Today's featured cryptid is a reptilian twist on rural monster lore: where the Sasquatch and Yeti legends (and their many regional offshoots) involve sightings of an ape-like humanoid lurking in the wilderness, suggesting a possible ancestor to modern primates or even a close relative of humans, the “Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp” is also described as man-sized and walking upright, but with unique features resembling those of an alligator. First reported in the late '80s, the creature has been allegedly sighted numerous times, and has now become a figure of pop culture among many of the residents of Lee County, South Carolina.
Beginning with multiple sightings in the summer of 1988, the most consistent description of the Lizard Man is his incredible strength and aggressiveness; many accounts describe him attacking cars in the area around Scape Ore Swamp, sometimes inflicting severe damage to the vehicles with his teeth and claws. Various reports mention the creature having red eyes, three-toed feet, a spiny tail, even patches of hair, and while nearly all of these accounts have been debunked as hoaxes or misinterpretations of other animals (like coyotes, dogs or bears), a few of them have not yet been disproved – including a three-clawed footprint found near the first sighting. The print was cast in plaster by the local sheriff, and the South Carolina Marine Resources Department could not trace it to any known animal in the area, though they ultimately wrote it off as a fake.
More recently, the Lizard Man has become a popular figure in local culture, serving as the mascot of a Lee County 5K run and the South Carolina Education Lottery, and he's been the subject of TV shows like Animal Planet's Lost Tapes, The History Channel's Monster Quest and Syfy's Destination Truth. So while there's still not much proof to support his existence, this backwoods beastie has nevertheless developed quite a legacy.