Saturday, February 1, 2014

Small Town Monsters: Early 20th Century Ape Sightings

During a span of time roughly somewhere between 1919-1933 Ohio went ape crazy. Sightings of giant, hairy, upright walking bipeds stretched from Cleveland to Coshocton. These creatures were consistently referred to as "Apes" in newspaper reports. They were typically blamed on carnival train crashes, escaped zoo animals, and most bizarrely, giant groundhogs. 

Typical rebuttals of newspaper reports detailing ape sightings is that they were little more than an example of racism coming out in the media. There are, of course, instances of African-Americans being portrayed in such a way during the 1800's and into the early 20th Century.

However, I don't feel that is the case with the Roscoe Village "attack". These reports seem to be either cases of rampant hallucination, misidentification (come on, a groundhog?!?), an honest-to-goodness escaped zoo animal (from Cleveland to Coshocton County is roughly 120-130 miles) or maybe a big, old, hairy, North American primate.

Also of note, Coshocton County is a hotbed of Bigfoot activity to this day. It is possible that an unknown creature has taken a liking to an area that is rich in vegetation, deer population, water sources and has some substantially large, relatively uninhabited areas. 

Here are the stories. You be the judge.

July 31, 1919 parts 1 & 2


August 1, 1919
 August 2, 1919
Sept 12, 1930
August 11, 1932


 Sept 16,1932

The 1932 flap stretches across multiple articles but I'll save those for a future post. Hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I've enjoyed tracking them down.




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