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The glawackus is one of the fearsome critters, a group of legendary creatures in the folklore and traditions of lumberjacks during the 19th and early 20th centuries in North America. The Glawackus is described as looking something between a bear, panther, and a lion. The Glawackus is also known as the Northern Devil Cat. It is known for its fearsome screech that compares to the cackle of a hyena. The creature is blind and uses its sense of smell as well as sound waves. Looking into the creature's eyes is said to wipe the victim's memory. It was seen in 1939 in Glastonbury, Connecticut.
Sightings of the creature
I was working as a young reporter on the Hartford Courant that year when World War II was in the wings. But we were preoccupied with the developing story about this Glastonbury creature that howled at night, slipped in and out of view and caused dogs, cats and small farm animals to disappear. As the sightings grew in number, so did the variety of descriptions.
First, it was a huge cat. Then some people reported what looked like a dog in the back and a cat in front. Others saw it vice-versa. One man called to say he had seen a big animal in the pitch dark with eyes that glowed like embers.
It was clear to us that this weird, unknown animal needed a name. One editor coined the word, Glawackus. "Gla" for Glastonbury; "wack" for wacky; and "us" as a proper Latin ending. It caught on like magic.
Lowell Thomas, a radio network commentator, who was popular nationwide, reported the Glawackus had been named by a "Connecticut scientist."
A safari was organized with two Ozark-trained hounds. The search came back empty-handed. The event, however, was memorialized in verse:
"Say did the fearless hunters, Pick up the beastly spoor, While trekking through the jungle, With steps alert and sure?"
- John Matthews, The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures. 2005, Barnes and Noble Inc. NY
- Jeff Belanger, Hunting Glastonbury’s Glawackus (2019)
Republican Newsroom, et al. "Son of 'Caveman,' Springfield Bookstore President Charlie Johnson Marks 90th Birthday." Masslive.com, Masslive.com, 2 Feb. 2018, www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/02/son_of_caveman_springfield_boo.html.