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The Monster of Deadman’s Hole -- April Fool's Day, 1888
The San Diego Union reported that two hunters had killed a bizarre, half-human half-animal beast in an out-of-the-way location called Deadman's Hole northwest of San Diego. The creature, it was said, was responsible for a string of gruesome murders.

The creature was said to have the body of a bear, but it stood upright like a man and had a human face. The Union provided a graphic account of its death: "Cox, who is a wonderful shot with a rifle, brought his weapon to his shoulder and fired. With a cry like that of a human being the beast instantly fell in a hideous heap across a boulder that it was in the act of scaling." Then the hunters discovered the creature's lair where the bones of its human victims lay piled in a heap.

The article theorized that the animal was the result of a cross between a man and some kind of carnivorous beast. It said that the hunters planned to bring the body to San Diego for public exhibit within a few days.

The article caused a minor sensation in San Diego, and many people inquired where the creature would be displayed. Of course, there was no monster of Deadman's Hole, outside of the imagination of the Union's staff.

April Fool Categories: Newspapers, United States, 1880s.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.