top of page
  • Writer's pictureJohn Wick

Is Lizard Man Of Scape Ore Swamp Real?

In a rural region of South Carolina, there lies an area of swampland that has gained fame for notoriety. Is this inhospitable region home to one of America's most infamous and notorious cryptids? In this post, lets try to bring to light the Cryptid of Scape Ore Swamp.

On a cold midweek morning in February of 2008, Bob Rawson whispered goodbye to his sleeping wife, Dixie, before slipping out of his front door to go to work. It was still dark as he crossed the open ground between the farmhouse and the spot where the family truck was parked. But as he neared his vehicle, his hand ferreting in a cavernous jacket pocket for his keys, he caught sight of something which caused him to take a sharp intake of breath.

The switchboard operator for the Lee County Sheriff's Department had struggled to understand the content of the panicked phone call she had subsequently received from Mr. Rawson. He needed help urgently as a crime had been committed. No, nobody had been hurt. And no, he didn't know who was responsible. But he and his family were not safe and they needed police protection immediately. The two deputies who were dispatched to the Rawson farmstead were intercepted by the homeowner well before they had chance to turn off the main highway and onto the road leading up to his property.

Torches in hand, they had followed closely behind as he had half- run to where his truck was situated, gesticulating in an animated fashion at the front of the parked vehicle. In the dim torch light, they could see that extensive damage had been caused to the vehicle's exterior, but it was only when they looked more closely that they realized why Rawson was so agitated.

Parts at the front wheel arches on both sides of the truck had been twisted and bent outwards, so they now jutted out at right angles from the main chassis. The surface of these damage strips of metal was scratched and covered with indentations, almost as if they had been chewed upon. Damage of a similar nature was to be found on the vehicle's front grille, where in places, the metal had been pierced right through as if bitten by a wild animal of some kind. Struggling to come up with a satisfactory hypothesis, the two officers had called for a crime scene examiner, in a bid to identify who or what was responsible.

Samples taken from the damaged metalwork was sent off for analysis and a week later it was confirmed that canine DNA had been recovered from the swabs. But when detectives re attended to share this information, Rawson had merely shaking his head in disbelief. Without speaking a word, he had led the officers across his property to a field, in which the bodies of a number of dead animals laid.

In addition to the remains of several domesticated cats, there were a number of dead cow carcasses and a corpse of a recently departed coyote. In calm and clear terms, Mr. Rawson explained that the DNA the analysts had found most likely belonged to the coyote, but it had come from the mouth of whatever had killed and eaten the animal, before subsequently attacking his truck. The Rawson farm was being stalked by an unseen attacker, one which resided in the neighboring swamp and had been haunting the area for over 20 years.

History Of Scape Ore Swamp

The cities of Sumter and Bishopsville are as indistinct as any other found dotted around the rural regions of South Carolina. Indeed, were it not for the region of dense swampland which separates them, these two communities may well have remained in quiet anonymity, with no reason whatsoever to invite the attention of the national press.

But even from the day that this inhospitable patch of land was first named, it has flirted with notoriety. What most local historians agree upon is the Scape Ore Swamp earned its title from the phrase "Escaped Whore Swamp", in reference to a long past incident involving a local female of ill repute. It is here though, that the disagreements begin, as it appears that the region possesses more than its fair share of stories involving ladies of the night.

One story has the woman in question being driven out of the nearby town by the angry wives of her clients. Another more colorful version is believed to have occurred during the Revolutionary War, when a group of local militiamen surprised an encampment of British soldiers who were entertaining some of the local prostitutes. Having captured their opponents, the revolutionaries then drove the women away and deeper into the marshland. But the incident that would truly propel Scape Ore swamp into the national consciousness would occur many years later, in the early hours of the 29th of June 1988.

A Teenager's Terrific Encounter Of The Cryptid

At approximately 2 o'clock that morning, a local youth by the name of Christopher Davis was driving home from his shift at a nearby diner, when his car sustained a flat tire. Davis coasted the vehicle to a spot just off the main road and immediately set about changing the tire in question. The highway had been quiet, with no other vehicles passing by. He had just deposited the damaged tire in the boot of his car and was wiping the dirt from his hands, when there was a rustling sound in the bushes behind him.

When he turned around to look, there was nobody there, but as he closed the boot lid of his car, he heard the rustling sound again. Attempting to stifle a growing feeling of apprehension, Davis slowly walked back to the passenger side door and retrieved a torch from the glove box. Switching it on, he directed the beam into the bushes where the noise had emanated from, but there was nothing to be seen. As he took a step backwards away from the foliage, lowering the torch so that the light was now pointing towards the ground, a huge dark shape suddenly emerged from the bush.

Davis instinctively raised the torch again to illuminate the figure, before immediately dropping it to the ground and crying out in terror. Bolting over to the driver's side door, the terrified teen frantically fumbled for the door handle, his mind utterly traumatized by what he had just seen. The creature that had been advancing towards him was between 6 & 7 feet tall, dark green in color, with water glistening and dripping from the scales that covered its naked body.

He leapt into the driver's seat and immediately gunned the ignition, only for the car to be rocked from side to side by a violent impact. With a sickening feeling, Davis glanced in his mirror to see a ghoulish face leering back at him through the car's rear window. A pair of menacing red eyes regarded him, which almost seemed to glow when the moonlight caught them, whilst a mouthful of misshapen teeth opened and closed beneath them.

The teen let out another cry, flooring the pedal, and sending the car hurtling back up onto the highway. Over the roar of the engine, he heard several loud bangs, and then a scrabbling noise on the roof of the car directly above him, before another heavy impact shook the vehicle. Panicking, he slammed down hard on the brakes and watched in disbelief as a huge shape was immediately thrown onto the road in front of him.

In the intense beams of the car's headlights, he could see that the creature was broad and muscular with three taloned claws at the end of each of its hands. For a moment, it laid motionless, before its head suddenly snapped to the side, staring back at him. In a heartbeat, Davis again floored the accelerator, the car shooting off down the highway and leaving the creature lying where it fell.

Several days later, when the teenager learned that the local sheriff's office was investigating a report in Browntown of a parked car having been attacked by a mysterious creature, he called the police. Deputies attended his home address, photographing the deep scratch marks on the boot and roof of his vehicle as well as a missing wing mirror, before asking him to take them back to the scene of the encounter.

Davis showed the officers the tire marks which demonstrated where he had braked hard to dislodge the creature from his roof, before leading them onto the bushes from where it had first emerged. Strange tracks were discovered in the thick mud just inside the tree line, and so plaster casts were taken and sent off to the South Carolina Marine Resources Department for analysis. A few days later, Sheriff Liston Truesdale received a phone call from a Dr. Evans, informing him that the casts had been of a large foot with three clawed toes, and that they did not match anything that the department kept on file.

As the weeks progressed, there would be further overnight attacks on vehicles, with deep gouges and bite marks found by their owners the following morning. These incidents as well as further sightings of a large lizard-like creature would intensify during the following month, all centered on a five-mile patch of swampland on the outskirts of Bishopsville. Then on August the 5th, an off-duty airmen reported that he had shot and wounded a creature that attacked him on Highway 15. Since then, there have only been sporadic sightings of the Scape Ore Lizard Man, but these have stubbornly persisted up until the present day.

Similar Cryptids To The Lizard Man

As beguiling as the tale is of a lizard man emerging from his swamp to spend his evenings chasing passing motorists, before attacking their vehicles, the Scape Ore story is not without its flaws. And one of the greatest undermining factors of the tale is the testimony of Kenneth Orr, the man who was alleged to have injured the beast in the weeks following the original Christopher Davis encounter. When the airman contacted police to report his actions, he also handed over what appeared to be blood and tissue samples he had recovered from the scene of the incident. Two days later, Orr found himself being arrested for illegal possession of a firearm and making a false report to the police.

When he subsequently appeared at trial, he stated to the court that he had fabricated the entire incident for attention. No records of the tissue analysis he had provided, or the reasons for his sudden change of heart have ever been revealed, prompting suspicions about the integrity of the police investigation. Perhaps curiously, however, the Scape Ore Swamp monster is only one of a colorful gallery of reptilian monsters, who are alleged to haunt the highways and byways of the United States. Indeed, it appears that the sasquatches which apparently saturate the North American continent have a significant amount of cold-blooded competition.

During the 1950's, the city of Loveland, Ohio, was plagued by sightings of oversized aquatic monsters. Motorists reported that whilst driving at night, they had seen what they described as tall frog like entities either crossing the main highways ahead of them or fleeing into the safety of the nearby bodies of water.

Over time, these entities became known as the "Loveland frogs", with reports concerning the creatures continuing until the spring of 1972. Following a fresh wave of nocturnal sightings, police officers shot and killed a four-foot-long iguana, which was believed to have escaped from a local collector. With this animal's death, sightings of the Loveland Frog also quickly ceased. Several months later, two youths who were fishing on the shores of a lake in British Columbia reported seeing a scaly creature which had sharp claws and spikes on its head swimming through the nearby waters.

When further witnesses to the incident also later came forward, the legend of the Thetis lake monster was born. However, much like the Scape Ore Lizardman and Loveland Frogs before it, this new creature ended up being dismissed as the product of overactive imaginations. Investigators were quick to point out that the description of the Canadian Cryptid was strikingly similar to the creature featured in the movie, "Monster from the surf", which had been screened on local television only four days before.

Returning to the dark and foreboding depths of Scape Ore Swamp, the authorities maintain that the creature which was encountered is likely to be either an alligator or a large monitor lizard. In poor weather or lighting and under severe levels of stress, they proposed that witnesses have misidentified everyday creatures, believing that they were standing upright on two legs when they were more likely the clambering or rearing up in an aggressive manner.

The damage to motor vehicles has been laid at the door of coyotes and bears, or even attributed to human offenders. Much as it was alleged that pranksters have sought to cash in on the famed Mothman sightings in West Virginia during the 1960's, there are suggestions that local residents have manufactured sightings of the Lizardman in order to increase tourism in the region. And yet with still further sightings having been reported since the attacks on the Rawson household in 2008, perception seem to be slowly moving away from a rational explanation, towards one that is far more speculative in nature. Some experts continue to draw parallels between the mysterious tracks recovered by local deputies and monsters from a far bygone age.


Dr. Rudy Mancke, a naturalist from the University of South Carolina believes it is entirely possible that if the Scape Ore Cryptid does indeed exist, it may be descended from some form of bipedal dinosaur. Historically, some tall birds such as emus and ostriches once possessed scales and a thick hide, as opposed to their more feathery descendants. Could this be where the three toed animal tracks have really originated from? As the technology continues to evolve at a startling rate, it seems highly likely that the secrets of Scape Ore Swamp will not manage to remain an enigma for much longer.

Be this one of the most successful hoaxes in American history, or a true evolutionary wonder waiting to be uncovered, it is inevitable that at some future point, The Mystery of the lizard man must be solved once and for all.


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page