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What was the mystery animal of 1956?

By Fred Steiner

In late November 1956 – actually this week 66 years ago, the major topic of residents of  the LaFayette and Bluffton area was of a mysterious animal that “cried like a baby and screamed like a woman.”

A front page story in the Bluffton New described the circumstances surrounding this mystery. 

Before you read about the 1956 mystery animal remember to watch Bluffton Forever next week for a story from 1958 about another mystery animal that appeared in the Bluffton rural community. 

The story from the Nov. 29, 1956, Bluffton News follows: 

Head: Cry’s like a baby, screams like a woman 

-       Mystery animal kills five coon dogs

Bluffton News story: A mysterious night-prowling animal that “cries like a baby and screams like a woman” and powerful enough to break a coon dog’s back is again on the prowl in the Lafayette area, according to local coon hunters.

The strange animal which is believed to have killed at least five or six coon dogs since it was first hear in 1950 is back again, according to Mr. and Mrs. Dallas Yoakam of the Lafayette area.

The animal was first heard by the Yoakams while hunting coon in the old Perry Bechtol woods three miles northeast of Lafayette.

“First it sounded like the low cry of a human baby,” the Yoakams describe it.

Their coon hound approached the sound. Then it turned and scurried away, tail between legs.

Mr. Yoakam learned that other hunters have heard the same cry.

Some said it sounded like an angry woman.

In 1952 one of the Yoakam boys and a friend were hunting. When they encountered the weird sound, one of their dogs attacked the animal. The mangled body of the canine was found, heck broken.,

Attempts to identify and capture the animals have failed. This year, after Mr. and Mrs. Richard Watt reported hearing the animal near the Sandusky road northeast of Lafayette, a posse was formed and a square mile area was searched without success.

Read the complete story at