[Video starts, showing a young person with dyed pink and blue hair sitting in front of a poster with the words 'Cryptid Crawl!' superimposed on a world globe. The letters are colored with a pink and blue camo pattern reminiscent of the person's hair. In the background of the poster are numerous cartoonish glaring eyes.]

Welcome back cryptid crawlers to the latest entry in our cryptid crawl across the continental US! Tonight, we visit the small town of Amity Park, Illinois. Now, experienced cryptozoologists might recognize that name as the self-proclaimed Most Haunted Town in America. But we aren't here for the ghosts. Amity Park has much more to offer than just spooky stories - no offense to our fellow paranormal investigators.

I'm talking about the Amity Park Phantom.

Now, you might be going what? Crawly, a Phantom? That's a ghost! But I will remind you all of the Fiskerton Phantom, which is very much not a ghost and is very much a living creature.

Of course, that doesn't mean that the Amity Park Phantom is the same kind of creature as the Fiskerton Phantom. In fact, descriptions of the creatures are very different. The Fiskerton Phantom is described as a large, dark-furred cat-like or bear-like animal with pointed ears. The Amity Park Phantom, meanwhile, is somewhat smaller than an adult human. Still big, for an animal, but not that big. Its color, meanwhile, is patchy, but sort of reminiscent of a tuxedo cat, if you know what I mean. But the most eye-catching part of the Amity Park Phantom is definitely the eyes. They're big. They're bright. They're green. And they glow. Lemme show you.

[The video shifts so that the right half the screen is taken up by a blurry photograph. Most of the photo is of a city park, but towards the edge of the park is a black and white humanoid figure. The figure's face is obscured by a pair of bright green lights.]

Now, we all know the typical explanations mainstreamers and cryptid deniers put out. Alien big cats, native cats with unusual coloration, owls. I mean, you know how I feel about people saying Mothman is just an owl. I mean, come on, man. That's crazy.

Back on topic.

Unlike most cryptids, the Amity Park Phantom is incredibly well documented.

[The right half of the screen cycles through several more photographs of the same black and white figure.]

Seriously, the only reason it's still a cryptid and not, like, getting someone on the cover of Genius magazine for discovering a new species - look, an enby like myself can dream, right? I'm hot enough to be on a magazine! - is because all the picture are blurry. Which I posit is because of its crazy traffic light eyes. Also, it's crazy fast and can fly.

Yep. This boy, girl, or other can fly. Not sure how. No visible wings - not that we can see with how blurry pictures of it already are, anyway. But fly it does. There are lots of pics and videos of it flying.

The Amity Park Phantom also has one other thing going for it that other cryptids don't get: Official government recognition.

Yeah, I'm not kidding you. The City of Amity Park's official, serious government position is that the Phantom exists, and not just as a tourist draw. Which is, like, mind-blowing. Most places don't even recognize Bigfoot. Mothman doesn't even have this level of recognition, and Mothman has a statue!

You know the one I'm talking about.

[The picture on the right changes to show an image of the Point Pleasant, Virginia Mothman statue, and then a close up of the statue's butt. It then returns to showing images of the Amity Park Phantom.]

Here's the rub. The reason the Phantom is still defined as a cryptid and not a real, living organism. Amity Park might recognize that the Phantom exists, but… they think it's a ghost.

But that's not true. Sorry, ghost hunters, we're usually on the same side, but in this case, you're wrong. Just gotta tell it like I see it.

Let's face the facts.

One, the Phantom is not geographically bound. Not to Amity Park itself - take a look at these pictures of it, or a similar creature, in Wisconsin.

Two, the Phantom has been photographed and even videoed hanging around restaurants and begging for food, even to the point of flying through the drive-through and getting chased away by this really badass girl - seriously, she climbed out of the drive-through window and chased him off with a broom. Girl, if you're seeing this and you're single, look me up.

[Video is briefly replaced by a three-second clip of a young black woman in a 'Nasty Burger' employee uniform climbing out of a drive through window and chasing the Amity Park Phantom with a push broom.]

Not ghost behavior.

Three, no matter how many sad dead children you dig up, none of them, not one of them matches Phantom's appearance or behavior. None. Like, look at this man.

[Photo montage stops on a slightly less blurry than usual picture of the Amity Park Phantom.]

His head is white. That's white hair. Fur. Whatever. Oh, god, now they've got me doing it. Yikes. But you know what's even more yikes? Trying to use real tragedies to prop up a demonstrably false claim on the internet.

Finally, and I think most damningly, is that you can get pictures of this guy. I have never seen nor heard of a ghost getting photographed this reliably.

Now, can I understand why people might think the Phantom is a ghost? Sure. He's this funny glowy guy who can fly, and there are some reports that he's got this active camouflage that would be so cool if it was real, because it sounds almost like invisibility. Finding an organism that can do that would be a big support to crytozoologists everywhere. Plus, it fits Amity Park's schtick. The whole 'Most Haunted Town' thing.

But there's another reason for Amity Parkers to be so insistent that the Phantom is a ghost. You see, they actually get funding for 'ghost attacks.' Yes, I know, it's weird. On the other hand, they don't give out funding for wild animal attacks. Well, wait, I don't actually know that, crap–

[Video cuts, jumping back to the blue-and-pink haired person.]

Okay, yeah, there's some money for it, but it's not ghost attack money. God. Anyway. The ghost attack money– I can hardly say that with a straight face. Wow. It's obviously only for ghost attacks, so. Gotta have a ghost. I am not making this up. It's on their website!

Now, how much of this ghost attack damage is actually because of the Phantom… eh, that's hard to tell. Beyond the obvious obfuscation, no one's ever been seriously injured by Phantom. There's this fun video someone photoshopped of it robbing a bank, though! No idea why anyone would do that, but, you know. It's the internet. They got the eye color wrong, though, maybe on purpose, so that's something. I'll be putting the link to that video down below if any of you need a laugh.

You might have noticed that this video is nearing its end, but don't worry, this is not the last you'll hear of the Amity Park Phantom. Next week, I will be going to Amity Park, Illinois! Personally! If you live around there, you might just see me.

On the other hand, that's all for this week before I crawl back into my Cryptid Cave - I should really get that trademarked some day - so! Don't forget to like and subscribe if you haven't already. My , ko-fi, and socials are listed below. I need money, so don't be shy. If you have any cryptid stories, photography, or art, don't be a cryptid yourself, make yourself known and send them in. This week's contributors are listed in the video credits. See you next week!

[Video briefly goes black. A list of usernames begins to scroll by, faster than possible to read. Video ends.]