A stuffed bobcat on display at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake.
Huletts Current reader, Karen Wagner, submitted the following question:
There is an animal in the mountains that produces a sound like a woman sreaming! We’ve asked around, but no one seems to know what it is. I assumed it was some type of a bird. Any ideas?
I might have laughed at such a question but I was in the woods recently and heard this strange screaming sound myself!
I’ve researched this and here are some possible answers.
One possibility is the bobcat. Several sites indicate that bobcats scream when threatened. I’ve also read that bobcats, when lovesick, emit a high-pitched scream. However, this site has three bobcat sounds, as well as various other animal sounds. I must admit that none of the bobcat sounds resembled a woman’s scream.
Another good possibility is the fox, which I have seen at times near the dam. This site has examples of fox screams. (Foxcry.wav seems to be the nearest match.) Other sites I have found indicate that a fox can produce a vocalization somewhat similar to a woman screaming.
Finally it could also be a raccoon. Here is a site where you can listen to raccoon noises. Although these don’t sound exactly like what I heard.
I hope this helps. But if you hear something like a woman screaming, stay alert!