Wichita’s Troll

September 13, 2007 at 12:18 am 9 comments

Walking in downtown Wichita, I couldn’t help but take pictures of the beautiful Arkansas River.  A local couple passed me and noting my camera they asked me a peculiar question.

“Are you hear to take a picture of the troll?” they asked.

Say what?!?!

Wichita has a hidden troll!  Just uphill from the river, the sidewalk passes a sizeable storm grate:


Ordinary Storm Grate?

Well, shackled and tortured beneath the sidewalk is the troll.


The troll is trapped below

He is HUGE and the details are exquisite.  The artist (Constance Ernatt) should be commended for her work.  As I snapped pictures, children walked by and timidly asked, “Is it dead???”  I think the fact that the artist gave the troll unkempt toenails says a lot about the thoroughness of the project.


Eww, troll toenails!

The Walking Tour of the River Corridor Project says, “Some legends believe that trolls come alive at night, turning to stone in the daytime.”  I don’t know about night, but when I was first previewing my pictures, I was unnerved to find the troll’s mouth appearing to move.  It turns out, it had to do with my camera angle.  On one side, his mouth is open and on the other it is closed.  Phew!


Mouth open


Mouth closed

If I had thought much about it, I could have found myself self-conscious that I was carrying a camera about, looking like a tourist.  But in this case, it really paid off.  I doubt I would have ever known about the troll otherwise!

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Entry filed under: Travel, Wichita, Wichita Troll. Tags: .

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. geekhiker  |  September 13, 2007 at 1:01 am

    Very cool, and nice pics too. It’s little things like that that make living in the city interesting.

    Reply
  • 2. HokieTT  |  September 13, 2007 at 9:46 am

    @geekhiker:

    That’s nothing….Blacksburg has a bunch of painted fiberglass turkeys that are frequently vandalized by fraternity boys.

    Town living, bitch!!!!!

    Reply
  • 3. Chriggy  |  September 13, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Are the turkeys still around? Maybe I can finish my picture collection this weekend.

    Reply
  • 4. HokieTT  |  September 13, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Yep, still around.

    Reply
  • 5. Katie  |  September 15, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    Awesome! I love public art.

    Reply
  • 6. Passionphish  |  August 6, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    I am going to check it out on Saturday!

    By the way, I googled the troll rather than coming straight here. But guess what? Google pulled your site up first! That is so cool…..

    Glad you had a good trip!

    Reply
  • 7. kadie  |  June 12, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    I went there today, it was really cool!

    Reply
  • 8. Carter  |  June 27, 2012 at 5:04 am

    I was there just last night (June 26, 2012) showing this masterpiece to a friend of mine. IT’S MISSING AN ARM! I don’t know if it was an act of vandalism or what but I’m really sad about it.

    Reply
    • 9. tgaw  |  June 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      Oh no! Poor Troll!

      Reply

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