The Ozark Howler

  • By: Timothy Rose
  • Date: 2 August 2023
  • Time to read: 9 min.


The Ozarks Howler, a creature shrouded in mystery and fear. Is it a figment of imagination or a being lurking in the shadows of the Ozark Mountains? With piercing eyes and a haunting howl, the legend of this enigmatic beast has captivated those living near the Ozark Mountains.

But is it myth or a real creature? That’s the question that has baffled locals and researchers alike. Eyewitness accounts abound, some filled with terror, others with curiosity. The howler’s legend is deeply rooted in local folklore, weaving a tapestry that combines the unexplained with a rich cultural heritage.

The tale of the Ozarks Howler is not merely a ghost story; it’s a question mark that beckons us to delve deeper. Join us as we explore the legend, the evidence, and the lasting impact of the Ozarks Howler.

Origins of Ozark Howler

The mysterious legend of the Ozark Howler finds its roots in the rugged and secluded landscape of the Ozark Mountains, a region spanning across parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas in the United States. The Ozarks, with their dense forests, rugged terrain, and remote areas, have long been a source of fascination and fear for those who reside in or venture into this wilderness.

The historical origins of the Ozark Howler myth are intertwined with the rich oral traditions and storytelling practices of the people who have inhabited the region for centuries. The tales of this enigmatic creature have been passed down from generation to generation, adding layers of mystery and intrigue to the legend.

In the early days of Ozark settlement, pioneers and explorers encountered unfamiliar and sometimes terrifying wildlife in the forests, leading to the creation of various cryptid myths and stories. These tales were often shared around campfires or during long winters, adding an air of excitement and fear to the already rugged lifestyle of the Ozark settlers.

The exact origins of the Ozark Howler legend are difficult to pinpoint, as they were primarily spread through oral storytelling and regional folklore. However, some researchers suggest that the myth may have been influenced by Native American beliefs and encounters with strange and elusive creatures in the untamed wilderness.

Physical Characteristics and Abilities

The Ozark Howler is described in various accounts as a creature of fearsome and mysterious appearance, contributing to its chilling reputation in Ozark folklore. While the specific details may vary across different encounters and stories, common themes emerge, painting a vivid picture of this enigmatic cryptid.

Appearance: The most prevalent description of the Ozark Howler depicts it as a large and stocky creature, standing about four to five feet tall at the shoulder, with a sturdy build. Its body is covered in shaggy, dark fur that ranges from black to dark brown or even deep red, blending perfectly with the shadowy forests of the Ozarks. Its coat is said to be thick and coarse, possibly serving as protection from the harsh elements of its rugged habitat.

Eyes: One of the most striking features of the Ozark Howler is its piercing, glowing eyes. Many accounts describe its eyes as fiery red, glowing like embers in the darkness of the night. The luminescent eyes of the creature add to its eerie and otherworldly appearance, instilling fear in those who claim to have encountered it.

Head and Ears: The creature is said to have a large, wedge-shaped head, with prominent, pointed ears that stick out from its furry mane. The ears are highly sensitive and contribute to the creature’s reputed acute hearing, allowing it to detect the faintest of sounds in the dense forest.

Howl: One of the most distinctive and terrifying aspects of the Ozark Howler is its spine-chilling howl. Witnesses describe the sound as an eerie combination of a wolf’s deep growl and an elk’s haunting bugle, creating a unique and unnerving vocalization that echoes through the valleys and canyons of the Ozarks. Some accounts suggest that the creature emits a bone-chilling scream that can be heard from miles away, further adding to its aura of mystery and dread.

Agility: The Ozark Howler is believed to possess remarkable agility and speed, making it an elusive and stealthy predator. Witnesses claim that the creature can move swiftly through the dense undergrowth of the Ozark forests, disappearing into the shadows with uncanny ease. Its agility and speed contribute to its ability to avoid human detection, adding to the difficulty of capturing concrete evidence of its existence.

As with many cryptids, the accounts and descriptions of the Ozark Howler may vary, with some attributing additional supernatural abilities to the creature. However, the consistent themes of its dark, shaggy appearance, glowing red eyes, and haunting howl have firmly established the Ozark Howler as a symbol of mystery and fear in the heart of the Ozark Mountains.

Sightings and Encounters of the Ozark Howler

The Ozark Howler, a creature of myth and folklore, has captured the imagination and curiosity of many over the centuries. Its haunting howls and mystical presence have been whispered about in Native folklore, regarded as a spiritual entity with a connection to the land and its people.

As time moved into the 18th and 19th centuries, stories of encounters with the Ozark Howler began to increase. Settlers moving into new territories brought with them tales of eerie experiences with the creature, though specific accounts remain shrouded in mystery and ambiguity. The creature’s habitat in dense forests, likened to wolves in its howling behavior, added to the enigmatic nature of these encounters.

The mysterious Ozark Howler, reported in the rugged terrain of the Ozark Mountains across Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, has sparked intrigue and debate. Eyewitness accounts vary widely, with descriptions ranging from a gigantic cat to a horned, glowing-eyed beast.

ozark howler

The mysterious Ozark Howler has been the subject of numerous sightings and legends, but one incident in Crawford County stands out. Between 2005 and 2010, a family living north of Van Buren in the Boston Mountains of Crawford County reported spotting what they believed to be a cougar. They set out trail cams, and the images they supplied to a Fort Smith television station appeared to show a big cat similar to a cougar or mountain lion. This incident added fuel to the ongoing debate about the creature’s existence, as wildlife officials maintained that there was no breeding population of cougars left in Arkansas. Some conceded that individual big cats might be in the mountains, possibly former pets that had escaped or were released.

The Crawford County sightings, supported by the trail cam evidence, have become a significant part of the Ozark Howler narrative, offering tangible proof to some that the creature may indeed be a real big cat roaming the rugged slopes of the Ozarks.

Ozark Howler – Scam?

In December 2015, 40/29 News, an Arkansas television station, announced that they had obtained photographs from a viewer, alleging to be images of the mysterious creature. When the station reached out to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the response was dismissive. The commission stated that they were unaware of any credible sightings of the creature and declared the images sent to the station to be a hoax.

While some researchers have labeled the legend a hoax, credible evidence, including paw prints and thermal images from the SyFy Channel’s “Haunted Highway,” suggests the existence of real big cats in the area. The Ozark Howler’s mystique, a blend of folklore and natural phenomena, continues to captivate, leaving the question open: monster, hoax, or real cat? The evidence seems to tilt towards the intriguing possibility of genuine big cats roaming the Ozarks.

The legend of the Ozark Howler extends beyond mere sightings, leaving a lasting imprint on local communities. For some, the creature represents a cultural symbol or spiritual connection. For others, it may be a source of fear or fascination. The Ozark Howler has even found its way into popular culture, reflecting a broader fascination with cryptids and the mysterious unknown.

Media Coverage and Pop culture

The enigmatic Ozark Howler has captured the attention of mainstream media, becoming the subject of various TV shows that explore its legend and mystery. Notable among these are episodes from the series “In Search of Monsters” (2019), where the creature was featured in a dedicated episode, delving into its folklore and sightings. Similarly, “Mysterious Creatures with Forrest Galante” (2021) and “Expedition X” (2020) included episodes on the Ozark Howler, further exploring its cultural significance, reported encounters, and ongoing intrigue. These shows have played a significant role in bringing the legend of the Ozark Howler to a broader audience, cementing its place in popular culture and sparking curiosity and debate about this mysterious cryptid.

If you’re fascinated by the mysteries of cryptids and regional folklore, “Tales of the Ozark Howler” by Saul Ashton and Hawthorne Cornus is a compelling read. This book explores the enigmatic legend of the Ozark Howler, weaving tales that captivate the imagination. Whether you’re an enthusiast of cryptozoology or simply drawn to intriguing stories, this book offers a unique glimpse into a legend that continues to intrigue and mystify. It’s a captivating addition to any collection exploring folklore and the unknown.

In popular culture, the Ozark Howler often symbolizes the primal and enigmatic aspects of nature, serving as a metaphor for human fears, curiosity, and the unexplored wilderness. Its media coverage has not only heightened public interest but has also contributed to a broader cultural understanding of cryptids and folklore, cementing the Ozark Howler as an enduring symbol of intrigue and imagination. Whether portrayed as a menacing beast or a mystical guardian of the forest, the Ozark Howler continues to capture the collective fascination, reflecting society’s enduring attraction to the unknown and the unexplained.

Cryptozoology and the Ozark Howler

Cryptozoology is the study of creatures whose existence has not yet been proven by mainstream science, often referred to as cryptids. These creatures, shrouded in folklore and legend, captivate the imagination and prompt exploration into the unknown. The Ozark Howler is one such cryptid that holds a prominent place in this field.

The Ozark Howler, with its haunting howls and elusive presence, embodies the essence of cryptozoology. It draws researchers, enthusiasts, and curious minds into the dense forests of the Ozark region, seeking evidence of its existence. The howler’s connection to regional folklore, its portrayal in media, and ongoing reports of sightings make it a compelling subject in the world of cryptozoology.

The Ozark Howler, Chupacabra, and Jersey Devil each represent a unique facet of cryptid lore, yet share striking similarities. They are all described as elusive, powerful creatures that have evaded definitive discovery despite numerous sightings. The Ozark Howler, known for its eerie howls and cat-like appearance, shares the predatory nature of the Chupacabra, infamous for draining livestock of blood. Meanwhile, the winged Jersey Devil, with its haunting cries, mirrors the Ozark Howler’s auditory presence. All three creatures, wrapped in mystery and folklore, reflect our fascination with the unknown and the unexplained.

From a scientific perspective, cryptids like the Ozark Howler often face skepticism and scrutiny. The lack of concrete evidence, inconsistencies in eyewitness accounts, and the possibility of misidentifications challenge the credibility of such creatures. Skeptics often argue that reported sightings of the Ozark Howler may be explained by known animals, such as wolves or bobcats, or influenced by cultural beliefs and psychological factors.


The Ozark Howler, with its haunting howls and enigmatic presence, stands as a symbol of the enduring allure and mystery that define American folklore. Its legend, woven into the cultural fabric of the Ozark region, transcends mere sightings and encounters to become a reflection of human curiosity, fear, and fascination with the unknown. From historical accounts to modern explorations, from scientific skepticism to spiritual significance, the Ozark Howler’s tale continues to captivate and intrigue.

In the end, the legend of the Ozark Howler is more than a tale of a mysterious creature lurking in the forest. It’s a testament to the power of storytelling, the resonance of folklore, and the human desire to explore the boundaries of knowledge and belief. It reminds us of the richness of our cultural heritage and the timeless allure of the mysteries that dwell just beyond our reach. Whether seen as fact or fiction, the Ozark Howler embodies a universal fascination with the unknown, a fascination that continues to shape our perceptions, our communities, and our collective imagination.

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