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Mad Gasser of Mattoon
MadGasser
An artist's depiction
Background
Type Being
Continent North America
Country United States
One-Time? No
Theories  · Hoax
 · Extraterrestrial
 · Mass hysteria

The Mad Gasser of Mattoon was a mysterious humanoid entity blamed for a series of nocturnal, gas-related attacks that plagued the town of Mattoon, Illinois in the mid-1940s.

AppearanceEdit

Most contemporary descriptions of the Mad Gasser are based on the testimony of Mr. and Mrs. Bert Kearney of 1408 Marshall Avenue, the victims of the first Mattoon case to be reported by the media. They described the gasser as being a tall, thin man dressed in dark clothing and wearing a tight-fitting cap. Another report, made some weeks later, described the gasser as being a female dressed as a man. The Gasser had also been described as carrying a flit gun, an agricultural tool for spraying pesticide, which he purportedly used to expel the gas.

Possible ExplanationsEdit

There are several explanations as to what the creature could be. Theories include:

  • A hoax
  • Extraterrestrial
  • Mass hysteria

Notable EncountersEdit

The first of the 1944 gasser incidents occurred at a house on Grant Ave., Mattoon, on August 31, 1944. Urban Raef was awakened during the early hours of the morning by a strange odor. He felt nauseated and weak, and suffered from a fit of vomiting. Suspecting that he was suffering from domestic gas poisoning, Raef's wife tried to check the kitchen stove to see if there was a problem with the pilot light, but found that she was partially paralyzed and unable to leave her bed.

Later that night, a similar incident was also reported by a young mother living close by. She was awakened by the sound of her daughter coughing but found herself unable to leave her bed. (due to differing depictions of the night of the 31st and the morning of the 1st, some contemporary accounts list the second attack as having occurred the following day).

The next day, September 1, there was a third reported incident. A Mrs. Kearney, of Marshall Avenue, Mattoon, reported smelling a strong, sweet odor around 11:00 pm. At first she dismissed the smell, believing it to be from flowers outside of the window, but the odor soon became stronger and she began to lose feeling in her legs. Mrs. Kearney panicked and her calls attracted her sister, Mrs. Ready, who was in the house at the time. Mrs. Ready also noticed the odor, and determined that it was coming from the direction of the bedroom window, which was open at the time. The police were contacted, but no evidence of a prowler was found. At around 12:30 am, Bert Kearney, Mrs. Kearney's husband (a local taxi driver who had been absent during the time of the attack), returned home to find an unidentified man hiding close to one of the house's windows. The man fled and Kearney was unable to catch him. Kearney's description of the prowler was of a tall man dressed in dark clothing, wearing a tight fitting cap. This description was reported in the local media, and became the common description of the gasser throughout the Mattoon incident. After the attack, Mrs. Kearney reported suffering from a burning sensation on her lips and throat, which were attributed to the effects of the gas.

In the days following the Kearney attack, there were half a dozen similar attacks (See table), though none of the purported victims were able to provide a clear description of the prowler, and no clues were found at the scene of the attacks. The first specimen of physical evidence was found on the night of September 5, when Carl and Beulah Cordes of North 21st street returned home around 10:00 pm. After spending a few minutes in the house they noticed a piece of white cloth, slightly larger than a man's handkerchief, sitting on their porch next to the screen door. Beulah Cordes picked up the cloth and smelled it. As soon as she inhaled, she became violently ill. She described the effect as being similar to an electric shock. Her face quickly began to swell, she experienced a burning sensation in her mouth and throat, and began to vomit. As with other victims, she also reported feeling weak and experiencing partial paralysis of her legs. Beulah Cordes later hypothesized that the cloth had been left on the porch in order to knock out the family dog, which usually slept there, so that the prowler could gain access to the house unnoticed.

In addition to the cloth, a skeleton key, described as looking "well used," was reportedly found on the sidewalk adjacent to the porch, along with a large, almost empty, tube of lipstick. The cloth was analyzed by the authorities, but they found no chemicals on it that could explain Beulah Cordes' reaction.

The same night a second incident was reported, this time in North 13th Street, at the home of Mrs. Leonard Burrell. She reported seeing a stranger break in through her bedroom window and then attempt to gas her.

TriviaEdit

v · e · d
Beings
North American Beings
Black Flash · Cloak Man of Clifton Heights · Danbury Frog People · Dark Baby · Donkey Lady · Flaming Bruja · Grinning Man · Harlequin · Houston Batman · Invisible Man of Palmetto · Mad Gasser of Mattoon · Maryland Goatman · Mauston Birdman · Melonheads · Mexican Being of Light · Muppet Clown · NASA Gargoyle · New England Faceless People · Ohio Bridge Trolls · Pedro the Pygmy · Phantom Barber · Phantom Clowns · Phantom Whistler of Louisiana · Pig Lady · Santa Lucias Dark Watchers · Stroudsburg Rain Man · Subway Man · The Green Man · Toronto Tunnel Monster · Toxic Lady
South American Beings
Argentina Gnome · Peruvian Giants
Asian Beings
Glowing Winged Woman of Vietnam · Issik Kul Lake Swimmers · Monkey-man of Delhi · The Man from Taured · Tsunami Spirit
European Beings
Green Children of Woolpit · Headless Angel of Portugal · Jophar Vorin · Le Loyon · Pérák · Ratman
African Beings
Australian Beings
Miscellaneous Beings
Black-eyed Children · Black Stickmen · Dopplegangers · Flying Humanoid · Shadow People · Time Travelers
v · e · d
North America
North American Cryptids
Airborne Frogman · Batsquatch · Black Demon · Belled Buzzards · Black Star Penguins · Blue Birdman · Boston Lemur · Campfire Creature · Carmel Creature · Charles Mill Lake Monster · Coonigator · Crawfordsville Dragon · Crocodingo · Deer Man · Demon Leaper · Deridder Roadkill · Dos Palmas Winged Snake · Dublin Lake Monsters · East River Monster · El Verde Creature · Enfield Horror · Flying Horse of Mexico · Flying Horse of Virginia · Flying Rays · Giant Penguin · Giant Shrimp in the Laundry Room · Gow-Row · Green Clawed Beast · Green Eyes · Grunch Road Monster · Highway Beast · Jackson Dragon · Killer Cactus · Kinderhook Blob · Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp · Manor Road Pig-Dog · Mantis Man · Metepec Creature · Michigan Dogman · Montauk Monster · Moss Man · Mud Mermaids · Mutant Canine · Nightcrawler · Octoman · Oil Pit Squid · Oklahoma Octopus · Panama Creature · Pennsylvanian Albino Bigfoot · Red Devil-Bat of Chester · Riverside Monster · Rochester Rat-Dog · Sewer Blob · Sheepsquatch · Snallygaster · Sugar Bundle · Swift Peter · Texas Big Bird · The Awful · Tick Canyon Giant Rabbit · Tumor Seal · Whatzit · Wood Devils
North American Alien Sightings
Aliens in Aisle Five · Ausso One · California Fetus · Crazy Critter of Bald Mountain · Crescent · Cycloptic Aliens of Harrah · Dade City Flowers · Falkville Metal Man · Farmersville Green Man · Garson Invaders · Georgia Stalks · Gliders · Hopkinsville Goblins · Long Prairie Cans · Medford Shmoos · Nuevo Laredo Alien · Old Saybrook Blockheads · Pancake Bakers from Space · Pascagoula Creature · Prospect Monoliths · Ririe Carjackers · Sorrento Crawler · Space Brains of Palos Verdes · Space Penguins of Tuscumbia · Tripod Creature · Van Meter Visitor · Veggieman
North American UFO Sightings
4th of July UFO · Butterfly UFO
North American Hauntings
Annabelle the Doll · Arlington Attic Ghost · Avon Haunted Bridge · Bassett Ghost Cars · Bell Witch · Blue Albino Woman · Boy Scout Lane · Demon's Road · Devil Baby of Hull House · Eunice Welsh's Mausoleum · Faceless Figure of Dead Man's Curve · Fantasma Colorado · Ghost Bus of Highway 93 · Ghost Cow · Ghost Deer · Ghost Mammoth · Ghost Moose · Ghost Wolf · Ghosts of Disney · Ghosts of the Charles Haskell · Graceland Cemetery · Grant Park · La Belle Cemetery · Mandy the Doll · Moody's Light · Old Man Weary · Old Woman in the Crawlspace · Purple Bubble · Purple Head Bridge · Ring of Children and the Banshee · Robert the Doll · Stiffy Green · Tall, Dark, & Gruesome · Tanaka the Drowned Ghost · Vincent Hitchcock the Doll · Wyoming Woman in Black
North American Phenomena
Black Aggie · Black Mist of Casa Grande Mountain · Bleeding House on Fountain Drive · Blinking Crucifix · Carnivorous Pink Cloud · Coke Mystery Vending Machine · Dancing Underpants · Death Valley Sailing Stones · Face in the Courthouse Window · Flying Mist Mattress · Fountain Cloud · Handprint of the Carbon County Jail · Handprint of the Chicago Firehouse · John Lawson Mannequins · Kokomo Hum · Moodus Noises · Smiling Stones · Swirling Basement Thing · Taos Hum · The Black Angel
North American Beings
Black Flash · Cloak Man of Clifton Heights · Danbury Frog People · Dark Baby · Donkey Lady · Grinning Man · Harlequin · Houston Batman · Invisible Man of Palmetto · Mad Gasser of Mattoon · Maryland Goatman · Mauston Birdman · Melonheads · Mexican Being of Light · Muppet Clown · NASA Gargoyle · New England Faceless People · Ohio Bridge Trolls · Pedro the Pygmy · Phantom Barber · Phantom Clowns · Phantom Whistler of Louisiana · Pig Lady · Santa Lucias Dark Watchers · Stroudsburg Rain Man · Subway Man · The Green Man · Toronto Tunnel Monster · Toxic Lady
North American Events
Battle of Los Angeles · Beaumont Blackout · Disappearance of David Lang · Disappearance of Glen and Bessie Hyde · Massacre of Doc Johnson · Max Headroom Broadcast · Philadelphia Experiment
North American Locations
Bennington Triangle · Blood Bowl · Bremen Troll Bridge · Bridgewater Triangle · Clown Motel · Devil's Gate Reservoir · Devil's Kettle · Devil's Tramping Ground · Disney's River Country · Helltown · House of Blue Lights · Island of the Dolls · Shirtwood Forest · Spider Gates · Stairway to Hell · Zone of Silence

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