A Water Monster in the Mountain State

The following is an excerpt from my new book Wild & Wonderful (and Paranormal) West Virginia:


A river monster is said to dwell in the Monongahela River near the town of Rivesville in Marion County. The creature is called the Ogua, and legends of the monster originated with the Native Americans who inhabited the land long ago. According to folks who are familiar with the legendary creature, many more Oguas existed in the river, and also in the Ohio River, before colonial times. It is a true testament to the impact of European colonization when even the river monsters experienced dwindling population numbers as settlers pushed west!

The Ogua is a serpentine creature said to reach a size of about 500 pounds; it is reddish-brown in color and has deadly razor-sharp teeth; it is also amphibious. The monster is said to dwell in the river during the day, but at night it comes onto land where it stalks prey. Reportedly, the Ogua hunts deer; it lies along game paths and thrashes an unsuspecting deer with its tail and pulls it into the water where it devours the helpless animal.

Of particular interest to me is the Ogua’s abode. It is said to dwell in an underwater cavern. Time after time, creature after creature, rumors of underwater caves and tunnels are a commonality among water monster legends, and for that matter, cryptids in general. I spoke of this in detail in my first book People are Seeing Something: A Survey of Lake Monsters in the United States and Canada.

Reports of the Creature

The first documented report of the Ogua took place in the 1700s. The report came from a young man who was staying at Fort Hamar…

Read the rest in my new book! Find out more about the Ogua and a variety of other cryptids. A Kindle edition of the book is available for pre-order on Amazon for $0.99. The release date is set for April 3, at which point a paperback edition will also become available.

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