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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Devil Monkeys - Escapees, or Something Else?

Throughout the United States, there are reports of creatures that sound like monkeys - or, that at least the look like them.
Aggressive creatures resembling this
baboon are spotted in the U.S.

"Devil Monkeys" are usually described as being about three to five feet tall, with grey fur and long tails. Their front limbs are considerably shorter than their back limbs, similar to a  kangaroo. They are very aggressive and are said to be carnivorous, having been known to attack livestock, and even try to break into houses! Some people say they have seen Devil Monkeys cover a distance of 75 feet in only a few hops.

In 1934, a "kangaroo-like beast" was seen by several people over a five-day period in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. The animal killed livestock including ducks, geese, and even a German Shepard. The "kangaroo" ate parts of some of the animals it killed, which points to it actually not being a kangaroo, because they are vegetarian. The beast of South Pittsburg may well have been a Devil Monkey.

Four decades later, in 1975, a "monster that looks like a huge monkey and hops like a kangaroo" was seen in Oklahoma. Anthony and Steve Ketchum, and their friend Allen Herrin, all saw an "animal taller than a man, with hair all over it. It looked like a big monkey and made a growling noise."

That was not all, however.

"It then hopped towards us, like a kangaroo," the witnesses said.

The 1975 report was not the first of a Devil Monkey acting aggressively towards humans. In fact, several other well-known encounters had occurred, one only a few years before, and some in the 1940s.

The Devil Monkey scare near Mount Vernon, Illinois started in the summer of 1941, as Marsh Harpole was hunting squirrels along Gum Creek. While out one day, he saw a large animal "that looked something like a baboon." The creature jumped out of a tree and ran at Harpole, who hit it with his gun and shot at it. Soon the beast left.

Several other families in the area reported hearing strange screams coming from the woods at night. Other hunters reported finding weird tracks in the woods. In 1942, a dog was killed on a farm near Bonnie, Illinois, a small town of only 397 residents in the 2010 census. A group of hunters went out to look for the animal that had killed the dog, taking nets, ropes, and guns with them. If the Devil Monkey was still in the area, it avoided the hunters, and then reports stopped.

A notable encounter with a Devil Monkey occurred on April 25, 1974, this time in Enfield, Illinois. That evening, Mr. and Mrs. Henry McDaniel came home to find their kids terrified, because a "thing" had tried to break into the house be scratching at the air conditioner while their parents were away.

It might be assumed that the children had overreacted to something not terrifying while their parents had been away, if it wasn't for the fact that it came back later. Mr. McDaniel was there to greet it this time, with a flashlight and a .22 pistol. The creature hopped across the yard, covering a distance of 50 feet in only three jumps! McDaniel fired at it four times. "When I fired the fist shot, I know I hit it," he said. The creature, however, just disappeared into the brush, and was gone.

"It had three legs on it," McDaniel said. "It had pink eyes as big as flashlights. It had grey fur and was about 4 1/2 feet tall."

The encounter above is one with a creature called the "Enfield Horror." While it has been lumped into the Devil Monkey category before, it may be something totally different.

What are Devil Monkeys? Are they escaped from circuses? Could they have escaped or been released by another owner? Some people have described them as looking like kangaroos, but their aggression points to them not being 'roos, as does their carnivorous appetites.
There are lots of reports of out-of-place 'roos
in the U.S. I do not think they are the same
as Devil Monkeys

You can find out more about Devil Monkeys and out-of-place kangaroo reports in my book Cryptid U.S.: Tales of Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, and More from Across America. 

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