true stories Creepy Stories & Legends About the Florida Everglades  

Jacoby Bancroft
3.1k votes 829 voters 108.2k views 13 items

List Rules Vote 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.
1 530 VOTES

The Everglades Clown Comes Out to Play


The Everglades Clown Comes Out... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Creepy Stories & Legends About the Florida Everglades
Photo:  2488716/Pixabay/CC0 1.0

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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2 384 VOTES

Carl Tanzler Made a Human Doll


Carl Tanzler Made a Human Doll is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Creepy Stories & Legends About the Florida Everglades
Photo:  Florida Keys Public Library
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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3 275 VOTES

Prime Spot for Dumping Bodies


Prime Spot for Dumping Bodies is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Creepy Stories & Legends About the Florida Everglades
Photo:  PeterDargatz/Pixabay/CC0 1.0

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 bodies 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. Sounds like a great vacation spot!
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The Everglades Ghost Boy with the Evil Red Eyes


The Everglades Ghost Boy with ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Creepy Stories & Legends About the Florida Everglades
Photo:  Lara-yin/Pixabay/CC0 1.0

While canoeing with his family in the Everglades, a young man looked into the water and saw a ghostly figure floating below him. It looked like the ghost of a young boy, and his dark red eyes and evil glare scared him. Suddenly, the wind started to pick up and it caused his cousin to accidentally fall overboard. He knew something bad was going to happen, so he rushed to his cousin's aid to get him out of the water as fast as he could.

When they got back to land, the cousin started complaining about her back hurting. She took off her shirt and the family was shocked to see her entire back was horribly bruised. Later, the young man went back to that area and tried to find out more about what he saw. He found out that years prior, a young boy drowned trying to win a bet and now his spirit haunts the area. Perhaps his cousin's bruises were caused by the ghost, trying to pull her under and condemn her to the same fate.
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