Weird California
Weird California
Weird California - By Joe Parzanese

Penelope, Monster of the Sierra Nevada's

Map Sierra Nevada Mountains, California

A bestial monster stalks the mountainous Sierra Nevadas
A bestial monster stalks the mountainous Sierra Nevadas

Every now and then, someone sees or runs across a large vicious, horrid humanoid creature roaming the Sierra Nevada's. Said to be female, thin and seven feet tall, with long arms and long legs, a deformed face and long dirty light colored hair, this bestial creature is known as Penelope, and she is the subject of urban legend in the area.

Park rangers in the area have documented a few strange sightings over the years in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and these encounters have been attributed to this creature, who for some unknown reason is referred to as Penelope. She has been described as wearing no clothes looking like a bestial giant witch. Rumored to be lighting fast, with razor sharp claws, she has supposedly disemboweled or decapitated her victims before they even realize she is there, moving so fast they have no time to react before she is upon them.

Who is she? Where did she come from? No one is sure, but the short version of the urban legend describes her as a woman who became lost in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and somehow turned into the flesh eating monster that terrorizes the region today.

Campfire tales in the area have, of course, elaborated on the legend. If you piece together the story, Penelope and her husband one winter while driving through the Sierras, were hit by a brutal snowstorm, which caused their car to get swept from the road, down a cliffside. Penelope awoke from the crash to discover her decapitated husband's head laying in her lap (yeah the story can be a little melodramatic). Her sanity suffering from this, Penelope fled the car, into the woods, and became lost in the wilderness.

She somehow was able to wander the woods, surviving some on berries, insects, and eventually raw birds and small animals, but was unable to find her way out to civilization. And here's where the story goes even weirder. As another storm hit, Penelope, searching for shelter, discovered several dumped large metal drums, toxic waste having seeped from them into the ground and area. She huddled inside one for protection from the storm, and passed out from her ordeal, sleeping in remnants of toxic waste, toxic waste which seeped into her.

Penelope emerged from her sleep, crawling from the metal drum, a bestial, savage, giant monster, with a never ending urge to eat meat. Now equipped with fangs, claws, and a tangled mess of hair, she began her journey through the Sierra Nevada's looking for prey. Her sanity now long gone, supposedly she went on a murder spree throughout the area. If you believe the stories, she is responsible for derailing a train and eating its passengers, killing unsuspecting hikers, attacking campers, murdering park rangers, and even attacking a mobile home park where she turned over structures and made off with some of the people who lived there.

The last part of this campfire tale has the FBI brought in to handle the issue, and hiring a posse of bounty hunters to chase after Penelope, eventually cornering her in canyon. Penelope was shot several times, but managed to kill several of her pursuers, before finally climbing over a cliff and disappearing over top.

And there we have it. A story formed of urban legend and campfire tales. A giant vicious killing machine that stalks the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Is it true? Is there really a poor woman named Penelope who turned into a giant cannibal as a result of toxic waste dumped in the woods? Probably not. But still, every now and then, there is a sighting of something, something horrid, something giant, female, and scary. Although details are sparse, and sightings rare (with one being as recent as 2012), park rangers are supposedly aware of her existence, and for whatever reason, have dubbed it Penelope.

So be careful when camping in the area, or you might end up Penelope's next meal.



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First Created: 2021-01-24
Last Edited: 2021-01-24


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