A typical Karoo farm labourers cottage stands on the red earth.

Steytlerville, a small Karoo town, is being plagued by rumours of a shape-shifting monster, Eastern Cape police said on Thursday.

“The community says that the monster changes shape while you are looking at it,” Warrant Officer Zandisile Nelani said.

He said one man had reported it changed from a man wearing a suit into a pig and then into a bat. The creature had been sighted on a number of occasions near a church and only appeared at night, Nelani said.

Local residents met with police last week to discuss the strange phenomenon.

Nelani said he had asked people to take a photograph of the alleged monster. Although some locals were frightened of it, it had not harmed any people or livestock. - Sapa