Glastonbury Glawackus

From Kook Science

Glawackus (a portmanteau of Glastonbury and wacky ending with us to give a faux Latin flair) was a press name, created by Francis J. King of the Hartford Courant, for an unknown animal that appeared in Glastonbury, Hartford Co., Connecticut during mid-January 1939, this being described in early newspaper reports as "having a body larger than a dog and having a cat-like head," lending itself to identification as a mountain lion or wildcat, and in some speculations a lynx, lion, or even panther, sometimes being further supposed to be an escapee from a zoo or a travelling circus sideshow. The day after coverage of the hunt for the Glawackus was first published, a local service station in Glastonbury, Kinne and Tryon's, put up display what they claimed was the creature, saying it had been shot with a bow by Stanley N. Shibles: this proved to be a burlap-covered frame with mounted buck's head, dressed in trousers with a whisk-broom tail sticking out, shoes on two feet with rubber boots on the other two. In the week that followed, papers across the United States picked up the story from the wire services, spreading the legend far abroad, while locally the coverage was lightly absurd and comical, some canny local advertisers quick to turn-around and use the creature in their solicitations, including a half-page by Plasikowski, Inc., a Hartford furrier company, featuring an illustration of the Glawackus, a lion-type creature in their depiction, and an offer to make the pelt into a coat or scarf. The interest gradually died down, though sighters, out-of-towner hunting parties, and claimants to the assassination of the real Glawackus continued to come forward during the months and years that followed.

Press Coverage

January 1939

February 1939

April 1939

July & Aug. 1939

Later Reports (1939-1940)

Connecticut Legislative Action

  • House Bill No. 812, An Act concerning the Setting Aside of the Town of Glastonbury as a State Preserve for the Preservation of the Glawackus and Other Unknown Forms of Wild Life.