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What’s the Deal With: The Skagit-Squatch?

A man, a dream and a garage full of sasquatches

Michael Vail
Michael Vail
By Julia Lerner Staff Reporter

The Skagit-Squatch, a museum just off the Highway 20 in Burlington, is home to more than 700 iterations, images, carvings and collectibles of Bigfoot. 

What started as a retirement dream about 12 years ago in Michael Vail’s garage has blossomed into a massive collection of Sasquatch memorabilia — some of it created by Vail, 63, and his wife Peggy. 

photo  Michael Vail carved several of the Bigfoot statues around the museum with a small chainsaw and a lot of patience, he said. (Julia Lerner/Cascadia Daily News)  

“About 12 years ago, I kept asking, ‘What am I going to do when I retire?’” Vail said inside his neon-lit museum. “Ten years ago, there wasn’t a lot of Bigfoot stuff out there. It’s gained popularity in the last decade.” 

Vail, a lifetime Burlington resident and recent retiree, has spent the last decade collecting physical “evidence” of Bigfoot — like imprints of massive footprints — as well as stories from people across the world who claim to have seen the hairy, mythical giant. He keeps a journal with those stories amid his carvings and artwork, and said he’s had run-ins with the giant, as have some of his family members. 

You can often find Vail at the museum carving new artwork or dressed in Bigfoot costumes on Halloween and various Bigfoot festivals, such as the Skagit Bigfoot Fest — described as the “ultimate destination for Bigfoot enthusiasts” — coming up at the end of September.

WTD is published online Mondays and in print Fridays. Have a suggestion for a “What’s the Deal With?” inquiry? Email us at newstips@cascadiadaily.com.

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