Vincennes Monster

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 21st, 2008

St. Louis [Missouri] Globe-Democrat

January 17, 1885

A Horrible Monster.

Special Dispatch to the Globe-Democrat.

VINCENNES, IND., January 16. – Some hunters were startled a few days ago by the appearance of an uncouth, horrible-looking animal, south of the O. and M. Railroad bridge over Fox River, near Olney. They had killed but little game, and were consoling each other over their bad luck, when their attention was attracted by a noise to the top of a fallen tree, and looking up they beheld a monster such as they had never seen before. They describe the beast as the ugliest looking animal they ever saw. Its head and face
resembled that of a [dark-skinned human], with a very large mouth full of sharp, fang-like teeth. Its neck was two or three feet long and covered with short red colored hair; its body was five or six feet in length, and was covered with scales that looked bright like those of a sun-fish; its tail was three or four feet long and curved up over its back; its legs were short and the feet webbed, and the toes had long claws. One of the hunters, who got too near in trying to throw a rope over its head, was struck by the animal’s tail, and he tumbled headlong twenty feet away. The animal then made for the creek and disappeared. The beast had been devouring a hog. A party has been organized for the capture of this wild animal. The parties who describe it are good men and perfectly reliable.

[Thanks to Jerome Clark for this report.]

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

9 Responses to “Vincennes Monster”

  1. Galea responds:

    I’m at college there! Well I know what I’m doing this week.
    Sounds kinda like a dragon.

  2. shumway10973 responds:

    Just a couple questions:

    1) they had to look up to see what was at the top of a fallen tree?

    2) when they say, “One of the hunters, who got too near in trying to throw a rope over its head, was struck by the animal’s tail, and he tumbled headlong twenty feet away.”

    Are we talking the creature sent him 20 ft. on level ground, or were they on a hill? I’ve never heard of anything like this one. Usually the unknown’s description follows something similar. This sounds like a dinosaur, but it has hair and scales. Some have pondered just how accurate our concept of most dinosaurs really is.

  3. planettom responds:

    I love these old clippings. The story sounds pretty amazing. Though there is no mention of the upper body/arms of the animal, some of the rest of the description made me think of the Piasa dragon/bird, especially the teeth, scales, claws and tail curving up over it’s body.

    Interesting old encounter! Thanks for sharing.

  4. khat13 responds:

    Hey! It’s the piasa bird! I haven’t heard or seen any news lately about you, but it’s good to know you’re still out there! lol Thanx for the classic!

  5. CamperGuy responds:

    Prehistoric otter? 🙂

    Hmm…..poor hunting could be explained by the hog eating predator in the area.

  6. sschaper responds:

    Sounds almost like a sloth, but sloths don’t eat hogs, neither do scaly anteaters.

  7. springheeledjack responds:

    Apparently (and I am not being…well yes I am:) a LOT of people back in the 1800”s ran across all kinds of cryptids and either failed to capture the thing, or managed to flub it up…

    I too love these old stories…I suppose from a cryptozoological standpoint, there were a lot less people per capita back then that were starting to make their way into more out of the way places and maybe came across cryptids that were not used to people tromping in their territory…there dooooo seem to be a lot of “back in the 1800’s” tales when it comes to cryptids though…:)

    The description is a little odd and outlandish, but that also seems to be a function of these old tales, and I am guessing exxxxxageration made its way into the stories before they ever got writ down…so to speak…still from a face point value of such, it at least adds a little backbone to an area for a history of things happening in a particular spot…

  8. sschaper responds:

    Tall tales -were- a legitimate form of entertainment in those days.

  9. Point Radix responds:


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