Coney Island lizard man
Beware of the car-mauling Lizard Man. Image: robotclaw666/Flickr/CC BY

A couple woke earlier this month in rural Lee County, S.C., to find their car mauled and bent. Local legend has it that the Lizard Man of South Carolina, who allegedly terrorized a teen back in 1988, has returned, and he means business.

Woke to find car mangled

Leon Marshall awoke on July 4 to find his car mangled and mauled. “I ran into the house and told my wife to call the police because something happened to the car,” said Marshall.

“The tooth marks went completely through the fender,” his wife Ada reported. “That’s metal! And it just bent it up. Like it was a piece of tissue paper.”

The couple said they had no idea what could have caused the damage. But a local retired Sheriff had something to say on the matter.

Retired sheriff tells monster story

“This part here is how it all started in 1988,” said 82-year-old former sheriff Liston Truesdale. “We got a call to come and look at something that had mauled a car. I went out there and looked at that damaged car, and I haven’t seen anything like that before.” The damage was blamed on a creature that several locals had reported seeing.

Teenage boy has a close encounter

Around the same time the station got the call about the mauled car, Truesdale says, a 17-year-old boy reported an encounter with a creature that came to be known as the Lizard Man. Apparently the teen was returning home from work when he had to repair a flat tire. While putting away his tools, he saw something approaching that had red eyes and three-fingered hands. The creature was about seven feet tall and looked like a lizard walking on two legs.

The boy then jumped into his car, as the story goes, and took off. The creature jumped onto his trunk and climbed onto the roof of the speeding vehicle. It looked down at him through the windshield. The teenage went on to say that he managed to throw the thing off by swerving back and forth. When he returned home he was terrified and it took his parents two hours to calm him down.

Teen passes polygraph

The boy, Truesdale said, came from a responsible family, seemed honestly frightened and even passed polygraph tests on the matter. “He never changed his story,” Truesdale concluded.

Then a rash of calls started coming in about Lizard Man sightings. The story became a media frenzy, with some 50,000 visitors descending on the area in hopes of spotting the reptilian creature.

Deja vu

Truesdale said the damage on the Marshall’s car was almost identical to two other vehicles reported to have been mauled by the Lizard Man back in 1988. But he still keeps a skeptical sense of humor about it.

“Everything (around here) is laid off on the poor Lizard Man,” jokes Truesdale. “But at this point, he must have grandchildren!”

Another theory

Cryptic investigator Tom Biscardi says it’s all bunk, that there is no Lizard Man. “What you’ve got is a primate, a thing called a swamp ape,” Biscardi said on a website.


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