An artist's depiction
|Theories|| · Cryptid|
The Grampus was a bizarre tree dwelling, porpoise-like creature was said to have terrified villagers who got too close to the rural English churchyard where it made its home.
While there’s not much of a written record concerning this unique beast, what has been passed down through the centuries are eyewitness accounts of a strange, wheezing animal that was said to resemble — at least on the surface — a dolphin or porpoise. What’s even more odd is that, unlike its ostensibly marine mammalian kin, the Grampus was said to dwell in the branches of an ancient yew tree located in the Highclere Churchyard.
While the Grampus was not considered to be a particularly dangerous vermin, it did manage to terrify locals by emitting a disturbing cacophony of guttural noises and, even more alarmingly, chasing anyone foolish enough to wander too close to its domicile. What method of locomotion it used to propel itself in these pursuits remains a mystery.
The Grampus was basically described as a tree-dwelling dolphin or porpoise.
There are several explanations as to what the creature could be. Theories include:
- An undiscovered species (a Cryptid)
- A hoax
- Needless to say the Highclere natives believes this bizarre beast to be a denizen of the hell, and they promptly enjoined a local clergyman to help rid them of what they perceived to be a demonic entity. The anonymous clergyman agreed and through the rite of exorcism, by means of bell book and candle, managed to banish the beast into the Red Sea for a period of no less than 1,000 years.
- The Grampus was also said to have a tendency toward heavy breathing or “blowing like a whale.” This may account for the creature’s name. In the 1893 opus; “A Journal of natural philosophy, chemistry and the arts, Volume 21,” author William Nicholson refers to the predatory orca or killer whales as “grampus.” Others have even suggested that the old expression “puffing like a Grampus,” was inspired by the beast.
- In Japan, "grampus" is a common alternative way of describing a killer whale. The kanji character for "grampus" can be interpreted in two ways. One reading is “shachi,” which is the Japanese for "grampus". The other interpretation is “Shachiko,” which represents a monster with the head of a tiger and the tail of a carp. A gold-plated pair of these beasts adorns the top of Nagoya Castle in Japan.