Loveland Frog

The Loveland Frog is an alleged froglike humanoid native to Ohio.

Reports of the cryptid come from Loveland, a city 25 miles northwest of Cincinnati split between three counties: Hamilton, Clermont, and Warren in southwest Ohio.

Locals claim the Loveland Frog lives along the marshy banks or inside the Little Miami River.

Some describe the cryptid as a “reptoid,” “reptilian,” or “Lizard.” However, frogs are amphibians, not reptiles.

A musical of the Loveland Frog (Hot Damn! It’s the Loveland Frog!) premiered at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival in May 2014 (Marika Lee, May 22, 2014,


According to legend, the Loveland Frog is a part human, part frog creature. It walks on two legs like a human.

Loveland Police officer Ray Shockey, who claimed to have sighted the creature in 1972, described it as having a froglike head and face, leathery skin, about 3-4 feet in height, and weighing about 25-35kg.

At first, the creature crouched on all fours like a frog but later rose to its feet like a human.

Sightings and Tales

Sightings of the Loveland Frog date back many decades.

According to Professor Edgar Slotkin, a Celtic Language and Folklore expert at the University of Cincinnati, people in Ohio have shared stories about the Loveland Frog for many decades. But he added that he couldn’t “pin down” the cycle of its regular appearances (The Gadsden Times, Friday, October 18, 1985).

1955 sighting

The first alleged sighting of the creature occurred in May 1955.

There are various versions of the legend. One version said that a local businessman man was driving on the Branch Hill-Loveland road at night when he spotted three froglike creatures on the side of the road.

[Note: The Branch Hill-Loveland road runs alongside the Little Miami River].

The sighting occurred under a bridge over the Little Miami River. It was a foggy night, but he could see the froglike creatures standing on their feet like humans.

They appeared to be conserving like humans and did not notice someone was observing them.

They stood about 3-3.5 feet tall, had leathery skins, and webbed hands and feet. They also had other froglike traits, such as gaping wide mouths, bulging eyes, and hairless heads.

One of the creatures eventually noticed he was observing them. It drew a wand and waved it. Bright sparks emanated from it and drifted up, filling the air with a strange smell of almonds and alfalfa.

Scared, the man sped away.

Loveland police officer Ray Shockey

The alleged 1955 sighting was so fantastic that many were skeptical, and since no one reported any new sightings, people quickly forgot about it.

However, another incident happened in 1972 that reignited interest in the legend of the Loveland Frog.

Police officer Ray Shockey reported sighting the Loveland Frog on the evening of March 3, 1972. He was driving along Riverside Drive at about 1 a.m. when a strange animal appeared in front of his vehicle at a point on the road near the Totes boot factory and the Little Miami River.

He saw it in his headlights as it scampered across the road (see a description in the previous section).

According to Shockey, when it first appeared, it moved on all fours like a regular frog, but when it reached the guardrail, it stood on its hind legs like a human. It then climbed over the guardrail to the river below.

He later told his colleague, police officer Mark Matthews, about the incident. He said he sighted a creature that matched descriptions of the 1995 Loveland Frog.

Loveland police officer Mark Matthews

Loveland police officer Mark Matthews reported an encounter with a creature on St. Patrick’s Day, two weeks after Shockey’s report.

He sighted a strange creature moving on all fours on Kemper Road near the spot where Shockey reported the first sighting. He stopped his car, drew his gun, and fired on the animal, killing it.

He then recovered the body.

The animal turned out to be an iguana about 3.5 feet long. It was missing its tail.

Mathews said the animal’s missing tail made it look strange and unusual. He said he didn’t recognize it as an iguana when he first saw it. But when he examined it, he realized it was an iguana with its tail missing.

The officer presented the dead animal to Shockey. The officer reportely confirmed it was the creature he saw.

Iguanas not native to Ohio

Iguanas are not native to Ohio, so Matthews speculated that the specimen was likely a household pet that escaped captivity. Some owners of exotic creatures also deliberately release them when they grow too large.

Matthes speculated further about why the creature appeared to hang around the area where he and Shockey spotted it:

Being a cold-blooded creature, the iguana needed to stay close to a heat source to stay alive. It got warmth from staying close to pipes that carried water for cooling the boot factory plant.

He justified his decision to shoot the animal, saying it was sickly and “half-dead.”

Matthews had been skeptical of Shockey’s report

It wasn’t until years later that Matthews’ story became known to the public.

Matthews told WPCO (ABC 9 Cincinnati) in 2016 that he proved the Loveland Frog story was a case of mistaken identity. He described the creature he shot as a sickly iguana.

He finally shared his story after more than 40 years. He contacted local media outlets after he read about a man who claimed to have sighted the Loveland Frog in Lake Isabella, Ohio.

According to the former police officer, Shockey called him in March 1972, saying he spotted a strange creature near the Little Miami River while driving along Riverside Drive.

Matthews was skeptical of Shockey’s report but believed he honestly thought he had seen something unusual.

Days later, while driving near the area where the first sighting occurred, Matthews also saw a creature running across the road, but this time it did not walk upright or climb over a guardrail. Instead, it passed under it.

Desiring to provide proof, he shot it and presented the body to Shockey.

His colleague confirmed it was the Frogman.

Is the Frogman legend a hoax?

Matthews alleged he told an author researching a book on the Frogman legend that he had proved it was an iguana. However, when the author published his book, he skipped the part where he explained that the Frogman was an iguana.

The officer then declared that the Frogman legend was a “big hoax.”

Although many shared Matthews’ skepticism and accepted his evidence that the Frogman legend was due to mistaken identity, others–including cryptozoologists and cryptid hunters–raised questions.

They argued that the officer’s testimony did not explain the first sighting in 1955 when a driver claimed he saw a group of frogmen standing under a bridge near the Little Miami River.

Sam Jacobs

In August 2016, Sam Jacobs and his girlfriend told WPCO (ABC 9 Cincinnati) that they sighted the Loveland Frog while playing Pokemon Go close to the banks of the Little Miami River.

They alleged the sighting occurred between Loveland Madeira Road and Lake Isabella.

The couple added that they did not mean to say they saw the Frogman in the Pokemon Go game but in real life.

According to Jacobs, the creature stood about 4 feet tall on its hind legs like a human. Later, at his girlfriend’s home, her parents told them about the Frogman legend.

When asked whether he was sure the creature was the Frogman or just a frog, Jacob hesitated but insisted he’d never seen a frog that looked like that.

WLWT reported that Jacobs snapped “dark photos” of the creature.

Other Name/sLoveland Frogman, Loveland Lizard, the Frogman
LocationUnited States
TypeHumanoid, Hybrid
HabitatCities, Marsh, River

References,2803271, “The Gadsden Times: Thee Loveland Frog,” Friday, October 18, 1985, accessed on March 14, 2023., “The legend of the Loveland Frogman,” accessed on March 14, 2023., “Officer who shot ‘Loveland Frogman’ in 1972 says story is a hoax,” accessed on March 14, 2023., “Know the legend of the Loveland Frogman? This man claims he spotted it,” accessed on March 14, 2023., “Mothman, melon heads, Loveland Frog are all part of Ohio’s crpyto-menagerie,” accessed on March 14, 2023., “Local legend: Does the Loveland Frogman live on?” accessed on March 14, 2023., “Loveland Frogman’ gets own musical,” accessed on March 14, 2023., “Frogman Festival Celebrates the Four-Foot-Tall Cryptid Allegedly Roaming Loveland,” accessed on March 14, 2023.

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