Monster in Thompson Lake, Illinois


"Does Thompson's Lake boast of a sea serpent?" This is a question which the people of Havaanah (Illinois) have been asking themselves, and apparently, it has been answered affirmatively on the excellent testimony of the Rev. A. K. Tullis. Thompson's Lake is a neighbouring fishing and hunting resort, and a huge monster has been seen there repeatedly, according to popular report. It was said that a party of fishermen, young men and ladies, had seen this monster several months ago, and that the party thought at first that some huge tree had fallen into one of the lagoons tributary to the lake. The existence of some huge river serpent in Thompson's Lake is now established beyond all cavil or question, and by the best authority.

This reptile was seen one day by the Rev. A.K. Tullis, pastor of the Methodist Church, of Lewistown, and his son, Harry, who were boating on the lake. In company with his son, the Rev. Mr. Tullis was fishing. Their skiff was anchored about a half-mile south east of the boat landing, near the Prickett houses. At a distance of less than 200ft, amont the flags and lilies, Mr. Tullis first caught sight of the hideous creature's head as it rose high in the air. The head was flat, with a sort of whiskers or fin-like appendages on either side, and the eyes were large. From a cruel-looking mouth a forked tongue shot out, and hisses could be distinctly heard. Mr. Tullis says he cannot adequately describe the monster, but is satisfied that its neck was as large around as his arm, or larger, and he has no means of knowing how long the reptile is.

The creature seemed to be tangled in a mass of moss at the time, for it threshed the water into a foam for a 100ft around, and, as it did so, exposed portions of its body, which gave the impression that it must be several feet in circumfernce, although at the neck it was not much larger than a good-sized man's fleshy arm. During this time Harry Tullis fell out of the boat, and, in rescuing him so much commontion was made in the water that the reptile became quiet, or moved to another part of the lake. It was seen again, however, before the party returned to shore.

The Rev. Mr. Tullis does not pretend to give a sensational description of the monster. He says that htere can be no doubt that it is a huge reptile of some sort, and is not certain but it is a reptile something on the order of the prehistoric animals whose huge remains are occasionally found in some of the older deposits in river valleys. This creature has been seen before this by others fishing in Thompson's Lake. Little attention was paid to the stories told of the hideous thing until the Rev. Mr. Tullis verified them. One farmer saw the snake tearing through his cornfield recently, leaving a swath dozens of feet wide. Some fields of grain have been ruined by the monster. A party of cool and determined men is being organised to capture the animal and ascertain to what order of reptile it belongs. There is little doubt that a much-mooted question has finally been settled.

From The Western Mail, July 23rd, 1894.