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Creepy Stories And Legends About The Florida Everglades

Updated June 9, 2021 21.6k votes 6.0k voters 254.2k views12 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 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.

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  • 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 young woman named Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos, who was a tuberculosis patient at his hospital and looked like a woman he had spent years dreaming about. Despite being desperate to save her, Maria died in 1931 at just 22. Tanzler went and visited her grave every night.

    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

    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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  • 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 Robert the Doll now resides in a museum in Key West, where hopefully it can't do any more harm. 

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  • 4

    The Everglades Ghost Boy With The Evil Red Eyes

    Photo: RATHERBAKEWELL / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

    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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