Cryptid Profile: The Crosswick Monster
Crosswick, Ohio, a small unincorporated community in Warren County that isn’t really known for much. The unofficial borders sit right alongside Waynesville, its current population isn’t recorded, and only one road passes through it. But for everything this small community doesn’t have, it makes up for with one thing, it’s recorded monster attack.
Established in 1821 by James Jennings, the monster wouldn’t make itself officially known to the residents of Crosswick until May of 1882. While many large unknown tracks had occasionally been found throughout the area, most often crossing over the dirt road that ran through the community, nobody ever thought to find out what was making them. Most reports chalk this up to fear held by the residents and the belief that if they didn’t bother whatever creature was leaving them, it wouldn’t bother them either. But that way of thinking, as the residents would soon find out, was all about to change.
While out fishing in Satterthwaites Run, a stream that passes through Crosswick, two boys by the names of Ed and Joe Lynch (ages 13 and 11) began hearing loud unknown sounds emanating from the tall grass behind them. Curious as to what the cause could be, the boys began to approach the area. Before they could investigate though, a gigantic lizard burst through the brush and ran towards them on its four thick legs. Terrified, the boys began to scream and run back towards their home. The creature though, proving to be much faster than the pair, caught Ed in its mouth and pulled him down to the ground.
Joe began to scream louder as he watched the terrifying reptile drag his brother along the stream edge towards a large hollowed out sycamore tree which it was apparently using as a den. Eventually, the screams of the boys were heard by three men in the area who came rushing to their aid. The men, Rev. Jacob Horn, George Peterson, and Allen Jordan, arrived at the scene to find the near dead boy still in the creatures mouth and almost completely pulled into the tree. Upon seeing this, the men raced over to the tree and retrieved Ed after being dropped by the creature before it climbed farther up into its hollowed out home and out of reach.
After summoning the nearest doctor in Waynesville to look after the boy, a man by the name of Dr. L.C. Lukens, the three men rounded up a group of more than sixty residents to destroy the beast. Armed with axes, clubs, and well trained hunting dogs, the group marched towards the tree. Soon after arriving, the men started to chop at the tree with their axes in order to get to the creature out. With the dogs growling and barking at the creature they knew was within, the men waited anxiously for the beast to show itself.
Thinking the creature would try to escape from the large hole at the bottom of the tree, the group was taken by surprise when the reptile leapt towards the ground from a hole at the top. Upon hitting the ground, the creature stood upright on its hind legs, balanced itself with its tail, and awkwardly took off away from the group. Some members of the group, obviously shocked and frightened by the appearance of the beast, dove out of the way and allowed the creature to make its escape. Others, not quick to be scared, chased after the monster without a second thought.
The group chased the beast for nearly a mile over fences, through streams, up hills, and around trees. Eventually though, the creature managed to escape its pursuers by charging headfirst into a hole surrounded by large rocks on a hillside. Members of the group, along with their dogs, surrounded the entrance to the hole and waited for the creature to once again emerge. Believing this was the only way in and out of the hole, the men kept watch. But it appeared as if there was another unknown exit from the hole as the creature never emerged and was never seen in the area again.
The Crosswick Monster was described as being roughly 12ft long and covered with scales. It was black and white in color with dull yellow spots, had feet roughly 12in long, a wide head, and a long forked tongue. Because of the description, many researchers believe that the Crosswick Monster was more than likely an out of place monitor lizard. Possible candidates include the Australian Perentie (Varanus giganteus), the Asian Water Monitor (Varanus salvator), the New Guinea Crocodile Monitor (Varanus salvadorii), or the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis). Although this specific one found in Crosswick would be far larger than those on record as the monitors above are only known to grow to lengths around 8-10ft, and even those lengths are rare and inconsistent throughout the species.
-The Pine Barrens Institute