Arkansas January 31, 2019
The Story Behind This Mysterious Creature In Arkansas Is Both Bizarre And Fascinating
Arkansas has quite a few unique urban legends but this creature may be the most bizarre. The Gowrow is believed to be a 20′ long monster with tusks and claws; however, that’s not even the most interesting part of the tale. On this day in 1897, a newspaper published the story that would illustrate this odd monster and preserve the folklore for over one hundred years.
On Jan. 31st, 1897, Arkansans were shocked as they leafed through the pages of the
An article by Elbert Smithee contained this sketch of a creature dubbed the "Gowrow" as well as an account of the first known encounter with the creature. This is one of the only urban legends that came to life specifically after a newspaper article was published.
The encounter that Smithee wrote about was quite a fascinating tale.
A man from Little Rock, William Miller, had told Smithee about a wild confrontation with the creature. Miller was traveling through the Ozark Forest when he came through the tiny town of Blanco. Apparently livestock and pets had been found dead so Miller formed a group to track down the predator. They encountered a creature that was 20-ft. long with tusks and claws. The monster also had a row of horns along its back and tail ending in a blade-like point. The group supposedly slayed the beast but the body that Miller swore he shipped to the Smithsonian never arrived. Before Miller's group found the creature, an eerie scream sounding like "gowrow" was heard in the forest and thus the urban legend was named.
According to cryptozoologists, there was more than one Gowrow.
Vance Randolph, a folklore researcher had found evidence of a Gowrow before Smithee's article came out in 1897. Randolph found evidence of a Gowrow possibly being spotted during a spelunking excursion in the Devil's Hole, a cave in northern Arkansas.
The Gowrow has quite a few possible explanations.
Smithee and Miller may have just wanted the attention for claiming to know the details of this elusive creature or the story may have been a case of mistaken identity. The tusks and horns could have belonged to a razorback pig or, since the creature was said to have emerged from a lake, an alligator could have been the culprit. Whatever it was, the original article's spin created quite an odd piece of Arkansas folklore.
Although the Gowrow is most likely a tall tale, you never know what could be lurking in the forest.
We don't even want to imagine how disturbing it would be to hear its cry in the middle of the Ozarks.
Did you know the background story of the Gowrow? Have you seen anything like it before? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Perhaps Arkansas most well known folklore creature is the infamous