10 creepy cryptids you should know about

Pearson Languages
Children walking in a neighbourhood wearing costumes

Cryptids are creatures that are often unseen and mysterious. They are shrouded in legends and stories that have been passed down for generations, making them a fascination for humans for centuries. If you're looking to add a little more creativity to your story writing, learning about these elusive beings can be a great way to do so. In today's post, we'll take a closer look at some examples of cryptids, to get your imagination racing.

What are cryptids?

Cryptids are mythical creatures or beings whose existence cannot be proven by science. Some may claim to have seen them but there's usually no solid proof of the encounter. They exist in folklore, mythology and urban legends. Cryptids can be found in cultures all around the world, from the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland to the Chupacabra in Latin America.

Here are ten cryptids you'll want to learn about this Halloween:

Barghest

The Barghest is a ghostly black dog cryptid that appears in the folklore of Yorkshire and Lancashire. It is often associated with misfortune, and sightings of this ominous creature continue to be reported.

Owlman

The Owlman is a humanoid creature with owl-like features such as red eyes, wings and feathers. Sightings of this mysterious creature have been reported around the village of Mawnan Smith in Cornwall, adding an eerie twist to local legend.

The Kraken

The Kraken is a legendary sea monster of gigantic size and octopus-like appearance, said to dwell in the deep sea and feasting on ships that are unfortunate enough to come across it. 

Water Leaper (Llamhigyn Y Dwr)

The Water Leaper, also known as the Linton Worm or Lindworm, is a Welsh cryptid believed to inhabit bodies of water such as ponds and rivers. Descriptions vary, but it is often depicted as a fearsome water-dwelling creature.

Shug Monkey

The Shug Monkey, also known as the Shug Monkey Beast, is a cryptid that is said to be part dog and part monkey. It has a grotesque appearance with shaggy fur, fangs, and the ability to emit a blood-curdling scream.

Bigfoot (also known as a Sasquatch)

Probably one of the most well-known examples of a cryptid, Bigfoot is described as a large, ape-like creature, often reported in remote forested areas.

The Lambton Worm

The Lambton Worm is a creature of myth from the legend of John Lambton. According to the story, John encountered a monstrous, serpentine creature in the River Wear in County Durham. This cryptid, depicted as either a giant worm or dragon, terrorized the local area.

Wendigo

Wendigos are believed to inhabit remote forests and desolate areas, particularly during winter. They are considered malevolent and bring death and misery to those who encounter them.

Beast of Bodmin Moor

The Beast of Bodmin Moor, also referred to as the Bodmin Beast, is a legendary feline or a large, black, panther-like animal that is believed to wander around the wilderness of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. The sightings of this mysterious creature have puzzled the inhabitants and tourists for many years.

Bownessie

Bownessie is a serpent-like creature with a long neck that reportedly inhabits Lake Windermere in England's Lake District. The creature has been compared to the legendary Loch Ness monster.

The existence of these mysterious creatures remains a riddle, yet the tales and stories that surround them add an aura of mystique and wonder. Cryptids can be found in almost every culture, and you may start noticing patterns among them. Additionally, you may observe the use of these legends in media, particularly in the fantasy genre. They may not have the same names, but they are undoubtedly an obvious source of inspiration. 

Cryptids are not only subjects of curiosity, they are also valuable tools for crafting engaging narratives that resonate with readers and viewers alike. So whether you are an enthusiast of the unknown or simply enjoy a good supernatural tale, use these examples to ignite your creative storytelling and English writing skills. Try writing your very own story and see where your imagination takes you. 

Interested in storytelling, Sci-fi fantasy? Make sure to check out our blog post Books to improve your English: Sci-fi and fantasy edition.

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    Stories can make us laugh, cry or tremble with fear. They can teach us valuable life lessons and transport us to other worlds. They've been around since the beginning of language itself, but can they actually help us learn a language?

    Stories are one of the most useful tools when teaching children English. Not only do they help with listening and reading skills, but they can also support speaking and writing skills by providing context, language and structure. 

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    Practical activities for storytelling with young learners

    Often, we think of storytelling simply as reading a book aloud to children. Yet, there are other activities you can do. These include:

    1. Choral repetition

    To get young children interacting with the story, first read out a sentence alone. Then, have the children repeat the line with you as a group. Repeat as many times as necessary, until the children feel confident with the language. 

    2. Individual repetition

    If your learners are happy to, ask them individually to repeat the sentence after you. Make sure each one has a turn and praise them for being brave and trying to use the language. 

    3. Play acting

    An activity that works well with children is to act out the story’s characters. For example, there may be animals, fairies, monsters or other exciting characters that they can each act. 

    Ask them to make the noises of the animals, the wind, or the scenery to create an atmosphere while you read. This gets them interacting with the story and the rest of the group, which will help their communication and listening comprehension skills. 

    4. Use puppets or dolls

    Young learners react particularly well to visual aids and realia. Why not use puppets or dolls to act out the characters, or even ask students to have a go with them? They will engage more with the story and the language.  

    5. Dive into the pictures

    Children’s story books are usually quite visual with illustrations and pictures. Make the most of these while telling the story. Try asking students questions about the images to get them using the vocabulary. 

    You could ask them, “what can you see?”, “what’s he wearing?” or “can you find an apple?”. This is another great way to reinforce the vocabulary they’re learning in class. 

    Use these activities individually or incorporate a mix into your lessons. Either way, storytelling will help your learners with more than just developing their English language skills. 

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    Stories are part of our daily lives, from news to social media to books and movies. Therefore, they can be extremely beneficial tools for English language learning. 

    Yet, the way we approach storytelling as a class activity for adults differs to that of young learners. While we typically read fairy tales to young children, we can bring in a much wider range of content for adults, such as:

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    • Traditional folk stories – Ask learners what traditional folk tales or ghost stories they were told as children growing up in their hometowns. This can be really interesting for both language and cultural awareness.  
    • Personal life stories – Our lives are a series of short stories that can make for very interesting reading. You can either ask students to share stories in class orally or have them write up a “chapter” from their lives to tell the class. It could be something funny that happened to them or an anecdote from their childhood, for example. 
    • Movie plots – Ask students what their favorite movies are and have them either tell the group the summary of the plot or write it up to share at the end of the lesson.
    • Advertisements – There are some fantastic advertisements which tell mini stories in under three minutes. Have students choose one, show it to the class and discuss it as a group. 

    Storytelling can be a wonderful language learning tool for both children and adults. If you’re looking for a new way to engage, inspire and motivate your learners, why not try it in your next class? 

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