Gugwe (unknown artist)
The unedited (but zoomed) image of the "beast of seven chutes"
A highlighted view of the creature
The Gugwe or "face eater/head eater" in Mik’maq, is a cryptid often lumped together with bigfoot or dogmen. Gugwes are 6 to 7.5 ft tall and usually are knuckle walking, although they occasionally walk bipedally. They have grey, white, or black hair and their body resembles a chimps', although their head resembles a gorilla’s, with a baboon-like face and snout. Gugwes inhabit dense and remote boreal forests, mainly in Quebec and Labrador, although their range allegedly also includes northern Ontario, northern Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. Gugwes are greatly feared by many indigenous tribes and are thought to be dangerous to humans. Gugwes have only recently been noticed in the cryptozoology and bigfoot community.
In folklore, if a human goes into a gugwe’s territory, the gugwe will decapitate and eat their head, and leave behind their corpse. Although this sounds far-fetched, many cases of this have occurred, especially in the Nahanni Valley in the Northwestern Territories. In fact, this has happened so much, there is a area called Valley Of The Headless Men or Headless Valley.
One of the earliest written accounts was featured in Elliot Merrick's 1933 book, True North, about his time living in Labrador. He wrote about a gugwe encounter a girl named Michelin had near Traverspine in 1913. Allegedly, Michelin was playing near her parent’s cabin in a meadow, when she spotted a seven-foot tall ape-like creature walk out of the tree line. It mostly walked on two legs, but would occasionally go on all fours. It was covered in white hair, had long arms, and a mane on its head resembling “the helmet crest of a Roman centurion.” The creature then noticed Michelin and bared its teeth at her. She then ran away screaming into her cabin. They never saw it again, but they did find various 30 cm long tracks around the cabin. The footprints were “narrow at the heel and forking at the front into two broad, round-ended toes. Sometimes its print was so deep it looked to weigh five hundred pounds.” After this encounter, lumbermen in the area found more tracks, as well as trees with the bark stripped off, as if the creature was looking for insects. For the next couple years, the creature, now nicknamed “The Traverspine Gorilla” would occasionally be seen in the area.
The beast of 7 chutes photograph is one of the few alleged photographs of a gugwe. The photograph zoomed in is quite blurry, so it is difficult to make out everything. The photo was taken by a man named Louis in June 1st 1995 in Parc De Sept Chutes, Quebec. Parc De Sept Chutes is 22 square kilometres of protected forest that connects to the 1,500 square kilometre Mont Tremblant National Park. The photo appears to show an ape-like animal with a snout and a reddish sagittal crests, similar to a gorilla looking at the camera. Some claim to see the creature holding something, which some speculate it to be a dog or fox. Since the exact location of the photo is known, researchers have been to the spot the alleged creature was, and is about the same height as a human.