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Book Review: The Kinderhook Creature and Beyond: A Personal Reminiscence (2022)

"The Bigfoot of Hudson Valley"
by Joseph Perry

The town of Kinderhook, New York has been home to  President Martin Van Buren, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle” author Washington Irving, author of the book being reviewed here Bruce G. Hallenbeck, and, some say, a cryptozoological beast akin to the Pacific Northwest’s Sasquatch. In The Kinderhook Creature and Beyond: A Personal Reminiscence, Hallenbeck discusses the 1980s heyday of high strangeness and what has happened since in the town and its surrounding area, during which he, his family, and other locals including law enforcement officers have had many fascinating experiences.

Hallenbeck — author of such books as Monsters of New York: Mysterious Creatures in the Empire State and Comedy-Horror Films: A Chronological History, 1914-2008 — provides a fascinating chronicle of the weird history of Kinderhook, which includes not only the titular cryptid but also unexplained blobs, UFO sightings, ghosts, and other paranormal occurrences. What the author and his family alone have been first-hand witnesses to is a remarkable read, but reports from other residents of the area further add to the puzzling complexity of the town.

Hallenbeck writes The Kinderhook Creature and Beyond: A Personal Reminiscence in an engaging, easygoing, highly thoughtful style. Most of the book is dedicated to describing the events that have perplexed area residents and anyone fascinated with unexplained phenomena. It concludes with the author’s consideration of what he has witnessed, been told about, and studied for decades, taking into consideration what luminaries in Fortean writing such as Loren Coleman, John Keel, and Jacques Vallée have speculated about before. The result is a welcome, deeply researched, and well-considered addition to the libraries of those of us who, like Hallenbeck, have been captivated since childhood by Bigfoot, extraterrestrial visitors, the spirit world, and other enigmatic possibilities.

The Kinderhook Creature and Beyond: A Personal Reminiscence, from Small Town Monsters Publishing, is available from and book retailers.

The Kinderhook Creature and Beyond: A Personal Reminiscence
Written by: Bruce G. Hallenbeck
Published by: Small Town Monsters Publishing
Length: 184 pages
Release Date: November 7, 2022 


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