Do You Remember the Time a Giant ‘Snake’ Terrorized Wichita Falls?
I love weird Wichita Falls stories and this is a good one.
Over the past several weeks, I have been writing some very weird stories about our city. I love stumbling onto this craziness, like a farmer letting his emus rampage our city, or an elephant being strangled to death by trains in Wichita Falls. Today though, we're dealing with my least favorite animal, snakes.
Today we're talking about the infamous 40 foot snake of Wichita Falls. Yes you read that correctly. This apparently happened in the summer of 1946. A man was apparently stuck on the side of the road near Seymour Highway, when all of the sudden a giant snake slithered out of the grass. The man called the cops who came out to investigate.
They found no snake, but found the grass pattern of something massive going through. It appeared that this forty foot snake did come through and this guy wasn't making it up. Some soldiers at Sheppard Air Force Base also claimed to see the snake on this day. Over the next couple of weeks, more and more reports of a giant monster slithering through our city were being reported.
One man claimed it was more than 20 feet long with a red belly and a black back and it reared up as high as his pickup window before making its exit into the nearby grass.They said it moved quickly too. Then Oklahoma started getting reports of the monster. One lady told police it stretched clear across the road with its tail up on one side while the head was up on the other and it was as big around as a drainpipe.
After all these reports, a reward was offered for the snake $1,000 alive or $500 dead. In 1946, that's a nice chunk of change. More and more people threw in money, $1,500 and then $2,000 from another local. You can imagine everyone wanted to find this damn snake. Parents didn't have their kids playing outside because they feared the giant snake would eat them.
Someone had a nice scam going in town as well where they claimed to have a snake hunting hound. Ah yes, a dog that has been trained to find a forty foot snake in Wichita Falls, Texas. For weeks, this went on and it looks like the snake...was just a prank by some kids.
It is unknown how many kids were involved in this, but we do know the names of three of them. Pete Mason, Buddy Warren, and Twain Adams. These three, and some other boys, stitched some burlap sacks together and painted them black. They tied a long rope to the end of it so they could pull it from a distance without anyone seeing it.
This is how the 'snake' appeared to move. Apparently Pete Mason had it stored in the cellar of his house when the snake wasn't terrifying Wichitans. Looks like Pete's older brother burned the snake one night once the snake chaos got a little too crazy. He was worried his little brother was going to go to jail.
Although no charges were filed, one of the boys did admit to elaborate prank. So everyone could sleep easy at night knowing a giant snake was not going to eat them or their children. If you want more on this insane Wichita Falls story, the Bullock Museum out of Austin has an amazing article that goes into much more detail on the prank. Give it a full read and if you have anymore crazy Wichita Falls stories like this. Send them my way.