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Creepy Stories And Legends About The Florida Everglades

Updated February 24, 2021 27.4k votes 5.9k voters 252.9k views13 items

List RulesVote up the creepiest, eeriest, most swampy-strange stories and legends about the Florida Everglades.

To many, the Florida Everglades are a wonderful reminder of the beauty of nature, but behind the luscious green landscape lurks a dark, twisted history. Some seriously scary stories and legends come from the Everglades. As it turns out, alligators aren't all you have to worry about in the Florida wilderness.

These Everglades urban legends range from mysterious disappearances to creepy clowns to horrifying alligator-human hybrids. There's no limit to what can be found deep within the swamps, and this list highlights the absolute scariest and weirdest stories about the Everglades. Vote up the creepy Florida Everglades stories that will give you the scariest nightmares. Is it the clown one? It's probably the clown one.
  • 1

    Carl Tanzler Made A Human Doll

    The scariest stories are true stories, and that's what makes Carl Tanzler so frightening. In the early 1900s, Tanzler worked as an x-ray technician in Key West. He became obsessed with a girl named Helen, who was a tuberculosis patient at his hospital. Despite being desperate to save her, Helen died at the age of 22. Tanzler went and visited her grave every night, but it didn't satisfy him at all. Eventually, he dug up her corpse, loaded it into a small wagon, and wheeled it home. He turned the body into a giant doll using wire coat hangers, wax, plaster, and her own hair. He kept the body in his own bed and slept with it for close to a decade before he was arrested in 1940. 
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  • 2

    The Everglades Clown Comes Out To Play

    Photo: It / ABC

    While driving home from Collier County, FL, a woman and her boyfriend experienced a scare they would never forget. They pulled into a rest area late at night to change the woman's infant daughter, and while the woman was putting her daughter back into the car seat, she heard her boyfriend yell at her to get back in the car. 

    She looked in his direction and saw a clown standing on the other side of a fence, staring at them. He was bald with red tufts of hair and had on terrifying face paint. He was pressed so hard against the fence that it looked like he was oozing through it. As the woman rushed to her side of the vehicle, the clown started to make its way around the fence and toward them, singing a twisted version of "Rock-a-Bye Baby." The woman got in the car and locked the door just before the clown reached them. It started pounding on the hood of the car, but luckily, the couple was able to back up and get out of there. It's an event that still scares them to this day, and probably always will. 
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  • 3

    Robert The Doll Has A Life Of His Own

    As the story goes, one day in the early 1900s Robert Eugene Otto was given a doll by his Bahamian nanny. The nanny had just been fired for practicing voodoo and she gave the doll to Robert as a parting gift, but the family quickly started to believe the doll was haunted. By all accounts, it had a weird hold on the family, and soon Robert gave his name to the doll and decided to start going by Gene instead. Reports say that the doll could make objects move, change its expression, and giggle innocently. There were even claims that the doll tried to kill the family. It became such a big deal that now Robert the Doll resides in a museum in Key West, where hopefully it can't do any more harm. 
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  • 4

    Prime Spot For Dumping Bodies

    Some people look at the Everglades as a beautiful area packed with lush wildlife and exotic beauty. Others see it as a great spot to dump bodies. If you're ever lucky enough to visit the Everglades, keep an eye out for decomposing remains that have a habit of getting tangled in the weeds and the muck. 

    Authorities and locals have stumbled across numerous bodies that were dumped in a gruesome manner in the Everglades. Bodies that had been shot, stabbed, mutilated, burned to death, and otherwise tortured have all been found floating the rivers, and the cases are notoriously difficult to solve. Since 1965, there have been over 175 unsolved homicides in the Everglades, and those are only for the bodies that were actually found.

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