America's Creepiest Monsters and Where to Find Them

Whether you're a demon hunter or a dark tourism enthusiast, there are plenty of demons, cryptids, and other monstrous entities waiting to be discovered in the misty forests and gloomy lakes of the USA.

America: land of the free, and home of the...cryptid? The United States is home to a surprising number of spooky, monstrous creatures, many stemming from legends that date back to ancient times.

Why do we cling to our folk monsters, reviving them again and again just as they threaten to slip into obscurity? Some propose that these creatures are manifestations of human fears; others propose that they're externalizations of our own demons; and still others insist that Bigfoot is absolutely real, and they've seen him for themselves.There are many reasons why these creatures have continued to live on in our subconscious minds, but one thing is certain: They're not going anywhere. Sometimes they're nothing more than fodder for campfire legends, and sometimes they're little prickles of unease when walking by a forest at night, but even if you're a staunch realist, it's sometimes hard to shake off/lean away from the haunting legends that gnaw at the seams of our reality.

If you're a demon hunter (or are just looking to get yourself into big trouble with malevolent spirits), here's a handy list of five all-American monsters—and where to find them.

1. West Virginia: Mothman

The Mothman was first sighted in 1966, when five men digging a grave in a cemetery near Clendenin, West Virginia spotted a creature that was not quite a bird and not quite a man but that was definitely flying over their heads.

Since then, there have been several sightings of a "man with ten-foot wings" in these parts of West Virginia, which are now known as the "TNT area." During World War II, this area was home to a manufacturing camp that kept explosives in underground bunkers; afterwards, it was abandoned.

Aside from the Mothman, there have been several other odd reports coming from this part of West Virginia, including stories of UFOs and premonitions of the collapse of the Silver Bridge. If you visit the TNT area yourself, perhaps you'll catch a glimpse of some of these mysterious things; or, perhaps you'll be confronted by a different kind of monster—the ongoing traumas and legacies of war.

Image via K102.5

2. New Jersey: The Jersey Devil

If you're in the business of seeking out terrifying thrills, New Jersey's Pine Barrens is a worthwhile destination in and of itself. The Pine Barrens is a 1.1 million square mile area of forest. Once, the area was home to bustling manufacturing towns; but now, the majority of those towns have been abandoned, and the land remains empty.

Or is it? Not according to folklore, which tells of a variety of spooks and spirits out there in the pines, the most famous of which is the Jersey Devil. According to legend, a Pines resident called Mother Leeds gave birth to her thirteenth child in 1735—a child that, moments after its birth, sprouted wings, horns, and talons, and tore its midwives to pieces.

Throughout the next two hundred years, the Jersey Devil was spotted occasionally in the Pine Barrens region, and many heard terrifying wails echoing from the bogs and underbrush. Today, many still believe that the Devil walks today, and many have claimed they've spotted him there. To find the Jersey Devil, take Route 9 through the Pine Barrens of New Jersey; just make sure you're not out too late at night.

Image via Holy Synergia

3. Alaska: The Urayuli

Far up north, among the ice and snow, you might find yourself face to face with a ten-foot-tall man covered in thick hair. Don't worry, though: These creatures are actually peaceful. Legend has it that these men are transformed children who were lost in the night.

The Urayuli is an iteration of the Yeti, a lumbering giant that originated in the hills of the Himalayas. The earliest reports of the Yeti come from the 12th century, and they persist right up to modern times. To see for yourself, check out the forests surrounding Ketchikan, where reports of hairy, ghostly men are regular among wide-eyed tourists and townsfolk alike.

Image via Bigfoot

4. California: Fresno Nightcrawlers

While Fresno may not be top on your list of California destinations, maybe it should be first on your list of demon-hunting spots. That's because it's the only place where you can see a demon known as the "Nightcrawler." These little ghouls were first caught on camera in 2007, and interestingly, though most video evidence of paranormal activity can be easily disproved, experts have admitted that it would be hard to fake these cryptids.

After a few more cameras captured glimpses of these spindly creatures, several Native American tribes noted their resemblance to certain wood carvings and myths. According to some modern legends, these cryptids are ancient swamp beings that have existed on earth since the dawn of time; and some myths propose that these beings are making themselves known publicly because they want to make peace with humankind.

Image via the Fresno Bee

5. Wampus Cat

This peculiar feline has been spotted in northeastern Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and specifically, at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Several students of the university have reported that an oddly humanoid catlike creature has attacked them in the night.

According to legend, the golden-eyed, half-dog, half-cat lurks in Knoxville's sewers, emerging to terrorize citizens before retreating back into its putrid hideaway. There are several origin stories surrounding this gigantic monster. One Cherokee legend proposes that a woman donned the skin of a mountain lion in order to spy on her husband while hunting. They discovered her and, as a punishment, she was forced to wear the lion's skin eternally.

Image via Deviantart

These are just five of the most fascinating American monsters, but check out the maps below if you want to plan out a full-on cross-country road trip.

Image via Laughing Squid

Image via Buzzfeed

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Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.

Hostelworld HostelworldHostelworld.com

Translator

A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.

Pilot

A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainierthebesttravelplaces.com

Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place Marketseattle.eater.com

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.

Space Needlegetyourguide.com

Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly Gardensfodors.com

Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop Culturesmithsonianmag.org

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.

Fremont Trollsillyamerica.com

You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park Arboretumtriposo.com

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.

Alki BeachMetropolitangardens.blogspot.com

Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip savvy.com

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve Roasterydesigner.com

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.


What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!

Travel

Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

buy happiness You sure about that?

Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.