The Story of The Batsquatch – the terror that Mount St. Helens awoke

Posted by blogger in Portland Ghosts
The Story of The Batsquatch –  the terror that Mount St. Helens awoke - Photo

1980, up in Washington State, God itching to once more throw his weight around… KABOOM!!! Everything goes tea kettle up, white becomes black, black becomes white, up is down, down is sideways, Mother Earth hugs the toilet rim of existence like a bachelor post-party pre-wedding; the whammy of all hangovers. Mount St. Helens has gone so nuclear that even Hiroshima feels like a wide-eyed pre-school kid looking at how the seniors really get things done. The Earth stands still, and from the wreckage, from that “Dead Zone”, after the terrible noise, in that horrid landscape of ash, death, and silence, something wicked stirred. The mountain was tucking itself back to sleep, letting Morpheus take her away, but something demonic would not follow its example. Nothing could have stood the onslaught unleashed by St. Helens, at least nothing human. On the fringes of that desolate plane, the Batsquatch spread its wings and roared!!!!

The Skinny on the Batsquatch

The Batsquatch is a huge flying cryptid/monster/pipedream/great micro-brewed IPA that was apparently sighted near Mount St. Helens right after the 1980 eruption. The creature is similar to the Ahool and Orang Bati of South Asia; a primate with the distinction of leathery batwings. 

The whatever it is, shares a great deal of commonality with the legendary Mothman of Virginia, we’ll get to that in a moment. 

Its name derives from the words “bat” and another of the Washington States world-famous cryptids, the Sasquatch.

Stories of the creature abound, particularly in the aftermath of that hectic world-shaking volcanic event. Its status has shifted over the years; from a supernatural event to a folkloric manifestation of Washington’s collective consciousness. Like the Loveland Frogman or the Jersey Devil, Batsquatch has been adopted by the natives and has become an icon of its land. A mascot that’s even featured on the label of one of the region’s most popular beers.

Mount St. Helens’s Hissy Fit

The Batsquatch awakened from its dormant hibernation when the Washington State’s natural icon, Mount St. Helens got a bit of indigestion… the equivalent of 1.600 times the size of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II indigestion. As far as wakeup calls go, 24 megatons of thermal energy, was a doozy. To say the Batsquatch woke up grumpy would be underselling the amount of “I hate Monday’s” venom the thing was spewing.

Mount St. Helens had remained dormant for almost 140 years. Its last period of activity occurred between the 1840s and the 1850s. That long slumber was interrupted in March 1980… the day Jimmy Carter asked himself: “why did I want to be President again? Sick and tired of getting woken up in the middle of the night by a toady whispering in my ear: ‘trouble.”

Photograph of the eruption column, May 18, 1980
Source: wikimedia. Photograph of the eruption column, May 18, 1980

On March 27, 1980, a series of volcanic explosions and pyroclastic flows began shaking and rattling in the area of Mount St. Helens in Skamania County, Washington, United States. 

From below, everyone stared in disbelief and amazement as the tall-tales signs of something fishy going on were visible from the summit of the volcano. A series of blast smacked the region into a panic on May 18, 1980. By the time everyone got their heads on straight Mordor had erupted. A huge explosive cataclysm, the type Micheal Bay can’t get enough of, blanketed the sky and blotted out the sun; Nature showing the other reprobates in the prison yard why “mama” deserves respect.

The eruption had a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 5. It was the most significant to occur in the states since the much smaller 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak in California.

It is the most disastrous volcanic eruption in U.S. history. And the aftermath wasn’t a picnic either.

The eruption was followed up by a two-month series of earthquakes and steam-venting episodes.

Plumes of toxic fumes and cascading magma fractured the landscape and even created a large bulge and break on the mountain’s north slope.

The event was an economic groin punch. For years the region couldn’t get back on its feet, and the Federal Government was feeling the blowback of helping out and shelling out relief aid.

Jimmy Carter’s political career never recovered and to a degree, his approval ratings suffered from this calamity.

Approximately, 57 people were killed during the blast. More the 200 houses, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways, and 185 miles of highway, were erased from the face of the earth in the blink of an eye. Toxicity and leftover ash from the blast might have been responsible for countless other deaths throughout the years.

When U.S. President, Jimmy Carter, surveyed the damage he declared that the zone looked as desolate as moonscape photos from NASA missions.

And, if tall-tales are to be believed, another of the consequences of the St. Helens eruption is the Batsquatch.

A Description of the Batsquatch 

The Batsquatch is said to be a large humanoid monstrosity clocking in at more than 9 feet tall and weight of two grown grizzly bears. The creature is said to have piercing yellow eyes, blue-tinged dark fur, razor-sharp teeth, a wolf-like muzzle, bird-like wings, a broad muscle-bound torso, and bat-like wings that span up to fifty feet. 

The beast is also said to have psychic abilities. Telekinetic powers allow it to affect man-made objects like car engines, radios, and television sets.


The first sightings of the monster occurred post St. Helens’ eruption. The appeared everywhere. Curious folks, rescuers, investigators, or anyone trampling around the blast zone were aware – from word of mouth warnings – that something roamed the area.

At night, during those few years after the eruption, only the brave and foolish would dare go out into the darkness and try their luck.

For years, the Batsquatch was a Washington State legend… a creepy crawler folks would frighten their children with. A legend, a tall-tale, folklore, and nothing more. The St. Helens eruption was slipping into the memory banks, the nation was recuperating, the region was getting back on its feet, why dwell on the bad? And part of that bad was the Batsquatch.

The 1994 Fiasco

In April 1994, Brian Canfield was driving in Washington’s Pierce County when his vehicle suddenly stalled. Canfield, smacked the thing a bit, got out, and popped the hood. He looked inside… when.. suddenly… BLAM. Something landed on top of his car, the vehicle’s suspension squirmed and buckled. Canfield, the hood blocking his view, swallowed, took a deep breath, and did like a lemur; he took a quick peek above the metal rim.

Scratching his chassis, snarling, and looking like it wanted a fight, the Batsquatch stood. Canfield ran, the creature leaped. “Feet don’t fail me now!”

When Canfield got back to town, the back of his shirt was torn, his truck was all scratched, and his nerves were wrecked. 

People chalked it up to the man having one of “them nights.”

More Sightings

In 2009 near Mt. Shasta in California, several hikers witnessed a huge creature with leathery wings fly out from a crevice in the mountain. The creature was either the dreaded Batsquatch or a pterodactyl/thunderbird. Descriptions vary. 

In June 2011 a man was in his yard walking his dog. The man went to pick up the dog when he saw something flying in the sky. 

“I saw something flying sky. It had bat wings, blue fur and had a face similar to eyes glowing red. It was about 9 feet tall at the least after I watched it just flew away. “

On April 14, 2014, at Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron OH, a class witnessed a giant black mass zoom by the window of their homeroom at flash-like speed.

The phenomenon gains momentum every summer, particularly in campgrounds, as folks start to tell stories around the fire concerning the fearsome creature.

The Mothman Connection

Many parapsychologists and cryptozoologists can’t help but point out the incredible similarities between the Batsquatch and the Mothman phenomenon. 

  • Both occurred during and after a cataclysmic event.
  • Both cryptids have the power to affect man-made objects.
  • Both cryptids have piercing blazing eyes and huge wings.

The main difference, it would seem, is that Batsquatch seems more hostile and aggressive, whereas the Mothman is a more gentle creature.

For more ghoulish tales and macabre mysteries, check out our blog.