Big Muddy Monster
Chances are you’ve heard all about creatures like Big Foot, the Lochness Monster and the Abominable Snowman. But do you know about the Big Muddy Monster? Folks who live in southern Illinois know the legend, or at least have heard of this big hairy monster.
According to reports, a couple first saw the Big Muddy Monster on the night of June 26, 1973. The sighting was near boat launch area just east of Riverside Park in Murphysboro. The creature that was seen was about seven feet tall with light shaggy hair. The monster smelled like river slime or sewage.
The next night a couple of teenagers reported a similar sighting. This time police got involved with a dog that tracked the scent to a barn in Murphysboro. However, the dog refused to go any further. Police reportedly found slime and tracks, but no monster was ever spotted.
Over the years there have been other reported sightings of the Big Muddy Monster. However, no one has ever captured the elusive creature on camera. But the community has embraced the lore and has a costumed character who has been spotted plenty of times. I’ve had a chance to meet the monster more than once.
My run-ins with the Big Muddy Monster include the brew fest that is named after him. Each year hundreds of people head to Riverside Park and sample hundreds of craft beers from around the country. The Monster is on hand to pose for pictures with anyone who can stand the stench. (I’m kidding, he showers up for the big day.)
In 2016, I competed in my first trail run out at Walker’s Bluff. As I came up one of the hills and was heading out of the woods, I was surprised to see the BMM standing there with a sign, encouraging the runners along the way. Of course, I had to stop and get a selfie with him.
Despite having a face for radio, the BMM has been on TV too. He recently appeared on News 3 This Morning with one of the organizers of the Brew Fest. He hung around for a bit and posed for a picture, but there was some fur left on the set after he left. He may need to give Hair Club for Men a call. Maybe there’s a monster’s version…
I love that the community has embraced the legend and holds celebrations each year. Does the Big Muddy Monster really exist or did he at one time? We may never know, but the stories have led to some great memory making moments for people all over southern Illinois.
I'm a former TV news guy turned marketing manager. I like to blog, podcast and watch pro wrestling.