The Fouke Monster is a legendary creature reportedly spotted in Fouke, Arkansas around Boggy Creek, beginning in the 1940s.
Descriptions of the creature are similar to the legendary Bigfoot.
In 1946, the first sighting of the monster was reported. At the time, the beast was known as the Jonesville monster, because most sightings took place around the Jonesville area. Early descriptions of the creature use words such as “apelike.”
After that, rumors of a large hairy hominid wandering around the swampy areas of Miller county cropped up occasionally, fueled by the occasional sighting.
Then, in 1971, Jim Powell, a reporter for the Texarkana Gazette and the Texarkana Daily News, and Dave Hall, a director of a local Texarkana radio station KTFS, were dispatched to a rural home to cover a series of strange events.
When Powell and Hall arrived, they found Bobby Ford, his wife Elizabeth, and his brother Don packing their things as quickly as they could to move out of a house that they had lived in barely a week.
The hair-raising story that they told, that of being stalked by a large, bear-like beast, would capture the nation's imagination.
According to the couple, they first heard the creature moving around outside their house several days before. But since they were new to the house, they dismissed the sound. A few days later, the creature tried to reach a hairy, clawed hand through a screened window to get at Elizabeth while she slept on her living room couch. She was rescued when Bobby and Don chased the creature away. But it returned later, grabbing Bobby across the shoulders and throwing him to the ground.
The Ford Family went to the hospital, where Bobby was treated for minor shock and scratches across his back.
During both encounters the Fords say that they shot at the creature. They assumed that they hit it because it fell once. Authorities searched the area, but they found no blood. A few scratches on the Ford's door, some damaged siding and a strange set of three toed footprints were the only evidence that something had been there.
Several more sightings, along with more three-toed tracks followed. Within a month, a local archeologist asserted that the description of the monster, the three-toed-tracks, and the creature's behavior were all abnormal for a primate, and therefore the sightings had to have been a hoax.
In an article, written for the thirtieth anniversary of the attack, Powell reflected back on the incident. “You could see they were scared. They were going to leave a house they had just moved into.”
Powell's story was picked up by the Associated Press and ran nationwide. The attention sparked the imagination of local ad salesman Charles B. Pierce, who made the story the subject of his first movie: The Legend of Boggy Creek. The movie has been a mild success. Pierce went on to a lucrative career in the entertainment industry where he was nominated for an Emmy for his work as a set dresser.
Since then, the creature has been seen off and on throughout central and southern Arkansas, sometimes at distances up to a four-hour drive away from Fouke.
A movie, The Legend of Boggy Creek and two sequels, were made about the monster in the late 1970s and early 1980s.