Virginia’s Mysterious Devil Monkey Sightings

PHOTO: Saltville, Virginia
PHOTO: Saltville, Virginia

The 1990s presented some incredible tales that ranged from the fascinating to downright bizarre throughout many parts of Appalachia.  This decade was also known for the introduction of several new mind-altering substances — it remains to be known as to what extent these two facts are related.

At the forefront of the Unsolved Mysteries, made for TV, hair-raising mountain stories was Virginia’s Ninth Congressional District — a region known locally as Southwest Virginia.

Though the vast majority of mountain-Virginia’s paranormal stories were limited to UFOs, especially silent and stealthy black-triangles that the USAF swore did not exist, the region also showcased a handful of more spine-tingling claims.

At the top of the many twilight tales to spring forth from this decade was one woman’s claim to have spotted a mysterious black “devil monkey” in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1994.

According to multiple sources, an Ohio woman was driving through Roanoke around 2:30 a.m. when a construction detour sent her down a dark two-lane country road.

As she drove the wilderness terrain of Southwest Virginia, a creature that looked like a hybrid wolf-monkey leaped in front of her car.

“The creature was all black with very short sleek fur, pointy ears and had a long thin tail. She described it as catlike, and yet not like any cat she had ever seen…  The creature was very tall, because she saw it when it was standing on its hind legs and was easily 6 feet tall. She indicated its torso looked very much like that of a very thin man and its head resembled a man almost with a pointy beard. However, the creature’s hind legs were like a wild cat or dog. It was very muscular and thin,” writes one source.

The woman later shared her story with US Game & Wildlife officials who insisted it must have been a feral dog or wolf, but the woman was emphatic that the creature she saw was neither of the two.

A few weeks following the woman’s ordeal, livestock in the area around the location where the alleged incident took place began disappearing.

Granted, this seems like a bizarre story that could easily be attributed to midnight AM talk radio and a case of some bad gas station coffee; however, it is interesting to note that only two decades earlier, just down I-81 in Smyth County’s Saltville, Virginia, various individuals claimed to have spotted nearly the exact same creature.

In 1959, a couple driving down a back road in Saltville, Virginia, reportedly had their car attacked by a large, powerful creature they claimed chased their vehicle and left deep scratches along the door.

According to their account, an ape-like beast attacked their car, leaving three scratch marks on the vehicle… [the couple’s daughter] described the terrifying attacker: ‘It had light, taffy colored hair, with a white blaze down its neck and underbelly… it stood on two, large well-muscled back legs and had shorter front legs or arms.'”

A handful of years later, an almost exact same claim was made in the Smyth County, Virginia, community when two nurses from the Saltville area were driving home from work one morning and were attacked by an unknown creature who reportedly ripped the convertible top from their car. Luckily the nurses — though surely frightened out of their wits — were unharmed.

The mysterious monkey-wolf hybrid beast would come to be known as “the devil monkey” and in the decades that followed, numerous alleged sightings of these animals were reported.

In recent years, devil monkey sightings have waned, but from time to time, an occasional sighting of these mysterious creatures is quietly whispered about in corner barbershops or over an Appalachian campfire.

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  1. You mean Roanoke is part of Southwestern, Virginia? lol I know most in Richmond and Washington think that Virginia ends in Roanoke.

  2. Sounds like the some of the tales I heard over the years that happened in Mclure, Va and surrounding areas as told by my ancestors.

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