The Agropelter (Anthrocephalus craniofractens)[1] is a mythical fearsome critter[1] said to inhabit hollow trees of the conifer woods from Maine to Oregon.[2] From this vantage point, the creature would await an unwary person and hurl wooden splinters and branches at the intruder.[2][3][4][5] Some have described the creature as being so quick that it has never been seen.[3] One reference describes the creature as having a "slender, wirely body, the villainous face of an ape, and arms like muscular whiplashes, with which it can snap off dead branches and hurl them through the air like shells from a six inch gun."[5]

The agropelter subsists on woodpeckers, hoot owls,[5] high-holes,[4] and dozy (rotten) wood.[4] Its pups are born on February 29 and always arrive in odd numbers.[4] They are blamed for the disappearance of people in northern forests.[6] When loggers died from branches falling on their heads, the agropelter was blamed for throwing the heavy branches.[7] Another reference describes the creature as having "the head of a gorilla or some other terrifying ape, but fully furred, and its body was like that of a stretched-out, starving bear."[8] They are also said to be "completely black save for its face, which had a spoken ash-grey skull pattern contrasting with the black of the rest of the animal".[8]

In one account, an agropelter kidnapped a pioneer surveyor and fed him raw fish until he escaped.[9]


  1. ^ a b William Thomas Cox (1910). Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts. Press of Judd & Detweiler.
  2. ^ a b Wyman, Walker D. Mythical Creatures of the USA and Canada. (River Falls, WI: Univ of Wisconsin Riverfalls Press,1978.)
  3. ^ a b Cohen, Daniel. Monsters, Giants, and Little Men from Mars: An Unnatural History of the Americas. (New York: Doubleday, 1975)
  4. ^ a b c d Tryon, Henry Harrington. Fearsome Critters. (Cornwall, NY: Idlewild Press, 1939)
  5. ^ a b c Cox, William T. with Latin Classifications by George B. Sudworth. Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods. (Washington, D.C.: Judd & Detweiler Inc., 1910
  6. ^ James E. Myers (1 March 1984). Grandpa's Rib-Ticklers and Knee Slappers. Lincoln-Herndon Press. ISBN 978-0-942936-01-8.
  7. ^ William Durbin (18 December 2008). Blackwater Ben. Random House Children's Books. pp. 62–. ISBN 978-0-307-51459-2.
  8. ^ a b Lucas, J.R. (2017). A Treasury of Legends. United States: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. p. 157. ISBN 978-1974447541.
  9. ^ Lucas, J.R (2017). A Treasury of Legends. United States: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. pp. 159–161. ISBN 978-1974447541.