Iowa Attractions October 02, 2017
The Mythical Creature That Tormented A Small Iowa Town Will Give You Nightmares
There’s spooky and then there’s really spooky… This strange story will haunt you.
In 1903, the people living in the town of Van Meter, Iowa were terrorized by a strange winged creature.
At the time, the town had about 1,000 residents.
Eugene Griffith, a local Van Meter business man saw a strange light on top of a building at about 1am one night. He thought the light was the lantern of a robber. The light disappeared and reappeared on top of a different building.
The next night, the local doctor awoke to strange sounds outside. He ran outside with his gun and in the morning, he spoke with some of the town’s people.
That night the banker, Clarence Dunn, decided to spend the night at his bank. He thought the strange events were due to the presence of a robber.
Around 1 am he heard strange noises outside the front doors, and he shot out the window from the inside. He was too scared to look, but expected that he had killed the robber or perhaps killed a large animal. He waited until morning, but there was only broken glass. He discovered large three-toed tracks around the outside of the bank.
Another citizen of the town saw the creature descend the telephone pole after being shot at.
He said it flew out of town toward the coal mine.
The next night, the hardware store owner heard the sound of scraping metal.
He went to the window and saw a large creature perched on top of the telephone pole. He shot it, but the creature simply woke up and shone a bright light on him. The man said it sprayed a strange odor into the air, and he didn’t remember anything else about the night after that.
The town assembled a posse of men who made their way to the coal mine.
They waited and eventually under the cover of darkness, the creature emerged from the mine and flew toward town. Near dawn, it returned to the mine. It had a smaller identical creature with it. The men who waited all night opened fire on the pair as they disappeared into the mine.
Over the years since, the now-sealed mine has been the subject of much curiosity and debate
Some believe they’ve seen strange things in the area. Others think the creatures certainly died in the mine. Paranormal researcher Chad Lewis is the author of the book, The Van Meter Visitor.
In it, he goes over the details of all of the townspeoples' accounts of the Van Meter monster's activities. He also explores some theories to debunk the myth of this winged creature.
Each fall, there's a festival in Van Meter dedicated to the Van Meter Monster and the stories surrounding it.
Have you heard of the Van Meter Monster? Tell us about it in the comments.