The Enfield Horror and other Midwest Monsters

Apr 24, 2022, 02:33 AM

On the evening of April 15, 1973, Enfield, Illinois, resident Henry McDaniel heard a scratching noise outside his door he thought might be a bear. He opened it to find a hideous creature he described as having "... three legs on it, a short body, two little, short arms coming out of its breast area, and two pink eyes as big as flashlights. It stood four and a half feet tall and was grayish colored. It was trying to get into the house." McDaniel grabbed his pistol and a flashlight and fired four shots at the beast, which was only 12 feet away, sure that he had hit it with the first shot. The bullets had no effect on the beast, as it made a hissing sound at McDaniel "much like a wildcat's" before bounding 50 to 75 feet towards a brush-lined railroad embankment in just three leaps. A neighbor of McDaniel's, ten-year-old Greg Garrett, claimed that 30 minutes before this encounter, the same creature had accosted him in his backyard, stepping on his sneakers and ripping them to shreds before the boy ran inside terrified. However, as a team of sociologists from Western Illinois University interviewed witnesses and townsfolk, Greg and his parents would later tell them they had concocted the story to tease their eccentric neighbor McDaniel and put one over on an out-of-town newsman. McDaniel would spot the same or similar creature again on May 6, around 3:00 a.m., casually ambling down the railroad track. After McDaniel reported his second sighting to WWKI radio, the media, thrill-seekers, and the sociologists mentioned above all came to Enfield to investigate, including the radio station's News Director, Rick Rainbow. Rainbow and three associates had their own run-in with a monster near McDaniel's place. Also joining the investigation was noted cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, along with famed WGN radio host Richard Crowe. Both experienced men would hear what Coleman described as "the most ungodly, piercing shriek you can imagine." Whatever this being or beings were, it became known as "The Enfield Horror" or "The Enfield Monster." It would be easy enough to pass off this tale as the fanciful yarn of a crackpot and some eager cryptid hunters who were the only ones in town to claim a brush with the beast, but were these Enfield monster sightings an isolated event? According to Coleman, in his later book, Bigfoot!: The True Story of Apes in America, there was a flap of different monster sightings in the Midwest before, during, and years after Enfield, yielding colorful names like "Momo" and "The Big Muddy Monster." Considering all these accounts that don't sound like the suggested kangaroos, bears, dogs, calves, deer, or escaped apes, could McDaniel have been right when he said, "If they do find it, they will find more than one, and they won't be from this planet, I can tell you that."

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