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Geographical Index > United States > Illinois > St. Clair County > Article # 420

Media Article # 420
Article prepared and posted by Stan Courtney

Saturday, September 8, 1883

A Roaming Madman - Startling Experiences of An Illinois Lady with a Wild Man - As Naked as the Day He was Born

The Saturday Herald - Decatur, Illinois

Centreville, Ill., Sept . 4 - A wildman, naked as Adam, has been roaming around the country in this vicinity for several days, causing intense excitement and consternation among the farmers' families. His long tangled beard and matted hair, his tall athletic form and the fierce look out of his eyes make him an exceedingly unpleasant person to meet in a lonely spot. He is begrimed with dirt from head to foot, for he never gets a bath except when it rains or when necessity compels him to wade a creek in search of prey. He was seen by the wife of Dr. John Saltenberger, who lives about three miles west of this place. Mrs. Saltenberger was returning home shortly after nightfall, and was near the Stelzelriede farm. The wild man crept stealthily out of the orchard, and when near the buggy, made a rush to stop the horse. The lady gave the animal a frantic cut with the whip, and he bounded along the road at a furious pace, but almost before she had recovered her breath, the wild man had overtaken her and leaped into the vehicle from behind. He uttered not a word, and seemed immediately to become as badly frightened as the lady herself. He spring down and ran rapidly towards the woods. A telephone message was sent to Belleville, yesterday, asking the sheriff to come and capture the creature. Young men of the settlement are searching the woods in every direction today, but some of them are not over anxious to encounter the monster. Superstitious persons declare it to be the ghost of one of the Stelzelriede family, five of whom were murdered and robbed about eight years ago. Others are puzzled to decide whether it is the Missing Link or an escaped lunatic

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