The Choccolocco Monster

amarok2005

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#1
This subject has popped up a couple of times on the board, so I thought I'd put my own little write-up about "Chocky" here. (No, not the John Wyndham story.)

The Choccolocco Monster

Category: Cryptozoology (Hoax)

From: Creamer pp. 1-5; Clark and Coleman, 161-162

Where: On the roads between Choccolocco and Iron City, east of Anniston in Calhoun County, Alabama

When: May and June, 1969

Who: At least eight witnesses from the Choccolocco area

How close to source: Anniston Star reporter Matthew Creamer interviewed the instigator of the hoax in 2001

Phenomena: Starting in mid-May, 1969 something began appearing at night in the forests by the Iron City Cutoff and the Choccolocco Road between Iron City and Choccolocco, Alabama. Margaret Teague, who worked at the Cleburne County Hospital, was driving home late on the Cutoff when she spotted something she called a “Booger” at the edge of the road. It walked on its hind legs and was covered with hair. Its head was huge. “Oh, Lordy, Lordy, what a head,” Ms. Teague exclaimed later.

“I turned the car around in the middle of the road to get another look, and it got caught in the ditch,” she told a reporter for the Anniston Star. “I just knowed the booger had me for sure.” (Creamer, p. 3)

A man driving down the Choccolocco Road in late May saw what he described as a “varmint”, “a humpbacked combination of bear and panther.” (Coleman and Clark, p. 161) The night after this Johnny Ray Teague and three friends were driving in the same area when their car stalled. After they climbed out to look at the engine, they heard something crashing through the brush beside the road. They saw a beast “the size of a cow, gray to black in color, humped similarly to a camel.” It had a huge head and big teeth. The quartet jumped back in their car and locked the doors. The monster, enjoying its captive audience, circled the car a few times before lumbering off into the trees.

Other witnesses also described it as gray or black, with large teeth and a hump. Some added that it had long, stringy head hair that obscured its features.

Oddities: Johnny Teague finally got his car to start, and he and his three passengers roared away. About half a mile from the encounter site, they claimed to see three or four more of the creatures, even larger than the first monster! This is particularly odd, as we will see below.

Ending: By June 1969, people from all over the state began patrolling the Choccolocco roads with guns or rifles in hand. Several fired at suspicious shadows or forms. There were so many gun-toting fellows about, in fact, that local farmers grew angry. “I’ll tell you one thing, if one of our cows or bulls is shot, and we can find out who it is, somebody is going to pay dear,” Mrs. Bobby Murphy told a Star reporter.

The monster no longer appeared after June.

Legend: There were no earlier legends for the Choccolocco Monster, although Sasquatch-type monsters in Alabama have always been referred to as “boogers”.

Explanation: In October 2001, a Nances Creek Resident named Neal Williamson revealed the truth about the Choccolocco Monster to reporter Matthew Creamer. “Back then, you didn’t have nothing to do, really. You didn’t have computers,” he explained.

On a boring weekend night in 1969, Williamson, then fifteen, crept out while his parents were asleep and drove down the country lanes in their 1950 Ford. He realized that an old cow skull he’d found was still in the back seat. Soon thereafter he donned a long, black coat, took the skull out to a dark stretch of road, and waited. When a car approached, he ran out with the skull held above his head, did a dance of sorts, and ran back into the trees before the driver and/or passengers could get a good look at him. On occasion he wore a white sheet instead of the coat, thus creating the variations in the witnesses’ descriptions.

One night in June, as Williamson played monster, he had with him two companions to whom he had revealed the joke. As the teenager pranced out before an approaching truck, the vehicle slowed down and someone in the cab fired a rifle several times in his direction. Williamson and his friends fled through the woods as a spotlight from the truck raked the trees. No one was hit, but Williamson popped out on the far side of the small woods, ran across a pasture, and crashed into a barbed-wire fence.

That was his last performance as the Choccolocco Monster.

Comments: The shooter’s identity was never revealed, but he was quoted as saying that the monster ran back into the hills after he fired at it, letting out “an almost humanlike cry.” (Clark and Coleman, p. 161) No doubt.

One has to wonder about Johnny Ray Teague and his companions, who fled in horror from the cow-skull-topped apparition only to spot more of them – bigger and more horrible than the first – farther along Choccolocco Road. Did they feel the need to “improve” their story? Or were they so panic-stricken that cows, or shadows, or bushes stirred by the wind became monsters in their minds? Whether deliberate or not, such exaggerations can make a legend grow.

On the other hand, for once we know there was something unusual standing by those Alabama roads for witnesses to see, so people weren’t imagining things. In fact, the witnesses may even have suppressed one detail to make their stories sound more believable: No one mentioned that the horned, hairy, humpbacked monster danced every time he appeared.


Clark, Jerome, and Loren Coleman. Creatures of the Outer Edge (New York: Warner Books, 1978).

Creamer, Matthew. “The Choccolocco Monster: Jokester reveals 32-Year-Old Prank,” in The Anniston Star, October 31, 2001. (Online link is apparently no longer valid.)
 

oldrover

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#2
Thanks for posting I enjoyed that one. Particularly this bit;
He realized that an old cow skull he’d found was still in the back seat
And I get it in the neck for not emptying the ashtray.
 

amarok2005

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#3
If I had to disguise myself as a cryptid using only stuff in my car . . .

"OMG! Run for your lives! It's the Junk Mail, Doughnut Bag, and Empty Styrofoam Cup Monster!"

This story always underlined the improbability of "Scooby-Doo" scenarios: "I'll dress up as a hideous monster and scare people away while I search for the lost mine/pirate treasure/bank robbers' loot." More likely you'd get blown into itty bitty pieces -- at least here in the good ol' USA.
 

oldrover

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#4
I'd be some hideous cigarette paper packet and unread important work document mosaic monster, very reptilian in fact at least to the casual observer. Until recently that is when I bought a car with no storage space whatsoever since then it'd be pretty much me with one sheet of kitchen roll, still I could perhaps fashion it into some sort of terrifying cockscomb. At least that would attract more sympathetic concern than bullets.
 
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