Arkansas Folklore: The Fouke Monster


Zoie Clift
As Halloween gets closer my thoughts naturally start to center on the many legends celebrated in Arkansas folklore. Among these is the Fouke Monster, the basis of one of the most famous legends in the state.

The report of a “big-foot-type monster” terrorizing a rural home outside of Fouke spawned The Legend of Boggy Creek, the documentary-style film by South Arkansas native Charles Pierce in the early 1970s. The film assured a place in folklore history for the Bigfoot look-a-like, which has allegedly been seen in and around Fouke since the 1940s.

The low budget, campy movie earned cult status and the familiarity of this tale and the regular resurgence in the media of yeti, Bigfoot, and caveman-like characters keep the legend alive. The Fouke legend continued to spread beyond the original film via two sequels featuring the 7-foot-tall, ape-like creature (something of a Southern Sasquatch) that supposedly haunts the swampy Sulphur River bottoms of Miller County, south of Texarkana. A story about the creature was also featured on season 3 of the History Channel’s MonsterQuest series. They refer to the creature as the “Swamp Stalker.” Whatever you choose to call him/her, keep a lookout for a sighting. The creature was allegedly last seen near the junction of the Sulphur and Red Rivers.  

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