Call of the Cryptid: Beaman Monster (gorilla-wolf-coyote thing) of Missouri

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 20: Sasquatch attends "The Awesomes" VIP After-Party sponsored by Hulu and Xbox at Andaz on July 20, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Hulu)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 20: Sasquatch attends "The Awesomes" VIP After-Party sponsored by Hulu and Xbox at Andaz on July 20, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Hulu) /

What is the Beaman Monster from the Sedalia area of Missouri? It’s another piece of evidence that people can’t get their story straight, but want to create a monster and call it “folklore.” In this case, it’s some extra-blurry Missouri folklore, but folklore nonetheless. Some sources online say it’s shaped like a gorilla, others maintain it looks like a wolf or coyote. So, at best, one might call it a gorilla-wolf-coyote thingie, aside from the Beaman Monster, or whatever official scientific name one might assign to a gorilla-wolf-coyote thingie.

A Cryptid Wiki quotes a man named Russell Holman, who lives in Beaman, as saying: “It seems like they revive that story every 50 years…Dad said when the boys would get out of hand, they’d call out the Beaman Monster if you didn’t behave. I never did see anything.”

Now, I know what you are thinking: “That’s a cryptid Wiki page, and therefore can’t be at all credible.” I get it, but it does appear that a man named Russell Lee Holman did exist, but died in 2021. For even more proof than his obituary page, here’s a news article about a storm that knocked a tree through the roof of his house. So, even though Beaman Monster surely doesn’t exist, this Holman guy seemed to.

More details on the Beaman Monster…and a circus truck crash?

Details are scarce on the mythological beast. For example, a Google search ostensibly provided a link titled “‘Monster’ tales alive in Sedalia – News – Columbia Daily Tribune,” but clicking on it was a dead end for me. That was disappointing, as that might be considered a more valid source than some Wikipedia-style page (though, in this world, one can hardly be sure of that). I have found various claims that the Beaman Monster is a “12-foot Gorilla” that escaped from a crashed circus train.

Though that almost sounds like a far-fetched tale, I oddly enough can provide a local story from where I live that sounds eerily similar, titled “3 Die in Michigan Crash of Truck Carrying Gear for Circus Company“; “At least three persons were killed and three others were injured when a van carrying props for a Shrine Circus touring company careened across a highway and struck a concrete bridge abutment” in Houghton, Michigan, in 1978.

Granted, Michigan is not Missouri, but the story demonstrates how such accidents are entirely possible. We don’t have any legend about an escaped circus ape, which is too bad, because it’s definitely a missed opportunity for us over here (think of the tourism and stray T-shirt sale potential!). So, as with other cryptid lore, there’s at least a vague tangential element of plausibility to some of it.

Beaman Monster
An 1826 map of the state of Missouri shows county boundaries, roads, settlements, and topographical features. (Photo by Michael Maslan/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images) /

Is this a legitimate site?

Among the few relatively (perhaps) “legitimate sites” I could find was the KIX 105-7 country music website. They suggest the Beaman monster was primarily a way to scare kids; “You’d better be good, or the Monster will come and get you!” Admittedly, I have not done the most exhaustive search for sources regarding this cryptid’s existence, but I’ve looked enough to deduce it’s not a sure thing (to say the least).

How to spread a legend about a cryptid (such as the Beaman Monster)

The Beaman Monster doesn’t seem to be the most popular cryptid, but it does have a staying power. Some might accuse me of perpetuating it as disinformation merely by mentioning it, and I’ll accept that limited responsibility (or praise, depending on one’s attitude toward cryptid-kind). That being said, anyone can really contribute to cryptid lore. You can just say you saw something strange one night (in this case a large gorilla, canine, or canine gorilla), and maybe it was yelling or howling at you in some animal manner — a tough-to-pronounce sound like “Eeevck!!” might do the trick (the weirder the better).

Maybe you proceeded to run away from the beast after the monster lunged at you. You might say something like: “It was about 20 feet tall and pretty hairy, with fangs and bulging green [or red, or yellow] eyes, and it came charging at me, so I ran the opposite direction. I looked back for a second and the gorilla was there again. I ran, I jumped a fence, I got in my pickup truck, and sped off.” You are now the storyteller, part of the legend itself, and your name might even make the town newspaper or articles like this.

The appeal of the Beaman Monster

What’s not to understand about the appeal of the Beaman Monster? Missouri lore might have the Beaman Monster sometimes wandering about town late at night. One woman might report seeing the monster roaming about town and trying to find her daughter, and it becomes like a horror story and makes the mom look like a Sarah Palin-esque “Mama Bear” kid protector.

Some might say that people have been abducted by the beast, while others might claim to have seen a man-sized creature attempting to feed on livestock or steal a farm dog, increasing the Chupacabra factor by a notch or two. The stories might also circulate that the Beaman Monster is angry over the Native American burial grounds being desecrated (or flooded, or whatever) in which case maybe Jud Crandall will show up and offer wisdom on the creature and some related curse.

Here’s a Youtube video on this mythic beast, perhaps better than what I could gather about it independently:

Next. Matching 50 mythical creatures to each state. dark

What are your thoughts on the (admittedly vague) Beaman Monster? Let us know in the comments!