Call of the Cryptid - Glawackus: Connecticut's Northern devil cat

The Glawackus is said to be a devil cat from Connecticut. It's also become a sports mascot(?!)
Origin story of Hartford Athletics' Glawackus mascot is out of a fairytale
Origin story of Hartford Athletics' Glawackus mascot is out of a fairytale / NBC Connecticut

A panther, a lion, and a bear walk into a bar...well, in addition to being a setup to a bad joke, that sentence also partly desribes a "fearsome critter" cryptid known as the Glawackus, or the Northern Devil Cat. There are many things attributed to the creature, such as a cackle like a hyena (if you want an idea of what such a cackle sounds like, go ahead and listen here). Some even wildly suggest that, if you look into its eyes, it can wipe your memory (sort of like the Christopher Lee horror flickHorror Express). No other “big cats” can do that, right?

One cryptid Wiki offers a harrowing tale, but does not reveal the source of the quote: "I was working as a young reporter on the Hartford Courant that year when World War II was in the wings, but we were preoccupied with the developing story about this Glastonbury creature that howled at night, slipped in and out of view and caused dogs, cats and small farm animals to disappear."
Connectucut Magazine quotes Stephen Gencarella, "a Connecticut resident and professor of folklore studies at the University of Massachusetts": “Schoolchildren were frightened; concerned teachers, parents, and citizens lit up the switchboard at the station and the town hall; and organized parties of terrified hunters were out in the woods with guns loaded.”

The magazine also brings up Alfred Knapp, "a wealthy metallurgist" and ghost story aficionado, and the original source of the legendary hoax.

As with a lot f cryptids, or fearsome critters, or whatever we want to call them, these stories are clearly works of fiction, but usually seem relatively harmless bits of "remember when?" nostalgia. They also offer up additional reasons for tourism, or expanding upon legends in campfire tales, and such goodness. The Glawackus offers the ability to both be entertained without being bogged down much by pesky, serious debates over the realness of the creature (in contrast to Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster).

As real as the Glawackus can get

As a fun creation, the Glawackus has actually become a Hartford Athletics sports mascot named "Dillon," with soccer ball antennas on his head. Similarly, the YMCA of Greater Hartford has a youth camp called "Camp Glawackus and Liger," demonstrating an interest in keeping the mythic critter's name alive. And hey, who doesn't like saying "Glawackus?" Well, one supposes anyone who hears a hyena-like cackle while alone in the woods may dread the name, but we don't know of anyone who's truly undergone such an experience...or maybe they did but were either killed or had their memory wiped out after looking into either its glowing eyes, or those soccer balls on its friggin' head.

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