• About this Critter: An incredibly aggressive, screaming, man eating decapod from California. it has a long triangular body with a full set of 4 legs on each side (12 total.) - its fur is bristly, slanting at a razor-sharp angle. Its raw face, head & tail are on a gyroscopic swivel & its body can be spun at 100 revelations per minute allowing it to walk no matter which side it falls onto if knocked prone. (Especially useful in earthquakes.) - Lumberjacks were absolutely terrified of it: it moved too fast to be struck and it could only be defeated by tricking it into a Flue pipe (if all its legs try to move at once, it would tear itself apart!)• History & Early Records: This critter's earliest published account seems to be 1910's "Fearsome Creatures" by state forester, William T Cox. His account mentions that "It appeared one day in 1906 suddenly off the Orange Coast of California, migrating from the isthmus" - (There are no earlier news articles or mention of this particular critter (that i can find at least) so I'd assume its one that cox invented & others embellished onto and shared among lumberjacks, Notably it’s a likely relative of the many legged "wampus cat.") - Cox famously mentions the proper way to defeat it: "This animal may be shot, clubbed, or strung on a pike pole without stopping the wriggling, whirling motions or the screams of rage. The only successful way of killing the beast is to poke it into a flume pipe so that all its feet strike the surface, when it Immediately starts to walk in three different directions at once and tears itself apart. John Gray, of Anadar, Trinity County, California, knows where a pair of whintossers live in some broken-up country along Mad River. "
During the 20's in new jersey, A series of articles where published the "Jersey Journal" that 'Bill Wright' of a group affectionately known locally as the "Kitchen Gang" - had encountered a Whintosser in Jersey's Moonachie swamplands - Allegedly they tried to contact the military to borrow a tank to try and defeat it, but they where denied. so instead, they decided to soak a sponge with 'hooch' to lure the beast into a trap. - The last instructions they left were to 'send help if they don’t return!” They where never heard from again.
[Source: newspapers.com Jersey journal (1920)]
Years later, In 1984 the Whintosser (& some other popular critters) were humorously drawn and included in a collection of old jokes, tall tales and gags titled: “Grandpa's rib-ticklers & kneeslappers” the book elaborated on the critters more recent history in a joking manner: Apparently, the creature had ventured in-land a bit and evolved to become a rectangle, its favourite food where "hot tamales" and you could easily lure it into a trap with that, it also now had far too many toes (a Polydactyl.) But, it was at least useful now, as its 160+ toenails made for perfect jewellery that would change colour to go with any outfit: jewellery made of such toenails where allegedly featured on various attire in the 1983 November 31st issue of Women's Wear Daily.
Of course, this critter is a favourite of bestiary authors, it has appeared and is mentioned quite widely across many modern monster encyclopedias, but as with most critters; its usually a foot note, embelleshed and has sadly been largely neglected and forgotten by modern popculture.
Sticker art by samkalensky (yo that’s me!) part of my fearsome critters and cryptozoology series of stickers check my shop and follow for many more