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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Demon in Dover? Part 2: The Mannegishi and the Dover Demon


In part one of this post, we discussed the sightings of the Dover Demon in Dover, Massachusetts, on the nights of April 21 and 22, 1977. Here is a quick recap: at 10:30 PM on the 21st, Bill Bartlett was driving with some friends when he saw the Demon climbing on a rock wall. About two hours later, John Baxter was walking home and chased the thing down into a gully. His description matched Bartlett's. Both witnesses drew a sketch of what they saw and they both show the same thing.
Bill Bartlett's drawing

On the night of the 22nd, Abby Brabham and Will Taintor were driving 2.4 miles from where Bartlett had his sighting. Abby saw the Demon and Will caught a quick glimpse. The other witnesses said the thing they saw had orange eyes, but Abby insisted that the thing she saw had green ones.
Me (center) w/ Loren Coleman, who investigated the DD sightings
at the 2015 Ohio Bigfoot Conference

Later, cryptozoologist Loren Coleman came to interview the witnesses. Most people thought they were telling the truth. I also mentioned several theories for what the Demon might be: an alien, a hoax, a baby moose (ludicrous, in my opinion!), and lastly, a Mannegishi.
One of Coleman's books w/ the
Dover Demon on the cover…
buy it here


The last theory, that the Dover Demon is a Mannegishi, is what this post is about.

The Cree Indians of Eastern Canada (really not that far from Massachusetts) believed in two kinds of people - normal people, like them, and you and myself, and the miniature people, the Mannegishi.

The Mannegishi were said to be small, human-like beings with spindly arms and legs, and each of their hands have six fingers instead of five like us. They have large heads and eyes and no nose or mouth. They are thought to be aquatic, and spend lots of their time in rivers. They are said to absorb water through their skin to breath, like and amphibian. Some say they are made of bark from trees. (They could not be, but one of the Dover Demon witnesses said the thing had skin that was "a rough texture"… maybe that explains the tree bark look?) Others have said it is a hairy being with a narrow face and "whine of a dragonfly."

The Mannegishi are also thought to be tricksters and are well known for playing pranks. According to the Cryptid Wiki, one of their favorite activities is to jump on canoes and overturn them, which would be quite dangerous for any humans in them! They are also known to be helpful, though. They will help if you give them gifts, tobacco is listed as one example.

I think the descriptions of the Dover Demon and Mannegishi are too similar to be overlooked. As I already mentioned in this post and in Part 1, there are several theories for what the Dover Demon is: hoax, alien, moose, and maybe even a Mannegishi.

Size of Dover Demon/Mannegishi
Most people would probably think the Mannegishi itself sounds impossible. But, to me at least, it sounds like a very good candidate for the Dover Demon. I don't think the witnesses lied, and most others don't think so, either, and I know they definitely didn't see a baby moose walking around the town of Dover. I also tend to believe things Native Americans say - they knew about lake monsters across the continent, Thunderbirds, and Bigfoot before white man arrived. Why can't the Mannegishi be here, too? Now, they may have stretched the truth a little bit, (like saying Thunderbirds actually bring storms with them), but they didn't make stuff up for no reason. Even if it did just turn into folklore, it probably had some basis in fact.

It is my opinion that the four teens that spotted the Dover Demon on the nights of April 21st and 22nd, 1977, probably saw a Mannegishi in the town of Dover, Massachusetts.

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