I read a lot of books. I’ve taken out many from the trusty library, I own a decent bigfoot book collection and have probably twice that many on my Kindle. It’s a good thing, too, ’cause you gotta do something during the long, dark purgatory that is winter in Montana. So here’s a brief tour of my bigfoot/paranormal literary trove. I can’t review them all — well, I could, but ain’t nobody got time for that — so I will try to highlight some that are lesser known. (I discussed a few other books in an earlier post.) If you have any favorite bigfoot books, let me know! I’d love to hear about them.
Best Local Interest Book
Mystery Stalks the Prairie, by Roberta Donovan and Keith Wolverton
What caused a flurry of cattle mutilations in central Montana in the 1970s? This book is its own high-strangeness festival. Black helicopters, occultists, and bigfoot, oh my! Complete with color photographs of the damage.
Hands down, the best cover in my collection belongs to the weird little paperback, The Secret Origins of Bigfoot, by Warren Smith. Behold its glory.
This was an impulse buy made while browsing Abebooks (a wonderful site for all your bigfoot book needs — cheap!). This book does not live up to its promise, i.e., no “secret origins” are discussed at any point. However, I still feel good about the purchase based not only on the fact there’s a weird hybrid seal-man on the cover, but also because it actually reveals some reports I’ve not seen elsewhere — notably, that a suspected bigfoot terrorized customers at a garden center on Long Island in 1931.
Best Books for Serious Research
Raincoast Sasquatch, J. Robert Alley
Interesting book about bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Includes a handy index wherein the encounters logged in the book are categorized by type of encounter and behavior observed.
The Historical Bigfoot, Chad Arment
Exhaustive collection of newspaper stories about bigfoot-type creature encounters, all from before “bigfoot” was even a word.
Best New Arrival
Monster Spotter’s Guide to North America, Scott Francis
Another impulse buy; this book showed up in my “Recommended based on your browsing history” Amazon feed. And it’s really good! I received it this past weekend and inhaled it just last evening. Combining cryptozoology and folklore, Francis takes us on a continent-wide mysterious monster quest. Yes, in places it’s tongue-in-cheek, but I guarantee you will learn something you didn’t know about North America’s hidden menagerie.
Best Bigfoot Book for Kids
Nobody Meets Bigfoot, Marian T. Place
Slightly awkward adolescent takes summer-break trip with wacky grandma to search for the elusive bigfoot. Place introduces young readers to famed bigfoot accounts and Native American tales, and even shows us a glimpse at the seedier side of bigfootery. Good read!
Giants, Cannibals and Monsters: Bigfoot in Native Culture, Kathy Moskowitz Strain
A cultural anthropology of a legend: Fascinating review of Native American “hairy man” tales and folklore, profusely illustrated with photographs and Native art.
The Locals, by Thom Powell
Not your typical bigfoot book: A wide-ranging overview of Bigfoot phenomena, including some of the “high strangeness” aspects which surround it — UFOs, government coverups, cloaking, etc. Powell includes some interesting, detailed encounters reported to him during his years as a BFRO investigator.