It’s been more than a decade since Lizard Man was spotted in Bishopville, South Carolina, but it seems the 7-foot-tall, red-eyed scaly creature is back — and this time witnesses have the photo and video evidence to prove it.

“It was a tall, dark figure that had a tail and appeared to have scales,” S.C. resident Jim Wilson told The Charlotte Observer. “It was almost like an alligator with a short nose and long legs.”

Wilson was driving along S.C. 34 on Aug. 1 when he says he saw Lizard Man come out of the woods and run across the Scape Ore Bridge.

He snapped some photos of the creature before it disappeared into the swamp, but it’s a photo taken by a woman who’s identified herself only as “Sarah” that’s really got people talking.

Sarah says she spotted Lizard Man while at a Bishopville church about 10 miles away from Scape Ore Swamp.

“We saw Lizard Man come out of the woods and run along the tree line,” she told The State. “My hand to God, I am not making this up.”

The photo she took, which is pictured above, has prompted many people to call the stunt a prank, arguing that Lizard Man is clearly a person in a costume.

But Sarah’s story inspired a local man to send a video he took of Lizard Man in May to local ABC News station WCIV. He said he shot the video while coon hunting in Scape Ore Swamp, but feared he’d be ridiculed if he came forward.

“I saw your lizard man story and it’s given me the courage to send you a video I took in early May,” he wrote. “Though my wife believes me that it’s real, she said she would be embarrassed that everyone would think I was a loon so I kept it a secret.” In the video, a dark figure can be seen creeping through the trees in the distance.

“If you’re wondering, I absolutely believe it’s real,” the man who shot the footage told WCIV.

The first reported sighting of Lizard Man was in 1988 when 17-year-old Christopher Davis stopped to change his tire near Scape Ore Swamp. The teenager said the creature ran toward him, so Davis got into his car to drive away. However, Lizard Man leapt onto the vehicle’s roof and held on while Davis attempted to throw the creature off.

Davis escaped, but his side-view mirror was damaged and deep scratch marks covered the roof of his car.

And that's how the Lizard Man legend was born.

In the months after Davis’ encounter, there were numerous other reports of an aggressive lizard-like animal, as well as scratches and bite marks appearing on vehicles parked near the swamp.

Local police were skeptical, but the large number of sightings led them to believe something was being seen, so they made plaster casts of what appeared to be large three-toed footprints. However, the Lee County Sheriff’s Department decided not to send the casts to the FBI after the S.C. Marine Resources Department said the footprints were unclassifiable.

Lizard Man sightings declined in the 1990s, but in 2008, Bob and Dixie Rawson reported bite and claw marks on their car that were said to be similar to the 1988 incidents.

Neither the local sheriff’s department nor the S.C. Department of Natural Resources has received any official reports of recent sightings, but Lee County Sheriff Daniel Simons says they investigate the sightings.

“Within the last 10 years, we have received several calls about a possible Lizard Man sighting, and we did an investigation,” Simons said. “If people call, we don’t turn them away. If somebody says they have seen something unusual, we look into it.”

In the video below, the Rawsons discuss the 2008 damage of their vehicle, as well as other potential evidence of Lizard Man's existence.

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Laura Moss writes about a variety of topics with a focus on animals, science, language and culture. But she mostly writes about cats.

Has Lizard Man returned to South Carolina?
Sightings of the legendary lizard-like creature have recently spiked, but this time people are armed with cameras.