Few stories of creatures coming out of the night are more bizarre, convincing, or horrifying than that of the legendary Murphysboro Mud Monster in Murphysboro, Illinois. The creature not only started a hunt by police unlike any seen previously in the area but also left more than a few brave souls fleeing for their lives in an attempt to escape what may well have been the most terrifying creature to ever set foot in Southern Illinois.
Today legends of the Mud Monster still occasionally resonate with locals who remember them distantly as ghost stories to be told around Halloween. But for a few of the witnesses who actually saw the monster, it stands as one of the most terrifying moments of their lives. The legend surrounding the Murphysboro Mud Monster tells of witnesses who were so terrified of what they saw that they went against the wishes of family members and risked retribution by their parents for revealing what they knew they could not keep secret.
It all started one night in 1973 when a young couple parked their car near the old boat ramp in Riverside Park. The night had been relatively uneventful, and the couple had just arrived when a strange creature seemed disturbed by their presence and made its presence known in the darkness beyond their headlights. Suddenly stirred to look on into the moon-lit area surrounding their car the couple tried to find where the creature could be lurking. Suddenly their attention was turned to a large white shape far bigger than a normal human making large strides toward their vehicle. It looked almost humanoid but had a massive furry shape and a foul odor that followed it wherever it went. Terrified, the couple started their car and sped out of there making their way to the Murphysboro Police Station. At first they considered leaving the issue alone because they were not supposed to be seeing one another. Revealing the events of that night would also reveal that they had been together alone in a car at the end of that particular road. Braving the ire of their parents they decided to tell their story and one police officer, apprehensive over the strange story, followed up on the sighting by visiting the area that night. He left his car and started searching the area illuminated only by his flashlight.
When he arrived he heard a sound so unearthly that he drew his gun and dropped it in the scramble to get back to his vehicle. He left quickly and returned joined by two other police officers who also heard a long unnatural wailing shriek that drove them from the area. When they returned they saw the strange creature and heard it as it left the trio behind, escaping in the shallow waters into the woods surrounding the area.
For three years similar sightings would happen around Murphysboro and the creature would quickly gain a reputation as “The Murphysboro Mud Monster.” Though the sightings ended in the 1970’s only a few years afterward, witnesses would always tell the same story of a large hairy white creature with a mysterious odor and the black ooze it left behind in its wake.