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5 Shows like Monster Quest: Something Is out There

James Thomas itcherField biologists study creatures that live in dangerous places. Cryptozoologist and paranormal investigators attempt the same with creatures that are less than corporeal or as authentic as an American three dollar bill. Still, TV shows like ‘Monster Quest’ are compelling because, deep down, people want someone out there willing to get chunks bitten out of them or worse for a chance to see something amazing. When I want to see people risking their hides and sanity in the name of discovery, I watch ‘River Monster’, ‘Finding Bigfoot’, and ‘Ghost Hunters’. ~ James Thomas

Beasts in the Woods

This show is the perfect justification for anyone who hates camping and fishing to avoid both activities. I watch this show to see an intrepid group of monster hunters, who conspicuously never bring an appropriate amount of ammunition to deal with the beast they happen to be hunting or that is more likely hunting them.

If I were venturing into the forest looking for a mysterious species of wolf, I’m not sure I would be comfortable carrying anything less than a can of bear mace. TV shows like ‘Monster Quest’ feature experienced researchers dealing with strange creatures that are known for maiming people that stumble into their general area.

My favorite part of the show has to be the tight camera angles that make things like claws and tentacles seem like artifacts from a strange nightmare.


Shows Similar to ‘Monster Quest’…

‘River Monsters’ (Animal Planet, 2009- )

Similar to many shows like ‘Monster Quest’, ‘River Monsters’ actually deals with substantiated reports of creatures in rivers and lakes. These beasts are so massive or predatory they’ve earned themselves nicknames like knuckle-crusher and thunder jaw. I’m not sure if this show has made fishing more appealing or more disturbing.

I enjoyed listening to the host’s pleasant accent as he puts himself under water with 10-foot long meat eaters with teeth like serrated switchblades. After telling stories of how one of these fish mutilated some poor swimmers face beyond the point where you could distinguish lips from eyes, he pulls the monster from the water and cradles it like an infant with a toothache.

But I must say that it is edited and produced better than a lot of monster-hunter type shows so you can see every terrifying inch of these horrors in HD.

Similarity Match: 95%
Both ‘River Monsters’ and ‘Monster Quest’ deal with creatures that are massive and terrifying, but this show takes away all the advantages we land-dwelling mammals have over fish and dooms the host to go searching the briny shallows for terrors.

‘Finding Bigfoot’ (Animal Planet, 2011- )

If you were born in America, you’ve probably heard about Bigfoot or Sasquatch. But unless you’re like the special folks in the show ‘Finding Bigfoot’, you probably don’t worry much about running into one. Similar to many shows like ‘Monster Quest’, this show follows several dubiously trained hunters looking for evidence of the strange creature.

In my opinion, the most entertaining part of this show is when the hunters looking for the “squatch” terrify themselves while screaming into the darkness. Watching the show, I have to wonder what would happen if they ran into the beast as they seem better equipped to hunt for fish than tangle with bipedal mega primates.

Similarity Match: 90%
Unlike ‘Monster Quest’, the team in ‘Finding Bigfoot’ never actually seems to find Bigfoot. However, they do manage to put themselves into perilous situations that straddle the line between crazy and brave just like the host in ‘Monster Quest’.

‘Ghost Hunters’ (Syfy, 2004- )

I didn’t know that monochrome television was becoming fashionable again until I watched ‘Ghost Hunters’. I watched for an hour while Jason Hawes and his team stumbled around using night vision cameras to antagonize ghost or convince each other that they knew what they were doing. Similar to lots of TV series like ‘Monster Quest’, these folks spend their time carrying cameras into places other people try to avoid.

Every cliché of a haunting is present in the show including sudden cold spots, scratches on the ghost hunters’ bodies, and electromagnetic interference. They never bring up the possibility of equipment malfunction because where’s the fun in that?

Similarity Match: 85%
‘Ghost Hunters’ are on a search for spirits and relevance unlike ‘Monster Quest’, but both shows spend a lot of time presenting rumors and retelling them in ways that are as interesting as the hunt itself.


If You Like ‘Monster Quest’, You Will Like…

‘Monster Quest’ is a fun excursion filled with creepy biting things that surprise both the audience and the host. The next shows offer that same sort of entertaining rush while presenting the narrative in novel ways or dealing with subjects that are beyond belief.

‘Ancient Aliens’ (History, 2009- )

As entertaining as it is to watch ‘Ancient Aliens’, I must admit that I don’t understand how this show got on to The History Channel. It’s not that I’m not entertained by speculation on the pyramids being a landing strip for flying saucers but I just wonder how many kids have turned in dubious history reports filled with little gray men thanks to ‘Ancient Aliens’.

But the show does manage to be pretty entertaining and informative in a weirdly tangential sort of way. Comparable to the way that series similar to ‘Monster Quest’ cover big forest beasts, this show presents experts in their field who inform you of how much influence reptilian aliens had on the conquests of Alexander the Great.

I must say that it’s always interesting to watch just how often after hours of deliberation on the intricacies of human history the host’s conclusion can be broken down to the simple declaration of, “aliens did it”.

Unlike ‘Ancient Aliens’, ‘Monster Quest’ hunts down terrestrial animals that are rumored to be hiding in the woods. However, both shows have experts that attempt to speak to just how strange the world really is and how much we pretend to know about its secrets.

‘Lost Tapes’ (Animal Planet, 2008-2010)

I’m one of the few people who genuinely enjoys the found footage genre. The idea that the camera is the only witness left behind to tell the story of some poor person stupid enough to go looking for monsters is pretty terrifying and very compelling. The show ‘Lost Tapes’ takes this to a whole new level.

This show blends the idea of found footage with cryptozoology and distils the results into 30-minute stories where unfortunate people are hunted by creatures found only in myths and urban legends. The creatures showcased include the chupacabra, zombies, death worms, werewolves, and the Wendigo.

This show is a good example of how you can take a concept that’s a bit overdone and inject some new life into it through the judicious use of camera angles.

Like ‘Monster Quest’, ‘Lost Tapes’ tries to track down images of creatures that have lived in the darker corners of the human psyche. However, in this show, we actually get to see the beast roam the world and act like monsters.


Discovering Terror

Shows like ‘Monster Quest’ are filled with stories of strange occurrences in the woods and in the darkest parts of our imaginations. Some of our best fiction comes from this search and we will never grow tired of searching further into the darkness. 

Do you think that searching for monsters is a healthy hobby?

Let me know in the comments down below.

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