“The one aspect every witness agrees upon is the Ozark Howler’s piercing, terrifying cry.“
This description of the Ozark Howler comes from Jason Offutt, in a new book about American mythological monsters, Chasing American monsters : over 250 creatures, cryptids, and hairy beasts, due to be released on March 7 this year.
Offutt writes, “The Ozark Mountains in north central Arkansas are covered in pine trees, hickory, and several species of oak. A number of endangered species live in this forest, and so does the Ozark Howler.“
The idea of the Ozark Howler as an endangered species is new. Folktales about the Ozark Howler are not. Offutt explains that sightings of the Howler go back generation upon generation.
“A number of residents of Red Oak reported seeking the Howler in 1846; so did residents in nearby Branson, Missouri in 1998, and in Jasper, Arkansas in 2011,” says Offutt.
The place of the creature among the monsters of American is indicated by the Ozark Howler’s prominent placement on the front cover of Offutt’s new book. As the credibility of Bigfoot narratives declines, with cryptozoological literalism proving to be its own worst enemy, stories of the Ozark Howler, which never depended upon literal belief, continue to gain ground, well outside the Ozarks.