Here Be Monsters: The Honey Island Swamp Monster

Honey Island Swamp in Louisiana, home of the Honey Island Swamp Monster

When I visited Louisiana’s Honey Island Swamp, not far from New Orleans, I had no idea that it had its very own monster. First reported—and supposedly captured on video—in 1963, the creatively named Honey Island Swamp Monster is described as a 7ft-tall hominid covered in grey fur and sporting webbed toes. Kinda like a Yeti crossed with a beaver.

Apparently, the thing also smells like hot trash.

Now, to me, the most fascinating aspect of the Honey Island Swamp Monster is its origin. Apparently, the monster is the result of a chimp mating with an alligator. Seriously. Legend has it that a train crashed in the area in the early 1900s and that, among the train’s passengers, was a travelling circus which included a chimp or three. The primates escaped into the swamp where they promptly set to mating with the alligator population.

Let us all dwell on that a moment. Just picture it: a chimp and a gator doing it. Now, so as not to make it creepy or sad, please, imagine them both enjoying it, maybe even cuddling after the fact, sharing a little inter-species pillow talk . . .

Though hilarious, the thought of a chimp and a gator mating is ridiculous. That they might produce some 7ft-foot-tall chimp-gator hybrid even more so.

I actually really like the circus train wreck idea, though, but prefer to think that maybe that circus included a freak show and that what escaped was a pair of performers . . . The Shaggy Man and the Alligal? Crocolady and the Gorillad?

Anyway, this intrepid duo threw off their shared shackles and ran from the wreckage, disappearing into the swamp, where they started a family, a hirsute, web-toed and smelly family.

Unfortunately, the Honey Island Swamp Monster hasn’t been spotted since 1974, and I certainly didn’t see it. All I saw were gators. Tons of happy gators that enjoyed eating marshmallows off a stick. They gave no sign of ever having known the frenetic love of a chimp.