ENFIELD, Ill. – On April 26, 1973, the Carmi Times ran a story about a monster attack in the nearby town of Enfield, Illinois. According to an article in The Villager’s Voice, Enfield resident Henry McDaniel was threatened with jail time if he didn’t stop spreading rumors about the thing he saw on his porch in 1973.

The Enfield Monster?

In a newspaper clipping from the Mt. Vernon Register-News, McDaniel told a reporter about his meeting with the creature.

McDaniel claimed the thing was attempting to enter his home. He returned home following a conference on Wednesday night. He claimed he heard scratching on the door and saw the creature when he opened it.

“It has three legs on it,” he said, “a short body, two little short arms, and two pink eyes as big as flashlights. It stood four and a half to five feet tall and it was grayish colored.”

McDaniel said that he slammed the door, ran to his bedroom dresser to get a revolver and a flashlight, and then went back to the front door. He stated that he opened the door again and spotted the monster around 12 feet away from the home.

McDaniel fired four shots.

“When I fired that first shot, I knew I hit it,” he said. “The creature gave out a hiss.”

The thing then vanished into the darkness. When the Illinois State Police showed up, James Messer helped Henry McDaniel look for the monster. They discovered tracks that resembled those of a dog, but had six toe pads.

McDaniel said he had a photographic memory, which helped him remember what the creature looked like in great detail even though there wasn’t much light.

McDaniel claims students told him they saw the thing at the school baseball game hours before him.

“If they do find it, they will find more than one, and they won’t be from this planet. I can tell you that,” he said.

A young boy had an experience with an unknown monster around half an hour earlier. ccording to the Villagers’ Voice, detectives soon discovered that Greg Garrett, a small child who lived just behind McDaniel, had also seen the thing while playing outside.

The monster jumped on the boy’s feet, ripping off his tennis shoes. Garrett is claimed to have screamed wildly as he ran into the house.

The consequences of groupthink

In 1978, David L. Miller, Kenneth J. Mietus, and Richard A. Mathers of Western Illinois University wrote an essay about the Enfield Monster for the Sociological Quarterly.

A Critical Examination of the Social Contagion Image of Collective Behavior: The Case of the Enfield Monster,” the article is titled. They discuss groupthink and how mob mentality can cause individuals to believe the same hallucination in the report.

This is clear because five people were caught in the woods while looking for the Enfield monster.

On May 9, 1973, the Evansville Courier and Press published a story in which White County Sheriff Roy Poshard, Jr. described why these guys were detained.

“Those kids were out there shooting at anything that moved,” he said, making no attempt to disguise either his anger or impatience. “Ever since this creature business got started, we’ve had people milling around here with guns, and drinking, and if I don’t put a stop to it, somebody’s going to get killed.”

In this report, he goes on to explain why parents are terrified to send their children out at night.

“People around here are afraid to let their kids out at night, and not because of the monster. It’s because they’re afraid the kids will get shot. There isn’t any monster,” said Poshard.