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Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Salt Creek Monster - orig. artwork
by Nancy

The Salt Creek Monster

Four teenage boys planned on a fun campout on July 9, 1970. They never suspected that within hours of setting up camp, they would flee, frightened of a strange being checking them out.

Some say the story started in the spring and moved into May. Livestock was disappearing from the area, especially hogs. There were numerous disappearances reported from Salem area farms. Then in the last three weeks of May, 24 hogs were gone from the Farmer City, IL area. Three sheep were also found dead. Officials dismissed it as being caused by "wild dogs".

And then July 9th happened.

Don Ennis, Bud [some report his name as 'Bob'] Hardwick,  Larry Faircloth and Beecher Lamb [some reports list him as Gale Baker] headed out to a plot of land owned by Kenny Johnson to camp. Although Ennis had a broken ankle, it did not stop him from joining his friends, with his cast and crutches. This was also known as a local "lover's lane". It was around 10:30 p.m. and the boys were sitting around their campfire talking when they heard something moving through the grass. One of the 18 year old's said he could see something moving through the tall Buffalo Grass. It was moving between the trees and their tent. Lamb quickly turned on the car lights so they could get a better look.

"It was crouched down by the tent. It looked manlike and was covered with a grayish white fur. Then it ran away . . .  on two feet," one of the boys told the local newspaper. One of them said the creature was between two to three above the grass and that the grass was three to four foot high in that area.

When the boys caught sight of the creature, they turned and ran for the car. Ennis went so quickly, he left his crutches behind.

The boys also claimed that they saw "widely separated eyes" that seemed to be glowing and that it appeared to be around 6 feet tall.

At some point the boys reported the encounter to law enforcement but no investigation is mentioned until July 15.

On Friday the 10th, around two dozen people reported seeing a furry creature with glowing eyes. They said it was standing by a dead tree about 100 feet away from the original campsite. When it became aware of the people, it ran into the tall grass and disappeared from sight. Bob Tharp was one of those witnesses. He said it was "just a grayish figure". He added : "I didn't think it was as tall as they said it was. It looked to be maybe three or four feet high."

Sunday July 12, three more people reported sightings of a furry creature. July 14, another dozen came forward with their stories. They claimed that loud radio music and campfires seemed to attract the creature. Finally on Wednesday, July 15, policeman Robert Hayslip went to investigate.

It was around 2 a.m. when Hayslip and another person came to check things out after hearing all the added reports. "About 2 or 2:30 I heard something running through the grass. I thought once I might have seen a pair of eyes pop up." He added : "Out of the corner of my eye I could see these two extremely bright eyes -- just like it was standing there watching me." When he turned towards the eyes, they disappeared. Hayslip  left around 3 a.m. They had noticed a tent that was still left standing in the area.

Hayslip returned to check the area around 6 a.m. only to find the tent was now in shreds. It was also now about 20 feet away from where it had been originally pitched. The steel grommets had been ripped from the heavy canvas. A quilt that had been left near the tent was also ripped apart.

Sometime during these days, witness Bob Tharp and a friend toured the 10 acre area on a motorcycle. They claimed that they found several paths and that the grass around several trees had been matted down "like something slept there."

The police chief who had called the "monster" nothing more than a Shetland Pony had the gate that led to the 10 acre piece of land locked.

Various sightings of a hair covered creature have continued throughout the state up to current years.

One publication [and one only] offered the following tale as the original sighting. [No other source tells this version. It seems to have been warped and combined with Urban Legend type stories]

Four teens were parked in a car -- two couples, this being the local lover's lane.
[true, 4 teens. But no girls listed in original story. Also true, area known as a lover's lane]. As they were sitting there parked, a huge, hairy humanoid with piercing yellow eyes walked up and peered inside the car. They were able to scare it away with a flashlight. The girls demanded to be taken home. After doing so, the boys returned to investigate the event further. They again encountered the creature. Even with the car windows closed, the stench filled the car. The boys fled. They returned once again, this time with police. The only thing found was a flattened area they thought might be the creature's "nest".


"I'll spark the thought; what you do with it is up to you."

Sources include: Bloomington Pentagraph Newspaper; Illinois,Chasing American monsters by Jason Offutt,The Bigfoot Casebook by Janet and Colin Bord, BFRO.com,Creatures of the Outer Edge by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark, stancourtney.com,Fate Magazine, March 1971,

This Post By TCC Team Member Nancy Marietta. Nancy has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal and cryptids. Nancy is also a published author and her book, The Price of war, has been met with great reviews.

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