This time of year, pumpkins are out on porches, haunted houses are filling up and spooky tales of Cincinnati’s past return to the surface. And if we’re being honest, there’s one that really sets itself apart.
Yep, we’re talking about the Loveland Frog, an amphibious humanoid haunting the streets of its namesake suburb.
Yes, we know it sounds ridiculous. But could there actually be some fire to the smoke? Let’s take a closer look.
According to The Weiser Field Guide to Cryptozoology, it all started in 1955 when a story surfaced about a traveling salesman heading down an unnamed road late at night. The legend claims the man saw three figures standing on their hind legs along the side of the road, about 3 to 4 feet tall with leathery skin and frog faces.
As the original legend goes, the salesman claims he saw the figures converse for a while until one of the “frogs” held a wand over its head, causing sparks to fly and the salesman to flee.
Return of the Legend
Fast forward to March of 1972. Bell bottoms are huge, Led Zeppelin is the biggest band in the world and people can’t seem to stay away from the Loveland Frog. Around that time is when a Loveland police officer claims that he saw a weird looking animal cross Riverside Drive next to the Little Miami River, matching the previous description of a leathery skinned, frog-like creature.
Two weeks later yet another officer claims he saw the same thing in the same area, except this time, the officer shoots the creature and puts it in his trunk to show others. So what was it? Well, according to them, a big iguana that may have been someone’s pet or just left in the wild. While the thought of someone having a giant iguana as a pet is scary enough, it seemed like the legend was over. But was it?
The Frogman meets Pokemon Go
In August of 2016 a local man sent us a video that, according to him, shows the elusive creature once and for all. Sam Jacobs says he and his girlfriend were playing “Pokemon Go” between Loveland Madeira Road and Lake Isabella when they spotted the purported Frogman.
Jacobs said, “We saw a huge frog near the water. Not in the game (Pokemon Go), this was an actual giant frog. I took a couple of pictures and a video ’cause I’d never seen one that big. Then the thing stood up and walked on its hind legs”.
Jacobs went on to say he realizes some people will think he’s crazy. “I swear on my grandmother’s grave that this is the truth”, Jacobs said. “I’m not sure whether it was a Frogman or just a giant frog. Either way, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Hoax? True evidence? We can’t be certain, but it just might be enough to keep the mystery alive.
So, what’s next?
Like most urban legends, the stories and testimonies just might be enough to cast a shadow of a doubt. But if you’re a true skeptic the lack of evidence might be enough to tank it.
In the end, we don’t know if the Loveland Frog is real. But we do know that next time we’re driving along the Little Miami River in Loveland at night, we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled.
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