Wednesday, February 25, 2009

LDS Urban Legends: Bigfoot = Cain

In my younger days I remember reading, 'The Miracle of Forgiveness,' (for information purposes only, of course), and one of the stories that struck me at the time was Spencer W. Kimball's inclusion of the Cain as Bigfoot sighting. I'm considering a, 'Mormon Urban Legend Month,' where each sacrament talk has to include at least one such story. What do you think?

“On the sad character Cain, an interesting story comes to us from Lycurgus A. Wilson’s book on the life of David W. Patten. From the book I quote an extract from a letter by Abraham O. Smoot giving his recollection of David Patten’s account of meeting “a very remarkable person who had represented himself as being Cain.”

‘As I was riding along the road on my mule I suddenly noticed a very strange personage walking beside me… His head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He wore no clothing, but was covered with hair. His skin was very dark. I asked him where he dwelt and he replied that he had no home, that he was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and fro. He said he was a very miserable creature, that he had earnestly sought death during his sojourn upon the earth, but that he could not die, and his mission was to destroy the souls of men. About the time he expressed himself thus, I rebuked him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the holy priesthood, and commanded him to go hence, and he immediately departed out of my sight…” (Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W. Kimball, pg 127, 1969)


  1. As the son of an image maker I realize the dilemma that Mr. Patten must have been confronted with when he met the hairy creature. After all, Barry Bond really did hit 762 home runs, didn't he?

  2. There is a new website dedicated to Mormon urban legends - check out

  3. on my mission i met a man who told me a story on his mission him and his companion were in brizl in the middle of no where on houses or bildings for miles they were in their car it was raining reay hard and they stoped to wait out the storm it was still day light and at one point they saw a tall man walking up to their car i think he walked all the way up to the window of the car they were terrified of this man and his compaion stomped on the gas and got out of there and then they went to their missiony president and gave them a blessing because they were still scared and told them the man that they saw was cain this happend in the early 90s

  4. I for got to add i think cain was eather on the driver side window or the passinger side window cizer said that cain had long hair all over his body and he had dark skin. i think cain could put his fist through the car door window like if it wasnt even there. or pick up the car and tip it over like it was nothing. i dont no why cain was walking up to there car but i do think he was there to be friends i think he was there to hurt them or kill them.

  5. i dont think cain was there to be firends i think he was there to hurt them or kill them.

  6. I've seen Cain -- and his pals. I'm not lying. On my honor, the following is completely true. I was four or five years old. It was Christmas Eve night 1967 or 1968 in Algonac, Michigan. In the middle of the night, I woke up as my bed was right next to a window. Winters in Michigan are very, very cold and the cool air coming in the room undoubtedly woke me. I remember seeing a ladder nestled against the outside of the window, which I remember as striking me as odd. My two sisters and I shared the room with them sharing a bed separated by a space between us. As I turned after closing the window shut, I saw at the foot of my bed about seven or eight people who were utterly covered in hair from the top of their heads to their feet. (I didn't look at their feet but I believe it was a safe assumption.) I could easily identify the females in the group and the men. One of the men, however, clearly seemed to be the leader judging by the way they deferred to him. He was the tallest one. All the hairy beings were tall but the men most especially. The ceiling that was in our bedroom was a vaulted ceiling and the men almost were as tall as the ceiling but not quite. While I was only four or five at the time, I estimate them as being at least seven feet tall with seven and a half to eight feet tall not out of the question.

    Needless to say, I was stunned. I tried to scream for help but my ability to speak was somehow gone. I couldn't make a sound with my voice of any kind. I remember grabbing my throat and trying to make it work but my efforts were futile. I didn't feel any pain or any "power" upon me but I simply had lost my power of speech. Giving up as to being able to call my parents with a cry for help, I simply looked at them in amazement. They talked together in very low tones that were barely audible. What I could hear was an indecipherable language that held no meaning to me. Not knowing what to do, I decided to "faint" and to pull my mother's homemade afghan blanket up over me. My mother's afghan blanket had interspersed holes due to the knitting pattern she utilized and using those holes I continued to watch them. One of the females on the left side at the foot of my bed noticed it and pointed to me watching them. In truth, they seemed amused by my attempts to feign unconsciousness. One of them didn't seem amused, the leader; the person I believe was Cain himself. He ever so quietly yet deliberately walked to the side of my bed -- on the right side -- as the left side was against the wall and looked down at me right into my eye. The New Testament says the eyes are the mirror of the soul. I believe there is some truth to that. One of the most vivid aspects of this unwanted experience was looking into his eye. While I didn't see malice, I saw curiosity, sternness, deliberation, and a tangible but moderated animosity, which I'm at a loss to explain as I was a boy of only four or five. The best analogy I can think of as to best depict what I saw in those eyes was what a scuba diver must see when he looks into the eye of a great white shark or what a victim must feel when one looks into the eyes of a murderous criminal. Some television shows portray "Sasquatch" as being animal like. I saw no such thing in his deportment. He was not ape-like in his movement or mien but utterly human. His eyes were large given his massive size but it was utterly human. He appeared simply to be a very, very large human male covered with dense hair. The hair that covered his face didn't completely obscure his human features. Nor did it completely obscure the appearances of those in his band in my bedroom.

  7. PT. II
    I believe what happened next came from the Lord. I was not LDS at the time but joined the church with my mother and two siblings in Nov. 1972 (my parents had divorced by then). A deep sleep came upon me and I do remember a very vivid dream that chilled me, a dream I still remember all these years later. Upon waking the next morning -- again Christmas morning -- and scanning the room ever so gingerly around me, I went to my parents and told them what happened. As I was a little boy around four or five years of age, they ascribed it to youthful fanaticism or a bad dream. I persisted that it was the truth, enough so that my biological father accompanied me to the outside of the house. The ladder was still leaning against the outside of the house that led to my and sisters' bedroom. At the base of the ladder were a number of footprints -- very large footprints that surprised even my biological dad. He, as he was wont to do, proceeded to question what it all meant with his usual profanity-laced exposition, and I remember him saying he knew he didn't leave the ladder there.

    After that incident, I had many dreams up until I was in my late teens with Cain appearing to me. They were always chilling with a noticeably and hellish air or feeling tone to them. In the dreams, he would always secure me against a wall and proceed to tickle me to the point it hurt. I know, I know. That is odd but it's the truth. After experiencing these dreams many times, I had one where I was somehow secured in a box with no hope of escape and all the "hairy beings" were tickling me. I had had enough and told them that I'd had it and would no longer tolerate their abusing me like this anymore and to leave me alone from that time and henceforth. It may be peculiar but from that dream to the present time, I've never had one dream even remotely like that since, for which I'm grateful. Why the tickling? This is a belief but I believe it's true but here's my explanation. I believe that when the Lord caused a deep sleep to come upon me, Cain (and perhaps the others too) proceeded to tickle me so as to either wake me up or to torment me or both. That memory or experience my subconscious remembers although my conscious mind doesn't and was part of the post-traumatic experience.

    Why were they sent to me? What did Cain want? What was their purpose in visiting me? I honestly don't know. I have a few theories but it's that -- theories.

    Years later, and a member of the LDS Church, I was reading in Pres. Spencer W. Kimball's book The Miracle of Forgiveness where he recounts Elder David W. Patten's chance meeting of Cain. ((Lycurgus A. Wilson, Life of David W. Patten [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1900], p. 50., as quoted by Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness [Salt Lake City, Bookcraft, Inc.] 18th printing 1991 p.p. 127-128.)

    I immediately felt better. I knew it was real for someone had recounted their experience. I understood what he meant that he was massive and covered in hair yet distinctly human notwithstanding the spate of hair.

  8. PT. III
    Years later, I was talking to my sister in her Brigham City home and carefully brought it up. She seemed relieved that I did and told me she remembered seeing a number of hairy people standing at the foot of my bed watching me. She told me how she remembered how terrified she was but felt helpless to do anything and tried to stay as quiet as possible to avoid harm. My other sister was blissfully aware of nothing and slept through the entire ordeal. I felt relieved and proceeded to talk to her about it at great length. It's odd but to be honest we never talked about it but once growing up and I remember how she didn't want to talk about it then. She pushed me away and refused to talk to me about it.

    You may say this was a dream. I assure you it was not. It was reality. Dreams, while seemingly real to the human subconscious mind, have a different feeling tone to them that distinguishes them from reality. I say again, it was not a dream!

    Believe it or not, for me this experience was a testimony builder. I've been blessed to have had a number of wonderful personal revelations from the Lord that have given me some peace and meaning to build my testimony around. I don't consider this Cain experience a "wonderful" spiritual experience but an experience of the "dark side" if you will. Nonetheless, this experience that was evil in nature was meaningful if for nothing else than to understand a small bit of what evil is.

    I also know there is "more to heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy."

  9. PT. IV
    Shakespeare was right. That quote from Hamlet I've always liked and it fits my feelings on the subject. I didn't mean them personally to you.

    So, there you have it. That's my experience and again, on my honor, it's true. Every word of it.