“In My Commonplace Book” is a regular series in which I share the recent scribblings from my commonplace book. Opposed to my well-researched posts, these are simply interesting things I have been reading about. To learn more about commonplace books, you can read a general introduction here. Each of these posts will include a writing prompt to get you writing in your own notebook/commonplace book.
I was driving through Elizaville, Indiana recently and remembered the 7-foot tall man beast that is allegedly tied to a list of disappearances in the community. I was inspired to see what other monsters roam the Midwest, so I began to fill the pages of my commonplace book. After googling what states are considered the Midwest (ha ha), I documented each beast with name, location, and description. Here are five of my favorites.†
- The Phantom Kangaroo (Nebraska): People have reported a hopping kangaroo that will suddenly disappear. Interestingly enough, phantom kangaroos have been spotted all over the United States. The kangaroo likes to chase and eat dogs.
- Loveland Frogs (Ohio): These 4-foot tall frog humanoids were first spotted in the 1950s by a businessman late at night (there are various versions of this story). Three frog dudes were conversing; one was holding a wand that shot sparks. The scared businessman ran quickly away from the scene. They were spotted again in the 1970s by two police officers on two different nights. During the second sighting, the creature was shot. It turned out that it was not a Loveland Frog, but a large iguana without a tail.
- The Mill Race Monster (Indiana): In the 1970s, Columbus, Indiana was tormented by a large, green, and bipedal monster (described by some as amphibious). The monster was tied to Mill Race Park, a park with lush forests, winding rivers, and two lakes. On November 1, 1974, two different groups of teenagers spotted the large beast. The second sighting was by far the scariest. Two young women spotted the monster while sitting in their car at night. The monster ran over and started banging on their windshield, leaving a thick mucus on the glass. They were able to turn on the car and drive away. There were other sightings reported and many enthusiastic monster hunters headed to the park with baseball bats and guns. The city eventually closed the park to the public at night.
- Space Penguins of Tuscumbia (Missouri): During an early winter morning in 1967, a farmer spotted a UFO sitting in one of his fields. Accompanying the mushroom-shaped spacecraft was a group of tiny green creatures with hand-less arms and large black eyes (or were they goggles?). Located where their nose or mouth would have been were dark protuberances (part of their actual face or maybe a mask for breathing in earth’s atmosphere). The farmer described them as “green space penguins.” After several failed attempts to hit the craft with rocks, due to the force field, the farmer watched the UFO and the penguins fly away.
† Please note these are legends and facts are very fast and loose, especially when circulated on the internet. So, enjoy the stories and do your research if you want to learn more!
Grab a notebook. What monsters inhabit your state or neighboring states?
5 thoughts on “In My Commonplace Book: Monsters of the Midwest”
This is such a fascinating topic! Love that you included a prompt at the end of the post.
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Thanks so much, Alice!
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A) I’m deeply saddened that Kim Harrison didn’t include the Frog of Loveland Castle in ANY of her Hollows books. The results would have been amazing!
Space Penguins? Now all I can see is those ones from Madagascar hijacking something from Area 51!
Haha. Yes! When I was writing about the penguins I was thinking about those Minions in the back of my head.
[…] In a prior post, I shared casual internet research I had done on monsters in the Midwest. The newspaper archives add another interesting, sometimes witty, layer to this topic. Hope you enjoy these historical tidbits as much as I did! […]