Real Gargoyles: Sightings of Grotesque Demons and Flying Humanoids

Are gargoyles real?

Well, of course they are — by their ordinary definition, gargoyles are nothing more than simple water spouts with elaborate and grotesque designs. They jut out from the roofs and sides of buildings, often cathedrals and churches, to prevent too much rainwater from running down their walls.

Yet still the question remains: Do gargoyles exist beyond the walls of those old buildings? Are there such creatures in the world?

Believe it or not, many have reported sightings of alleged flying gargoyles over the years, winged demon-like creatures with elongated, grotesque faces and, sometimes, hooves. Perhaps gargoyles are, indeed, real. The stories you’ll find below may prove their existence, or at least open up the possibility.

The Devil In Jersey

Before we get to the actual sightings, let’s take a quick look at one of the more famous legendary winged demons said to exist in the United States: the Jersey Devil. I mention it because, as you can see from the public domain sketching below, it bears a striking resemblance to a gargoyle, with large wings, hooves, and an elongated demonic face.

The Jersey Devil is considered something of an urban legend. As such, it has at least a few known origin tales. One local bit of folklore tells of a woman known as Mother Leeds, who in the 1700s had twelve children. When she was about to have her thirteenth child, however, she cursed it, saying that it would be the devil. She was, you could say, tired of having children.

When the child was finally born, it at first appeared perfectly normal. But the curse, unfortunately, worked — very soon after, the child morphed into a demonic creature with leathery wings, hooves, and a forked tail. It flew up the chimney and fled into the nearby Pine Barrens, where it lurks to this day.

Ever since, there have been many reported sightings of the winged devil in New Jersey.

The Galloway Photo

In 2015, an image appeared online when a man from Little Egg Harbor Township claimed to encounter that sae strange winged creature in Galloway, New Jersey. He’d been driving home from work when he noticed “what he thought was a llama running in and out of the trees lining the road.”

Shockingly, however, that “llama” sprouted wings and took to the sky before disappearing completely. He did manage to capture a bizarre photo with his smartphone — it shows a dark figure shaped like a goat, with two horns and what may be wings. Tree tops appear in the background.

He shared the photo and his story in an email to, where it first appeared. He promised that it was not fake.

In 1999, another photo surfaced on Facebook of what some claimed was the image of a demon. It was taken in Arizona, and while at first glance you can definitely make out the shape of a large, winged demon, many believe this is just a blurry picture of a palm tree.

Pareidolia at work, I suppose.

Real Gargoyle Sightings

Let’s move beyond the Jersey Devil and demonic palm trees. Below you’ll find more stories of allegedly real gargoyle sightings, which will be added to over time. From Chicago to South America, and even into Spain, gargoyles, it would seem, are out there.

A Gargoyle In Spain

Just last year, in 2017, a story appeared out of Spain of a “Gargoyle-like” creature sighting. Crytozoology News interviewed the witness, Alex Nasirc, who claimed he was awoken one night in September 2010 by what he said vaguely “looked like a dog with wings.”

The sighting happened at one in the morning in Santa Maria Del Aguila, a Spanish town in the province of Almeria. He heard a strange, spine-tingling noise that resembled a shrieking woman outside of his open window. He looked out the window, only to find a bizarre winged creature approaching from several feet away, perched on the building.

His description was pretty detailed, as well: The creature was large, with a “thick, short beak” and a “stretched” head. Its body was “bulky” and a pinkish color, and it didn’t seem to have front legs. Its wings were curved, with a span of “around 2 to 3 meters.” It had a long thin tale, and its movements were slow and heavy, like it was struggling to fly. “It almost looked like a robot,” he said.

His encounter didn’t last very long. The gargoyle-like creature took off, flying into the night sky.

A Flying Humanoid Demon In Northern California

In 2011, a witness named Ashley submitted her strange encounter to the website True Ghost Tales. She had been walking down a street with her boyfriend at about 3:00 a.m. one evening, when she witnessed what she described as a creature very similar in appearance to the Jersey Devil.

It was flying very low to the ground, so much so that she could hear its large wings flapping. The creature, she wrote, was roughly 7.5 feet tall, with a torso similar to a “man’s with broad shoulders.”

When she saw it, she screamed. At that point, the creature disappeared beyond the wiring of a nearby telephone pole, as if it had simply vanished into thin air.


Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.