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Frame 352 of the infamous Patterson-Gimlin film. Source: wikipedia.

Monster ABC: S is for Sasquatch

While Sasquatch is one of 26 monsters in Monster ABC, he gets his star turn in our newest children’s board book: Get Dressed, Sasquatch!. If you take a tiny peek in our online store, you probably don’t need to be Fox Mulder to deduce that Sasquatch (aka Bigfoot) occupies a special place in the hearts and minds of Hazy Dell Press. Clearly we’re somewhat obsessed and it was merely a matter of time before we gave him his very own book. But where does this obsession come from? Of all the things to glom onto, why the nearly spiritual fervor for the lumbering hairy ape person from the Pacific Northwest? Let’s investigate.

The Pacific Northwest's resident monster

We grew up fascinated by myths and tales that warped the generally agreed upon constraints of reality. Ghosts, aliens, Sasquatch/bigfoot, el chupacabra, men in black, the Loch Ness Monster, you name it. We read everything we could get our hands on at Fort Vancouver Regional Library and, eventually, on the internet. While many of our peers subscribed to Sports Illustrated for Kids or Disney Adventures, we subscribed to a publication committed to Fortean phenomena: Fate magazine. And, again, whether or not you’re Perry Mason has no bearing on your correct deduction that, at this juncture, girls weren’t exactly dying to spend time with us.

In any case, of all the creatures and cryptids that occupied our imaginations, Sasquatch was always a little different. Sasquatch was our monster. As Pacific Northwest children, we only had to peek out the window to behold Bigfoot country. Sasquatch lived in the forests that we frequented and breathed the air that we breathed. When we went camping and heard a rustling outside the tent, our first thought wasn’t “raccoon” or “bear.” Our first thought was: “Oh no. It’s a Sasquatch.” And maybe it was.

More than a myth

Harry and the Hendersons. Source: Amblin Entertainment.

Or maybe not. Either way, the power of Sasquatch does not hinge on their corporeal existence. Sasquatch represents the primordial, unsullied and inarticulable magic of the Pacific Northwest. Either the Pacific Northwest’s sublime mountains and foggy forests are literally harboring an unknown-to-science humanoid with gigantic feet, or the Pacific Northwest inspires a feeling in humans that touches a primitive nerve deep inside our species that we struggle to put into words. It’s a nerve that brings us back to our pre-language existence, a nerve that makes us intuitively understand that although we have moved out of the forest, we will never conquer nature. It’s a nerve that we can’t put into words, so we invent a monster instead.

Regardless of whether Sasquatch is a literal or figurative being, they are a pure distillation of Pacific Northwest magic. There are many other creatures worthy of our attention and who deserve a space in our collective imaginations. But for our money, there’s no better combination of creature and setting than the noble Sasquatch in the Pacific Northwest.