by Maddie Thompson

In the dark and desolate forest of the Pacific Northwest mountains, he stands. Fearless and terrifying, he looms over you, with a heavy breath that blows into your face like that leafblower your dad thinks is a toy.

You look up at him and are greeted with yellowed and sharp teeth, the perfect length for cutting through flesh. He is 8 feet tall and covered in matted hair, and as you look down to embrace your inevitable death at the hands of this monster, you find a pair of ginormous and thumping feet. It dawns on you that you are going to die at the hands of Bigfoot.

Well, South Carolina doesn’t have Bigfoot, but in true SC fashion, a small town makes an annual profit on Bigfoot’s cheap cousin – the fearsome Bishopville Lizard-Man. Because what else would it be?

At 7 feet tall, and accompanied with scales, a tail, and glowing red eyes, the Lizard-Man has been terrorizing Lee County since 1988 by doing absolutley nothing of notability, except supposedly being real.

The first sighting of the famed beast was on the humid night of June 29, 1988, when a 17-year-old boy returned home at 2 a.m. with scratches on his car – of course, he blamed on the creature. He reported this to authorities and an investigation began (because I’m sure the only reason a teenage boy would return home at 2 a.m. on the weekend, with a scratched car, is because of a monster attack).

The boy described a terrifying creature, and even drew a sketch of it upon request. Dear readers, I encourage you to be wary because the terror this image presents is not something to blow off. Look at the attached picture, if you dare, and curate your own opinion of the cryptid.

Lizard-mania took Bishopville by storm. People were going out on the town in tin-foil suits after someone started a a rumor that the Lizard-Man likes chrome, and some were covering their cars in duct-tape to prevent lizard-induced damage. Memorabilia sold on interstate stops attracted those driving to go watch Clemson games. More reports of the Lizard-Man’s rampage filed in, day-by-day and became enough of a concern that local officials contacted the FBI to warn them of the attacks. Surprisingly, the FBI did not respond.

Now, after decades of the search for the Lee County Lizard-Man, with the only modern reports of his existence being iphone 3 quality videos, filmed by the same guy that takes videos of school fights, there has finally been a break in the case.

While walking out of church, a Sumter woman was shocked to see the Lizard-Man out and walking throughout the town with a joyous little stroll, like he was a clown going to a kid’s birthday party. “My hand to God, I am not making this up,” she said to local news, which is obviously a sure sign that she was not making this up.

With the Lizard-Man re-emerging once again, and being in such a close range to our little town of Fort Mill, I beg all readers to stay vigilant. You never know if that mysterious scratch on your car came from the Lizard-Man (and not just the average driver in the Nation Ford parking lot).

I would advise you to keep a Lizard-Man preparedness kit in your primary mode of transport. This kit should include a camera, a stick of cheese to lure the lizard, duct-tape, and a medical kit–you never know when the three-fingered reptilian could scratch you with his acrylic nails.

Stay safe Nation Ford. Beware the Lizardman.