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The Davenport Demon

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It was the year 1964 in Davenport, Iowa. A decent sized city, it lies on the Mississippi River. I've only heard about the events involving this “demon” from people in the area, and from a few miscellaneous newspaper clippings that made their way to Nebraska.

During the summer of 1964, a couple was driving along the Mississippi River on S Concord Street at night, around 2300 (11:00 P.M.). As they were driving, the woman – a Miss Clarissa Belle – pointed out something weird in the river water. Almost immediately after, "something horrendous reared from the water, and raced across the road" as put by Clarissa Belle when interviewed a few weeks after the second sighting, when it began to be taken seriously by the media. The couple barely had time to make out what it was, and the man – a Mr. Samson Browne – slammed on the brakes.

They stopped, and thought that they had hit whatever it was. Clarissa Belle, terrified yet, stayed in the car as Samson Browne got out to check it out. While the car had been splashed with river water, it was undamaged and they returned to town, only mentioning it as an oddity to their friends.

It was in late winter of 1969 that the second reported sighting of the “demon” was made. In this instance, the demon was seen by a married couple – Jolene and Hank Miles – and their friend, whose name has been forgotten to time. It was once again by the river, this time on River Drive on the way home from Credit Island Park.

The “demon” emerged from the river's icy surface in a sudden surprise lunge, landing on the southbound lane right in front of the car. Jolene Miles had, when the couple reported it to the newspapers, described it as “ugly and vile, almost like a disfigured raccoon with the most godforsaken tentacles”. Surprisingly (unless a frequent reader of such newspaper reports, where witnesses that were together frequently contradict one another) Hank Miles had left out the comparison to a raccoon and described it as "almost catfish like, except with tentacles instead of fins." This description was the same as their friend's, except in that simple comparison.

In the 1970s, reports grew of this event, until a climactic encounter in the fall of 1975. Unlike most of the reports, this one was not involving a car but rather a private boat ramp in Davenport Harbor. Lee Anderson and his current mistress, Britney Cooper, were putting their boat into the harbor at night when the water began to emit a strange light, as if there were search lights underneath the surface.

They were intimately entangled when suddenly the boat tipped, sending them both into the water. Barely escaping, Lee Anderson reported that his mistress had fallen in and drowned and that a “thing with tentacles” had attacked the two of them. Having burn marks on the side of his body; which he explained by saying he was electrocuted. When the body of his mistress was found, it was burned completely to an almost unrecognizable point, except for the face.

This first deadly encounter led to Lee being charged with manslaughter despite his reporting it as an animal attack, and the wounds being nearly impossible for the man to make (without specific equipment). Lee Anderson was sentenced to prison. He committed suicide a week after being let out on parole. Throughout the 1970s, several more reports were made.

By the 1980s when the last major newspaper report on the Davenport Demon was made (which was an event similar to the first death from the “demon”) it had become a local legend. To this day, it is unknown if the Davenport Demon is real, or if it was simply a scapegoat for accidents and murders. While there are some people who claim to have seen it still, none of these stories have been put into the newspapers and have merely been mentioned by people who live in Davenport. And even then, mainly people who had been hunting it would much rather prefer to associate with the more popular Bigfoot Hunters.

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