2nd Annual Big Muddy Monster Festival • June 22, 2024

Big Muddy Monster Festival Murphysboro IL

51st Year Anniversary of the Legendary Sightings

Saturday June 22, 2024 • Murphysboro, IL

Festival Hours: 10 AM - 5 PM


Big Muddy Monster Comic


1701 Walnut St., Murphysboro, IL US 62966


Help us celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Big Muddy Monster in downtown Murphysboro, IL! Pre-registration by June 14th to guarantee a t-shirt! Online registration is open till the morning of the race on June 24th. Packet pick up at the Old Depot building 1701 Walnut St. near the start line in Murphysboro at 8 am. 9:00 am Run/Walk begins. All proceeds benefit the Old Depot Restoration project to renovate as a community welcome center! 

big muddy monster 5k

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More Information Coming soon!

Events & Giveaways

Muddy Monster Festival Print

We are raffling one of the Big Muddy Monster Festival 2023 prints. To commemorate the year of the sightings it is #73/200, It will be signed by our guest speakers and framed. Proceeds will be used to help fund Big Muddy Monster Festival 2024. The winner will be announced the day of the festival. I believe some of the speakers are going to donate additional items to be raffled. Details will be forthcoming. Tickets are $1, $5 for 6, and $8 for 12. Tickets available at Muddy Monster Comics.

Big Muddy Monster Statue Unveiling

The unveiling of the Big Muddy Monster Statue will be at 11 am on Saturday June 24th. Please note 11 am. Change made to eliminate a conflict with the start of the Big Muddy Monster 5k.

Guest Speaker Presentations

at the Liberty Theater, downtown Murphysboro

Speaker Schedule

  • 12:00pm – Harold Benny
  • 12:30pm – Chad Lewis & Kevin Lee Nelson
  • 1:20pm – “Creature From Big Muddy” with intro by Joe Tury
  • 2:30pm – Zach Stamm & SI Monster Hunters
  • 3:30pm – David Eller
  • 4:30pm – Q&A

at the Liberty Theater, downtown Murphysboro

david eller

David discovered the Pagoda Site in February of 2021. Other researchers have called this site “The Holy Grail of Bigfoot Sites” because of the many structures, markers, interactions, and communications. He has hunted adventure across the U.S., parts of Canada, and several other countries. He hunts one particular non-bigfoot cryptid regularly in Utah and other areas of the Four Corners states. David is currently working on a book about the Pagoda Site, which will be available later this year. He is also working on another book with a fellow researcher. And he is working on a Bigfoot Museum to be opened in Tennessee. David has a weekly segment on the W.P.P.G. Radio morning show. “Bigfoot 101 with David Eller”, a live 10-minute feature at 6:30 every Friday morning.  We are excited to have him involved in the festival!

chad lewis

“My background is in the field of Psychology as I did both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree work in the field- but for nearly 30 years, I have traveled the globe in search of unique and bizarre stories and history.

Here are just a few of the places I have ventured to in search of the strange and unusual:

Chupacabras- Puerto Rico, Costa Rica

Tata Duende- Belize, Guatemala

Mothman-Point Pleasant (West Virginia)

Wendigo-Canada, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan

Van Meter Visitor- Van Meter, Iowa

Beast of Bray Road- Elkhorn, WI

Bigfoot- Canada, United States


UFOs- Kecksburg (Pennsylvania), Aurora (Texas), Area 51 (Nevada), Aztec Crash Site (New Mexico), Roswell (New Mexico), UFO Watch Tower (Colorado), UFO Landing Site (WI) UFO Capitol of the World (Elmwood, Dundee, Belleville)

Famous Haunted Places- Gettysburg (Pennsylvania), New Orleans Cemetery (Louisiana), Villisca Ax Murder House (Iowa), Summerwind (WI), Bachelor’s Grove (IL). Too many to list

Haunted Castles & Tunnels (London), Deadwood (South Dakota)

Spook Lights- Hornet Spook Light (Missouri), Paulding Spook Light (Michigan)

Sea Serpents- Bessie (Lake Erie), Champ (Lake Champlain), Lough Ree (Ireland), Nessie (Loch Ness, Scotland), Pepie (Lake Pepin Monster in WI and MN) Flathead Lake Monster (Montana), Lake Monona, Mendota, Red Cedar, Devil’s Lake, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario and many more…..

Vampires-Transylvania (Romania)

Skunk Ape -Florida

Hellhounds- Nicaragua, Belize

Gnomes – Ireland, Scotland, France

Crop Circles – WI, MN, IA”

Chad Lewis has traveled the world’s back roads for over two decades searching for the strange and unusual. From tracking vampires in Transylvania and searching for the elusive monster of Loch Ness to trailing the dangerous Tata Duende through remote villages of Belize and searching for ghosts in Ireland’s haunted castles, Chad has scoured the earth in search of the paranormal.

With a Master’s Degree in Psychology, Chad has authored over 25 books on the supernatural and extensively lectures on his fascinating findings. The more bizarre the legend, the more likely it is that you will find Chad there.

kevin lee nelson

Kevin Lee Nelson grew up in Wisconsin surrounded by lumberjack lore and tales of Northwoods monsters. The rich folklore of the Great Lakes region made a deep impression on him, which continues to the present. He continually travels the nation seeking out and recording America’s hidden legends and vanishing folklore. As a student of American folk-magic traditions and Western esotericism, Kevin’s unconventional perspectives allow him to uncover and decipher symbolic information often hidden within high strangeness events.

Kevin has investigated hauntings on ABC’s Scariest Places on Earth, searched for werewolves on Discovery Channel’s Mystery Hunters, and tracked vampirism on Discovery Channel’s Travelers. He has professionally lectured at paranormal conferences for over two decades. He is the co-author of The Van Meter Visitor: A True and Mysterious Encounter with the Unknown and The Big Muddy Monster: Legends, Sightings, and Other Strange Encounters, and Wendigo Lore: Monsters, Myths, and Madness. Kevin is a founding member of Back Roads Lore, a research collective dedicated to chronicling anomalous events, historical mysteries, urban legends, and the darker side of folklore. His personal mission is to seek out, record, and preserve our rich heritage of legends and lore.

Joseph Tury

Joseph has a degree in Graphic Design with a concentration on photography. In 2019, he combined his love of the “world of the weird” and passion for videography to begin capturing unusual stories from around Illinois. His first project was “The Merry Spirits of Halloween, ” a three-chapter documentary exploring the celebration of fall and one of the most popular seasonal holidays. His second documentary is “Hanging Elizabeth Reed,” an investigation into Illinois’ first and only woman to be hanged by jury and the paranormal occurrences surrounding her death.

In the fall of 2020, Joseph teamed up with authors Chad Lewis and Kevin Lee Nelson to document Murphysboro’s most famous legend, the Big Muddy Monster. The documentary, titled “Creature from Big Muddy,” contains interviews with eyewitnesses, investigators and researchers, a historian and a biologist, police officers who were involved with the case in the 1970s, and Mayor Stephens. The documentary takes an investigative and impartial look into the legend and the facts surrounding the case.

“Creature from Big Muddy” has been seen in over fifteen countries and in several million households and is available on multiple streaming services, including Prime Video and Tubi TV.

Joseph lives in Chatham with his girlfriend of eight years, Rachel, and their four cats. He is currently working on his fifth documentary, “Grand Tower UFO.”

zach stamm

“Born and raised in Southern Illinois. I’m a minister and a Christian, first and foremost. I first encountered Bigfoot when I was 9 years old in Randolph County, IL. Been researching Cryptid creatures for 18 years, and I am the head researcher and cofounder of the Southern Illinois Monster Hunters, established in 2015.”


harold benny
From Hillsboro, Illinois, Harold graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a BS in Zoology/Botany and an MS in Zoology concentrating in Cytology/Histology. After
After teaching Biology for six years, Harold worked as an analytical chemist retiring in 2015. At 76 years old, he has enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, boating, and studying nature throughout Illinois and much of the Midwest. His love of nature led to his interest in Sasquatch and the “BIG MUDDY Monster.” He has been visiting the Murphysboro area since around 2003.

Local Sightseeing

“Creature From Big Muddy” Screenings

at the Liberty Theater, Downtown Murphysboro  1:20 – 2:30pm

The Big Muddy Monster

Chainsaw Sculpture by Josh Hays

Located inside the Holiday Inn Express & Suites

120 Muddy Monster Rd 

Murphysboro IL 62966

Kids Activities

Coloring Pages

Come into Muddy Monster Comics and pick up your official Big Muddy Monster Coloring Page! Color it your own monstrous way and bring it back to the store so we can display them all at Big Muddy Monster Festival 2023!

Face Painting

Face painting and glitter tattoos done by Kitty Moon Artistry.

Kitty Moon Artistry

Festival Vendors

Big Muddy Monster : A True Story of Murphysboro Comic Book!

There will be a very limited amount with the original cover art by the amazing Brad Moore. These will only be available at Muddy Monster Comics. But never fear, there is a brand new edition with cover art by artist and an absolute art machine Nathan Bonner! Meet both of them as well as author Brian Easton at the Festival and get your copies signed!

Wade Moore, brother of Brad Moore who created the front cover of the Big Muddy Monster comic book will have several pieces of art of many types that they create here locally

A gaggle of groovy, gruesome goodies of dark, and surreal artwork including paintings and drawings.  An local artist who works with record companies, book publishers, and filmmakers.

Scott with Burg Comics will be bringing their always great variety of comics, including an impressive selection of wall books, and CGC graded books!

Stop by their table and get some great original prints or have a sketch done. Contact Dave at the link above to commission a custom art piece.

Stop by and check out their selection of comics (Golden Age to Modern), sports cards, and other collectibles.

High Quality Handcrafted Tie-Dyed Items, Sublimation, Vinyl, LED Hanging Puzzle Lights, & More!

A great selection of toys, games, and some of their custom creations.

A daughter and mother team trying to portray and share their art to the world.

Bound In Art is a collaborative small business of handmade crafts, resin items, bath bombs, salves, etc.

Bestitched specializes in hand crocheted home accents, toys and accessories.

Specializing in artisan created soaps using ethically sourced products

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