A few years ago, 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 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.
I recently received an account from a resident in Naples, Florida:
A few months ago, my friend told me about this thing called a “squally” that supposedly lived down the road from me. I didn't believe him until I asked some kids at my school, and they said they heard about it too. But this is what I was told by one of the kids who said his father had seen one.
He said it was short, human-like creature with a flattened, pig-like snout. The Squallies live in a highly-protected community in the wooded outskirts of Naples, Florida in miniature houses with bridges. Seems many locals are convinced that they’ve actually seen the Squallies. A theory is that they are a government-protected conspiracy where people where genetically mutated and sent to live at a place called Naithlorendum Sanctuary off of Desoto Rd, and that planes and helicopters are kept from flying over the area. Others say that the Sqaullies wait for people to break in so that they can capture and eat them alive.
There's some old guy who lives on the property, who will shoot you if you trespass. My friend's cousin went to the place late at night and saw the old guy walking around with a rifle.
Some woman near me said she believes that it's a base for alien beings. Not sure about that. HH
Encyclopedia of Urban Legends
Too Good To Be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends (Revised and with a new chapter)
Weird Florida: Your Travel Guide to Florida's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
Florida Authentica: Your field guide to the unique, eccentric, and natural marvels of the real Sunshine State