Monday, July 30, 2012

(Monster Monday) Two-Toed Tom, Alligator Monster of FL & AL

Florida Indians Battle Monster Alligators
Two-Toed Tom is said to rival the size of these gators.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the monster story I posted here last Monday, so I thought we might make Monster Monday a regular feature for awhile.
Today we focus on Two-Toed Tom, the legendary red-eyed, demon-possessed alligator Monster of Northest Florida and South Alabama. The story has echoed through the swamps along the border for more than 100 years and is still well-known today.

The monster first came to prominence in South Alabama where he terrorized farm communities just north of the Florida line. Described as red-eyed and demon-possessed, he gained his unusual name after an attempt to capture him left him with only two toes on one foot.

Alligator in North Florida
Tom was shot, dynamited and otherwise attacked but could not be killed. He eventually tired of the constant battles in Alabama and moved across the line to Florida. He soon appeared in Sand Hammock Lake in the little town of Esto in Holmes County, Florida. After driving out the other bull alligators in the area, he turned his focus on people.

I had the unique opportunity in 1989 to interview one of the survivors of an authentic Two-Toed Tom attack. She then lived in a retirement home in Pensacola and had been attacked by the monster when she was a little girl some 70 years before.

Reptilian mile
She described how she had been walking with her mother along a sandy path near Sand Hammock Lake. When she skipped ahead in the playful manner of most kids, she suddenly heard her mother scream. Turning around to see what was wrong, she was stunned to see that the feared alligator monster had come out into the path between them. It stood up on its hind legs and roared at both of them.

Their screams soon attracted the men of the community, including one who showed up with a "war rifle" to shoot the monster. Blasted with the high-powered rifle, the monster fell still but as the men gathered around to inspect it, the beast suddenly reanimated and swept them all down with the fierce lashing of its tail and escaped back into the swamp.

This is just one of the stories that have grown up around Two-Toed Tom, who is said to still inhabit the swamps of Washington, Holmes and Walton Counties in Northwest Florida. If you would like to read more about him, please visit

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