Meet The Monsters: Orange Eyes

Norwalk, 1968—Author Daniel Cohen’s 1991 book The Encyclopedia of Monsters refers to Orange Eyes as “a central-Ohio variation” of the monster of lovers’ lane, monsters said to hang out in the same out-of-the-way  places that teenagers and young lovers tend to park. He wrote that Orange Eyes was 11-feet tall, completely orange and supposedly indestructible, frightened lovers having “stabbed, shot and driven over the creature to no effect.”

Oh, and Orange Eyes obviously had orange eyes. 

In 1968, the Norwalk Reflector ran an article headlined “‘Orange Eyes’ Mystery Solved.”

I won’t spoil the ending for you here—obviously you’ll want to read all about Orange Eyes in the pages of Monsters of Ohio first—but the solution to the mystery was apparently a simple but surprisingly effective hoax, with rumors filling in the monster behind the orange glow of its eyes.

The article pointing out that Orange Eyes was a hoax obviously didn’t dispel the legend though, as Cohen’s book was published almost 24  years after that article, and the monster later appeared in other books like W. Haden Blackman’s 1998 Field Guide To North American Monsters, Scott Weidensaul’s 2002 book The Ghost With Trembling Wings and, of course, my own book. 

Even when a monster is proven—or perhaps “proven”—to be a hoax, it can live on if its story is compelling enough. 

Illustration by Janie Walland

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