The Strange Squonk of Northern Pennsylvania

You may have heard of the Chupacabra, the legendary Jersey Devil, read our coverage of the Mothman and its Japanese counterpart, and you may have even heard of the mysterious legendary Batsquatch of Mt. Saint Helens.  But even these creatures are nothing in strangeness when compared to the Squonk of Northern Pennsylvania.  And yet hunters in the 19th century were certainly no strangers to the Squonk’s reign of terror.

Of course when we say reign of terror in this case, it may be more accurate to point out that the squonk never harmed anyone, but was in fact itself quite terrified of everything.  The Squonk was a creature said to be trapped in a piteous body comprised of poorly fitting scaly heavily warted skin.  Terrified of all other creatures, the Squonk is said to spend most of its time either in a network of tunnels (by varying accounts) or in its den surrounded by Earth until it feels it is safe to emerge.  It’s said the creature was almost captured once – and only once.

There is another quality aside from its hermetic lifestyle that makes it virtually impossible to capture.  The Squonk, it is said, is capable of performing a feat that goes beyond the laws of physics and well into the realm of the paranormal making this mysterious monster a true cryptid rather than just a rare and elusive animal.  When captured or sufficiently threatened, the Squonk is said to begin melting in the form of what witnesses have called “tears.”  As the tears continue pouring from its eyes at an alarming rate, the creature quickly dissolves and soaks into the ground.  Whether this feat is reversible or not varies from account to account, but the idea of a creature with a self destruct mechanism hardly sounds like a survival trait unless it could also be reversed.

The one time the creature was captured was by a hunter by the name of J.P. Wentling who one fine day at the turn of the century hid near its home after observing it and laying a trap for it, he snatched it up into his bag.  As he was returning to the local village to show his friends what he had found in the woods, he noticed the leather bag he was carrying dripping from several cracks in the bottom making it noticeably lighter and of a strange shape.  As he set it down on the ground, the legend suggests he suspected some trickery, but as he untied the top a strange liquid very much like water (or tears) spilled onto the soil at his feet.  Cursing his bad luck, Wentling returned back to the village with nothing but the tale of his adventure and a soaked bag.

What is the Squonk?  Where did it come from?  And if the legends are true, how can it render its entire body into a liquid form no thicker than water?  And what purpose would doing so serve?  While it is indeed true that turning to a liquid would allow virtually any creature the ability to elude capture from most predators, doing so would be quite difficult if the creature ever wanted to get back together again.

Of course many consider the tale taller than true, but occasionally hikers of the Hemlock Forests where the Squonk resides still say they can hear the creature’s mysterious battlecry.  Or perhaps it is the mournful howl of isolation.  Either way, it is said to chill the blood cold.