While the legend of the South Carolina Lizard Man isn't as well known as Bigfoot or "Nessie," this Southern creature has nonetheless shocked and menaced residents of the Scape Ore Swamp area since its first appearance in 1988. The South - and South Carolina in particular - abounds with rumors of the supernatural. Though reports of the Lizard Man aren't ghost stories, unlike many other South Carolina legends, they're part of the cultural fabric of the area.
Lizard Man sightings are particularly noteworthy because they leave a lasting impact. People cast footprints of the evasive creature, and he's known for trashing vehicles in the dark of night. Similar to most swamp creatures, the Lizard Man eludes detection - more often than not, it's his aftermath people claim to see, not the being himself. Even if the sightings don't match up with reality, there's intriguing evidence to suggest the Lizard Man lurks out there in Scape Ore Swamp.
According to lore, the Lizard Man has a distinctly fearsome appearance, standing about seven feet tall with glowing red eyes and snake-like scales. From the earliest reported sighting in 1988, it's speculated the Lizard Man possesses just three large fingers on each limb. Most sightings, as well as the plaster casts of the Lizard Man's alleged mysterious footprints, echo this claim.
Additionally, the Lizard Man is said to have dark green skin and long black nails, both of which make him look like an alligator, though one report suggests he has long legs and a small nose. The uniformity of these sightings is part of what makes the story so intriguing; there’s a lot of consistency, even if there are clear fakes out there.
Interestingly, the Lizard Man is known for attacking cars, not people. In 2008, Bob and Dixie Rawson discovered something raided their vehicle overnight; there were bite marks on it, as well as blood on the front of the vehicle.
But the Lizard Man can’t live on cars alone. There were traces of blood on the front of the car. After testing the blood, state officials declared a dog as the source. A few weeks later, sheriff’s deputies came across a dead cow and deceased dog nearby, which suggests one creature was responsible for the attacks in all these instances.
While the connection is hard to make under other circumstances, the Lizard Man allegedly attacked vehicles since his first sighting. Whatever the reason, the swamp creature appears to have an affinity for destroying cars.
Sightings of the Lizard Man go all the way back to 1988. A teenager on his way home from work stopped his car by the side of the road to repair a blown-out tire. While outside, he witnessed a strange sight - a tall, lizard-like being rapidly approaching. The figure chased him into his vehicle and followed him down the road.
Upon returning home, the man discovered damage to his car, as if the beast intentionally tore into it. But this was only the first reported sighting of its kind; in fact, rumors of bizarre beings date back to the 1500s, including the discovery of an ancient crocodile-like creature living in the area.
The South Carolina Lizard Man came back to prominence in 2015 after a woman snapped a picture of what she claims is the creature. She took the photo just after leaving church one day and sent it to the local news.
The figure in the photo certainly looks the part: it appears as a tall, reptilian creature with greenish skin and large red eyes. Though the swamp thing seems almost too clear to be real - some believe it’s a person in costume - the woman swears the picture is authentic, telling the local news, “My hand to God, I am not making this up. So excited.”