Mysteries, Oddities, and Everything Strange: Loveland Frog


Bridget Vaughan, Staff Writer

Loveland Frog: Ohio’s Giant Amphibian

Ohio is one of the strangest states in the USA, at least according to the general population. Ohio is stigmatized due to its people and its culture, and whether it is deserved or not is a completely different story. Ohio has its own collection of urban legends and cryptids that puzzle residents. One such example is a hulking amphibian: a 4-foot tall frog that resides in Loveland, Ohio. The Loveland Frog is a mysterious creature with an unknown origin and a flock of theorists. So, is this giant frog a result of nature’s worst? Or is it an odd shadow discovered by a couple of Pokémon Go players? 

The first sighting of this elusive cryptid occurred in 1955 when a salesman glimpsed three bipedal amphibians scurrying across a dark bridge late at night. The salesman gawked at them before the creatures noticed his presence and unveiled a wand, casting some sort of spell. The salesman hurried away, reporting a scent of almonds within his car. This record faded into obscurity, but the Loveland Frog gained popularity in 1972 with its first famous sighting. A police officer named Ray Shockey was chugging along a road near the Little Miami River in the wee hours of the morning, paying little attention to his surroundings. All of a sudden, an unknown creature sprinted in front of the car and dashed away into the river. Shockey was left in shock (no pun intended) after the incident, but continued his duties nonetheless. Another patroller known as Mark Matthews was exploring Kemper Road, another avenue beside the river, when he witnessed a strange lump in the road. Matthews stepped out of the car and the lump began to move, at first leaping towards the officer but then attempting to escape. It was unable to, as Matthews shot it and collected it, learning it was a large iguana with a lack of a tail.

After this iguana discovery, many gave up on the hope of a giant frog residing in the insignificant town of Loveland, Ohio. The legend was mostly forgotten until 2016, when it was stumbled upon by Sam Jacobs and his girlfriend. The two were playing Pokémon Go, the app craze of the time that had players wandering around in search of creatures to catch, and spotted a strange shadow in the water. Jacobs snapped a quick photograph of a creature half-submerged in water with glowing eyes, and the skepticism surrounding the Loveland Frog’s existence was revived in one fell swoop. 

Lovelanders are eager to have something to set them apart in the realm of cryptozoology. There exists a t-shirt that reads “I Saw The Loveland Frogman” in big letters for supposed witnesses, and the folk tales spread around by Loveland residents will persist for generations. Sure, the Loveland Frog does not rival the likes of creatures that have gone down in history, like Bigfoot, but the idea of a hunchback frog haunting the residents of a mostly forgotten state is truly a fun idea to look into. So is this frogman just an escaped iguana from the likes of a town resident, or is there truly a magical monster with a hold over its swampy home? Until we can truly capture a whiff of the creature’s trail, the Loveland Frog might forever remain a mystery.