“This scaly humanoid figure suddenly leaped out from behind some sand dunes and lunged at us! We were well terrified and legged it off the beach –but it came after us,” says seventeen year old Skegness resident Angie Mallet, describing how a late night teen beach party last Summer was disrupted by the appearance of the so-called ‘Skegness Monster’. “We’d all heard the stories – all them sightings of something scaly and slimy lurking around the town, and the footprints on the beach – but we just thought it was all a load of rubbish until this thing chased us!” The pursuit came to an abrupt halt when the monster suddenly collapsed, clutching at its reptilian chest and crying out in an unearthly wail. Realising that the tables were turned, Mallet and her friends descended on the stricken creature. “It weren’t so bloody terrifying flopping about on the sand like that, so the boys gave it a good kicking to teach it a lesson, like,” she says. “Besides, my mate Johnno reckoned there might be a reward for catching it!” To their disappointment, it turned out that their captive, far from being a prehistoric sea monster, was in fact an overweight middle-aged man in a rubber suit. “His bloody mask came off when Rob smacked him in the face, he was gasping for breath and pleading for us to call him an ambulance,” the teenager says. “Of course, we called one, but not before we’d given him another kicking, like, the bastard!” It quickly transpired that the ‘monster’ was actually forty-seven year old Larry Hacksaw, who claimed to have been employed to impersonate the creature for publicity purposes. “We had a contract from the local council,” he later told the Eastern Daily Press. “They’d seen how well the Jocks were doing from all the tourism and publicity the Loch Ness Monster was bringing in, and thought that having their own creature could do the same for them.” At a subsequent meeting of the Lincolnshire seaside resort’s council, Scott Spoke-Shaver, a local councillor and chairman of the local Chamber of Commerce, admitted the subterfuge. “We had to do something, for God’s sake,” he told the assembled councillors. “What else is there to attract visitors to the resort? The high street is just one long chip shop and the only tourists we get go the bloody Butlin’s holiday camp, depriving local businesses of any benefit. We needed a unique selling point, and ‘Skeggie’ seemed to fit the bill perfectly!” Spoke-Shaver confirmed that a contract had been let to a specialist company – Monstrous Lies – to actually create ‘Skeggie’. “Well, they approached us, actually,” he admitted. “They said that they had previous experience of this sort of thing and their fees seemed very reasonable!”

“It’s true – for the right price we can provide you with any kind of creature or supernatural phenomena you like,” admits Adam Spanner, Managing Director of Monstrous Lies. “We’ve been responsible for some of this country’s best known legendary monsters and hauntings. The West Drayton Apeman, the Milton Keynes poltergeist, that business at the East Kilbride municipal sewage works – we created them all.” According to Spanner, people employ his organisation for all manner of reasons – parties, frightening their mates and practical jokes, for instance – although most of their customers are corporate. “Monsters and strange phenomena can be real money-spinners,” he explains. “Take ‘Skeggie’, for instance – we had a whole marketing strategy planned, which included memorabilia like T-shirts, tea towels and stuffed toys. Several local hotels were going to offer special ‘Monster Hunting’ breaks, aimed at all those cryptozoologists and other weirdoes who always start turning up at the first blurry photograph of an alleged creature.” The abrupt termination of the ‘Skeggie’ contract has been a blow to Monstrous Lies, with Spanner fearing that the company’s reputation for professionalism could have been damaged irreparably. “It should have been a straightforward job. We’d already established Skeggie’s existence locally with a few carefully orchestrated sightings, and planted some physical evidence – mysterious footprints in the sand, strange noises in the night, that sort of thing – and we were just about to ramp up national interest by releasing a video to the internet, when that bloody idiot Hacksaw had to go and get caught by those pesky kids,” he laments. “I wouldn’t mind, but it isn’t the first time he’s cocked up – he damn near derailed the whole West Drayton Apeman business with his antics.” Indeed, questions were raised as to authenticity of the Apeman when a video emerged which seemed to show the hairy hominid pleasuring itself whilst spying on a courting couple in a park. “Why would some kind of prehistoric throwback be interested in the sexual activities of a different species?” local photographer Bob Wrench, who had filmed the beast on his mobile phone, whilst hiding in some bushes, pondered at the time. “I mean, if he’d been pulling his pud in front of the monkey enclosure at the zoo, I could have understood it, but this just didn’t seem natural!” Luckily, Wrench’s penchant for practicing ‘photography’ with his trousers around his ankles whilst peering through the bedroom windows of local women, meant that his Apeman film wasn’t taken seriously and was quickly forgotten as the press preferred instead to focus on his trial for indecent exposure.

“It’s all part of a pattern,” says Spanner, who has now dismissed Hacksaw for gross misconduct. “It’s quite clear that the sad bastard has been abusing his position as a monster to satisfy his perverted sexual lusts – those kids on the beach first spotted him watching two of them making out from behind a sand dune! Then there was that time during the Walsall public toilet haunting that he used his appearance as a spectre at a séance to repeatedly grope that medium! The man clearly needs help.” Hacksaw, now out of hospital and recovering at home, is suing Spanner and Monstrous Lies, claiming that spending years being forced to work as a monster have ruined his mental health. “The things I had to do – all that dressing in weird costumes and jumping out at people! It was hell! During that sewage works business I was forced to cover myself from head to foot in human excrement and chase workers down sewers,” claims the former creature performer, who squarely puts the blame for his sexual problems on Monstrous Lies. “It got to the stage where I couldn’t become sexually aroused unless I was dressed as a monster. It ruined my marriage, although I tried to be reasonable, my wife refused to make love to a Yeti or zombie, so I compromised by dressing as a vampire when I had sex with her.” Tired of having her breasts pierced by his fangs, Hacksaw’s wife left him. “No woman will come near me now – I can’t even find any prostitutes kinky enough to be taken behind by a werewolf,” he laments. “I tried using blow up sex dolls, but my fangs kept bursting them.” Spanner rejects such claims, and reveals that he is thinking of winding up the company, anyway. “With our cover blown, not even the most diehard cryptozoological crackpots are ever going to believe in any monster sightings now,” he opines. “Mind you, I’m proud of our record – we’ve kept the whole paranormal investigation industry going for years, employing dozens of dangerous cranks and keeping them off the streets.” Spanner is currently contemplating a move into the religious miracle business. “If anything, the God botherers are even more gullible than the paranormal lot,” he muses. “I’ve already had enquiries from a couple of major religions looking to shore up their support with a few divine interventions.”