The Hidebehind is a mysterious nocturnal creature from American folklore. It is said to prey upon humans that wander the woods at night, and was credited for the disappearances of early colonial loggers when they failed to return to camp. Early accounts describe Hidebehinds as large, powerful animals, despite the fact that no one was able to see them.
As its name suggests, the Hidebehind is noted for its ability to conceal itself. When an observer attempts to look directly at it, the creature hides again behind an object or the observer and therefore can't be directly seen. The Hidebehind uses this ability to stalk human prey without being observed and to attack without warning. Once the person is killed, the Hidebehind drags the person back to their lair to be eaten.
In Popular Culture
The Hidebehind has appeared in a number of novels and stories. Some of these stories have revolved around other characters in American folklore.
- In, Pecos Bill Catches a Hidebehind, the creature is captured and donated to a zoo by the cowboy Pecos Bill.
- Duane's' Young Wizards series mentions Hidebehinds. Her wiki describes the fictional universe they are set in. Different species of Hidebehind have even been assigned mock scientific names. For example, one of the carnivorous species is referred to as Cryptopsthenis nondescriptis.
- In the Silver John story "The Desrick on Yandro", author Manly Wade Wellman included a variant called the Behinder.
- The Hidebehind is the subject of a Gravity Falls short called "The Hide Behind".
- The 2006 suspense novel The Hidebehind by Charles H. Snellings, centralizes on one of the creatures stalking rafters on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho.
- The Hidebehind is featured in the 2014 indie horror game Forest of Whispers.
- In 2016, the official Harry Potter themed newsite Pottermore by J. K. Rowling released a new story about the wizarding school Ilvermorny, which featured a hidebehind. This "nocturnal, forest-dwelling spectre" preys on humanoid creatures.