hidden.
It seems to enjoy scaring the unsuspecting passerby because it hasn’t attacked anyone, which is always good.
What sends shivers of fear up a person’s spine is the shriek. It sounds as if a woman is screaming or a baby crying. If one heard something like that, they would want to investigate. Especially if it sounded like a baby crying. Others swear that it screams in their face as it looms almost seven feet above them. These accounts are fascinating as they don’t go in-depth as to how the witness got to be on the ground in the first place.
The legendary Alabama White Thang lurks in a substantial wooded area. An area that surrounds Morgan, Etowah, and Jefferson Counties. The sightings in Etowah County are from three different locations: Happy Hollow, Walnut Grove, and Moody’s Chape. Reports in these locations form a rough triangle and include a wildlife refuge.
The wildlife refuge is comprised of 35,000 acres of vast unexplored territory. It is situated along the Tennessee River near Decatur, Alabama. Not surprising, there have been reports of the white creature there as well. Past sightings of Bigfoots in unexplored sections of lands throughout the United States have been reported. The refuge’s 35,000 acres is a lot of land that could easily hide a bigfoot.
Some experts say that the Alabama White Thang is an albino version of Bigfoot. Others from Huntsville, Alabama, say something a little different.
In Huntsville, the humanoid myth lives in caves or drainage ditches in Jones Valley. Jones Valley follows Governor’s Drive and is on Monte Sano Mountain. This version of the cryptid has no eyes or ears, and like the Etowah County witnesses, it is white. Some have even said it glows in the dark. This description fits another urban myth I will write about later. It also doesn’t fit most of the reports saying the monster resembles a Bigfoot.
There have been numerous sightings of a humanoid bigfoot like creature from other states. Washington, Colorado, and Arizona have all had Bigfoot sightings. In those sightings, he has brown hair, black hair, or even reddish-brown hair. In Alabama, he has white hair, but the Alabama White Thang does match bigfoot’s physical description.
The Alabama White Thang has white hair, much like the Abominable snowman. Now known as the Yeti of Tibet and the Himalayans, the Yeti could be a cousin of the Alabama White Thang.
Which raises the question, is the Alabama White Thang a distant offshoot of the Yeti? If so, it could be two branches of the same family root. One shoot migrating to the Himalayans, while the other shoot settled in Alabama.
The mystery of the elusive hairy humanoid hasn’t diminished over time either. There are many reports of explorers searching for the elusive Bigfoot. Josh Gates of Destination Unknown went searching for the elusive Yeti. He actually discovered footprints of an unknown humanoid. Is it the Yeti? Well, you will have to watch the episode and decide.
The Alabama White Thang is still an ongoing investigation in Alabama too. It continues to fascinate people so much that a gentleman named Jim Smith founded the Alabama Bigfoot Society.
The Alabama Bigfoot Society is a website filled with a lot of information about their Bigfoot. Sightings are reported from around various parts of Alabama for you to track. You can also purchase Alabama Bigfoot souvenirs like ball caps and t-shirts.
If you want a more interactive way to learn more about the creature? You can go to the Alabama White Thang Facebook page. Thanks to a team of researchers, if you think you might have seen this creepy guy? You now have a way to meet other like-minded people. You can exchange ideas and beliefs about the Alabama White Thang with others like you.
Just don’t go too far in the woods alone at night. The Alabama White Thang might still be lurking.