Victor Crowley and 13 Other Swamp-Dwelling Baddies
The Loch Ness Monster
Easily the most famous of our legendary creatures which may or may not exist is The Loch Ness Monster (and for those of you in the Northeast, if you’d like to include our American version of Nessie, Lake Champlain’s monster, Champ, feel free). The legend was born in 1933 with the infamous grainy photo of the beast that was later proven to be a fake. (Why is it that anytime we get a photo of Nessie, or Bigfoot, it’s always grainy? We have technology that can count the dimples on a golf ball from a satellite in outer space, but nobody can get a crisp, clear shot of any bigfeet or lake monsters. Come on, Apple; help us out!) Anyway, the Loch Ness Monster has been a favorite of legend chasers for years, and, without actually draining the entire body of water, you’ll never get everyone to believe the monster doesn’t exist. You gotta believe!
Arising in Marvel Comics in 1971 (and appearing in a 2005 television movie), The Man-Thing is a humanoid creature living in the Florida Everglades in a town called Citrusville. When he was a human scientist, his name was Dr. Theodore Sallis, but after his unfortunate transformation, he became The Man-Thing. His comic book history is long and storied, having him originally working on a serum to create super-soldiers similar to Captain American. Sallis even once worked with Dr. Curt Conners, who would go on to become Spider-Man nemesis The Lizard. The Man-Thing lacks human intellect but he’s strong as an ox and his body is practically invulnerable, mostly because it’s made out of vegetation and not entirely solid. And even if most of his body is ripped away, no worries; he can regenerate himself as well. He can also transform his body to ooze around things and into tight places. And the most touching aspect of his being is his connection to the swamp he lives in. In the earlier stories, if he left the swamp, his body would weaken and lapse into dormancy. There’s truly no place like home for The Man-Thing.
The last of our mysterious swamp creatures of legend is the unexplainable Will-o'-the Wisp. Not the most terrorizing name you've ever heard, but there are certainly some spooky possibilities surrounding this entity. The video below examines a specific series of Will-o'-the-Wisp occurrences known as the Marfa Ghost Light Phenomenon. Appearing as glowing orbs, folklore attributes the Will-o'-the-Wisp lights to fairies, elemental spirits or even witches who have been transformed into these glowing orbs. Whatever they may be, they're creepy. And if you're wandering about in a spooky swamp, the last thing you need is a bunch of unexplainable lights up in your face!