This Post By TCC Team Member Dorraine Fisher. Dorraine is a Professional Writer, a nature and wildlife enthusiast who has written for many magazines. Get Dorraine's book The Book Of Blackthorne!
Illinois: Home of The Strangest Cryptid of All?
The Tale of the Enfield Horror
By Dorraine Fisher
When we’re searching for monsters, we’ll tend to skip right over Illinois for anything interesting. But amazingly, it was the location of sightings of one of the strangest cryptids ever recorded. Enfield, Illinois is a tiny town of a little over 600 people in Southeastern Illinois and the scene of some very strange happenings in 1973.
The townspeople probably thought their fellow Enfield citizen, Henry McDaniel, was crazy when he first started telling everyone about the weird events that he claimed took place at his home on April 25 of that year. Enough that the sheriff threatened to lock him up. But McDaniel kept on warning people and some frightening events followed.
According to McDaniel, something started beating on his door that evening. And he probably thought he was seeing things we he opened it only to find the weirdest creature anyone could imagine. He described it as grey in color, with three legs, two little short arms coming out of its chest, and short body. He claimed it stood some 4 to 5 feet tall and was trying to get into the house.
He opened the door again and opened fire at the creature with his pistol and felt sure that he hit it as he claims it hissed at him. But it ran away, McDaniel said, covering 75 feet in three jumps. And it disappeared in some brush near his house.
When the police investigated, they found tracks something like a dog’s, but they had 6 toe pads on each foot. And two of the footprints were four inches wide while the width of the third foot was slightly smaller.
Not long after, they learned a young boy named Greg Garrett who lived just behind McDaniel, was also attacked in his yard shortly before McDaniel’s incident. He claimed a deformed looking creature appeared out of nowhere and jumped up and down on his feet with it large, sharp, curled claws, and shredded the boy’s tennis shoes. But he somehow managed to escape into the house, obviously terrified.
Some two weeks later, McDaniel woke up in the middle of the night to the neighborhood dogs howling strangely. And when he looked outside, he saw the creature again. This time standing by the railroad tracks near his house. He said the creature just walked slowly down the tracks, not seeming to be in much of a hurry.
And then, five hunters were arrested on May 8 for violating hunting regulations. It seems they had been shooting at some "gray, hairy thing" they’d seen in the brush. They said they thought they hit it, but it ran off before they could know for sure.
The town was subsequently flooded with reporters and thrill seekers from everywhere. A reporter, Rick Rainbow, the news director from an Indiana radio station, along with some others, spotted the monster near an abandoned house not far from McDaniel’s house. They didn’t see it very clearly, but they described it as being about five feet tall and hunched over. Rainbow did manage to record the strange hissing/crying sounds it made. And those cries were heard for several days afterward near the same railroad tracks close to Henry McDaniel’s home.
But then, the sightings ended abruptly. No one knows what happened, though many have speculated wildly about things like UFO sightings in the area at that time. Or did it simply succumb to gunshot wounds and die? It’s likely the mystery of the Enfield Horror will never be solved. ******DF
[*Special thanks to Troy Taylor and his book Weird Illinois.]
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