As published in the Paisley Advocate, March 2006

This image shot March 12 from the dike, not far from the Baptist Church, should be enough to silence those Saugie  non-believers.

This image shot March 12 from the dike, not far from the Baptist Church, should be enough to silence those Saugie non-believers.

The Paisley Advocate is proud to provide its readers with the first known image of the Saugeen River Monster.

Little is known about the creature affectionately called “Saugie” (or Soggy) by locals. While tales of the beast pre-date the arrival of European settlers, good accounts are rare.

It is most often described as being 15 to 20 feet long, grayish, brownish, or even greenish in colour with a skin like rough tree bark.

The head has been likened to that of a dog, and it usually displays one or two humps behind it as it wriggles snake-like through the water.

Is this creature a throw-back to prehistoric times, or maybe a distant relative of Nessie, Champ or Ogopogo? The internet has plenty of websites devoted to these mythical animals, but try a Google search on Saugeen River Monster and all you’ll find are some fishing stories about monster-sized muskie. Even a rigorous search of local newspapers including old back issues of the Advocate sheds little light on the mystery. A conspiracy of silence, perhaps?

Hopefully, now that reliable photographic evidence exists, a more serious study of this beast and its Saugeen River haunts will finally be undertaken and Saugie will take it’s rightful place in cryptozoological lore.

Have you ever seen a dark form moving through the river, or felt something brush past your leg while in for a quick dip? Maybe it was just your imagination. Or maybe it was Saugie. Or, if you haven’t yet guessed, it might have been just another April Fools prank.

Craig Budreau