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Squonk 1910

The Squonk as it appears in Fearsome Critters (1910)

The Squonk (Lacrimacorpus dissolvens) is a folkloric creature & Fearsome Critter reputed to live in the Hemlock forest of northern Pennsylvania. Legends of Squonks originated in the late nineteenth century, at the height of Pennsylvania's importance in the timber & hunting industry.

Squonk 1939

The Squonk in Henry. H Tryon's Fearsome Critters (1939)

The earliest known written account of Squonks comes from a book by William T. Cox called Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts. (1910)

The legend holds that the creature's skin is ill-fitting, covered with warts and that, because it is ashamed of its appearance, it hides from plain sight, and spends most of its time weeping. Hunters who have tried catching squonks have found out that the creature is capable of dissolving completely into a pool of tears and bubbles when cornered. A man named J. P. Wentling is supposed to have coaxed the creature into a bag, which when he carried it home suddenly lightened. Upon further inspection, he found that all that remained was the liquid remains of the sad animal.

In the 2015 version of Fearsome Creatures by Hal Johnson the Squonk is, physically and actually, a pig. It's covered in warts and has cauliflower ears covered in wax and hair. Its tusks are yellow and crooked and its rheumy eyes weep constant tears. It has four legs (three and a half if the right hind leg is transparent). Its fearsome aspect is its contagious misery. It lives in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Jean-Paul Wentling, Hal Johnson's arch-nemesis, tried to catch one, but like the Squonk, he dissolved into tears and died. The Squonk's method of love and reproduction is binary fission. The scientific name is Theristes lachrymosus.

In Popular Media:[]

  • The Squonk gets a brief mention in the song Any Major Dude Will Tell You by the band Steely Dan.
  • The progressive rock band Genesis also paid tribute to the Squonk in a song all about the creature’s sad life, simply titled Squonk.


Further reading[]

"The Squonk" from Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods (1910) by William T. Cox

"The Squonk" from Fearsome Critters (1939) by Henry H. Tryon