The Hairy Giants
Indian lore has it that a mysterious race of giants, known as the Sasquatch, live in the high mountains around Harrison Lake. Over the years, various Indians have reported brief encounters with these individuals. Such stories are not easily discounted, for the Indians have a remarkable memory for detail and find little purpose in distorting the facts as they know them.
Various people in close contact with the Indians have no doubts that, at least, the remnants of such a race do exist in the hidden fastnesses of the Coast Mountains. One or two expeditions have even attempted to investigate, but were forced back by extremely rough and hostile terrain.
The following instances are only two of the many stories told by the Indians. They were related in all seriousness by an Indian woman living near Laidlaw.
"Over a hundred years ago, when the Indians were berry picking, one woman who had strayed from the others was suddenly confronted by a giant. Too paralyzed with fear to scream or run, she was quickly carried up the steep mountain side. After a long climb, during which time she remained in a semicoma and so did not note direction or length of time, she was carried through a rough door into a large rock cave.
"Two other Indian women were crouched in the cave and, when left alone with the new arrival, told her they had been captured in a similar manner years ago. They had been brought as wives for the giants and had since borne children.
"The men would disappear for months at a time and then return with food. For the new woman they brought flour and smoked fish that they knew she was accustomed to eating. (The fact that there was flour dates the story as taking place after the arrival of the Hudson's Bay Traders, 1827-1840).
"Although the woman had been a captive for over a year and had borne a child, she was determined to escape. The other two women told her they would help and when the hairy giants left on one of their seasonal hunting trips she was told to prepare all the food she could. She made bread, or bannock, (suggesting that these people or the Indian women at least used fire) and with a heavy pack of food set out across the mountains.
"After almost unendurable hardships she became exhausted and was carried and helped along by the other two women who possessed the giants' strength in some measure. She was left in a stupor near where she had originally disappeared.
"The villagers saw her but she suddenly became afraid of them and fled. She was pursued and carried to her father's house where she fainted and remained under a spell. The Indians believed that the giants held some mental power over her but with careful nursing she eventually recovered."
The second episode is still fresh in many of the Indians' memories. "Several years ago, in the vicinity of Laidlaw, a hairy giant entered a house and caused a woman and her two children to flee in terror. Later, footprints approximately 20 inches long were found clearly imprinted in the mud along the route the woman had taken. Although she was not captured, she has since refused to live in the house.
"Hair caught in the door-jamb was reported reddish in color. A 40-gallon barrel of salted fish had been picked up and dumped over, and the retreating footprints showed that the "Sasquatch" had merely stepped over the railroad fences and returned directly to the steep mountain slopes."
C. P.Lyons. "The Hairy Giants of Laidlaw, Milestones on the Mighty Fraser," Toronto: J. M Dent and Sons, 1950. p. 28-30.Source: Tacoma Public Library Online
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