The Legend Of The Fresno Nightcrawlers Explained

Deep in the heart of the dark and untamed land of Central California, there lurks an enigmatic beast whose very name conjures images of a suntanned Jake Gyllenhaal or an X-Men character at a mall: The Fresno Nightcrawler, the San Joaquin Valley's own unknowable living riddle (via The Business Journal). According to California, the state is allegedly home to various mythical creatures, including Bigfoot and chupacabras. However, since first appearing in the security camera footage in 2007 (as seen on YouTube), the Fresno Nightcrawler has ignited the pilot lights on the imaginations of those wary of the truth and its position out there.

But what exactly is the Fresno Nightcrawler? What secrets does it hold? By its very nature as a cryptid, which Merriam Webster notes is an animal that has not been proven to exist, little is known about this inexplicable face on the faunal stage. Its presence in grainy home footage leaves more questions than answers. Its reasons and drive are a mystery. Perhaps the Fresno Nightcrawler won't be understood until it's already too late. There is, however, one fact upon which can be agreed upon: The rugged video clip demonstrates what appears to be a walking pair of comfy pants.

The Fresno Nightcrawler: scarier than it inseams

According to the Fresno Bee, the first sighting of these baffling ambulatory PJs was captured by a Fresno man's front yard security camera in 2007. YourCentralValley states the man, named Jose, was awoken by his barking dogs in the morning and was frightened when he viewed his security camera footage. The Business Journal reports that Jose brought the footage to Univision, hoping to find answers, but was left unsated. From there, the video made its way to paranormal investigators, including Victor Camacho, who hosts the Spanish-speaking supernatural program "Los Desvelados" or "the sleepless ones."

The footage eventually wound up in the hands of the SyFy docuseries Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files. The episode, which aired in 2010, brought the possibility of independently pedestrian pants to the masses and deemed them "unconfirmable." Since then, the original Fresno Nightcrawler film has gone viral, racking up well over a million views on YouTube. More videos, generally of the "determinately faked" variety, have popped up over the years.

That said, sightings of the creature have continued throughout California and the world. Per The Business Journal, a 2011 video (as seen on YouTube), allegedly shows Fresno Nightcrawlers in Yosemite National Park. In 2017 Grainy footage of alleged Fresno Nightcrawlers was later captured in Poland (as seen on YouTube). In 2022, Jose's footage made it onto an episode of the History series "The Proof Is Out There."

The myth of the Fresno Nightcrawler endures

Although widely believed to be a cryptid, YourCentralValley writes that some believe the Fresno Nightcrawler is an alien. Others believe that Jose's footage and all subsequent videos thereafter are nothing but hoaxes. In 2012, popular YouTuber Captain Disillusion uploaded a video (as seen on YouTube) demonstrating how the appearance of a pants-like creature could easily be done using clever editing tricks. Nevertheless, The Business Journal explains that the Fresno Nightcrawler has skyrocketed in popularity on social media and within the art world. Products, podcasts, and countless other merchandise centered on the Fresno Nightcrawler can easily be viewed and purchased online.

Eduardo Valdés-Hevia, a digital artist from Spain, told The Business Journal that he found the Fresno Nightcrawler intriguing because it's a modern phenomenon. He stated, "In this case, you can clearly see it started in this certain year, with this certain person, telling this story, and then it grows from that." He added, "It's very different from the myths I'm used to." Fresno Native Laura Splotch explained (via The Business Journal) why she thinks the Fresno Nightcrawler continues to be a point of interest. "A lot of people are drawn to the unexplainable. But I'd rather Fresno be known for the Nightcrawlers than some of the other stuff we are known for," she said.