Profiling the Gloucester Sea Serpent

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on July 27th, 2015


Sightings of so-called Sea Serpents abound within the domain of monster-hunting. More often than not, they are encounters of a fleeting, one-time nature. But not always. One of the most enduring of all such leviathans of the deep is that which haunts the port of Gloucester, Massachusetts, and which is situated just north of the city of Boston.

So far as can be determined, the earliest report of the Gloucester Sea Serpent dates from 1638. The witness was a man named John Josselyn, who said: “They told me of a sea serpent, or snake, that lay quoiled [sic] up like a cable upon the rock at Cape Ann; a boat passing by with English on board, and two Indians, they would have shot the serpent, but the Indians dissuaded them, saying that if he were not killed outright, they would all be in danger of their lives.”

Read more at my Mysterious Universe article here.

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

2 Responses to “Profiling the Gloucester Sea Serpent”

  1. springheeledjack responds:

    One of the coolest things about his sighting is that it may well have been the first recorded attempt to canvas and get a body of information about the sighting from a large group of people. It was an organized effort which means to me that the people involved definitely considered the sighting as more than just mass hallucination or some drunken (and apparently hallucinogenic as people seem to think) fancy.

    It kills me how often sea serpent sightings are tossed off as drunken hallucinations. Have been an afficionado of beer and other alcoholic beverages over the years, I have yet to hallucinate, ever, let alone sea monsters.

    In any case, even though they didn’t turn up the actual monster, they did some very quality investigative work among the locals.

  2. Matt Bille responds:

    This episode has always been puzzling: it’s still puzzling: it may forever be puzzling. Even a cautious authority like Richard Ellis wrote that there seemed to be something strange going on. The oft-invoked explanation for “flaps” of odd occurrences, “contagion,” is a real thing, but it seems inadequate here. People weren’t reporting fuzzy things like nausea or moving lights in the sky: they were reporting big animals that had a generally consistent (though not perfectly consistent) appearance that puzzled men who’d spent much of their lives at sea. This is one of those extremely rare cases where I’d bet money that an unknown creature was involved.

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