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"There are creatures science refuses to recognize...but if new technology makes us question what is real...If OUR EYES SEE IT...IF OUR CAMERAS CAPTURE IT...DOES IT EXIST? ENTER A REALM WHERE FACT meets FICTION....SCIENCE meets LEGEND...WHERE NIGHTMARES COME TO LIFE...DO YOU BELIEVE?"
Opening narration before episode titles.

Animal Planet's version of The Blair Witch Project, Lost Tapes is a Mockumentary series which asks "What If? there really are monsters like Bigfoot, the Chupacabra and other beasties out there?" Each episode starts with a disclaimer pointing out that it's merely "inspired by the possibility that hidden creatures exist". Normally the monsters aren't actually shown, save for glimpses of CG, Props or Costumes. To justify its airing on Animal Planet, the series laces its footage with factoids about real animals supposedly related to the featured monster. Sometimes this is in an attempt to lend an air of plausibility to the scenario, other times the factoids end up being scarier than the film.

Currently the series is aired back to back, with two half-hour episodes strung together, and has received a budget upgrade (or at least, a heavier reliance on practical FX).


The FX still look mildly silly at their best, but it can be effective on rare occasions. It helps that most of the People in Rubber Suits effects are hidden by the shaky camera work.

This series has examples of:

  • Action Girl: Elise of the Enigma Corporation, to survive three supernatural monster attacks you have to be a Badass. And in Q: The Serpent God.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Quetzalcoatl, although this might be more due to research failure or artistic license.
    • The Dover Demon; in Real Life, sightings of it almost always ended with it running away from the human witness. In the show, it mauls all of the main characters in a messy and almost sadistic way.
  • Alpha Bitch: Annabel Lilith is a rare goth example who appears in Hellhound. Needless to say, she doesn't last very long...
  • Ambiguously Evil:
    • The Skinwalker in the titular episode. She kills a farmer's sheep, and steals its lamb. Since Skinwalkers are created by murdering a family member, it is by definition evil, but in the episode, never actually threatens the protagonists.
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    • At the end of "Hellhound", Nora is seen petting the titular animal, hinting that they may have been working together, or are at least very familiar.
  • Ambiguously Human:
    • Nora Callarman from Hell Hound. The epilogue notes that no record of her enrollment at the university (or her existence) was ever found and so her true identity was a mystery. For what it's worth, The Other Wiki claims that she might be a ghost.
    • The titular creature of "Wendigo". It's not made clear whether it's a human with Wendigo Syndrome, or whether the transformation was supernatural. Though those teeth sure as hell didn't look human...
  • Animalistic Abomination: The Hellhound and the Owlman (if one doesn't consider it a Humanoid Abomination).
  • Animal Wrongs Group: Two animal rights activists in "Megaconda" break into a factory to get evidence of exotic animals being kept prisoner there, and one ends up devoured by the titular creature.
  • Apocalyptic Log :The formula for the series, but actually only applies to about half the episodes.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • The flimsy justification given for rapid shape shifting of the Werewolf, a cursory situation of amphibian/insect metamorphosis and the minor changes of the Mandrill.
    • The Anaconda is an aquatic snake that can barely sustain its own weight outside of water, much less move and attack. The Megaconda episode takes the same route as the famous movies, making the giant anaconda into an arboreal creature, attacking from above and moving overland with incredible speed. And this isn't taking into account that a reptile predator is unlikely to eat more than once every few days, not attack and consume several victims over the course of an hour or two.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology:
    • The Megalania of Death Dragon is surprisingly well depicted if in the wrong habitat. It helps that Megalania has a close relative living today (referenced above).
    • During Thunderbird, mention is made of pterosaurs, "giant birds of prey that lived 115 million years ago". Pterosaurs are not birds. More of a missed opportunity, but why reference pterosaurs at all, when Argentavis magnificens (aka the Giant Teratorn) was an actual bird, with a wingspan of about seven meters, that lived just 6 million years ago?
    • Also from Thunderbird, the titular creature is shown behaving like a shrike (impaling its prey on branches). It is also presented as a living specimen of an azhdarchid, the pterosaur equivalent of storks.
    • The Monster of Monterey Bay is portrayed as an snake-necked elasmosaurid with a taste for humans. Real-life elasmosaurids are believed to have had very rigid necks with limited mobility, and if alive today even the largest elasmosaurids probably wouldn't be interested in humans due to being poorly built for such prey and instead preferring small fish and invertebrates.
  • Asshole Victim: The Evil Poacher in Bigfoot, Ken Tobar in Megaconda, Tyler in Oklahoma Octopus, and Annabel Lilith in Hell Hound. You won't feel sorry for any of them, this is a fact.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Conner and Mooney they've got nothing really special but training and Connor fought off a vampire with nothing but a pointed piece of wood. What makes it truly badass is the Strigoi ran away from Connor when it had been shown to easily overpower other adult males.
    • Firefighter Trevor Andrews from Lizardman as well. Fights and kills the titular Lizardman armed with a small hatchet and the only light being the flashlight on his helmet.
    • The pregnant mom from "Jersey Devil". She drove away the titular beast hassling her kids by hitting it with a block of wood!
    • How 'bout Dennis Redding from the Vampire episode? He not only holds off one of them, if only for a brief moment, after it breaks the basement door off its hinges, manages to run past all of them to get back to his family, and then kills one of the vampires!
    • The crypts themselves count for this as well.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Happens in "Vampire"
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Bigfoot is depicted as a Gentle Giant, but don't you dare mess with his human friend. You WILL regret it. That poacher learned that the hard way...
  • Big Bad: It's easier to count the humans who qualify as this, really.
    • The Poacher from Bigfoot.
    • The Owlman from Death Raptor.
    • Ken Tobar from Megaconda.
    • Nora in Hellhound is up to interpretation
    • Sophie in Werewolf
    • Charles in Poltergeist
    • Matthew in Wendigo: American Cannibal
    • Lucas Marzo in Q: The Serpent God
    • The Reptilians in their respective episode
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Bigfoot, the Honey Island Swamp Monster AKA "Swamp Creature" (who is depicted as semi-reptilian), and the Fouke Monster AKA "Southern Sasquatch", who has the personality of a Grizzly Bear. There's also the Yeti, who is just as bloodthirsty as the Sasquatch. The Devil Monkeys may qualify.
  • Big Budget Beef-Up: The Second series appears to be this, with a greater reliance on practical effects and more visible 'hidden' creatures. Sometimes, the monsters have a full 2 minutes of screen time, over the 10-seconds of the previous season.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Deathcrawler and Alien both feature arthropodal organisms. The first is a 3 foot long centipede, while the other is a wasp-like organism about the size of a softball. Also, "Death Worm", showcasing the Mongolian Death Worm.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Lizardman. Lizardman kills the reporter and the cameraman, but one of the firefighters manages to kill it and he and his partner get out alive.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Mexican Survey team in Death Crawler, in this case, get bitten to death by 3ft centipedes. Subverted in Alien but...see below.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: In keeping with the legend, there's still no clue as to the Mothman's motives.
  • Came Back Wrong: A popular theme in several episodes, like Wendigo.
  • Cannibal Larder: The very last episode has such a scene, set deep underneath New York in one of the city's many uncharted subterranean tunnels, featuring numerous missing persons wrapped up in plastic after having been asphyxiated. It's a bit unusual since while it has all the hallmarks of a Cannibal Larder, the culprits technically aren't cannibals since they aren't actually human.
  • Catch Phrase: Narrator: "Do They Live Among Us?"
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Ken Tobar in Megaconda, who's involved in illegal wildlife trading.
  • Chest Burster: How the alien emerges in its episode.
  • Chupacabra: The first cryptid of the series examined. It is the Southwestern version of the creaturenote  opposed to the more bizarre South American and Caribbean version.
  • Crapsack World: Since all the episodes seem to take place in the same universe, this means that the world is infested with monstrous supernatural beings, a large majority of which eat people for lunch.
  • Creepy Child: Su Ann Mills from the Owlman episode, although she's only this way due to the trauma of getting an up-close and personal encounter with the Owlman himself...
    Su Ann: It knows you're here to stop it. And it's coming back to stop you.
  • Dan Browned: combined largely with Rule of Drama
  • Daylight Horror: Sometimes.
  • Deadline News: Happens in Lizard Man, when the Intrepid Reporter and her cameraman are killed and partially devoured by the monster.
  • Death by Irony: Oh so many...
    • The Poacher in Bigfoot dies when he falls into his own trap.
    • Ken Tobar in Megaconda is eaten by one of the animals he plotted to make a quick buck off of.
    • Tyler in Oklahoma Octopus impersonated a sea monster to pick on one of the girls, then gets eaten by a sea monster.
    • Annabel Lilith in Hellhound mocks Nora for believing in monsters, only for a monster to indirectly cause her demise.
    • A non-villainous one, but the cast of Dover Demon had wanted to film a hoaxed documentary for the titular monster. Then the REAL Dover Demon shows up...
    • Lucas Marzo in Q: The Serpent God was killed by the very god he summoned
  • Deconstruction: Alien posits that an extraterrestrial is most likely to be a primitive parasite, not an intelligent being.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Mooney grabbing an Aztec dagger, just used to kill a friend of hers then use it to lure in and stab Quetzalcoatl. She and Conner then proceed to drive it off with an onslaught of machine gun fire.
  • Documentary Episode: The Mothman episode used a different format, as government agents question a witness about the Mothman in 1966.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Owlman is a Humanoid Abomination that traumatizes small children (and implicitly wants to eat them), refuses to allow any record of its existence reach the outside world, stalks people relentlessly until they go insane and dwells in a dark forest. Now where have we heard of that before?
  • Doing In the Wizard: Most of the monsters have naturalistic explanations that work up to a point. Except when noted below.
  • Don't Look Back: Seeing the Hellhound three times means a quick, untimely death. Unfortunately, most of the Goth teens saw it twice before finishing their faux ritual when it attacks again.
    Nora: Severin? Severin? (sad) You looked.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In "Oklahoma Octopus", nobody is amused by Tyler's fake drowning pranks.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: Frequent. Especially in "Hellhound", when it is revealed in the last few minutes that Nora may or may not be human, and may or may not have been in league with the titular beast.
  • Evil Poacher: Featured in two episodes, none live to see the end.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Not in the case of the Devil Monkey, who seem to prefer tearing into soft/vital spots.
  • Expy: Tim in Devil Dragon is one of Steve Irwin, which makes his death Harsher in Hindsight for some, though these days he resembles Survivorman.
  • Gainax Ending: ...if you're lucky. Skinwalker is the most optimistic ending. No one hurt, cute baby lamb saved, son goes to college, and changes major to study Native American mythology.
  • GASP
  • Genre Savvy:
    • The lead diver in "Kraken" repeatedly tells the film crew in tense situations to "Put the camera down" and help save crewmen from the monster. Of course, he insists on sending people down to retrieve the people already attacked. Twice. Honor Before Reason or Idiot Ball. You decide.
    • Connor and Mooney are, enough to know that when entering a dark, spooky room, it's a bright idea to have your gun ready to fend off monsters. They're also smart enough not to trust someone coming with a more 'logical' explanation and actually double check what's going on, they even don't fall for the old 'clothing switch' disguise the Strigoi tries on them. Justified because the Enigma Corporation are specially trained to deal with the unexplained. Also, likely the reason they've lived through three supernatural monster attacks.
    • Also shown in Q: The Serpent God when Mooney realizes that if an ancient dagger brought Quetzalcoatl into the world, odds are its your best chance of taking him out.
    • Being Genre Savvy doesn't help the reporter in Monster of Monterey— she wisely tethers herself to her boat while on deck (as real solo sailors do), attempts to call for help on the radio, refuses to investigate an abandoned boat with blood on the deck alone, and decides Screw This, I'm Outta Here!, attempting to sail to shore while her boyfriend calls the Coast Guard. Unfortunately, before the Coast Guard can arrive the monster collides with the boat again, and her tether isn't short enough to keep her from being knocked into the water and eaten.
    • Nora in Hellhound.
      Annabelle: I knew I shouldn't have let you in.
      Nora: (firm retort) It isn't me you should be worried about.
    • Ernest Tybee in "Devil Monkey" is smart enough not to leave a local legend completely out of the equation.
  • Gentle Giant: Bigfoot. He's depicted as a docile creature (possibly Truth in Television; Bigfoot is rarely reported to get violent towards the people who encounter him) who seems to develop a fondness for the protagonist. Enough to save her from a poacher, no less.
  • Ghostly Goals: The ghost in Poltergeist seems to be type A. Horrifyingly subverted as the climax reveals that it was just screwing with the protagonists and is actually a type B.
  • Giant Flyer: The Death Raptor (Owlman), Mothman (proposed to be one-and-the-same), the "Cave Demons" (Giant Bats, implicit Vampires), Thunderbird (Implicit Pterosaur) and Jersey Devil. Quetzalcoatl is also able to fly.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Chupacabra, Mothman, Hell Hound, Dover Demon—usually a variety of natural eyeshine found in most nocturnal/twilight active animals.
  • Government Conspiracy:
    • Strongly implied by the Mothman episode, as a witness is questioned by governmental Men in Black.
    • Some of the cryptid encounters are, in the epilogue, revealed to have been covered up by the government of the nation involved. Alien is the most clear as all records of the even where taken by the government. Zombie may feature one after the two survivors escape, the city destroys the building and never files a report on the event.
    • Yeti may count as well; as the epilogue reveals that the ship housing it is redirected to a government island that studies biological specimens.
    • Reptilian, which is practically a love letter to the conspiracy theories of David Icke, complete with the government confiscating all the footage and then closing down the task force at the end of the episode.
    • Not just Americans, either—after Q: The Serpent God, the Mexican government posthumously convicted the cult leader of all the murders and considered the case closed. No mention of what happened to the monster appears in any reports, and they had the abandoned train depot where the events took place burned to ground for good measure.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Averted, While many of the victims are either too shocked to just shoot the monsters or are unarmed at the time, most of the creatures lack bullet immunity (with the exception of the blatantly supernatural creatures such as Q and the Skinwalker). Even the supernatural Strigoi was harmed enough by gun fire to retreat for a brief moment.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: For some odd reason, the MP5 that Elise often uses acts like a shotgun rather than a submachine gun: it fires once, and there is even the sound of a slide being racked between each shot.
  • Happy Ending: Skin Walker is one of the rare upbeat endings. So is Bigfoot, since the titular monster only attacks the human antagonist of the episode. Heck even Thunderbird qualifies as there aren't any reported human deaths.
  • Harmful to Minors: It's strongly implied that the little girl in Chupacabra witnessed her parents being killed by the titular monster.
  • Hate Sink: Several episodes feature at least one of these. You can't hate a cryptid, but you can hate terrible human beings.
  • Hell Hound: Focus of one episode.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Death Raptor climaxes with the elderly Hazel calmly walking out and letting herself be killed instead of the Owlman's original target, a little girl. She also believed the thing followed her there from England, so she felt responsible for it.
    • In Alien a doctor tells the nurse to run while he tries to hold off the creature with acid...too bad she doesn't listen well enough.
    • Ernest Tybee in Devil Monkey tells the female reporter to run, whilst he holds off the creatures... too bad it doesn't work
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • A Poacher/Stalker is stuffed into one of his own traps courtesy of Bigfoot.
    • Megaconda ends with Ken Tobar being killed by the titular creature... which he's implied to have had smuggled in to the country.
  • Hope Spot: The Yeti episode contained a particularly cruel example—our heroes evade the titular monster just long enough to get to the locked gate and desperately call out for a passing worker to unlock it for them. He's just about to do so...and then sees the Yeti, which caught up to them and runs as fast as he can, leaving the gate locked and the protagonists helpless.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: Alien is implied to be doing this at the end.
  • Humanoid Abomination:
    • With ape-men being the exception, almost any human-like cryptid is like this in some way, shape or form. The Owlman and Mothman are the most notable examples.
    • And Nora from Hellhound. Maybe.
    • Special mention goes to the Wendigo, which starts out as one of the campers seen at the beginning but turns into the monster.
  • Incoming Ham: The Narm Charm monsters can fall into this when they make their first appearances.
  • Infant Immortality: They won't be killed, but they sure as hell are getting traumatized by the experience. The vampire at least tried to avert this by going for the child first, even if it ultimately failed.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Several, though the early ones were documentarians. They usually don't make it through with their story or lives intact.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Lots of these monsters seem to think humans are tasty. The Wendigo is a human who's got this idea.
    " When was the last time... that you had something to eat?"
  • Jerkass:
    • Tylor Shuman, in Oklahoma Octopus. He insists on playing pranks faking drowning that nobody thinks is funny, then when he gets called out on his crap he throws a fit and steals the canoe to leave his friends stranded out in the middle of the lake all night. It would almost be a Karmic Death when the titular monster drags him to his death... except it basically means he helps it eat Bruce Delroy and Ruthie Simple as well.
    • Annabelle from Hell Hound. Hey, fake Wiccan, why don't you take the real Wiccan seriously?
  • The Jersey Devil: The focus of one episode.
  • Kill 'Em All: Despite the series' name, this is actually Subverted...most of the time. Many episodes end with at least one survivor, and at least one has all the viewpoint characters survive, and in one case, the Cryptid saved the point-of-view character. Season 3 seems to be doing more of this, as so far, only four survivors so far the entire season, and two of those were sole survivors, the other two were Connor and Mooney...three times.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The show was already terrifying and dark, but when these creatures show up things get INTENSE.
    • The Owlman is one the most darkest examples of this trope, not only can it think, it spends the entirety of its episode psychologically torturing, and attempting to kill and DEVOUR a little girl.
    • The Southern Sasquatch was a violent creature that mauled three innocent and grow men to death. When the cryptozoologists say it's one of the most dangerous creatures featured on this show, you are dealing with one horrid monster.
    • The Dover Demon is a more subtle example, but it is the first creature to kill ALL the humans involved with its episode, that and the fact we know nothing about it, and it kills the characters in the most sadistic way possible.
    • The Wendigo takes the cake, it's episode was voted the darkest and scariest episode in the entire series due to its practical effects, great acting, and its portrayal of an absolutely terrifying and realistic monster.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Oklahoma Octopus and Bigfoot both contain an Asshole Victim.
  • Late to the Tragedy: A few episodes have the protagonists discovering... something having happened, like Monterey Monster.
  • Lizard Folk: Lizardmen and the Swamp Monster are reptilian (even if the later is covered in hair).
  • Mama Bear: The above, plus the odd human who, in one instance—drives off a monster with a two by four to save her kids—while pregnant.
  • Maniac Monkeys: In Devil Monkey
  • Matchlight Danger Revelation:
    • In "Wendigo", one of the campers sees a figure in the dark growling and crawling toward her in the cave. It isn't until she lights a flare does she realizes how close the Wendigo is and runs off screaming.
    • In "Dover Demon", one victim showed off the night vision on his camera to his friends, which illuminates the background, revealing that the Dover Demon is watching them from the trees behind them.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In "Wendigo", it's left ambiguous whether Matt's really turning into a wendigo or just going insane.
  • Meaningful Name: Mooney is one letter off from Looney, and has the same meaning of someone crazy. It used to denote someone that saw things that weren't real. Doubles as a Stealth Pun given her profession.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Swamp Monster and White River Monster. Mama Bear applies in both instances, even though the later is a fish.
  • MST: Kobuddy Decided that this show deserved to be MST'd. Seems to be a continuing series.
  • Negative Continuity: The first two seasons never showed true continuity. The Third season averts this, introducing the Enigma Corporation, which reappears three times throughout the season. Every episode is more of less self-contained in any case, and even the Enigma Corporation episodes never refer to the events of the others they appear in.
  • Never Found the Body: A few episodes end this way, like Monterey Monster.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: in Alien the surviving medical staff woman panics and breaks quarantine, allowing an extremely venomous, softball sized parasitoid wasp-like alien to escape into the wild after it killed 3 people. The ending implies that the wasps are capable of asexual reproduction to boot.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Some of the creatures are largely this trope.
    • Many of the creatures are only menacing the protagonists because they're predators that are simply looking for a meal. The Monterrey Monster, Chupacabra, Thunderbird, Megaconda and Death Crawlers qualify in this regard.
    • The Yeti and Devil Monkey are implied to simply be territorial and royally ticked off.
    • The Alien, of all things, is also one of these; unlike most portrayals of alien sightings, this one is simply a parasite that was going through its typical lifespan.
    • A couple of the animals, like the Honey Island Swamp Monster and the White River Monster are depicted as parents who were NOT pleased with the fact that someone decided to mess with their nests.
    • Subverted with the more supernatural creatures, including the Owlman (implied to be a demonic entity), the Skinwalker (implied to be a shapeshifter)and the Werewolf (implied to be a shapeshifting Serial Killer). The Hellhound is the exception; it is one of the only implicitly supernatural monsters in the series that has no deaths directly attributable to it (the other is the Skinwalker).
    • Double subverted with the Mothman and the Bigfoot. The former is depicted as menacing and possibly more intelligent than it appears and the latter has shades of It Can Think. However, they were depicted as being neutral and fairly docile respectively.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: In the first season. In the second, this is combined with Practical FX, Surprise Scares and gore. While it's debatable how well it works most of the time, the few episodes people do consider to be genuinely terrifying usually make use if it to down right unnerving effects. (Heck, the Skinwalker episode generates creeps by having the voice of the protagonist's wife call him out of nowhere.)
  • Ominous Owl: The Owlman, naturally. Not only is he speculated to be a demon, the viewpoint characters actually retrieve a pellet (regurgitated undigested foodstuff) from the creature containing a human jawbone.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Ernest Tybee in Devil Monkey as he is Genre Savvy enough to not leave a local legend completely out of the equation and at least tries to hold the creature off (and would've succeeded if he hadn't turned round), instead of simply doing nothing, like the ATF agents.
    • The lead diver in "Kraken" repeatedly tells the film crew in tense situations to stop filming and help save crewmen from the monster. Probably why he survived when everyone else didn't.
    • Glenn in Dover Demon, unlike Chad, takes the possibility of the Dover Demon seriously and tries to warn the others about the risk they are taking, mentioning that he's heard rumors of it being hostile to outsiders, trying to investigate the strange claw marks and footprints he finds (whereas Chad just thinks it's just more good ambience for their prank), and even calls out Chad when he demands they split up to look for Royce. Even then, he takes out a pocketknife to defend himself, not that it does him much good apparently, but still...
  • The Omniscient: The Owlman somehow figures out that the researchers were looking for it, and Su Ann implies that it knew all along...
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Hazel Van Lear in "Death Raptor" spends almost all of her screen time teetering on the edge of hysterics, at best, but becomes The Stoic the minute she starts her Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious: Loads of examples.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Hellhound, Skinwalker, and Jersey Devil. Each one has its own unrelated explanation, few of which are natural (if one is given at all). The Dover Demon, despite its name, is just not explained. Given how Weird it is, that makes perfect sense. A Strigoi is featured as well, and, unlike the first Vampire, it doesn't have a logical explanation, it's apparently supernatural.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The titular Death Dragon is basically a Komodo Dragon with the mass of a polar bear. Then there's Quetzalcoatl, who could be called dragon-like in appearance, but may be a bit more than that.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: A murderous variant of a poltergeist appears in season 3. No natural explanation is provided.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: In the first season, large, vampiric/semi-predatory bats are features with some ties to vampirism. In the second season, a true vampire is seen—as a savage, nocturnal vaguely-humanoid predator that sleeps in an old house, killed the way normally depicted, stabbed through the heart. A second species of Vampire, the Strigoi, is far more human in appearance...unless its shapeshifting into an animal form (it prefers a black dog) and is far more supernatural. The epilogue implied that after he jumps Mooney, she proceeds to kick his ass through the truck windshield. But what do you expect when a vampire jumps an Action Girl these days?
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: One episode devotes it to the Skin Walker, which is accurate to the legend. In The Beast of Brey Road episode a "dog man" clings to a more classic visual design. The actual Werewolf, however, is much closer to the original legends, being a human who turns into a beast when the full moon is out (even when the moon isn't visible to them).
  • Our Zombies Are Different: A combination of types. Created by Voodoo toxins (Type V), Flesh eaters (Type F) with a slow gait and NASTY lunge, they are also Type P (implied to be the Parasite subtype) that acts pretty quickly for an infection. The episode gains bonus points for having the writer of World War Z on as a guest commentator. But it loses points for shamelessly conflating traditional vodun zombi beliefs with Romero-style shambling cadavers, in a way that implies the former also portray them as contagious flesh-eaters. Artistic License – Religion or Rule of Scary or Both?
  • Papa Wolf: Dennis Redding from Vampire defends his wife, himself, and his son from a rampaging vampire.
  • People in Rubber Suits: Vampire, Lizardman, Bigfoot, Skunk Ape, Swamp Monster, Dover Demon (as well as CGI smaller ones).
  • Perky Goth: A group of them in "Hellhound".
  • Police Are Useless: The two ATF agents from Devil Monkeys are so stupid and oblivious to the more and more blatant signs of the presence of the Devil Monkeys to the point they seem borderline suicidal. Subverted by the local sheriff who accompanies them, who, while also ignoring the signs, is Genre Savvy enough never to take a local legend out of the equation.
  • Pregnant Badass: The mother defending her children from the titular monster in "Jersey Devil" with only a large piece of wood. And that's just before she went into labor.
  • Prehistoric Monster: Monster of Monterey (elasmosaur), Bear lake Monster (mosasaur-like animal), Devil Dragon (Varanus priscus aka Megalania), Thunderbird (pterosaur) and White River Monster (Xiphactinus). Death Crawler has giant centipedes compared to ancient ones that grew to massive sizes as well (6-feet to the 3-feet monsters featured).
  • Private Military Contractors: The season 3 Recurring "Enigma Corporation".
  • Psycho Electric Eel: The Mongolian Death Worm acts like a combination of this and piranha, but in sand.
  • Reality Warper: The Wendigo; it bends time, space and reality to its will so that no matter where you run it will always find you.
  • The Reveal: The werewolf is the girl the suspected killer brought home. She was hunting him.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: "The Monster of Monterrey" is inspired by the Kaz II mystery.
  • Sand Worm: Not epic in size, but the Mongolian Death Worm more than makes up for its relatively small size (about as thick as human large intestines) with Acidic Spit and Electrical currents like the electric eel.
  • Sadly Mythtaken:
    • Q is portrayed as demanding human sacrifices, when the Aztec god was one of the few that didn't. They do get points, though, for pointing out that the Aztec Calender is cyclical. Which isn't surprising as the episode is obviously based on (if not totally ripped off of) the old monster movie of the same name.
    • A number of the cryptids in the series are also depicted in a manner inconsistent with the original legends:
      • The Monster of Monterey is depicted as a plesiosaur-like creature that preys on humans. The "real" monster of Monterey Bay is very different: it's said to have saggy brown skin, large pink eyes and a vaguely human-like face. Also, it has never been recorded attacking people.
      • Most sightings of the Thunderbird describe, well, birds, not the pterosaurs that the series suggests.
      • The "Alien" episode is fabricated whole-cloth for the series; while there have certainly been alleged sightings of insectoid aliens, none of them are said to be parasitic like the one in the show.
      • The White River Monster is portrayed as a fish, despite one of its defining features in the original stories being that it has three-toed feet
      • The Dover Demon is portrayed killing its human witnesses, despite all eyewitness reports claiming it fled from them. It also has grey skin, rather than the rosy skin it was reported to have.
      • The "Yeti" episode perpetrates the common misconception of the titular creature having white fur (the creature is reported to have reddish-brown fur).
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The frozen corpse of a yeti is thawed, and turns out to be not a corpse after all
  • Sea Monster: Several different kinds.
    • Stock Ness Monster in Monster of Monterrey, as a people-eating Elasmosaur. Bear Lake Monster is more like a Semi-Aquatic Mosasaur.
    • White River Monster has a giant fish implicitly defending its brood identified as a descendant of Xiphactinus.
    • Giant Squid or...Octopus, really, in Oklahoma Octopus. Kraken has a proper Giant Squid—albiet, one bigger than previously encountered—with eye lenses the size of softballs.
  • Serkis Folk: Monterey Bay Monster, Chupacabra (Via Infra-Red), Megaconda, Mothman, small Dover Demons and the Kraken.
  • Shapeshifting:
    • The Skinwalker.
    • The Werewolf has a VERY mild version of this.
    • Matt transforms slightly when he finally becomes a Wendigo. Though he still looks somewhat-human, those teeth definitely do not.
    • The Strigoi is able to transform into various animals, it prefers a black dog.
  • Shown Their Work: The obscurity of some of the cryptids and the creativity of some of their speculative qualities are fairly remarkable.
  • Shout-Out: The episode Zombies has the police send in a paramilitary team to investigate a large building (in this case, a boarding house) which turns out to be full of flesh-eating zombies following a crime involving cannibalism. That sounds pretty familiar...
  • Skin Walker: One episode devoted to the legend.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: Bigfoot in the episode of the same name is a benign example toward the human woman he developed an attachment towards. The Owlman is a less benign example.
  • Stealth Mentor: The series is a way Animal Planet gets to get in Strange Animal Facts, as a framing story. You'll learn about, for example, pleiosaurs and living fossils in Monterey Monster and coyote behavior in Skin-Walker.
  • Super-Persistent Predator:
    • Southern Sasquatch. Though, he's justified in doing so when you really think about it: at first, he just seemed curious about the hunters, and watched them from a distance. Then someone shot at him (or just flat-out shot him), and he viewed them as a threat that he needed to chase out of his territory. Later,he was forced (in his eyes) to kill them, since they simply just wouldn't leave.
    • Justified in Devil Dragon since that is how Komodo Dragons hunt. Also justified in Kraken as it knew there were more tasty treats on the boat and it was big enough to eat multiple people and still be hungry for more.
    • Justified with the Wendigo as well, as its mentioned a Wendigo never gets full and must eat nonstop.
    • The Owlman is specifically stated to be sentient, possibly a demon, and is attacking the characters so that they can't prove its existence.
    • In Oklahoma Octopus, it's implied that there may be more than one creature, meaning that one human wasn't going to feed all those hungry beaks.
    • The Jersey Devil is clearly a solitary creature, with the abandoned house being the center of its territory. It tried to chase the humans out, but they ran right into its house. After it tried entering the house to smoke them out, it was driven away by the pregnant mom, only increasing its rage. Additionally, it can fly. If it really wanted to kill them, it would have flown after their car. Instead it just watches them leave, implying that they've passed the border of its territory and it no longer sees them as a problem. Given the Back Story of the Jersey Devil, pregnant women may be its Berserk Button.
    • Justified with the zombies as well, since that's how they both hunt and spread the disease.
  • Tempting Fate - Many times, including the classic "I'll be right back."
  • Tentacled Terror: The Oklahoma Octopus and Kraken are both menacing.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • About 80% of the victims literally fall under this category. Two of the most shameful are the ATF agents in "Devil Monkey". Not only do they ignore strange animal calls, blood, odd footprints, a clearly traumatized and terrified victim who warns them repeatedly that they should leave, and even mangled human bodies, they dismiss it when one of them is struck from behind by something, and continue to "investigate" despite all of this as if there is nothing unusual going on, and predictably end up killed by the titular creatures for it. The Sheriff has this to a lesser extent as, instead of blasting the damn thing with a shotgun, He turns around to tell the reporter to flee and then gets jumped. However he gains some sanity points, as he is Genre Savvy enough to not leave the local legend completely out of the equation and at least tries to hold the creature off.
    • How about our divers in Kraken (except the captain), who begin with violating the Cardinal Rule of Diving: Never dive alone!! from the get go. After the first guy goes in... by himself... and becomes a snack for the giant squid, what is the group's next move? Why, to send the girl in... by herself. True, given that the thing ripped the ship apart at the end and was implied to have sunk the wreck they were trying to raise at the beginning, it was probably a moot point. But that still doesn't change the fact that these supposedly experienced divers/treasure hunters were acting like total amateurs from the start.
    • Averted in Monterey Monster. The protagonist doesn't fall for any of the Idiot Balls like trying to board the other ship after seeing blood trails on it or going back in the water to fix her prop. She tells her boyfriend to call the Coast Guard, and adopts the proper Screw This, I'm Outta Here! attitude, and goes to raise sails. Unfortunately, she's knocked into the water by something jolting her ship, and she's unable to catch up to the drifting boat. Talk about Yank the Dog's Chain.
    • Justified in Thunderbird; the cast of that episode was a group of terrified preteen boys, so of course they're going to make dumb decisions.
    • Pretty much everyone besides Nora in Hellhound, but Annabel deserves a special mention.
  • Together in Death: Chad and Shannon Hurliss, the married couple's fate in "Dover Demon". Also, Karen and Jonas in "Death Crawler".
  • The Unreveal: Occurs often. The series purposefully leaves many things ambiguous to the viewer regarding the creatures. Where did the Dover Demon come from? No one knows and no one ever finds out. And if we were able to find out, would we want to?
  • Urban Legend: The source for most of the monsters.
  • Voice Changeling:
    • The Wendigo.
    • Skin Walker, too.
    • The Poltergeist is a particularly cruel one.
  • Weirdness Magnet" Our intrepid Enigma Corporation employees just can't catch a break. First they fight zombies in New Orleans, then they encounter a strigoi and then an Aztec god. Can't get much worse than that, can it? Justified, the Enigma Corporation specializes in investigating the unexplained, naturally they're Weirdness Magnets. Doesn't that make them into the weirdness magnetized since they are the ones going out and looking for these things?
  • Wendigo: is or ''was'' a Man, once.
  • Wham Line:
    • Two from "Death Raptor"; first from Su Ann...
    Su Ann: It knows you're here to stop it. And it's coming back to stop you.
    • ...and second from Hazel:
    Hazel: It wants the little girl because she's young and vulnerable... but so is an old woman.
    • This line from the epilogue of "Hellhound", which throws everything about the episode's protagonist into question...
    Narrator: There was no record of Nora Callerman being enrolled at the university. Her true identity remains a mystery.
    • From Wendigo:
  • Wham Shot:
    • "Werewolf" had a particularly shocking example; the suspected Serial Killer is suddenly attacked and the girl he was planning to kill starts snarling like an animal and barking—she was the real werewolf. The suspect was her intended victim.
    • At the end of "Hellhound", we have Nora petting the titular monster.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: Skinwalker takes place in...Skinwalker Ranch.
  • Who You Gonna Call?: The Enigma Corporation.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Particularly in the first season, a lot of stories end like this as part of the horror.
    • Episodes 3 and 6 (Monster of Monterey and Devil Dragon) are particularly bad, the former because the protagonist actually avoids any and all Idiot Ball behaviour (letting the proper authorities handle the problem, instead of trying to solve it herself) and only dies because the monster knocks her out of her boat, the latter because of how sympathetic a character he was and the fact it turns out he gets brought down and eaten a mere quarter-mile away from the village he had been desperately trying to reach.
    • Ironically, both the Thunderbird and Death Raptor episodes do this and then turn out okay, when we think the giant bird-monster has taken a child for dinner, but they actually survive. Though in Death Raptor, this does result in an old Englishwoman pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to ensure the others are safe.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Q does this to his would-be cult. Once he has the needed sacrifices, he kills them all.


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