10 Real Events That Sound Just Like Horror Movies

Two-toed Tom
A regular-size alligator like this one is plenty menacing, so Two-toed Tom would be terrifying. © Mickrick/iStockphoto

In the swamps of the Southern U.S., there lurks a monster that's been stalking animals and people for decades. It's Two-toed Tom, a 14-foot (4.3-meter) alligator that's been called a "red-eye hell-demon," terrifying anyone who dared set foot near the bayou.

The first mention of Tom appeared in a 1934 book, but his legend went back decades earlier, when he was known to nab livestock and frighten people in Alabama and Florida. He got his two-toed nickname from the tracks he left behind. People speculated he'd lost two of his toes to the jaws of a steel trap.

As the story goes, one farmer got fed up with Tom killing his mules, so he decided to do away with the behemoth using buckets of dynamite. When the attack commenced, explosions filled the sky but Tom flanked the farmer, seized his 12-year-old granddaughter, and killed her.

The trail of livestock carnage gradually shifted from Alabama into Florida. In the 1980s, people spotted two-toed alligator tracks, reigniting the stories of the South's most infamous reptile beast.

Tom was never caught. Instead, his name lives on in the spine-tingling shadows of the swamps.