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Mythical creatures of Ohio on display at Rutherford B. Hayes museum

Ohio: An Unnatural History showcases the stories of multiple mythical monsters

FREMONT, Ohio — Did you know there is an Ohio Bigfoot legend? Or that people believed a monster once lived in Lake Erie?

Now in Fremont, you can learn all about the legendary creatures of our region.

A new exhibit called "Ohio: An Unnatural History" opens Friday at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museum. It tells the story of nearly a dozen creatures from Ohio folklore.

"Some are very unique to Ohio, such as the Loveland Frog, Mothman which we share with West Virginia," associate curator for the museum Kevin Moore said.

Museum leaders wanted to take a non-traditional approach to celebrating local history by spreading awareness of the myths of the region; from Native American folk creatures, to more recent rail worker horror stories.

"There have been stories about them for generations and they've captivated peoples imaginations. But why is that? Why is folklore important? Why do we care so much about these things," marketing director for the Hayes center, Kristina Smith said.

The original pieces of art on display for the exhibit are the works of Fremont native Dan Chudzinski, the current curator of the University of Findlay's Mazza Museum.

Along with the artwork and their correlated stories, life-size cutouts will be on display to give visitors the proper perspective of these creatures.

The goal is to show a more realistic interpretation of these fantasy creatures so guests can better appreciate their legends. 

"So people can come see his artwork, and they can see life size cutouts of the work that he created," Moore said.

"Ohio: An Unnatural History" will be on display through Halloween.

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