People who've seen the Bearilla say it's a beast with wolf-like features. sounds like something found only in fairy tales. But some researchers say people have seen the creature and even been attacked by it for decades right here in Kentucky. In LEX 18's Mystery Monday,
Courtney Fischer goes in search of evidence of its existence.
Kentucky's back woods keeps quite a few secrets, secrets that if you're lucky will reveal themselves. But some, no matter how patient you are, stay hidden.
Bearilla lurks in the woods, so the experts say, with the last known sighting occurring in 1989.
The broad-shouldered beast has the body of a bear, and a long, pointed muzzle like a wolf, hands with dagger-like claws and canine teeth. It's allegedly been seen through parts of Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan, Canada and Pennsylvania, with dozens of sightings reported.
"Course, the first case in the 1940s," said researcher Ron Coffey. "A young boy claimed to be attacked on a creek bank by the creature. I do not discount that many eyewitnesses. Everybody's just not imagining things and making it up."
Coffy's not found any bones or remains, but says he can prove Bearilla exists a plaster cast of a footprint Coffey says he found the tracks last winter in Bath County and matches the description of a Bearilla's foot. "Every single legend is based on some kind of fact," he said. Stories don't just materialize."
Coffey may have been researching Bearilla for more than two decades, but there's another person who's had his eyes on the woods for just as long. and he lives right across the street. "I think somebody's trying to start a good hoax," said skeptic John Pugh with a laugh. "That's my opinion."
Pugh says he has his own proof there's no Bearilla - his roosters and his chickens that roam his yard. and have never been attacked by a monster beast. "At night time it's always peaceful and quiet," he said, "You don't hear anything going on."
And that's enough for Pugh to know that no seven foot wolf-life creature is lurking in the woods across the way. "I'll believe it when I see it," he said.
But Coffey says it's only a matter of time until another clue surfaces or another eyewitness comes forward proving Bearillas exist.
LEX 18 wanted to talk to someone who claims to have actually seen Bearilla, but Coffey says the last surviving witness recently died.