creepy stories Creepy Stories and Legends About the Mississippi River

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The Mississippi River passes through 10 different states in the US and is 2,320 miles long. With an area that large, it's no surprise that there are plenty of creepy stories about the Mississippi River. From monsters both above and in the water to hauntings to disturbing deaths, these weird Mississippi River stories shed a creepy light on the historic waterway.

Mississippi River legends are so varied because it runs through so many different landscapes and environments. It also played a huge part in the formation and history of the US. It was used as a major mode of transportation during the country's western expansion and when Union forces captured it in the Civil War, it marked a crucial turning point towards victory. And any long, historic path, whether it's a river or a hiking trail, is bound to have a few urban legends attached to it. Check out these creepy Mississippi River stories and leave a comment if you've ever experienced anything weird on the Mississippi.

Clint Walker Claims He Saw a UFO on the River in 1951


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There have been at least a few UFO sightings along the Mississippi River. Actor Clint Walker recalled seeing a UFO over the Mississippi in 1951 while traveling in Illinois. Ron Quinn shared his friend Clint's story in his book, Mysterious Disappearances: And Other Strange Tales. Quinn writes that Clint "glanced off toward the river. Coming toward him, above the water, was a saucer shaped UFO. It was perhaps 25-feet across and dull silver in color." He observed it for a few seconds before it moved out of sight.

The River Is a Dumping Ground for the Supposed 'Smiley Face' Killer


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The Smiley Face Killer is a theory from two retired New York detectives who believe that a killer or a group of killers is responsible for the deaths of at least 40 college men. Nearly all of the men's deaths have been ruled accidental drownings, but some people believe that their deaths were not an accident. They believe there is a serial killer that preys upon intoxicated college students, drugging them and dumping them into nearby bodies of water, where they drown.

The detectives came up with the theory after a smiley face was discovered near several sites where the men are suspected to have fallen (or been thrown) into the water. Christopher Jenkins, a student at the University of Minnesota, was 21 when he disappeared on Halloween. His body was found four months later in the Mississippi River. 

Two Men Say They Were Abducted by Aliens While Fishing


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Two friends, Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker Jr., say they were abducted by aliens while fishing on the Mississippi after work. The two said they were taken by three gray creatures with claws for hands and were examined thoroughly while in a conscious but paralyzed state before being returned to the river bank. For the rest of his life, Charles Hickson was happy to share his UFO experience with others. 

The Mississippi River Has Been Known to Run Backwards


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The Mississippi River has been known to reverse its direction. On the rare occasion this has happened, it is usually due to large earthquakes in the area. The earliest known occurrence was in 1812 after a series of earthquakes in Missouri, but it's happened several times since then, most recently in 2012 in the aftermath of Hurricane Issac. 

The Oldest Settlement on the River Is Haunted


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Natchez, MS is known as the birthplace of Mississippi. It was settled by the French in 1716, and after the Seven Years' War, was ruled by Great Britain, Spain, and finally the United States. Years of governmental chaos earned the town a reputation for being lawless and there are still many prominent legends about the area. 

There are stories of witches dancing along the Natchez Trace (a long trail that winds through several states), burning every piece of land their feet touch. Natchez-Under-the-Hill is one of the oldest parts of the town, and it's rumored to be haunted by several ghosts. But the creepiest spot in Natchez is Longwood, an unfinished octagonal mansion.

The construction of Longwood was halted by the Civil War. Dr. Haller Nutt, who commissioned the home from architect Samuel Sloan, lived in the only part of the house that was completed - the basement. Locals call the place "Nutt's Folly," and rumor has it that you can still see the ghosts of Dr. Nutt and his wife lurking around the property.

Pepie the River Monster


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Lake Pepin is the largest lake on the Mississippi, and it's located between Wisconsin and Minnesota. Since 1876, there have been reports of an unidentifiable monster, nicknamed Pepie, lurking beneath the surface. Reportedly, it's huge (between the size of a rhino and an elephant) and can leap out of the lake to snatch birds right out of the air. While there does not appear to be any proof of the monster's existence, businessman Larry Neilson has offered a $50,000 reward to anyone who can prove the existence of the creature. Neilsen has claimed to see the monster

While there is no proof of the monster's existence, businessman Larry Neilson has offered a $50,000 reward to anyone who can prove the existence of the creature. Neilsen has claimed to see the monster twice. He hopes the reward will not only be fun but bring more tourism to the area.

Bigfoot Roams the Banks of the Mississippi


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The legend of the Momo Monster comes from the small town of Louisiana, MO, located on the Mississippi River. In 1972, three siblings claimed to have seen a Sasquatch-like creature carrying away their dog. 

Other neighbors later said they heard growling and animal-like noises in the area. A farmer even had a dog disappear and thought the Momo monster might be to blame. Some people in the area believe it was all a hoax carried out by three bored kids, but from time to time, sightings are still reported.

River Flooding Wiped Out the Ancient City of Cahokia


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The ancient city of Cahokia once existed near modern-day St. Louis. It started with a few agricultural settlements around 400 AD, grew into a major city by 1050 AD, and had disappeared by 1350. So what happened? Cahokia was actually wiped out by floods from the Mississippi River. Today, you can still visit mounds that were part of the ancient city.