One of the more unusual stories I’ve run across in archival research is that of the 1963 Prairie Street Monster hunt. In July of 1963, two frightened boys reported walking upon a towering hairy “monster” stomping along a creek bed at the easternmost parts of Prairie Street, causing one boy to freeze in terror as the other ran screaming. A week later, The Denton Record-Chronicle relayed Denton County Sheriff Andy Anderson’s dismissal of the event as a mere prank, yet it also alludes to other reports of a black-gray “hairy eight-foot thing” spotted lurking under bridges or around thickets and vacant houses in East Denton “freezing people in fear.” Also noted was a farmer southwest of Prosper who had a run-in with a “very scary looking” large beast the month prior. What is known for certain, however, is that the same evening the story broke, an armed mob of around 150 people began sweeping the thickets southeast of the Square and prompted Sheriff Anderson’s intervention to confiscate weapons after panicked shots were fired at something moving through the thick brush of Pecan Creek. In response to this public hysteria and a deluge of curious voyeurs upon the area, Anderson and 16 reserve deputies launched a thorough search of a 3-mile area in East Denton the following day. “If he was out there,” the Sheriff reassured the DRC, “we scared him out.” Over the next week, newspapers reported that the creature had been spotted in Lewisville, a Sanger farmer blamed the monster for mutilating six of his hogs, then later peering into the window of a Krum farmhouse. Despite the Denton Sheriff’s dismissiveness, something clearly had a good number of residents spooked enough to mobilize their own Monster Hunt with seasoned hunters shooting wildly at… some thing.
The Pecan Creek Monster was never again reported in the city of Denton, although a few short years later the Lake Worth Monster would rattle Ft. Worth. There have also been several Bigfoot sightings over the years since around Denton County and Lake Ray Roberts, while encounters at Caddo Lake, TX go back to earliest written records. Could this hulking monster still roam the thickets and wooded corridors of North Texas?