In the dark marshes of Barnstable on the coast of Cape Cod, there have been sightings of strange and dark human-like creatures. Not shadow people, as these figures appear quite solid, yet as dark as the mud from which they are said to come out of.
Derek Bartlett is the founder and president of the Cape and Islands Paranormal Research Society. He’s spent many a day and night exploring the unexplained aspects of the Cape. He says the legend of the Marsh People goes back to at least the 1800s when these creatures described as black as marsh mud emerge to drag a horse or even a human to their doom in the mucky marsh. Bartlett didn’t think he would actually bear witness to these creatures, but he had his own encounter while he was living in Barnstable. His property backed up against the marsh, and the former United States Marine spent one April evening in 2002 watching the marsh with the night vision scope. “I would watch the marsh with my scope,” Bartlett said. “I saw what appeared to be people walking, but it wasn’t on the railroad tracks that cut through the middle, it was beyond that. I stood and watched and watched. They were very light and then they vanished. It was high tide. They weren’t in a canoe. They were walking. I saw the movement of people walking and then they were gone. I lost focus, and by the time I went back on them they were gone.”
Has anyone else reported seeing these Marsh People? Bartlett says yes. “There was a group of five kids,” he said. “I know them. They’re decent kids from a big family from Cape Cod. They were hanging out down by the end of the marsh, and all five of them saw this thing come out of the marsh; they came out, walked across the railroad tracks, and went down the other side. This isn’t the kind of kid to make things up.”
Derek Bartlett is currently looking for other witnesses of the Marsh People of Barnstable. He says the sightings seem to be cyclical—approximately once every five years.