Enfield, Illinois. 1973. Deep in the dark depths of night, Henry McDaniel heard a scratching at his door. He thought it could be a bear. With a torch in hand, he headed outside into a cold and windy night. There he saw something remarkable. A creature with three legs, a short body, two little arms and two bright pink eyes. Four and a half feet tall, and grey in colour. Fearing for his life, he slammed the door shut and ran to get his pistol. He then ran outside and he was confronted by the bizarre monstrosity. Shots were fired, a volley of bullets. The creature hissed as it was hit. It fled, jumping 50 feet at a time, disappearing into the blackness of the evening. A cruel and twisted monster, one with the most alien and hideous form…
Two weeks later, McDaniel was awoken in the middle of the night by dogs across his neighbourhood howling loudly. He peered out of his front door and saw the creature again. Wandering about the railroad tracks near his home. He stared at it, bewildered by what he was seeing. “I didn’t shoot at it or anything”, he said. Rick Rainbow, news director of radio station WWKI, went searching for the creature with a small group of people. They sighted something in an abandoned building near McDaniel’s home. Five feet tall, grey and hunched over. From it, they heard a bloodcurdling scream before it fled, once more, into the night.
The press went mad. Statewide, newspapers reported the strange tales coming from Enfield. The locals became concerned that hoards of monster hunters and curiosity-seekers would descend on the town armed with guns that could lead to accidental shootings of the local citizens and livestock. Five young men were arrested for doing just this, but the monster connection was played down by the police.
Some thought the creature was a kangaroo that had escaped, with its tail mistaken for the ‘third leg’ in the reports in the sightings. McDaniel refuted this claim and was adamant it was not a kangaroo. He had owned one in the past. But this theory persisted with one man claiming it was his pet kangaroo that had been stolen. Only in America. Others claimed it was a wild ape. And then came a report in 1978 by Western Illinois University.
They found only three reports of the creature, sightings they claimed were exaggerated by the local press. Gossip becoming an epidemic. There’s no denying something was out there, but the university concluded that it was a large dog, a calf, a bear, a deer or even a wild cat. Maybe, even, that ape or kangaroo. They claimed that McDaniel had an overactive imagination and that he was famed for it, probably shooting at shadows. A man who claimed what he saw was from beyond the Moon, a claim not many believed. The university claims this is an example of social contagion, collective behaviour affecting large groups of people through panic, hysteria, suggestibility and extreme visions.
Almost as soon as the sightings had begun, they stopped. It was a short-lived legend. Whatever it was, it was never seen again. It simply vanished. With no trace and no explanation for this spectacular mystery. We’ll likely never know just quite what McDaniel saw. Whatever it was, if indeed it existed at all, one cannot deny it was absolutely fascinating.
So I’ll give this creature a 55 on my patented Cryptid-o-Meter, putting it 23rd in the list of 26, with the Basilisk still bottom and the Beast of Gévauden still holding top spot.
The Enfield Horror. A fascinating cryptid indeed.
Image (Click on It to Enlarge)
1) An artist’s impression of the Enfield Horror
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You can leave a comment and/or like this post below, or by clicking the title on the top of this post if you are on the ‘Archives’ page. Likes and follows greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:
The Indelible Life of Me
New Post Every Saturday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post
Hark Around the Words
New Post Every Sunday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post