“It was nearly midnight when he started on his return over stony hills and hollows. Though he was a bold youth, he became silent as he approached the lonely valley known as Rocky Ravine. When half way through the tortuous cliff between the hills a sound attracted his attention. On his right, near tho top of the hillside, a curious figure was seen creeping from rock to rock and keeping well in the shadows. It carried something which gleamed brightly now and then as the moon’s rays fell upon it. It came nearer aud nearer the farmer, who had crouched down behind a clump of blackberry bushes, with a strange feeling of dread within him. The mysterious being animal or man approached until it reached the roadway within ten feet of the boy, when with a bound it sprang to the top of a huge boulder, where it crouched for a moment in the full glare of the moon. Frank Rose gave one look back and then shut his eyes with a gap of horror. The thing upon tho rock was a man. But what a man ! When Frank got home that night he told his story of what he had seen upon the way of a creature which, though it walked on “all fours” and was covered with hair from head to foot, carried a gleaming axe and displayed other indications of being human. It was gaunt but muscular, and had burning eyes that shone through long, fancied locks of hair. He had seen this thing but for a moment as it crouched upon a rock. Then it leaped down on the other rock , and he made his way out of the deserted valley as quickly as possible. Young Rose’s story created little agitation among the neighbors. They practical pooh-poohed it, the superstitious added it to their list of ghost tales and inwardly resolved never again to be caught in the neighborhood of Rocky Ravine after nightfall….
But the adventure was not to end so lightly. On the very next night, Henry Simon and William Downey, stock buyers, living in another county, rode within a short distance of the dreary valley, when they were astonished to hear the reverberation of a succession of blows, evidently made by some instrument of steel or iron. They tied their horses and walked up the dark ravine until they arrived at a tremendous cavity which had evidently been excavated by human hands. Twenty feet below in tho darkness some one was striking blow alter blow upon tho rocky bottom of the pit. ” What are you doing down there?”‘ shouted Simon. For answer a stone came whizzing through the air, narrowly missing Downey’s head. A big, hairy creature sprang out of the hole with a frightful yell and disappeared with surprising rapidity over the side of the hill, still carrying its steel tool, though running apparently upon four legs. The traders were Stupefied with astonishment, aud lost no time in getting out of the neighborhood.”
Excerpt from the Philadelphia Times, August 1892…
Sketch by Brandon Scolf (I think)