Cleveland - and the rest of Ohio - is a cryptid hotbed, with recorded sightings that date back as far as the 18th century. From the watery depths of Lake Erie to the dense, forested depths of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and throughout the rest of the state, many types of cryptids have stalked this area and called it home.
Here are some of the most popular cryptids you could find in Ohio.
South Bay Bessie
You might know South Bay Bessie by her other name - the Lake Erie Monster - but however you know her, she's been stalking Lake Erie for centuries, with recorded sightings dating back to 1793, when the captain of the sailboat Felicity caught a glimpse of the monster while out shooting ducks near Sandusky.
Also known as the "Great Snake of Lake Erie," Bessie is reported to be 30-40 feet long and a grayish color, appearing most often near the Lake Erie islands. So whenever you're out partying at Put-in-Bay, be on the lookout for a giant, snake-like creature roaming the shores.
Many cryptozoologists believe creatures like Bessie - similar to the Loch Ness Monster - are surviving relatives of the Plesiosaur, a reptilian dinosaur with a long neck, matching the description of Bessie sightings over the years.
The Ohio Grassman
The Grassman is essentially Northeast Ohio's version of Bigfoot, the legendary cryptid who has been found in nearly every U.S. state and dozens of countries around the world.
As for the Grassman specifically, some people consider it a Bigfoot subspecies. But the Grassman does resemble the typical Sasquatch descriptions you see: It's a tall, bipedal, human/ape-like creature with a pointed, bulky head and fur that ranges in color from black and brown to gray. And in this case, the Grassman's unique trait (and how it ultimately got its name) is the hut-like nests it makes out of tall grass.
Modern sightings for the Grassman date back to August of 1978, when a family was essentially tormented by 300-pound creature in Minerva, Ohio (this is why you also see references to the "Minerva Monster"). But what's really interesting is that Native Americans living in the Ohio grasslands spoke of bipedal creatures known to them as "Wild Ones of the Woods."
Other Bigfoot variations in Ohio include the Cedar Bog Monster and Orange Eyes, a Cleveland-based monster with, you guessed it, glowing orange eyes.
The Loveland Frogman (or Loveland Lizard)
Coming across a 3-4-foot tall frog-like creature would be pretty jarring to say the least. But seeing three of them at once, waving mysterious wands over their heads for some reason? That'll stick with you - and it's exactly what happened in 1955 to a man passing through Loveland, Ohio.
Since then, there have been numerous sightings of these humanoid, bipedal frog creatures. The legend grew in 1972 when a police officer reported a sighting to a colleague, and things got even crazier in 2016, when that second officer claimed to have shot and killed that creature in 1972, describing it as a "large iguana that was missing its tail"
The Mothman - a winged humanoid creature - is typically known as a West Virginia cryptid with its origins taking place in Point Pleasant, but Ohio has its own Mothman creature as well. Back in the 1960s, there were hundreds of Mothman sightings taking place throughout the Ohio River Valley and places like Athens - cities that hug right up against the West Virginia border. So it's entirely conceivable the Mothman's flight path stretched further than anyone realized.
The Charles Mills Lake Monster
In 1959, three teenagers came face to face with a terrifying creature. While hanging out near the Charles Mills Lake reservoir (near Mansfield) one night, the boys were approached by a seven-foot-tall creature that rose from the water, with no arms, glowing green eyes, and webbed feet (similar to the monster from Creature From the Black Lagoon, which came out five years earlier). It would seem that this cryptid has been confused with Orange Eyes over the years, though from the description, it is a wholly unique cryptid that just so happens to stalk a similar area.
Have you ever had a cryptid encounter in Ohio (and especially Cleveland)? We'd love to hear about it!