Minerva, 1978—The Minerva Monster takes its name from the village of Minerva, about 20 miles or so east of Canton. In August of 1978, Evelyn and Herbert Cayton’s grandchildren ran up to the house saying they had seen a monster in the gravel pit nearby. The Caytons and their daughter went to investigate, and found the kids were telling the truth; they too saw a monster in the gravel pit.
They described the creature they saw as seven-foot tall, weighing about 300-pounds and covered in thick, dark, matted hair, hair that was so thick and shaggy that it completely obscured the humanoid creature’s facial features.
The most dramatic of several other sightings came on the night of August 21st. The Caytons were entertaining friends and family when they heard strange noises coming from the direction of an old chicken coop in their backyard. They could see something moving in the dark, and there were two pairs of yellow eyes there, reflecting the light from the porch.
In order to get a better look, eighteen-year-old Scott Patterson got into a car and turned the headlights on, which revealed the owners of the eyes to be two large, “cougar-type” felines of some sort. At that point, a large, bipedal creature like the one from the gravel pit stepped in front of the cats, as if to protect them.
The sheriff was called, and the area investigated, but no monster or its pet cats were ever found by law enforcement, although the Caytons and others in the area continued to see the monster, sometimes accompanied by a pair of what were variously described as cougars, mutant cat-like creatures or smaller versions of itself going about on all fours.
Illustration by Janie Walland
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