The Grafton Monster

The true story of the hunt for the headless horror of Riverside Drive.

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The Grafton Monster
From the book "Monsters of West Virginia: Mysterious Creatures in the Mountain State" by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Should you find yourself near the river, listen carefully for a whistling sound. It may be the only warning you get!

Teen-Age Monster Hunting Parties Lates Activity On Grafton Scene – Grafton Sentinel June 18th, 1964

Want to go “monster” hunting?

If so just join the roving bands of teenagers who are apparently convinced that a “monster” exists and is roving in the section of Riverside drive near the city stone quarry.

Wednesday night several bands of teenagers armed with flashlights, mallets, crowbars and the like, were reported searching the Riverside drive area.

The description of the alleged Grafton “monster” sounds suspiciously like that of the recent reports of a “monster” in Michigan, except that Grafton’s seems to be a bit bigger in every respect.

One teenager said that the youths on Wednesday night were searching for a creature “nine feet tall and about four feet wide.” He said it is agreed that the creature is white, has no discernible head and emits a weird whistling sound.

So far as could be ascertained today, area law enforcement authorities have taken no official notice of the reports of the Riverside drive “monster.”

Several teenagers, none of them identified by name, have reportedly “seen the monster” and given fairly tallying reports of its appearance.

The tale is even embellished with the theory that the creature was first sighted in the Morgantown area and arrived in the Riverside area via the Monongahela and Tygart rivers.

One youth suggested that it might be an escaped Polar bear, but offered no suggestions as to where such an animal could have escaped.

“Monster” Result Of Spring Fever, Wild Imagination – The Grafton Sentinel June 19th, 1964

Grafton’s alleged “monster,” reportedly the personification of the active imaginations of a number of teenagers, couldn’t have shown up in the Riverside drive area if it wanted to on Thursday night, too many teenagers and adults were roaming that section of the city.

At approximately 10 p.m., it was reported that cars were almost bumper-to-bumper along the river drive and a large number of cars were pulled off the road to permit joining in the area’s most popular in recent years “monster” hunting.

Some 20 reports from persons allegedly seeing the “monster” have been quoted since Tuesday night when the “all white, creature without a discernible head,” was reported seen near the city rock quarry. Wednesday night about 30 teenagers engaged in a “monster hunt,” but by Thursday night the number of teenagers had doubled and a number of adults joined in the action.

A combination of spring fever, lack of area recreation facilities, and recent publicity give a Michigan town which claims to have a “monster” which followed people are believed to have laid the basis for the wildly imaginative story about a Grafton “monster.”

A routine check by The Sentinel showed that the “monster” may have resulted from the fact that an individual pushing a handcart loaded high with boxes, walked along Riverside drive on Tuesday night. In the half-light of late evening, this person and the loaded handcart apparently took on a weird shape for persons having just read the story of the Michigan “monster.”

“It’s fairly certain that “monsters” don’t go around pushing handcarts loaded with boxes.”

The original witness continued to investigate the monster sightings despite the skepticism of the newspaper editors. In correspondence with UFO enthusiast Gray Barker, the investigator maintained that there was indeed an incident in which a witness mistook a handcart load of boxes for the monster, but that incident took place the night after the original sighting and that what he saw was “clearly alive”.

Additional witnesses were found up and down the river with tallying descriptions, but no further publicity was given to the investigation and Grafton’s Headless Horror soon faded into the fog of history.

Do you have recollections of the infamous Grafton Monster hunts? Have you heard stories about it from friends and relatives? Share your experiences! Contact Ogua Books.

 

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