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The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp (also known as the Lizard Man of Lee County) is a cryptid said to inhabit the swampland of Bishopville, South Carolina. First sighted in the late 1980s, the purported sightings and damage attributed to the creature yielded a significant amount of newspaper, radio and television publicity.

Many theories have been presented in relation to the identity of Lizard Men, theories such as living dinosaurs, and even offshoots of evolution in which the reptilian hierarchy continued to evolve along the same path as early primates. At one point in time reptiles ruled the earth, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the most dominant species on the planet could continue to evolve in small numbers unseen by mankind. Although no reptilian species known to man have shown signs of such advanced evolution, the reptiles are the oldest and most successful group of species on the planet and could hold secrets that have yet to come to light. In Lee County, South Carolina, a strange reptilian humanoid was reported on several occasions.

Creek Indian Legend[]

The Creek were a Native American confederacy forming the largest division of the Muskhogean family, primarily in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. They received their name from the English on account of the numerous streams in their country. According to Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians by John Reed Swanton in 1929, the Creek encountered a human sized lizard monster in the area.

Several Indians were out together and formed a hunting camp. A hunter came back one evening and said, "I have found a big bear tree.” He told the rest of the hunters and they said to one another, " Tomorrow morning we will set out, build a fire there and smoke the she bear out so that we can see her.” They slept and next day started off and came to the place. When they got to where the big tree stood it looked as if something lived there, and they said to one another, “ A bear surely lives here,” so they started a fire under it. The smoke filled up the hollow inside and soon a big lizard came out. The people saw it and ran away. The big lizard jumped down and gave chase. It ran along till it caught one of them and came back with him. It came with him to the big tree and threw him down into it. Then it chased another and did the same to each in turn - overtook, caught, and brought him back. Only one was left. It chased him and after it had gone a long distance overtook him and brought him back. When it was coming through a place where the trees were thick, a tiger (or panther) was lying asleep in it. When the big lizard got there with the man, the [panther] awoke and jumped upon it. The lizard let the man go and jumped upon the panther in turn and they began to fight…The man saw this, jumped up, and ran away. Of the people who had gone far away from their homes to hunt only one came back. He told his people how the big lizard had killed all of the others."

Lizard Man of Scape Ore[]

Lizard-man fin

The first modern reported sighting of the creature was made by George Holliman Jr. in the Fall of 1987, but it was the report by Christopher Davis, a 17 year old local man that made the Lizard Man famous.

Davis said he encountered the creature while driving home from work at 2 AM on June 29, 1988. According to his account, Davis stopped on a road bordering Scape Ore Swamp in order to change a tire which had blown out. When he was finishing up he reported having heard a thumping noise from behind him and having turned around to see the creature running towards him. Davis said the creature tried to grab at the car and then jumped on its roof as he tried to escape, clinging on to it as Davis swerved from side to side in an effort to throw it off.

After he returned home, Davis' side-view mirror was found to be badly damaged, and scratch marks were found on the car's roof, though there was no other physical evidence of his encounter. "I looked back and saw something running across the field towards me. It was about 25 yards away and I saw red eyes glowing. I ran into the car and as I locked it, the thing grabbed the door handle. I could see him from the neck down – the three big fingers, long black nails and green rough skin. It was strong and angry. I looked in my mirror and saw a blur of green running. I could see his toes and then he jumped on the roof of my car. I thought I heard a grunt and then I could see his fingers through the front windshield, where they curled around on the roof. I sped up and swerved to shake the creature off."


In the month that followed the Davis sighting there were several further reports of a large lizard-like creature, and of unusual scratches and bite marks found on cars parked close to the swamp. Most of these are said to have occurred within a 3 mile (5 km) radius of the swamps of Bishopville. At the time, local law enforcement officials reacted to reports of the Lizard Man with a mixture of concern and skepticism, stating that a sufficient number of sightings had been made by apparently reliable people for them to believe that something tangible was being seen, but also that it was more likely to be a bear than a Lizard Man.

Two weeks after the Davis sighting the sheriff's department made several plaster casts of what appeared to be three-toed footprints - measuring some 14 inches (36 cm) in length - but decided against sending them on to the FBI for further analysis after biologists advised them that they were unclassifiable. According to South Carolina Marine Resources Department spokesperson Johnny Evans the tracks neither matched, nor could be mistaken for, the footprints of any recorded animal. Evans also dismissed the possibility that they could have been made by some form of mutated creature.


The "dinosauroid" hypothesis has been criticized for being overly anthropomorphic for theropod evolution

The sightings attracted tourists interested in seeing the creature and hunters interested in tracking it, and nearby radio station WCOS offered a $1 million reward to anybody who could capture the creature alive. However, reports of the creature began to decline at the end of the summer with the last credible sighting of the year being reported in July.

On August 5 Kenneth Orr, an airman stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, filed a report with the police saying that he had encountered the Lizard Man on highway 15, and that he had shot and wounded it. He presented several scales and a small quantity of blood as evidence. Orr recanted this account two days later when he was arraigned for unlawfully carrying a pistol, and the misdemeanor offense of filing a false police report. According to Orr, he had invented the sighting in order to keep stories about the Lizard Man in circulation.


Swamp Cryptids- Moss Man, Skunk Ape and Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp

- Clayton Hooke

The Lizard Man was described as having green scaly skin with either red or orange eyes and three-fingered webbed hands. It stood about 7 ft. tall and had a stride of around 40 inches.

Other Sightings[]

The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp is said to inhabit areas of swampland in and around Lee County, South Carolina along with the sewers in towns near the swamp.

In Popular Culture[]

  • The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp is featured in popular trading card game MetaZoo: Cryptid Nation.