Northern Chupacabra

by Meridian
(Hatcher Pass, AK)

About 12 years ago I worked swing shifts in Southcentral Alaska, leaving work for the 70+ mile trip home around midnight each night. Part of the commute included a narrow, twisty road with dense woods on either side.

The night in question was around mid-October, getting close to Halloween but far too early for people to be dressing up in costumes. I was heading down the narrow, twisty road around 1 a.m., pitch black out except for my not-so-good headlights. Coming around a corner I was startled to see what at first I thought was a man standing on the edge of the road.

Instinctively I hit the brakes, slowing down to maybe 10 mph, intending to stop and ask the fellow if he needed help. I quickly realized it was not a man though; it was standing upright but shaped wrong, the shoulders were too large and hunched, the neck and head too far forward. The face, which was not looking at me but towards the trees on the other side of the road, had a suggestion of a muzzle. There were ragged, uneven 'spikes' running down its back. Once fully in the headlights it was clear the thing was black, and looked sort of scaly.

As my brain absorbed all this in the space of about 2 seconds, I next assumed it was some sort of well-done Halloween gimmick, though why it was placed out in the middle of nowhere at midnight was beyond me. I had now slowed down to about 5 mph and was nearly along side it.

Then it turned its head towards me. The way it moved, and the eyeshine reflected in its eyes, there is no way that thing wasn't alive.

I panicked and slammed on the gas, almost going into the ditch. I drove recklessly fast all the way home. I avoided that road at night for years after.

In hindsight it occurs to me it may have been a black bear with mange or something; they are about man-size and stand on their hind legs regularly. Its skin would have been dark and scaly, the 'spikes' could have been clumps of matted fur seen in profile. But... I just don't know. It still creeps me out.

On a nearby road I once saw what I call the 'lava ball' roll across the road. It was about the size of a car tire, crusty black on the outside with yellow/reddish glow shining through random cracks, much like cooling lava. It was spherical, and rolled from the right side of the road to the left before disappearing into the trees. I haven't go the foggiest idea what that might have been.

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