Not long ago, I was doing some shopping when I overheard a conversation between a little girl (I'm guessing she was about 7 or 8) and her dad about monsters. In particular, whether or not we have monsters in Illinois.

They were standing by a rack of magazines and tabloids at the checkout when I saw her pick up a periodical of some sort that had an "artist's rendering" of Bigfoot on the cover.

Yeti, illustration.
"Why couldn't I have been a Florida Bigfoot? I'm freezing." (Getty Images)
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She held it up to her dad and asked if there are any monsters around here. He responded that there were only "the two-legged kind." Gesturing at the photo, she asked him if he meant like that. No, he said, wanting to put this topic to bed, there aren't any monsters in Rockford. Or Illinois.

But was he right?

Getty Images
"Daddy! The new wallpaper is seriously freaking me out!" (Getty Images)
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People Seeing Monsters In Illinois Is Far From Being A New Thing

If you do a little searching, you'll see that there have been reports of monsters in the State of Illinois dating back all the way to 1673 (which is long before statehood happened in 1818). The monster from 1673 is the Piasa Bird, described as having horns, red eyes, fish scales, a long tail, and a snarling, bearded face.

RoadsideAmerica.com:

A fearsome monster known as the Piasa (pie-a-saw) once terrorized the Illini Indians near what is now Alton, Illinois. It ate deer at first, but corpses from a war gave it a taste for human flesh. Swooping down, it would snatch victims in its talons and carry them back to a cliffside cave, tearing them apart for dinner.

Vickie Francis, Facebook
Illinois' Piasa Bird (Vickie Francis, Facebook)
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Denise Elhoffer Womack Roush, Facebook
And a closer look. (Denise Elhoffer Womack Roush, Facebook)
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Maybe At One Time, Illinois Was Chock-Full Of Monsters (Maybe not...)

Here are a couple of more examples of Illinois monsters that residents have claimed to have seen:

The Enfield HorrorThe Huffington Post describes it this way:

In April 1973, numerous sightings of a deformed creature having T-Rex-like arms with short claws, pink eyes, gray, slimy skin and three legs attacked a young boy as he was playing in his backyard. Later that evening, the bizarre creature tried breaking into a neighbors home, where it was shot by a man named Henry McDaniel with a .22 caliber pistol. A news director for WWKI Radio supposedly taped the monster’s screams as it ran off, covering 50-75 feet with just three giant leaps and vanished.

Sasquatch/BigfootThe Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, which keeps track of "credible" Bigfoot sightings says that Illinois has the fourth-highest number of sightings in the United States. The Chicago Tribune reports that there have been 16 Bigfoot sightings/run-ins in Cook County since 1967.

I don't have time and space to give more details, but we can't forget about The Cole Hollow Road MonsterThe Wolfman of Chestnut MountainThe Farmer City Monster, or the Tuttle Bottoms Monster.

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