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Behinder, or Hidebehind (Hide-behind, hidebehinder, hide-behinder, etc.)

Origin: Manly Wade Wellman's "The Desrick on Yandro (fiction)"


"And there's the Behinder." "And what," said Mr. Yandro, "might the Behinder look like?" "Can't rightly say, Mr. Yandro. For it's always behind the man or woman it wants to grab.... Only a gone gump would go up there...."

And I saw what nobody's ever supposed to see. The Behinder flung itself on his shoulders. Then I knew why nobody's supposed to see one. I wish I hadn't. To this day I can see it, as plain as a fence at noon, and forever I will be able to see it, but talking about it's another matter: thank you, I won't try.

Manly Wade Wellman's "The Desrick on Yandro (fiction)"

The "Behinder", also known as a Hidebehind, is a secretive nocturnal predator from American folklore that hunts its prey through the mountain country, lurking unseen among the trees, until it chooses to leap from hiding from behind and grab the man or woman it wants to grab.

A nocturnal fearsome critter that preys upon humans that wander the woods, the Behinder was often blamed for the disappearances of early loggers when they failed to return to camp, and tales of the Hidebehind may have helped explain strange noises in the forest at night. 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 Behinder uses this ability to stalk human prey without being observed and to attack without warning.

Victims are dragged back to the creature's lair to be devoured, as the creature subsists chiefly upon the intestines of its victim. The Behinder has a severe aversion to alcohol, which is considered a sufficient repellent, and wise hill-folk will be certain to drink plenty of moonshine whiskey throughout the day to ensure that the Behinder is sufficiently repelled. Early accounts describe Behinders as large, powerful animals, quite horrible in appearance, despite the fact that few people have ever been able to see a Behinder; those unfortunates who have seen one wish for the rest of their lives that they had never laid eyes upon the thing.

Keeper Notes

  • See the Discussion tab for fan theories and suggestions.

Associated Mythos Elements