Toned and Terrifying

The Frogman of Loveland, Ohio, is somehow both loveable and slightly scary, though always sporting a really tight butt. 

Photo credit: Liv Klassen

The internet will eat up anything weirdly fascinating—we established this in the last Urban Legends story highlighting the Mineral Point Vampire from Wisconsin. But for this go around, we’ll be looking at the newest hot topic in the cryptid world: Loveland, Ohio’s, very own Frogman. 

Located just 27 minutes from Cincinnati, Loveland’s legend dates back to the 1950s, when a businessman coming through the sleepy town claimed he saw “multiple bipedal frogs” along the Little Miami River, with some even holding little wands. Another sighting occurred in 1972 when police officer Ray Shockey claimed a 4-foot tall creature ran out in front of his vehicle. According to Shockey, the creature was “crouched like a frog” before standing up and climbing over the guardrail, back into the shadowy depths of the murky Little Miami River. People, of course, waved off these claims, until 2016. According to WLWT, resident of Loveland Sam Jacobs spotted the creature while on a “Pokemon Go” excursion.

“We saw a huge frog near the water. Not in the game. This was an actual giant frog,” Jacobs said during the report. “Then the thing stood up and walked on its hind legs. I realize this sounds crazy but I swear on my grandmother’s grave this is the truth.”

Photo by Sam Jacobs, according to WLWT.

Since these sightings, it seems like the legend has become more of a folktale than something anybody actually believes in. In fact, Off. Shockey has since come out to state that his original story was ultimately a “hoax” and what he believed to be the infamous Frogman was actually a “sickly iguana.” But that hasn’t stopped the love for and fascination with the creature. Last year, Loveland officially declared him as their town mascot, calling him their “friendly frog.” The town has even created their very own “Frogman Festival” to celebrate the creature. Organizer Jeff Craig says that the festival—which just celebrated its second year—has brought over a thousand people to the city of Loveland. The festival includes vendors, artists, and speakers who specialize in the paranormal. 

“Bringing people together in Loveland from all over the country to celebrate the legend is a fun experience,” Craig says. “People dress up like frogs and creatures and we had a parade this year led by a bagpiper in the venue to allow more interaction.” 

The Frogman is unlike other cryptid stories. He’s not menacing or even spooky for that matter—he’s just a little funky. And that seems to be the reason people are so smitten with him, including Dr. Kate Cherrell, a paranormal researcher and academic living all the way across the pond in the United Kingdom. 

”There’s lots of space for people to project their own ideas and narratives,” Cherrell says. “He’s very much anchored to Ohio, and there hasn’t been a spate of copycat frog reports, which is a rarity in urban legends.”

The internet has run wild with the Frogman legend, creating their own renditions of the amphibian in creative artistic detail, which is something that Cherrell points out has its own mystery in itself. In each artistic rendition of the frog that Cherell has seen, it’s become more apparent that he is absolutely caked up. 

“Never once in my life have I looked at a frog and thought ‘cracking arse,’ so I’m both amused and baffled why every depiction of the Loveland Frog shows him with the tight, pert buttocks of a Peloton athlete,” Charrell says.” I suppose if you wanted to emphasize the ‘man’ aspect of the creature, you’re pretty limited as to what aspects you can enhance, and the two main ones would be in the trouser area.” 

And due to the lack of lore behind Frogman, director Anthony Cousins was able to create his own background for his found-footage horror film based on the legend. The film, simply titled Frogman, has helped showcase the legend to a wider audience and was so successful that Cousins has been greenlit to direct a sequel to the infamous amphibian. 

“There was no public outcry for a Frogman found footage movie but I made it because I wanted to see that,” Cousins says. “We just genuinely wanted to see this and weren’t sure if it would even work. And when it did, that was surprising.”

Reception to the movie has been overwhelmingly positive, touching on both the horror and cryptid community—something Cousins notes that despite preconceived notions, there’s not much intersection between the two. Cousins also notes that the love for the movie is coming from a time when people, especially on social media, are eager to dive into the creepy and macabre. 

“It seems like people are hungry for their own legends and history because we’re such a young country and [cryptids] are something that have really blown up,” he says. “I think we made this movie at a time when the cryptid fandom is huge. It’s definitely the time of the Frogman.” 


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