By Bruce Cline, director of the Little Egypt Ghost Society
Southern Illinois has long been known for its reports of monsters and strange happenings. Tuttle Bottoms is known to have its share of strange creatures. The Tuttle Bottoms Monster was first reported in the 1960’s in Tuttle Bottoms near Harrisburg, IL. On the north outskirts of Harrisburg is the section of town referred to as Dorris Heights. The middle fork of the Saline River passes through the woods of this scenic area. Hunters and people who would park along the road in that area would make frantic calls to police and sheriff departments reporting a large furry animal that resembled an overgrown anteater. Others said the creature resembled a large bear. Strange track were often found nearby.
In the 1960s and ‘70s, many high school kids would go to Tuttle Bottoms to drink beer and “make out.” It was rumored that some murders took place in the Bottoms. Parents warned kids to stay away from that area. I remember one hot summer night in the late 1960’s when our sitter took me and my brother for a ride through Tuttle Bottoms. As we crossed the bridge over the middle fork of the Saline River a large creature that resembled a prehistoric pterodactyl swooped down at the roof of the car, circled around and followed us for a short distance. Our sitter floored the gas pedal in her old car and we flew down that dark gravel road as fast as it could go. It was quite some time until I was brave enough to go back to Tuttle Bottoms.
Bruce Cline is the Director of the Little Egypt Ghost Society based in Carbondale, IL. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army as a Corps of Engineers Officer. He is a former municipal, county and state law enforcement officer. Bruce lives in Carbondale, IL with his wife, Lisa and several cats and dogs.