Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Macabre Dolls in the Ominous Swamp


Creepy dolls have been a standard in ghost stories, though most of these tales are embellished. In November 2014, a group of antique dolls, mounted on bamboo stakes, was found in an Alabama swamp. There has been no explanation for the display to date:


The Autauga County, Alabama Sheriff's Office recovered 21 dolls from a local swamp in November 2014. There has been no motive offered by officials since the initial recovery.

The dolls were atop bamboo stakes and had been placed in Bear Creek Swamp, close to County Road 3, the dirt road that travels through the wetland. The swamp is located between Prattville and Autaugaville. The majority of the dolls are porcelain and have the appearance of antiques. Many had the faces and hair covered in what looked like white spray paint.

"I noticed the dolls several weeks ago while driving through the swamp working on a stolen vehicle report," said Chief Deputy Joe Sedinger at the time. "I just thought they were a Halloween prank, and really didn't give it much thought after that."

That was until Monday night when social media blew up about the dolls, and the office got wind of the concerns. So on Tuesday morning deputies got in a canoe, paddled around for about 30 minutes and recovered the dolls.

"I admit it looked kind of creepy," Sedinger said with a laugh, as the dolls were being inventoried back at the courthouse. "You could see them from the road. We figured it was best to get them up."

The land where the dolls were placed is owned by a timber company.

"We tried to contact them," Sedinger said. "No one got back to us so we just decided to get the dolls. If the owner comes forward, we'll give them the dolls back."

Bear Creek Swamp is a massive bog with a bit of a reputation locally. As a rite of passage, generations of teenagers have entered the area at night looking for creatures and haunts said to roam the mist-covered realm. And it's not unusual to hear reports of loud booms coming from its depths.

Bear Creek Swamp has long been a hot spot for those hoping for a late night scare. There are rumors of disembodied voices, glowing orb-like apparitions, and even strange creatures hiding among the dense trees. The artesian spring located near the swamp is said to be magical, and is frequented by many who hope to gain from the powers of the water of the well.

Bear Creek Swamp was featured on an episode of the Syfy channel show "Deep South Paranormal" in 2013 because the swamp is reported to be haunted by the ghost of a mother looking for her lost child, among other spirits. The team from “Deep South Paranormal” wrote: “Among the legends of Bear Creek Swamp that keep many from driving through the area after dark are rumors of phantom cars that speed by only to fade into darkness, a 4-foot apparition that appears in front of vehicles and floating orbs of light. In addition, many claim the swamp, which was originally occupied by the Creek Indian Tribe, is haunted by the ghosts of the Creek Indians, early settlers and fallen soldiers. A more disturbing rumor, however, tells of the ghost of a mother looking for her lost child that attacks anyone brave enough to utter the phrase ‘We have your baby’ three times.”

The Alabamu tribe, who lived in Autauga County, are among the oldest native people in Alabama, settling in the area since archaic times. Legends from the native people here speak of the strange creatures that lived in the swamp and of the spirits that haunt it. Over the years, more unusual sightings from the location have compiled a proverbial paranormal smorgasbord. Strange lights that are said to be the spirits of elementals in the forest are the most common report. A stranger story comes from interviews conducted with local hunters, who claim to have seen a cryptid beast, and heard the "wood knocking" of the creature they believe to be Bigfoot. The creature has been seen on more than one occasion and is described as 8-10 feet tall and has a dense brown and black toned hair covering it's entire body. The most obvious feature of the beast is it's horrible smell, reportedly similar to that of rotten eggs.

Various local sources used

Alabama Swamp Ghosts

Thirteen Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey (Jeffrey Books)

Ghosts and Goosebumps: Ghost Stories, Tall Tales, and Superstitions

Trucker Ghost Stories: And Other True Tales of Haunted Highways, Weird Encounters, and Legends of the Road


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