In the 1990s, three men were brutally murdered by Sasquatch on a weed farm in Northern California.
At least, that’s the story gonzo journalist David Holthouse heard in a cabin late one night in 1993. Almost three decades later, he teamed up with documentary-maker Joshua Rofé to get to the bottom of that chilling tale.
For Holthouse, who stars in Sasquatch as he interviews various believers and impersonators — along with at least one alleged murderer — creating the series was the closest he’s ever come to believing in Bigfoot.
“There were several points making this documentary when I was in the woods up there by myself and the adrenaline was already running pretty high and I totally understood,” Holthouse tells Inverse. “It feels like Sasquatch is behind every tree right.”
Sasquatch does ultimately answer the mystery it sets out to solve, but along the way, it finds an even more interesting story worth telling about what’s really happening in one of the world’s top marijuana-growing regions.
In an interview with Inverse, Holthouse reveals the scariest part of making Sasquatch, a fascinating direction the series almost took, and the conspiracy theory he does believe that might just inspire his next documentary.
This interview has been edited and for clarity and brevity. Beware of Sasquatch spoilers beyond this point!
At the end of this documentary, you say you don't believe in Sasquatch—
But I really want to.
Was there ever a point when you were making this documentary where you thought maybe it is real?
I don't know if I'd go that far. But there were several points making this documentary when I was in the woods up there by myself and the adrenaline was already running pretty high and I totally understood. It feels like Sasquatch is behind every tree right. It feels like this is a place where this mythical beast could exist.
Sasquatch made sense to me in a way that Sasquatch has never made sense to me before. The preponderance of belief in Sasquatch in that region made sense. I was like, Oh, I get why people who spend a lot of time in these woods believe in Sasquatch. But I can't say that I ever got there completely myself.
There are a lot of intense moments in Sasquatch. What was the scariest part of filming the documentary for you?
When I was going up the mountain, I was very often myself. You're literally off the map. GPS stops working. Cell phones stop working. If you're lucky, you can get a text out. But I literally have no fucking idea where I am.
On one of the last trips I did up there, I followed a source to this one particular farm up on Spy Rock where there was this woman that claimed to know information about these murders. She starts telling me about all the bodies that were buried on her property. And she tells me a story about these two guys that came up from LA to make a dope deal. Something went wrong and they wound up getting killed on her property.
“I literally have no fucking idea where I am.”
She tells me one of them pissed himself and after they shot the guys and buried them on her property, one of her pit bulls dug up the guy's piss-soaked boots and came running back up to the cabin with it, and how hilarious this was. In the moment, my outward-facing poker face is like laughing and going along with it. But inside, I'm like, Oh, fuck, am I getting out of here today? Have I crossed the line finally one too many times?
There’s a piece of that in the show. That was the time where I was most fearful that maybe I pushed my luck too far.
Sasquatch touches on a lot of different topics, from the war on drugs to immigration. When did you decide this was a story worth telling?
We started from: Let's find out if anybody else heard this story. I heard this story in a cabin one night in the fall of '93. Knowing how the information ecosystem functions in northern Mendocino County, I quickly came to the conclusion that word had spread beyond just that cabin.
Once we figured out that other people had heard this story, without knowing for sure whether or not murders occurred, we decided there was a story worth pursuing.
There’s an incredible interview in Sasquatch with a soldier who was part of the war on drugs in California. He doesn’t come across looking great, but it’s a pretty short clip. Was there any more to that interview you didn’t use?
He talked a lot about how he was encountering more and more of a Mexican cartel presence up there to the point where they were starting to find shrines to Jésus Malverde, who’s a sort of patron saint of narcos and stuff.
That was one of the reasons why we wanted to interview that guy. At one point, we were pursuing a cartel angle that didn't really play out. So that didn't make the cut.
You don’t believe in Sasquatch, but are there any other conspiracies you do believe in that you might want to make a documentary about in the future?
Well, I’ll tell you, I've done DMT once in my life and I came back from that totally believing in parallel universe multiverse theory. So I don't know if that counts as a conspiracy, but I’m like 100% convinced. I tend to think we're shifting between avenues in the multiverse all the time. We're just not aware of it.
Sasquatch is streaming now on Hulu.