Bigfoot, werewolves, UFOs and ghosts: Monster Fest creeps into Canton this weekend

This is an eyewitness sketch of the "Texas Dogman," a werewolf type creature described in Texas folklore. Aaron Deese, author of "The Texas Dogman Triangle," has researched the subject. Deese will be a featured guest at Monster Fest on Saturday at the DoubleTree hotel in downtown Canton.

Aaron Deese was only casually familiar with the folklore of the "Texas Dogman" until a relative's encounter got him hooked.

The family member's testimonial went like this: Rounding a curve on a remote stretch of road north of Austin, the military veteran was startled when a creature that was neither dog nor wolf came into view in the headlights of his vehicle.

"He felt like if he pulled over and approached this thing, he would be in some kind of danger," Deese said. "And this is a guy with combat experience in the Middle East, so he doesn't jump easy."

The 2018 account got Deese's attention. So much so that he ended up investigating the subject thoroughly and publishing a recently released book, "The Texas Dogman Triangle."

"I found the dogman phenomenon fascinating, but I was extremely skeptical ... but the more I read and the more folklore and history I took in ... I thought that there's a picture here," said the former apartment complex manager. "I feel like this is something at least worth discussing ... and we don't have it figured out yet."

Aaron Deese, author of "The Texas Dogman Triangle" has researched the folklore and eyewitness sightings of a werewolf type creature said to exist in the Texas wilderness. Deese will be a featured guest on Saturday at Monster Fest at DoubleTree hotel in downtown Canton.

"This was right in my backyard (in Texas), and the three original sightings ... were within 100 miles of where I had been living at the time near Lake Travis in Northwest Texas," Deese added.

Deese is bringing his story to Canton on Saturday for the inaugural Monster Fest, where he'll be among the featured guests and panelists. Others include podcasters and researchers of Bigfoot, UFOs, the paranormal and a range of strange and unexplained phenomena.

  • Cliff Barackman of Animal Planets' long-running "Finding Bigfoot" series.

  • Richard Hatem, a film producer and writer known for "The Mothman Prophecies."

  • Stan Gordon, a Pennsylvania-based Bigfoot and UFO researcher and author.

  • Loren Coleman, a museum curator, author and television personality.

  • Lyle Blackburn, a television personality and author.

  • Local Bigfoot researcher Amy Bue.

Monster Fest starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at the DoubleTree hotel in downtown Canton. Vendors, guest speakers and live podcasts will be featured on the subjects of Bigfoot, UFOs, werewolves, the paranormal and more.

Deese also co-hosts the "Hey Strangeness" podcast with his wife, Sara Deese, a veterinary surgery technician.

More: Finding Bigfoot: Filmmaker says he encountered hairy creature in Minerva-area wilderness

More: Filmmaker explores the paranormal at Mansfield Reformatory, site of 'Shawshank Redemption'

Tickets to Monster Fest cost $25 at the door

Filmmaker Seth Breedlove, of the Massillon-based Small Town Monsters production company, is presenting Monster Fest at DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, 320 Market Ave. S in downtown Canton. Breedlove is well known in the field for his numerous films and documentaries on Sasquatch, the Mothman, Bell Witch and other topics in the genre.

In 2015, Breedlove's first film "Minerva Monster" explored the reported sightings of an apelike creature in the 1970s in Paris Township in Stark County.

Forrest Burgess, left, and Scott Philbrook, co-hosts of "Astonishing Legends," will be among the featured guests at Monster Fest on Saturday at DoubleTree hotel in downtown Canton.

His new film, "On the Trail of Bigfoot: Land of the Missing" will debut at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Canton Palace Theatre. Tickets are $7 and available at or at the door starting at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets to Monster Fest cost $25 at the door. Children 12 years old and younger will be admitted free. Guest speakers, vendors and live podcasts will be featured.

Doors open at 10 a.m. For more details, visit

'I think werewolves are real...'

During a phone interview earlier this week, Deese talked all things "Texas Dogman," and he didn't dodge the big question: Does he believe such a thing exists?

"I'm confident that in the case of the 'Texas Dogman,' and really all paranormal phenomena ... all of these things have a foundation in reality," the 35-year-old San Antonio resident said. "People aren't just imagining these things."

More: REVIEW: Search for Bigfoot hits silver screen

Acknowledging some cases might be attributed to delusions or concocted stories, he added: "I think reality is much bigger and much stranger than any of us will ever understand. Even when we think we've got it figured out, we never do."

Aaron Deese, author of "The Texas Dogman Triangle," is also co-host of the podcast "Hey Strangeness." Deese is among the featured guests at Saturday's Monster Fest in downtown Canton.

"I think werewolves are real, whether they're ... unclassified animals or even some type of archetype that we carry with us that we carry out into the world," Deese said.

"Texas Dogman" broadly falls under the werewolf category, he said. Similar folklore and reported sightings exist in Michigan and Kentucky, as well as with the "Bray Road Beast" in Wisconsin, Deese noted.

Similarities in the accounts include a two-legged walking motion, pointed ears, glowing eyes, and a thin frame with shaggy hair, he said.

Plum Creek in Lockhart Texas is said to be the sight of an eyewitness encounter with the "Texas Dogman," a werewolf type creature described in folklore. Aaron Deese, author of "The Texas Dogman Triangle" has researched the subject.

Witnesses also describe what appears to be a "large looking dog or wolf" that both walks on four legs and moves upright, Deese said.

Explanations, descriptions and theories run the gamut from it being an unclassified canine or wolf-like creature capable of standing on two legs to being of spectral origin, a shapeshifter or a bizarre hybrid of dog and humanoid.

Deese's research included exploring folklore dating to the 1800s, oral traditions, newspaper accounts, historical records, visiting locations where sightings were reported, interviewing eyewitnesses, and citing the work of authorities on the subject like the North American Dogman Project.

He also was inspired and helped by Breedlove's work in the field, including "The Bray Road Beast" and "Skinwalker: Howl of the Rougarou."

"I really enjoyed paralleling the modern day sightings with the historical sightings," said Deese, whose book is published by Small Town Monsters.

"It's been a wild journey," he said.

Scott Philbrook, of the popular "Astonishing Legends" podcast, will be among the featured guests at the inaugural Monster Fest on Saturday at the DoubleTree hotel in downtown Canton.

'Astonishing Legends' podcaster will be at Monster Fest

Special guests at Monster Fest also include Scott Philbrook, of the popular podcast "Astonishing Legends," which explores a plethora of subjects, including haunted sites, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, true crime, historic events, UFOs, Sasquatch, the Wild West and Pied Piper.

Philbrook, who co-hosts "Astonishing Legends" with Forrest Burgess, had spent years working in Los Angeles and New York City editing commercials and music videos before he became a full-time podcaster.

Curiosity about the mysterious and unexplained started the show, which has grown to include staff members who conduct research and oversee editing and sound design.

"We both were very interested in a lot of the unknown things, and there were some shows out there that are still out there that covered some of this stuff, but we always felt a lot of questions were left unasked," Philbrook said during a recent phone interview.

"We've touched on a lot of weird stuff that's changed our perspective on things, which is an unusual thing to go through," the Greensboro, North Carolina resident said.

Scott Philbrook, left, and Forrest Burgess, co-hosts of "Astonishing Legends," are shown in Kansas with Muriel, a replica of Amelia Earhart's lost Electra 10-E airplane.
Photo courtesy Astonishing Legends

Audio recording 'sounds like an unholy terror.'

Asked about memorable podcast episodes, Philbrook cited a mysterious oversized bearing ball-type object − also known as the "Betz Sphere of Fort George Island."

The story involves a family in Jacksonville, Florida that "found a weird metal ball on their land ... that for all intents and purposes was a ball bearing, but it was huge, the size of a volleyball ... but when they brought it home, it started doing all these weird things and made strange noises."

More: 'Minerva Monster' launches unique film career

The orb almost seemed to be sentient, Philbrook said of the event that happened in the 1970s, even making the National Enquirer.

A member of the Florida family was interviewed on "Astonishing Legends." Revelations included her sharing of military X-rays conducted on the sphere, Philbrook said.

Another impactful show was of the paranormal variety. Visiting a house said to be haunted in Atchison, Kansas, Philbrook left with a creepy audio recording that "just sounds like an unholy terror."

The recording made at the Sallie House spawned a multi-part podcast series. "We could never get to the bottom of (the sound)," he said.

Scott Philbrook, back left, and Forrest Burgess, right, co-hosts of the "Astonishing Legends" podcast, are shown with Bob Gilmin, middle, of the famous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film.
Photo courtesy Astonishing Legends

Strange occurrences seemed to follow Philbrook home.

"A lot of our listeners (experienced) highly unusual events after they played (the recording),"he said. "It's almost like it had metadata embedded in it, (and) it was very strange, like the audio itself was capable of producing real world effects once it was played back."

Reach Ed at

On Twitter @ebalintREP

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Bigfoot, werewolves, UFOs and ghosts: Monster Fest creeps into Canton