Sasquatch Coffee

Horned Horror

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 13th, 2007

What could this “Horned Horror” have been?

The people of Jonesboro, Tennessee, are in a turmoil of terror over the appearance of a fearful and wonderful animal which is depredating in the State. A gentleman recently from the Shelton Laurel district of North Carolina, some forty miles from this place, informs us that the people in that “densely thicketed” country are greatly excited in regard to the appearance, upon several different occasions, and in several different places, of a huge mountain monster, the species of which are [sic] unknown.

Mr. George Anderson, one of the gentlemen residing in Laurel county, being one of the persons that saw the monster, also furnishes us with the following description of it: “I was out in the jungle hunting up some lost hogs, when all of a sudden there came into my path a beast, the appearance of which[,] I must confess, caused me to quake for the first time in many years. Aside from its strange and unusual appearance, the unearthly yell it uttered on perceiving me, which reverberated and re-reverberated through the forest, was enough to shake the most daring adventurer. The animal was some hundred yards distant from me, and appeared to be a huge black bear with mane and head like a lion, but had horns like an elk upon it. Its tail was long and bushy, with dark and light rings around it to its very extremity. Its eyes glared like a panther’s, and its size was that of an ordinary ox, but somewhat longer.

Just previous to making its appearance I had shot off my gun at a squirrel, and felt little prepared to meet such a ferocious beast without any weapon of defense. I immediately set about to reloading my rifle, but had scarcely begun when it started towards me. I retreated in as good order as possible, and must say I did some good running – not looking back until I reached an open spot – when I found the animal had disappeared in the laurel thicket.

This is no story, Mr. Editor, gotten up to scare naughty children. I am not the only one that saw the monster – several have seen it since I did; and as sheep and calves are lately missing, it is presumed to be a carnivorous brute. Many have fortified their homes to prevent a night attack from the strange monster, the like of which was never seen in these mountains before. Some think it has escaped from some rambling menagerie, while others superstitiously think it is sent to warn the people of some approaching danger.”“An Animal Horror,” Janesville [Wisconsin] Gazette, March 3, 1873.

Thanks for this historical item from Jerome Clark.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


13 Responses to “Horned Horror”

  1. sschaper responds:

    That’s a lot of detail for 100 yards in a dense thicket. . . .

    Forest wisent?

    I don’t think there have been any carnivores with horns this side of the K-T boundary layer.

  2. Ceroill responds:

    If the description is at all accurate, and I have lots of doubts on that, then it might be something from the Pleistocene age.

  3. Alligator responds:

    Pasting bits and pieces of common animals together, including a ringed raccoon tail to make a monster. A great way to sell a few extra papers in the 19th century.

  4. bill green responds:

    hey loren & everyone wow very informative new article. thanks bill. i realy like the above replys as well. hey loren something tells me i will definetly see a update to this article.

  5. mystery_man responds:

    I believe the more sensationalist articles of that day were not known for their veracity and close attention to reality. Like Alligator said, a great way to sell papers in those days. I do not put much credence into this report, but who knows?

  6. DARHOP responds:

    Mr. George Anderson, one of the gentlemen residing in Laurel county, being one of the persons that saw the monster, also furnishes us with the following description of it: “I was out in the jungle hunting up some lost hogs, when all of a sudden there came into my path a beast:

    Is their jungle in Tennessee and North Carolina? WE use to live in NC when I was very young. I don’t remember any jungles. If remember right, the woods were a lot like they are here in Washington State.
    Anyway, this animal sound’s kinda like a Buffalo to me. At a hundred yard’s, the horn’s were probably tree branches I’d guess. I would hate be charged at by anything as big as an ox, buffalo etc. It’s bad enough when a dog big or little comes at you. Imagine something 1000 lbs or more coming at you. ( NOT )

  7. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Sounds like a bantha to me :-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bantha

  8. Dib responds:

    After that experience I bet he invested in a good breechloading rifle.

  9. Artist responds:

    Interesting closing line: “Some think it has escaped from some rambling menagerie, while others superstitiously think it is sent to warn the people of some approaching danger.”

    Two “standard theories” alive and well in Jonesboro, TN in Mar. 1873 ~ one wonders how far back those “rambling menageries” and “monsterly warnings” go.

  10. CrimsonFox79 responds:

    Hmm. Anything’s possible but who knows. If the story is real, I doubt it’s what is eating the local livestock.

    As far as I am aware (but i’m tired and not thinking clearly) animals with horns are usually herbivorous ungulates.

    It could have been a non-horned/hoofed animal if-like stated above- tree branches were what was mistaken for antlers. But if he saw the animal moving and running, I would think that he’d see that the branches weren’t part of the animal once it started moving away from them.

  11. harleyb responds:

    I live in middle Tennessee and I can tell you that it is a very wooded, hot, dry state. I’ve never been to Jonesboro, but I read it was the first city of Tennessee. So who knows what kind of beasts were in those woods around that era.

  12. DARHOP responds:

    It could have been a non-horned/hoofed animal if-like stated above- tree branches were what was mistaken for antlers. But if he saw the animal moving and running, I would think that he’d see that the branches weren’t part of the animal once it started moving away from them.

    Ya but:

    I immediately set about to reloading my rifle, but had scarcely begun when it started towards me. I retreated in as good order as possible, and must say I did some good running – not looking back until I reached an open spot – when I found the animal had disappeared in the laurel thicket.

    Sound’s to me like he wasn’t looking at it to long as it moved, he was running as far and as fast as he could. 100 yards is a bit of a distance. Maybe he wasn’t thinking about horn’s when it started at him. sound’s to me like he just wanted to get the hell outta there.

  13. sbarbour responds:

    Having lived in the area for a number of years, I can say that sometimes the deep woods can seem like a jungle.

    About 10 years ago there was a black bear that decided to pay a visit to the downtown, during Jonesboro’s annual story telling festival.



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