Thursday, 24 September 2009

Did The Beast of Bladenboro return?

The Beast of Bladenboro was a creature that caused widespread panic in the 1950’s and was said to be responsible for the deaths of many pets and livestock. Did the beast return in 2007? Bladenboro is a small community in North Carolina.

In Decmber 1953 a local farmer reported a large, cat-like creature had attacked one of his dogs and dragged it into the underbrush. On New Year's Eve two more dog carcasses, reportedly completely drained of blood, were found. The next day, two more dogs were attacked their “skulls crushed in and chewed.”

Then a 21-year-old mother named Mrs. C.E. Kinlaw apparently walked out onto her front porch at about 7:30 p.m. January 6, 1954 and when she looked up and saw the “beast” stalking toward her. Kinlaw screamed and ran into the house. Her husband, Charles Kinlaw, grabbed his shotgun and ran outside but only found cat-like paw prints all around his yard.

Residents reported seeing an animal four and a half feet long, bushy and resembling either a bear or a panther about 150 pounds, with a footprint like a dog’ s and a large head with “runty-looking ears.”. It looked, they said , Brownish and tabby, indicating a furry appearance.

A Mr Shaw, still a resident of the area, then the 35-year-old owner of a gas station, had heard about a goat killed on a farm on the edge of town. He’d been told there was something odd about how it died so he went to see for himself. It’s head was flat as a fritter,” he reported . “It had a great big ol’ track . . . It was weird.” Shaw showed the size of the paw print by spreading four fingers of his right hand and placing them on his left palm, simulating the size of the paw. He said the beast killed small cows, too, and “two or three” hogs.

Police Chief Roy Fores organized a hunt for the beast in the swamps, but came up empty handed. It was when Mayor W.G. Fussell called the newspapers that things really took off. Fussell, who also owned the local theatre, was later quoted in a 1958 edition of the Carolina Farmer magazine as saying "A little publicity never hurt a small town."

The resulting publicity caused chaos.. Hunters from as far way as Tennessee descended on the town to see if they could get a shot at the beast. Newspapers from Arizona to New York ran coverage of the hunt for the creature. Men with guns were walking through the forest shooting at anything that moved. Deciding that things were getting out of hand , Mayor Fussell and Chief Fores called an end to the hunt, and taking a large bobcat that had been killed by one of the hunters,ran it up a flagpole in the centre of town. They posted a sign underneath stating "This is the Beast of Bladenboro."

The sightings lasted for ten days, then disappeared. Strange noises supposedly accompanied the sightings, including squeals, “catlike” roars, and what sounded like a baby crying. The town settled back to normality.

Then in September of 2007, sixty goats were found murdered and drained of blood, in Lexington, North Carolina. Glenda and Bruce Floyd, owners of the one hundred acre farm where the goats were attacked, found the goats dead early one morning. Thirty miles northeast of Lexington, in Greensboro, Billy Yow’s goats were also massacred in the same senseless way. Throats ripped out and multilated.

The following month Bolivian resident, Bill Robinson found his three-year-old Pit Bull terrier dog gutted. Robinson buried his pet but the next morning, discovered the carcass in the same spot where he had found it originally.

Four days later , Leon Williams found his two-year-old Pit Bull, dead, with his chain “stretched out across the ditch.” He was covered in blood, and pieces of him were missing. There were no signs of a struggle.

Ten canines found murdered in the areas of Brown, Midway, and Rutland Roads in Brunswick County, during a two-week period. The tracks, four and a half inches in diameter, were very similar to those found in 1954.A resident living on Brown Road, Robert Smith, has been finding tracks around the church, and in neighbourhood gardens. He commented that he has never before seen tracks likes these. “My fist could fit in it,” he said. The local animal services department investigated the predator's tracks and droppings, but never determined what had attacked the animals.

So did the beast return or was it just a large bobcat or even human intervention that slaughtered the animals? The problem is when a media panic happens it is very difficult to determine the truth. So many people handle the remains of animals that have been attacked and so many stories spring up, it is hard to determine the facts. Lets hope it doesn’t return again for the sake of the residents but it sounds like it was a large cat to me, and maybe it’s ancestor came back to the same territory?

An article about the 1950’s scare:

1 comment:

Pamela said...

I was wondering if you have contact information for any of the people in your story. I am doing research for a tv show and would love to hear more about their experiences.
I can be reached at