The Enfield Monster
The Enfield Monster. Have you heard of it? It’s not a widely known cryptic monster like Bigfoot or the Chupacabra but it has an interesting tale to tell. This thing is actually pretty fucking horrifying to look at. There have been multiple sketches done of the beast and let me just say, that if I came across it I would literally shit myself and die. Fall over, right then and there. Just dead from fright.
On the night of April 25, 1973 all was calm in Enfield, Illinois (in the southeastern corner of the state). That is, until a peculiar scratching noise at the door alerted the McDaniel’s family. Henry McDaniel went out to investigate the noise, expecting a critter. Like a raccoon, or opossum - that kind of critter. But he was met with something much worse!
There, in the blackness of the evening, was a “thing” standing about 4.5 feet tall, with a short stubby body, three legs, two small arms (am I the only one kinda picturing a t-Rex), two over-large pink eyes, and grayish skin.
After taking some shots at the beast, McDaniel claimed that the monster made a sound like a wildcat and ran off towards the railroad track. It supposedly covered 50-75 feet of ground in just three steps. Upon further inspection, it was noted that this monster had left behind dog shaped prints with six toe pads. Being a country fellow, I’m sure he knew just about every creature that could possibly live in the area. So, discovering unfamiliar prints would have been highly unusual. Along with the footprint evidence, it was discovered that this creature had left large scratch marks on the front of the McDaniel house.
Once the police were summoned, they initially thought that McDaniel was drunk off his ass but after interviewing him they decided that he was “rational and sober” but they were still highly skeptical of his story. Hell, I would be too! Especially, after he let it slip that he thought this thing was an alien from outer space. I love a good alien story but this one is really out there. Ya know what I mean??
Such as happens in a small town, news travels at lightning speed, and soon everyone was talking about the Enfield Monster. A neighbor of McDaniel, Greg Garrett, came forward and said that he saw the beast half-an-hour before McDaniel while he was playing in the rural space around his family home. He burst into the house where his parents were sitting watching TV in total hysterics. He sobbed about a “hideous, misshapen beast” that had tried to attack him. He gave a similar description to McDaniel’s but no trace of the monster was found at his house. Apart from the fact that Greg’s tennis shoes were ripped to shreds when the beast tried to attack him. And how do you fake that? Something must have tried to get him to do that to his shoes. Right?
On May 6, McDaniel called in to a local radio station, WWKI, claiming to have spotted the monster again after looking outside when his neighbors dogs started to raise hell and bark like mad. He saw it near the railroad tracks that were close to his home but this time he did not shoot at it. He merely observed it.
Some men from the radio station formed a posse and went out to search. A news director, Rick Rainbow (the best fucking name I have EVER heard!), reported seeing an “apelike creature” near an abandoned building close to McDaniel’s house. He said it ran faster than any man possibly could and disappeared after a couple of seconds. What could that possibly be? As they attempted to chase the beast, it let out a “bloodcurdling wail”!
A cryptozoologist named Loren Coleman was called to investigate the unusual case along with the recording. He collected evidence and stories and wrote an article that appeared in the July 1974 edition of Fate Magazine entitled “Swamp Slobs Invade Illinois”. I was not under the impression that the monster appeared in a swamp…are there swamps in Illinois? And on another note, I tried to find a copy or image of the magazine that this article was in but had no luck. If you have just a picture then please, please, please, can you share it? That would be amazing.
Here is what Coleman said:
News spread like wildfire and soon newspaper and news stations around the state were blowing up with the mysterious creature news. With such wide spread publicity, swarms of people began pouring into the state to “get a look at the beast”.
Two such people were hunters from Indiana, Mike Mogle and Roger Tappy, who said they saw a large “gray monkey” running through the forest but weren’t able to get a good look at it. Well, they said it looked like a gray monkey - I would say that is a pretty good look at whatever it was because I doubt there are just monkeys swinging from every tree in Illinois.
Another group of young men came into the forest around Enfield loaded down with cameras, firearms, and beer. They claimed that they only wanted to photograph the monster and needed the weapons “for protection”. They said they saw the same “gray hairy creature” but the sheriff didn’t believe a word of their story and only thought they wanted to get drunk and raise hell. And country boys will do that, I should know because I married one. Well, he doesn’t drink but when he’s bored enough he will go outside and find something to shoot at.
A man that lived in Ohio said the monster could have been his pet kangaroo that had escaped within the previous year. McDaniel was very adamant that IT WAS NOT a kangaroo! Okay, okay, okay I guess the large tail of the kangaroo could resemble a third leg if it were dark but I don’t think that answers every question. There are just too many loose ends.
The Enfield monster has never been seen again - which kind of tells me that it wasn’t a kangaroo. I don’t think anyone actually SAW the kangaroo.
In 1978, a university study conducted by Western Illinois University and headed by David L. Miller concluded that the entire event was the result of “social contagion”. Social contagion is a fancy term for mass hysteria or mass panic. It is when large groups or crowds of people can be influenced by group emotions, such as panics, hysteria, collective visions, and extreme instances of suggestibility. Since the monster was never really seen again, minus the occasional bigfoot sighting (which may or may not be related to this), I think this is a logical conclusion. Wouldn’t you agree??
After interviewing multiple individuals they decided that McDaniel was just a story-teller with an overactive imagination. He probably started the rumor, either on purpose for attention or because he misidentified a known animal, and everyone just carried it away from there.
But wait there’s more…
Native Americans that have lived in the area for centuries claim that this specific region is cursed. They call it “The Devil’s Kitchen”. I guess even the devil need a spot to cook up some evil deeds and nibbles. They have multiple legends that talk about orbs of lights, shadow people, strange noises like howling, shrieking, and screams in the night. They avoid this area because this exact creature has been seen by their people since they settled there.
So, what could it be? What out there could be mistaken for a beast like this? Is it a bigfoot? Some other unknown cryptic beast? Possibly an alien like McDaniel suggested?
What do you think??