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The Specter Moose
Status: Mystery Moose (existence undetermined)Curtis MacDougall, in his 1940 work Hoaxes, briefly mentions a creature named the Specter Moose. He writes: Unfortunately that's all he says about the Specter Moose. But I've always been intrigued by this mysterious creature, and recently when I decided to expand and improve my Gallery of Tall-Tale Creatures, I resolved to find out once and for all what the Specter Moose is.
A web search turned up nothing except one other person who had also come across MacDougall's mention of the creature and was similarly intrigued. A search through various library research databases didn't turn up anything. Google Book search also came up dry. But finally I got some results when I tried newspaperarchive.com, which is an archive of old newspapers.
The Specter Moose appears to have been a moose version of Moby Dick. It was a huge, whitish-gray moose, apparently immune to bullets, who terrified hunters by chasing them around. As such, it's probably less of a tall-tale creature and more of a cryptozoological legend.
On November 14, 1900 the Minnesota Freeborn County Standard reported: The Specter Moose returned to the headlines on November 19, 1911, at which time the Texas Galveston Daily News gave this summary of reports coming out of Maine: Finally he reared his antlers again in 1938 when news wires carried this blurb (which appeared on March 15 in the Pennsylvania Charleroi Mail): After that the Specter Moose never again seems to have been seen. At least, no sightings made it into papers. Perhaps the big guy died of old age. It's quite possible, of course, that a white moose (or more than one) was wandering around Maine. The size of the creature is the real question. My guess is that Maine hunters may really have seen a white moose, but then exaggerated its size, as hunters have a tendency to do.
Update: To put the Specter Moose in perspective, Mooseworld.com reports that the largest moose on record was an Alaskan bull moose that weighed 1,697 lbs. Other sites report that this record moose had an antler spread of 6 ½ feet. The Specter Moose, at 2500 lbs and with an antler spread of over ten feet, would easily have beaten this record.