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COUNTY: Gasconade County
LOCATION DETAILS: Near Mt Sterling, Missouri. We lived about two miles from Highway 50.
OBSERVED: I was raised on a 120 acre farm about 90 miles west of ST Louis. Between the time I was 14 and 18 from 1950 to 1954 we used to hear the most hair raising screams every so often.They usually come from a forest behind a 4 acre rye field that was just behind our house.First time I heard it, ma and I was cleanen up after buchering a hog.We heard the most God awfull screams coming down from Fry ridge behind our house.The hair went up on the back of my neck and we had 6 coonhounds, and there hair stood up like brillo pads and they run under the smokehouse.Dad laffed it off when we told him but later that night when he was out feedin the chickens it happened again.He come runnin in the house yellin, Did you hear that? Is that what you heard? Man ,he must have some lungs. Another time I was 16 and walking home from my uncles on a pitch black night when I heard that scream up the road between me and home.I froze cause I didn't want to turn around and go a half mile back to my uncles.But I heard the screams again, getting closer. I jumped a fence into our pasture where we had about 20 head of black anguses and run like hell, couldnt see anything and run right into one of our cows.I fell down into the mud and nearly got trampeled because the cows were running all over the pasture.We heard the screams many times over the years and the neighbors would often talk about it.They always called it, that panthercat. We never heard anyone say theyd actually seen this panthercat or found his tracks. But there are no panthers in Missouri, except in the ST Louis zoo.Ive since heard cougars out west, and they arent near as loud as this thing was, and every time we heard it the hair on my neck stood up and the coondogs would run under the smokehouse.
ENVIRONMENT: Behind our house was Fry ridge which was covered in a thick forest of deceduous trees.It ran for many miles to the south, a real wilderness.