I received the following information from a reader...referencing a legend near the Florida Everglades:
East of Naples, Florida, on the edge of the Everglades, is a large, partially developed residential area called Golden Gate Estates. Originally a Florida land scheme run by the Rosen family in the 1960s, some of the area has been developed while the rest consists of miles and miles of streets with few or no houses. The portion south of Alligator Alley was purchased by the State of Florida and is being restored to its natural state. Residents of the area are frequently visited by bears, bobcats, deer, hogs, and even panthers.
According to local legends, somewhere in this vast area lives a group of people called the Squallies. They are said to be short, human-like creatures with a pig-like snout. Also called squally kids due to their short stature, according to most accounts they are a community of 30 to 50 adults.
There are several stories as to their origins. Some claim that they are the were produced from a government genetics experiment gone wrong. There are stories about an abandoned laboratory somewhere near DeSoto Boulevard and Oil Well Road where they were created. Others claim that they are simply a family of highly in-bred humans who live in the vast Everglades.
According to some of the legends they live in a place called the Naithlorendum Sanctuary. Allegedly, the sanctuary is guarded by a crazy old man who will shoot trespassers on sight. It is unclear if he is a security guard or if he is actually the scientist who created the Squallies. All agree that the Squallies will try to capture any humans who enter their sanctuary and eat them alive.
Is this just an urban legend? Quite possibly. I was able to find just one documented report of questionable veracity:
GOLDEN GATE ESTATES, Fla., June 14, 2011 (UPI) -- Police in Florida said a man accused of crashing his motorcycle told officers the incident was the fault of the "boogeyman."
The Florida Highway Patrol said James Scarborough, 49, of Golden Gate Estates, was taken to Physicians Regional Hospital with minor injuries Sunday after he apparently crashed his motorcycle into some trees and became pinned under the vehicle, the Naples Daily News reported Tuesday.
Police said Scarborough was shouting profanities and attempting to leave his hospital bed when they arrived to interview him. They said he denied crashing his motorcycle and told them he had become pinned under the bike due to the actions of the "boogeyman."
Was it a Squally? Hard to say. Officers said they smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Scarborough's breath.
NOTE: the reader did point out that the story is quite similar to the legend of the Pig Man of Cannock Chase, UK. There are hundreds of these tales of weird feral people worldwide...though it doesn't make these stories less interesting. Like every strange legend, something most likely occurred to start the narrative. Lon
UFO's Werewolves & The Pig-Man: Exposing England's Strangest Location - Cannock Chase
Weird Florida: Your Travel Guide to Florida's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
Oddball Florida: A Guide to Some Really Strange Places (Oddball series)
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