Around this time in 1977, in the small Massachusetts town of Dover, a mysterious creature was reportedly sighted by a group of teenagers. It was described by one of those witnesses, William Bartlett, as being about four feet tall, with glowing orange eyes in an oval-shaped head with no discernible nose or mouth. Their reports of this creature, later nicknamed “The Dover Demon” by noted cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, spawned a local legend that now fascinates monster buffs around the world.
Bartlett was seventeen years old when he saw the creature perched on a broken stone wall near the road. According to separate reports, later that evening and the following night two additional witnesses allegedly sighted the demon. One of them drew a picture of it, depicting the creature as a hairless large-eyed humanoid that looks a bit like the classic description of alien visitors:
Bartlett, now an artist, told the Boston Globe that he is still haunted by the experience, and that people still ask him about it today. “‘It’s a thing that’s been following me for years,” he said. ‘‘Not the creature... the story. Sometimes I dread every Halloween getting calls about it.”
It wouldn't be the first time strange phenomena have been reported in Dover; a similar incident was reported in 1972, and Coleman says the area is home to many eerie legends throughout its history – including old tales of the devil riding through the town on horseback. ‘‘I think it certainly says something,” he told the Globe. “It’s almost as if there are certain areas that ‘collect’ sightings, almost in a magnetic way.”
The Dover Demon legend has circled the globe in the past four-plus decades, with countless entries in books and documentaries on the paranormal (including an episode of Animal Planet's mockumentary series Lost Tapes), as well as appearances in stories and video games, and a cute little figurine from Japan.