However, ask anyone who's ever read Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, or any other New England gothic writer and they'll tell you this: quaint small towns are always full of weird surprises.
Just off the coast of Newburyport at the mouth of the Merrimac river is Plum Island, an eleven mile long sandy barrier island. The north part of the island has a small beachfront community, but the southern part is largely undeveloped and includes the Parker River Wildlife Refuge.
We saw a few geese and ducks, but no other wildlife. But in April of 1978, four young people had a very different experience in the exact same spot. They saw some wildlife they didn't expect.
After climbing the observation tower and hanging around for a while, they heard some strange clicking sounds coming the marshes. They thought they might have been from a bird, but oddly none could be seen.
The clicking sounds were followed by some high pitched screaming. Again, no birds or animal were visible. Things were starting to feel a little creepy, so they hurried back to their car. It was the only one in the parking lot.
As they were driving north back towards Newburyport, someone emerged from the bushes and ran across the road. Someone, or something?
The figure that crossed was huge, 7 feet or more, very wide, all black from head to toe. It was a little hunched forward as it walked upright. I noticed its arms were longer than average and they swung as it walked. It took only three steps to cross the road.
As quickly as it appeared the creature was gone. The teenagers slowed down the car and saw the path it had trampled through the bushes, but they couldn't see the creature itself. They quickly drove back into town.
That's the end of the story. As in so many Bigfoot sightings, the creature erupts into view and then vanishes. The witnesses get just a brief exhilarating flash of the unknown.
Tony and I didn't see any monsters, but in such a bleak and isolated setting I wouldn't have been surprised if we did.
igfoot Field Researchers Organization website. It's organized by state and county so you can find the stories from your own hometown. Just don't read it before you head into the woods, or even the beach!