‘Tails’ of Terror – The Story of the ‘Mud Mermaids’ Who Reportedly Terrorized an Indiana River Town
When you hear the word, "mermaid," I'll assume the first image that pops into your mind is that of Ariel, the young, red-head girl who lived "Under the Sea" and made a deal with an evil sea witch to give up her beautiful singing voice in exchange for a pair of legs so she could meet the handsome Prince Eric on land. You know her better as Disney's "The Little Mermaid." Or maybe the word simply creates an image in your mind of a man or woman with the upper body, arms, and head of a human and a fish-like tail in place of legs. Whatever it is you're picturing, I'm pretty sure it looks nothing like the description of the "mud mermaids" that were reportedly spotted on the banks of the Ohio River in southern Indiana many years ago.
The Story of the Mud Mermaids in Vevay, Indiana
According to Mysterious Universe, the story of the mud mermaids took place in the town of Vevay, Indiana, a small town on the Ohio River about halfway between Louisville and Cincinnati in Switzerland County back around 1891. Keeping in mind that mermaids are typically associated with the sea or the ocean, the idea of them being spotted in a place nowhere near a body of water that size is strange in and of itself. But, as the stories go, these were not your typical mermaids.
According to those who claimed to have seen them, the mud mermaids were more lizard-like in appearance. They were described as having the upper body and arms of a human, but with "yellowish" skin and webbed hands with sharpened claws. They also had pointed ears similar to a dog and their lower half was "tapered to a point" like a lizard's tail.
Supposedly, they were also aggressive if you got too close. According to a story shared by Mysterious Universe by a Confederate Captain from Kentucky by the name of J.M. Ozier, there were two of the creatures, one appeared to be male, the other female. Ozier's account says he saw and had "been menaced" by the male however, there are no additional details saying why the creature became aggressive toward him. My totally uneducated guess is like any wild animal, Ozier got too close and it was defending its territory.
Reports of the sightings were published by the Cincinnati Enquirer at the time, but no other records exist, so who knows what these creatures actually were. As someone who is a skeptic when it comes to stories like this, I imagine these "mud mermaids" were more than likely some other type of wild animal. Although, with that said, I can't think of any type of animal that would fit the description given which is what makes the whole story intriguing, right?
If you'd like to dig a little deeper into the story of the mud mermaids, check out the video below from YouTube user williamdefalco whose entire channel is dedicated to strange and unexplained creature sightings like this.
[Source: Mysterious Universe / williamdefalco on YouTube]