The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word cryptid as “An animal whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated, such as the yeti.” For the following witnesses to living cryptids, there is no dispute. In this series of National Cryptid Society’s case files, you will read what the witnesses have experienced in their own words.
Keep an open mind when reading these accounts, and also remember one’s perception and memory of an event can be influenced by the emotions felt at the time of the occurrence. The contributors to this series of articles are doing the best they can to recount what are in some cases very shocking and traumatic experiences.
If you have a personal cryptid sighting story you would like to tell us, please visit our “Make A Report” page on this site.
NCS Case File #70: The Pale Crawler; Large Grey Crawling Humanoid in Effingham, Illinois
Location: On a country road near Effingham, Illinois
Submitted by Jade
“In 2010 me and 2 friends decided were going to check out some “haunted” stuff around out in the country in Effingham Illinois. We live about 30 minutes away from there. This was a typical weekend night, driving out to a cemetery to respectfully explore. We were told the Kasbar cemetery deep in the woods surrounded by caves, outside of Effingham was a really good place.
The night begins. We head to Effingham and stop for sodas at a gas station and then head to the country. It’s about 1 to 2am, so its dark. I see something with yellow glowing eyes off the side of the country road just past the ditch in the head lights. Too short to be a deer, but too big to be a possum or raccoon. As we get closer it gets clearer, and I realize what I’m looking at is skinny, hairless and grey, human like but definitely not human. Crazy as hell looking…thing. It was crouched down, It’s arms were incredibly long and looked like it could have been 7ft tall or bigger standing. I can feel myself get cold and my heart race and my hair stand on that back of my neck.I kind of whisper to myself “what in the fxxx?” And then i heard my friend Harley in the back seat shout “WHAT THE FXXX IS THAT?!” Complete shock and terror set in and i can’t make a sound, I’m just staring at it. By that time we are right in front of it, passing it and it just watches us drive by. It slinks into the dark. Then we all just start screaming. Literally freaking the hell out. I was convinced it was a demon for months but still doubted myself even seeing it. Thinking my mind was playing tricks on me. We didn’t even make it to the Kasbar that night, we went straight home. I couldn’t sleep that night.6 months later I’m at a different friends house and she gets a text from her cousin. It was the trail camera picture. I went cold again, the hair on the back of my neck stood tall again. I was seeing this thing AGAIN! I knew we weren’t crazy, that there was something to this. I knew for sure now that my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me that night.He said he caught it on his trail camera one town over. (He told us later it wasn’t his camera that he was just pranking us. ) but i immediately recognized it. I asked her to send me the picture and i sent it to Harley. He quickly replies “that’s that fXXXXg thing!!!”. I found out the picture was faked, but still can’t help but to have my doubts. I researched the picture and demons to find some answers and found nothing.Fast forward to October 2012 I’m on Facebook and i come across a page called “weird Effingham IL”. So of course i start combing through the entire page and I find reports of sightings around the cemetery of creatures with glowing eyes. Nothing as in depth as what i saw but still enough to tell me that we are not the only ones who have seen something like that out there. I researched demons and paranormal some more… still nothing.2014 I’m scrolling through my Facebook news feed and the trail camera picture pops up. One girl i know posted it on the wall of another girl i know. So i immediately commented my story on it. When i go up to the previous comments i see that one of the girls were talking about seeing one! She replied to my comment and told me that she had seen it in the country in Effingham too! Back in 2011.This guy we went to school with commented on the status too and said that he had a friend that was super into the occult and that she said the are called ghouls. So i went right into researching ghouls. What I find, blows my freaking mind! Lore says; they are cave dwellers.. as i said previously the Kasbar cemetery is surrounded by caves.They feed on the freshly dead and normally stay close to cemeteries to be close to food. They have been known to show themselves to humans when trying to get close to them to eat in times where fresh deceased bodies are scarce. I went to images of them and could only find illustrations but they look exactly like what i saw that night. Everything i was reading was falling perfectly in place. Lined up perfectly with my experience. I couldn’t explain it away.Then last night I came across a Reddit post with a story soooo similar to mine with just as much detail. This is one of the most incredible things that has ever happened to me. I will always search for more answers.”
by Jesse Durdel, NCS founder, Editor, Content Curator
- The witness first described their encounter on Reddit, but after approached by NCS, agreed to submit an encounter report with us.
- The area described by the witness is Ramsey Cemetery, also known as Casbar, Casbah, Kazbar or Kasbar cemetery (please pick a name, even the Google Maps image above can’t pin it down). It is a locally known haunt for ghost hunters and adventure seekers that is rumored to be haunted, along with a few surrounding caves. The cemetery has been featured in a book called “The Illinois Guide to Haunted Locations.”
- There have been similar sightings of unusual crawling humanoids reported in the last few years. Some of these stories stem from fictional accounts from forums like the one that introduced the world to the “Slenderman.” However, there have been sightings of pale, elongated, crawling or crouching humanoid creatures that didn’t have some elaborate backstory to the encounter. Although I should not, I tend to give the more brief and “boring” accounts a little more credence.
- The term “ghoul” was not introduced into the human language until 1786, prior to this it was mainly a creature of Arabic folklore described as a creature that resides in graveyards and feasts on the remains of the dead. The Arabian depiction of the creature is disturbing enough: “Some state that a ghoul is also a desert-dwelling, shapeshifting demon that can assume the guise of an animal, especially a hyena. It lures unwary people into the desert wastes or abandoned places to slay and devour them. The creature also preys on young children, drinks blood, steals coins, and eats the dead, then taking the form of the person most recently eaten.” ~Wikipedia
- The modern term “ghoul” may be more romanticized than anything, but there remains the witness accounts of something humanoid crawling about the ground at night with pale or grey skin. If there is something out there of this nature, it’s hard telling what it is. Like Bigfoot, we need a body. Although in some of these cases, the “creature” may indeed turn out to be a human with an unfortunate disease as discussed in a previous case file.
- It’s always difficult to classify these reports sometimes, but we can only speculate if the thing witnessed in Effingham is of a cryptozoological, paranormal or supernatural nature. It’s an anomaly of a sighting if indeed it was observed as reported.
- There is a forum on Reddit called r/crawlersightings where individuals post encounters and articles involving encounters with these types of creatures.
- Although the area around Effingham, Illinois is surrounded by agricultual development, it does have a unique topography that is incongruent with the normal landscape of central Illinois (which would be flat land with forests limited to river basins and lakes). Effingham county does have its share of hills, outcroppings and caves. However, the caves are not of the robust cavern systems one might see in areas like Missouri or the Smoky Mountains. It would be difficult to imagine a population of humanoid troglodyte “ghouls” living in the caves in and around Effingham.
- Every time I hear of these “crawler” encounters, I am reminded of those “clickity click” cave monsters from the movie “The Descent.”
- Some people have equated such creatures with “The Rake,” a cryptid that may or may not have had its beginnings as a creepypata story. However, several individuals have had alleged encounters with strange humanoid creatures and used the name to describe what they saw. I won’t do that here because I don’t want the confusion. The NCS Case Files are not creepypasta stories.
- Loren Coleman, noted cryptozoologist and curator of the International Cryptozoology Museum stated that the creature described seems similar to the Dover Demon.
- There have been two other similar encounters with unusual pale humanoid creatures reported to the National Cryptid Society below.
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