by Taylor Leonard
feature image via cryptomundo.com
One does not have to travel far in the United States to come across a region with its own legendary creature. Some, such as the Sasquatch of the Pacific Northwest or the Mothman of Appalachia, are more notorious than others, but cryptids have been reported in every state of the union. Those located in the upper Midwest are no exception, as the following list shows:
Beast of Bray Road – Wisconsin
Described by many witnesses as looking like a werewolf, the Beast of Bray Road is by far the most famous of Wisconsin cryptids but not well known elsewhere. Sightings of the creature began in the late 1930s, with the majority occurring in Walworth County. Reports of encounters peaked in the early 1990s and many residents of the nearby town of Elkhorn insist an unidentified species of apex predator continues to roam the surrounding forests to this day. At least one or two alleged sightings of the Beast of Bray Road are reported annually, keeping cryptozoologists hopeful a specimen may one day be documented.
Wild Woman – Iowa
photo from movie VHS 2
The most bizarre entity to ever be reported in the Hawkeye State is without a doubt the “Wild Woman” spotted by hunters near Dubuque in mid-July 1884. She was apparently first seen standing in a clearing completely motionless – described as hairy, muscular, and possessing eyes with an unnatural lustre. Upon detecting her observers she let out an “unearthly scream” and sprinted 300 yards towards a large tree which she then hid behind. After peaking around the tree with a “wild glare” aimed towards the men she disappeared into the woods never to be seen again. Paranormal researchers consider it a potential sighting of a Bigfoot-like creature, while historians point towards the Wild Woman’s identity being that of a runaway farmer’s daughter from Illinois.
Grassman – Ohio
image via cryptomundo.com
Another creature described as being similar to Bigfoot is the ape-like Grassman of Ohio. Regarding height and weight the two cryptids are almost identical: Grassman sightings put the creature at around 7 feet tall and 300 pounds. What separates the Buckeye State’s very own unidentified hairy biped from the others reported across the country is Grassman’s signature three-toed footprints. According to cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman Ohio is second only to California when it comes to ape-like cryptid investigations, thanks to the numerous reports of Grassman.
Farmer City Monster – Illinois
image via mysteriousuniverse.org
July of 1970 saw a rapid series of sightings of a gray-furred biped outside a small mid-Illinois town which has since become known as the Farmer City Monster story. For five straight days the creature spooked campers and police in six different incidents, one in which over ten people caught sight of the so-called monster lurking nearby before seeing it flee into the darkness. One police officer claimed to have crossed paths with the cryptid twice – hearing the noise of something running through the thick grass and observing glowing eyes in the distance. Returning to the scene of the second encounter he found a previously intact tent torn to shreds, its steel grommets pulled from the canvas.
The United States has no shortage of cryptids said to roam and stalk its hundreds of millions of untouched acreage. Some such as the northwest’s Bigfoot and the northeast’s Jersey Devil are household names around the world, while others endure mostly as local legends. For the mysterious beings of the American midwest to which a low profile seems preferred it’s certainly an acceptable situation.