|Producer-director Charles B. Pierce.|
Interestingly, in real life, the Turners sold their property and Pierce offered the new owners $2000 to film his reenactments there. They held out for more money, so Pierce used another near-by house to stand in for the old Turner home.
There have been entire books written about the Fouke Monster, but here's a primer for those unfamiliar with this urban legend. Margaret Ross, in a 1971 article in the Arkansas Gazette, mentions sightings of a "Wild Man" that occurred as early as the 1850s. In the 1940s, there was a sighting in Jonesville, Arkansas, which is less than ten miles from Fouke. The creature was dubbed the Jonesville Monster, a name it retained for several decades. There were sightings in the 1960s, but the creature didn't achieve celebrity status until 1971.
In May of that year, in an article in the Arkansas Gazette, Bobby and Elizabeth Turner claimed their home was attacked by a large, hairy creature. In fact, Bobby Turner said that the creature grabbed his shoulder and threw him to the ground. Turner was later treated for scratches across his back and for mild shock at St. Michael Hospital in Texarkana.
Later that month, Jim Ross, a reporter for the Texarkana Daily News, wrote an article about a couple that said the Fouke Monster crossed in front of their car on a highway near Fouke. Mrs. Wilma Woods stated in the article: "It was hunched over and running upright. It had long dark hair and looked real large...It was swinging its arms, kind of like a monkey does. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but there it was. My husband turned to me after it crossed the road and asked me if I saw it, too."
When the Associated Press and United Press International picked up the articles, the Fouke Monster gained national attention. Charles B. Pierce made The Legend of Boggy Creek the following year and Fouke Monster sightings have popped up now and again ever since. There have been other movies, too, such as the children's movie Return to Boggy Creek (1977) with Dawn Wells from Gilligan's Island and The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek (1985). The latter was another Charles B. Pierce effort, in which the filmmaker starred as an anthropology professor.
This year, Fouke will will host its 3rd annual Boggy Creek Festival on October 23-25, 2015.
"It's an opportunity to explore the lure of Bigfoot and discover what new information some prominent Bigfoot field researchers have to share at this three-day gathering nestled in the swamps of Boggy Creek," said DeAnna O'Malley, chair of the Planning Committee. "Whether you are a skeptic, enthusiast, believer or a true encounter veteran, you don't want to miss this event. The Boggy Creek Festival features live music, handcrafted arts and crafts, fun games, delicious food, sanctioned BBQ contest, parade, a health & safety expo, kids activities and a host of prominent Bigfoot field researchers. Monies raised are put into the local community benefiting five local churches, the Fouke Museum, Fouke School District teachers, and the local fire department. Participation is the best way to donate and have some fun at the same time, so join the parade, set up an activity, food or retail booth. Help keep this tradition alive and make it bigger and better than ever! Tickets are available now." (Click here to visit the festival's website.)
|The Monster Mart in Fouke.|
Of course, there's always that one percent.
You can learn more about the Fouke Monster at the website The Beast of Boggy Creek.