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Monday, June 6, 2022

Colorized by Thomas Marcum

Tennessee Wildman

"Monsters and Mysteries in America" is enjoying another round of repeats on TV. One of the featured stories is that of the Tennessee Wildman. Robb Phillips' encounter is one of the featured stories of that series. We'll get to his story is a moment. First some background of the "legend".

It is said that back in the 1800s in McNairy County in Tennessee, a circus freak showman at some unknown time, in some unknown place, captured this beast and put him on display in a cage. It managed to break free in Tennessee and ran into the woods.

It was described as either with dark gray or dark ginger hair; 7 foot tall; with piercing red eyes; having a disturbing war cry, a horrible smell; displaying aggressive behavior; possessing great strength, agility, and speed; and having a strange, obsession with dogs and woman as targets.

A March 5, 1871 newspaper warned the residents about the Tennessee Wildman lurking around Piney. It was approaching women with "wild horrid screams". 

And now for Robb Phillips and his story. First of all, he is a paranormal investigator and founded Paranormal Technology Investigations. Not only has his story of his encounter with the Wildman been featured on "Monsters and Mysteries in America", but his research team has done several episodes of "A Haunting", a show produced by the same network as "Monsters and Mysteries".

It was in the mid 1990s summer time when Phillips and his cousin Randy Sparks headed out one rainy night to hike to Watauga Cliffs. Suddenly they realized everything was different.

"It was like everything in the woods just stopped. There was no sound at all. Then we heard twigs snapping and then there was this scream. It was like nothing we had ever heard before. It was not a human sound or an animal sound. Then we took off," related Phillips.

The two became separated as they ran through the dark woods. Phillips found a place where he could hide against a tree. There he stayed, afraid to move or make a sound. He could hear sounds of something walking around him, snapping twigs. Then he realized the sounds were now coming from above him. He looked up to see a large being about 20 feet up a tree and around 15 feet in front of him.

"I saw it in the tree, and then I saw my cousin and we took off. We made it to the top of the hill, and it was at the bottom of the hill growling. We ran for the cars and got out of there."

Phillips described the figure as being covered in charcoal gray fur, with really long arms and long sharp looking claws. He also said it appeared "stout" and about 9 feet tall with red, beady eyes and a horrible "stink" like the stench of a dead animal.

"I was always told that if you're out in the woods and the smell of death comes to get out of there. I know what they mean now. That night I smelled a stink like something had died. It smelled like a body that had died and been left laying out in the sun," recounted Phillips.

He and his cousin knew they had just encountered the Tennessee Wildman. "We knew we had experienced something. We had heard the rumors, but when it actually happened, we knew it wasn't a myth," stated Phillips.

In 2015 he returned to the area for the first time since the encounter to do interviews.

"I didn't tell too many people because they won't believe you. I figured now was a good time to tell it all." He later added, " It doesn't feel good to be here. I've been nervous the whole time."


"I'll spark the thought; what you do with it is up to you."
 "Those that know, need no further proof. Those that don't, should not demand it from others, but seek it for themselves."

This Post By TCC Team Member Nancy Marietta. Nancy has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal and cryptids. Nancy is also a published author and her book, The Price of war, has been met with great reviews.

[Please Note: Sadly Nancy passed away at the first of January, 2022. We will continue to honor her and her research by sharing her work. RIP Nancy. -Thomas]

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