By Alyssa Adkins

Posted On: Oct 18, 2022

Folklore and myths have been a part of everyone’s history. Sharing stories about what is and is not out there in the world. One of the elements – that has gained more popularity in recent years – are cryptids. Cryptids are animals who are believed to exist, but there’s no hard evidence that they do. They live in the space between “what if” and “what is.” 

There are several kinds of cryptids that have been seen or known to call Ohio home. Below is a list of these creatures that you might just catch a glimpse of when visiting certain parts of the state. 

The United States of Cryptids book by J. W. Ocker open to page on Loveland Frogman with propped open pages and mug of tea and eyeglasses sitting above
The United States of Cryptids by J.W. Ocker 


Also known as the Loveland Frog, this four foot tall, bipedal frog-creature has been spotted in the marshes along the Little Miami River near Loveland since 1955. Seemingly peaceful, there’s no known attacks by the Frogman.

The Frogman has been spotted throughout Hamilton County, most notably around Lake Isabella in Loveland. Lake Isabella is part of a 76-acre park known for fishing and boating on its 28-acre pay lake. Perhaps you can keep an eye out for the cryptid during a stay at one of the campground‘s six camping pod sites.

The camping pods are close to the Little Miami River canoe and kayak launch – a great way to explore this Scenic River. And maybe catch another chance to glimpse the Frogman, who’s been seen along the banks of the Little Miami River too.

The notoriety of this cryptid has led to a musical, “Hot Damn! It’s The Loveland Frog,” which was performed at the 2014 Cincinnati Fringe Festival.  And a version of a Frogman-like creature is mentioned in the 2012 novel, The Man from Primrose Lane by James Renner.


 Is it a really big radioactive bird? Is it an interdimensional chaos demon? Is it Batman? No! It’s Mothman!

This cryptid took to the skies over Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1966, setting off a chain of sightings around the small town that would culminate in the tragic Silver Bridge collapse of 1967. At the time this bridge connected Point Pleasant, West Virginia to Gallipolis, Ohio.

While there’s no direct representation of Mothman in Gallipolis, you can explore the city and Gallia County. Try the self-guided walking tour that takes you through downtown and features historic buildings, museums, and Gallipolis City Park. For something on the spooky side, stop by Pine Street Cemetery (established in 1790) and Mound Hill Cemetery (founded in 1880).

Mothman gained pop-culture and more mainstream attention after the release of the 2002 movie, The Mothman Prophecies (starring Richard Gere), which was based on the book by John A. Keel. Whether you’re curling up to watch the movie or read the book, it’ll pair great with a cup of coffee from Silver Bridge Coffee Roasters. This woman-owned business is named from owner Lorraine Walker’s hometown of Gallipolis. Looking for a recommendation? The “Mothman Blend” would be the perfect brew. 

blue shirt wearing woman in the woods
Bessie Lake Erie Monster shirt, Homage 

Lake Monsters

There are known lake monsters who call Ohio home: Lake Erie Bessie and the Charles Mill Monster. Sometimes referred to as “South Bay Bessie,” the Lake Erie Loch Ness monster is anywhere from 20 to 40 feet in length, has been described as both “snake like” and “a sturgeon with arms” and is either dark colored or gray. The first known spotting of Bessie was off the shores of Sandusky in 1793!

Bessie has been spotted along the shores of Lake Erie near Toledo and the Marblehead peninsula. If you climb the 77 steps to the top of Marblehead Lighthouse, you might be able to look out onto Lake Erie and see the creature. 

Or if you’re looking for some less adventurous monster hunting, try the Lake Erie Monster Imperial IPA. The beer, from Great Lakes Brewing Company, was inspired by South Bay Bessie and is a hoppy brew with tropical fruit flavors. You can also catch a hocking game from the Cleveland Monsters – their mascot is based on the cryptid.

Looking for something a bit more Creature from the Black Lagoon? The Charles Mill Monster might be more your cryptid. Reports of a huge, armless, humanoid with glowing green eyes, known to leave tracks near the shore have been happening since 1959.

The Charles Mill Monster has been spotted throughout Mansfield’s Charles Mill Lake. When you’re not looking for the lake monster, enjoy fishing, boating, and hiking the Donaldson Family Nature Trail. You can also check out the public swimming beach (and maybe recreate some Creature from the Black Lagoon moments).


Called the Dogman of Defiance or the Werewolf of Defiance, this humanoid dog like creature first made its presence known by attacking two railway workers in the early morning hours back in 1972. While there haven’t been many Dogman sightings recently, the first Dogman Symposium event in 2016 was held in Defiance

If visiting Defiance, be sure to check out Independence Dam State Park which features a 3-mile dirt hiking trail (once the towpath of the Miami and Erie Canal). The North Country Trail of the Buckeye Trail also passes through part of this area. Who knows, you might be out for a walk and spot the hairy creature darting back into the woods.

Melon Heads

These humanoid creatures with enormous heads wander the woods near Kirtland, where it’s told they escaped (or were brought) from a mad scientist or doctor’s lair/cabin. Many tales have been spun to their origin, but most can agree – it’s best to stay clear of the woods near Kirtland at night.

While these beings have mostly been sighted along Wisner Road in Kirtland, there’s more to see when you visit the town and Lake County. Like Penitentiary Glen Reservation, which has a variety of outdoor sights and things to do from 8.5 miles of hiking trails and biking to horseback riding and snowshoeing in the winter.

Or you can head to nearby Chardon, where the Melon Heads have also been sighted, and explore Helen Hazen Wyman Park. With 67-acres, you can partake in fishing, kayaking, and scenic picnic areas.

There’s even a 2010 movie (Legend of the Melonheads) that’s based on stories and sightings of the beings, along with other urban legends from around Kirtland. The 2018 anthology series, The Field Guide to Evil‘s section for the U.S. (“Beware of The Melonheads”) also features a storyline about them. Or watch the “Ghosted” episode (s1ep12) of the new series, Welcome to Flatch  — which makes a reference to Melon Heads. 

Orange Eyes

Neighbor to the Charles Mill Monster, this huge sasquatch-like creature is said to have once lived under the River Side Cemetery before its home was disrupted due to construction. Forced to find a new home Orange Eyes, named appropriately for its huge glowing orange eyes, took up residence in the woods near Mill Lake and the rest was cryptid-history!

To add to this already boiling pot of Cryptid entanglement, there are those who believe Orange Eyes is actually not a sasquatch at all, but an extra-terrestrial visitor – due to an infamous UFO sighting outside Mansfield.

If you decide to visit Mansfield where this being last made an appearance, there’s plenty to experience. You can check out haunted sites like the Ohio State Reformatory and learn why Mansfield is known as the Haunted Capitol of Ohio. Or take off with a trip to the Frank P. Lahm Aviation Museum.

Crosswick Monster

Despite having only been seen once, the Crosswick Monster really made its marks in Ohio Cryptid history. In 1882, two boys were attacked by a vicious, 12-14 foot-long lizard that was eventually chased by the men of the village. Despite their hunt, the townspeople were unable to track the lizard down and he was never seen again.

You learn more about the monster when you visit Warren County. Stop by the Harmon Museum & Art Gallery and check out its recreated 1880s town square – which is around the same time sightings of the cryptid first began!

Honore Guilbeau Cooke Peninsula Python mural at Peninsula Library and Historical Society in Ohio
Mural. Photo credit: Peninsula Library and Historical Society, Facebook  

Peninsula Python

The Peninsula Python straddles the line between reality and tall tale. In the summer of 1944 residents of Peninsula started catching sight of a truly gigantic new resident – a nearly 20 foot python. Henhouses were raided, cornfields were trampled, and, most shockingly, giant tracks the size of truck tires were found in its wake. The snake was never found, but eye witnesses swore to its legitimacy.

For a closer look at the python, stop by the Peninsula Library and Historical Society. The Honoré Guilbeau Cooke Mural features designs and shapes that allude to the Peninsula’s part of the Cuyahoga River Valley, and its curving shape also evokes a large serpent – very much interpreted to be the Peninsula Python.

If you’re looking for more things to do in and around Peninsula, explore the natural setting of Cuyahoga Valley Natural Park


There are several ape-like creatures that roam Ohio’s wilderness. Grassman (sometimes called the ‘Eastern Bigfoot’) is Ohio’s most-well loved local cryptid. Interestingly, it’s said this 7-foot creature is more human-looking than its Bigfoot cousin. An ape-like creature — soon to be known as the Cedar Bog Monster — was spotted around the nature preserve’s opening in 1942. The Minerva Monster, also coming in at 7-feet tall, was spotted in the late 1970s. There have been a few additional sightings of the furry creature in neighboring counties — but it seems to prefer the lure of Minerva best. Arguably the most famous of these ape-like cryptids seen in Ohio is actually Bigfoot. 

While Bigfoot has been seen at  Mohican State Park in Loudonville and West Branch State Park in Ravenna, it was spotted this summer at Hocking Hills State Park in Logan. If you’re looking to learn about the cryptid than be sure to check out the annual Hocking Hills Bigfoot Festival – which takes place in August.

Or learn more about Grassman at the Ohio Bigfoot Conference. Known to reside at Salt Fork State Park in Guernsey County, you can be on the lookout for the ape-like creature when you check out the State Park’s many hiking trails.

Considering Cedar Bog Nature Preserve in Urbana has remained virtually undisturbed for 10,000 years, it’s no wonder the Cedar Bog Monster found home among its wetland.

If you’re on the lookout for the last of these creatures, head to Minerva, located within Stark County, which offers a charming trip into the Inviting Region of Appalachia. Enjoy your travels to this Northeast Ohio spot by checking out Sandy Springs Brewing Company – and get a pint of their autumnal offering: Chunkin Pumpkin, a pumpkin ale brewed with pumpkin pie spices and 40 pounds of caramelized pumpkin. Or check out the 2015 documentary (Minerva Monster) which covers the 1978 sighting of the creature. 

For more haunted and spooky Ohio, check out #OhioFindItHere at

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