The Piasa Bird Cave - Alton, IL - December 02, 2002

Located on the Great River Road a short distance northwest of the City of Alton.

Reportings Researched:  In 1673, an expedition was undertaken and led by Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette to search for a passage to the Pacific Ocean.  Fifteen miles downstream from the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, they spotted the painting of the Piasa Bird high on the bluff.  Local Indian legend said that the Bird was a large, fleshing-eating creature.  "Piasa" is actually the Indian word for "the bird that eats men."  If you got to close to its lair, it would swoop down to carry you off to the cave and devour you.   The Bird was said to be destroyed by Chief Quatonga and his warriors.  The Chief used himself as bait, and as the Piasa made its attack, 20 warriors assailed upon it with posion arrows.  The painting was made to commemorate that victory.  Do ghosts of the Piasa Bird's prey haunt the cave?  One thing's for sure, it's very spooky inside and very dark.  And don't forget about the bats . . .