The Legend of the Loveland Frogman

In Ohio folklore, the Loveland frog (also known as the Loveland frogman or Loveland lizard) is a legendary humanoid frog described as standing roughly 4 feet (1.2 m) tall, allegedly spotted in Loveland, Ohio. In 1972, the Loveland frog legend gained renewed attention when a Loveland police officer reported to a colleague that he had seen an animal consistent with descriptions of the frogman. After a reported sighting in 2016, the second officer called a news station to report that he had shot and killed the same creature some weeks after the 1972 incident and had identified it as a large iguana that was missing its tail.

University of Cincinnati folklore professor Edgar Slotkin compared the Loveland frog to Paul Bunyan, saying that stories about it have been passed down for “several decades” and that sighting reports seem to come in predictable cycles.

According to various legends, the creature was first sighted by a businessman or a traveling salesman driving along an unnamed road late at night in 1955, with some versions of the story specifying the month of May. In one story, the driver was heading out of the Branch Hill neighborhood when he spotted three figures stood erect on their hind legs along the side of the road, each 3 to 4 feet (0.91 to 1.22 m) in height, with leathery skin and frog faces. In other versions of the story, the creatures were spotted under or over a poorly lit bridge, and one held a wand over its head that fired a spray of sparks.