All the cool monsters live in Ohio.
A recent sighting of Grassman in eastern Ohio showed a glimpse of the cryptozoology Ohio has to offer.
But Grassman is just a Bigfoot. Pretty pedestrian among legendary animals.
There are far odder creatures that lurk in Buckeye lore.
Here’s a look at some of Ohio’s weirdest monsters:
When you’re riding on the Loveland bike trail, be careful of a large, bipedal frog.
Stories of an amphibious humanoid in the Loveland area have circulated since 1955. That year, a businessman claimed to see three of these creatures on the bank of the Little Miami River.
He said the creature left the scent of almonds and alfalfa.
Two Loveland Police officers said they saw the creature in 1972. One claimed to have shot at the creature on a bridge near Riverside Drive on St. Patrick’s Day that year.
The creature got away. But the legend persisted. It spawned a musical that debuted on at the 2014 Cincinnati Fringe.
The frogman resurfaced in 2016, more than 40 years after the last sighting.
Two people were playing “Pokemon Go” between Loveland Madeira Road and Lake Isabella when they spotted a large frog and snapped a picture. The creature stood up on its hind legs.
This sighting, however, may have killed the legend. Shortly after the news broke, one of the police officers who shot it in 1972 called a reporter at local news station WCPO. He claimed it was a hoax. The frogman he shot was, in fact, an iguana without a tail. Which is still pretty freaky looking.
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Southwestern Ohio seems to be a good climate for upright walking lizards and amphibians.
That’s what two boys, Ed and Joe Lynch, saw in May 1882 while fishing in a small creek in Crosswick, Ohio on the outskirts of Waynesville in Warren County.
Described as a snake with arms and legs, the monster charged them, The Enquirer reported on May 29, 1882.
The two boys screamed and ran when the monster grabbed Ed Lynch “in its slimy embrace, simultaneously producing two more legs, about four feet long, from some mysterious hiding-place in its body.”
The monster dragged the boy about 100 yards, The Enquirer reported, to a large sycamore tree with an opening on one side.
Three men nearby working in a quarry heard the screams and ran to the scene. The startled monster dropped the boy and ran up the tree.
The next scene was out of an old gothic horror movie. Later that afternoon, 60 men, armed with clubs and axes gathered around the tree and cut it down. The monster fled and got away, never to be seen again.
“It will be watched for and killed if possible,” The Enquirer reported at the time.
Melon Heads in Cleveland
People in the Cleveland suburbs of Kirtland and Chardon have told stories for generations of human-like creatures with large heads. They call them melon heads and blame the government for unleashing them on northern Ohio.
The legend states the melon heads were human test subjects of the federal government. The tests went awry and caused their heads to swell to a massive size, according to the book Weird Ohio.
Evidently, if you have a bunch of people with comically large heads you want to hide, you ship them to a woods near Cleveland. Various legends arose involving a mysterious Dr. Crowe, aka Dr. Melonhead, who tended to the melon heads.
Sightings of the melon heads and their thirst for blood persist to this day.
Mothman in Gallipolis
Mothman has his roots in a real-life tragedy. On Dec. 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge over the Ohio connecting Gallipolis and Point Pleasant, W. Va. collapsed, killing 46 people.
In the year leading up to the catastrophe, people in the region reported seeing a humanoid creature with huge wings and glowing red eyes. It was first seen by two young couples on the West Virginia side on Nov. 15, 1966 in a field.
The Point Pleasant Register reported the story the next day with the headline “Couples see man-sized bird…creature…something.”
Then others began to see the creature throughout 1967. The sightings stopped after the bridge collapsed.
Some speculate Mothman was a portent of doom. Others think he could have been a sandhill crane. These cranes are large, grey, have red over their eyes and migrate through Ohio.
What is known is that Mothman has become a popular cryptid. Richard Gere in 2002 starred in a movie based on the legend, The Mothman Prophecies.
And Point Pleasant has an annual Mothman Festival in September. The town also has a permanent, 12-foot-tall metallic statue of Mothman in the town square.