The Wild Man of Ocheesee Pond - Jackson County, Florida
Ocheesee Pond
The capture of a "wild man" here during the late
19th century is one of the most overlooked yet
intriguing Bigfoot incidents in American history.
Wild Man of Ocheesee Pond
The entire northern end of the
pond is covered by a cypress
swamp miles in extent. It was
here the "wild man" roamed.
From Island to Island...
Accounts of the Wild Man of
Ocheesee Pond indicate he
had a "phenomenal growth of
hair" and swam from place to
The Wild Man of Ocheesee Pond - Jackson County, Florida
A 19th Century Bigfoot Capture
Copyright 2012 & 2014 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Update: March 10, 2014
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Creature of the Swamp
The Wild Man was so human-
like in appearance that his
captors originally thought he
had escaped from an asylum.
Jackson County, Florida is blessed with an
abundance of alleged sightings of the
monster that some call Bigfoot.

Reports of these creatures have come from
virtually all parts of the county. In the swamps
and remote woods around Parramore and
Two Egg in eastern Jackson County, for
example, many stories are told of the Two
Egg “Stump Jumper,” a sort of mini-bigfoot
that is often seen in the headlights of cars at
night or lurking in the darkness around rural

Similar sightings have been reported in the
swamps along the Chipola River, particularly
in the Forks of the Creek area between
Malone and Campbellton. Other reports have
come from the swamps along the
Apalachicola River and the vast cypress
forests of Ocheesee Pond.

It was in this last locality in 1884 that a party
of searchers pulled off one of the few
documented captures of a Bigfoot-like
creature that in the parlance of those days
was called the “Wild Man of the Woods.”

Sightings of the Wild Man were nothing new
in the 19th century South. Indians told early
settlers of a strange man-like creature that
roamed remote swamps and woods.
Covered with hair and much taller than
normal humans, the monster was
considered dangerous and most who
encountered him would not approach him.

Located below Grand Ridge and Sneads in
the southeast corner of Jackson County,
Ocheesee Pond was a focal point for early
settlers. More than three miles long and
nearly that distance wide, the clear water
pond fills a vast shallow basin.

While there are some sections of open
water, primarily along its southernmost
reaches, most of Ocheesee Pond is covered
with a dense growth of cypress and other
swamp trees. It is a strikingly beautiful place,
but the swamp can easily feel a bit
foreboding as well.

The Wild Man traditionally favored such
dense and swampy locations, but in 1883
local residents nevertheless were surprised
when their neighbors began reporting
encounters and sightings of one of the

He seemed to live on berries and other
edibles that grew wild in and around the
pond and was often seen swimming or
wading as he moved from island to island.
He tried his best to stay away from humans,
but his cries often shattered the nighttime
stillness of the farms and homes nestled
along the shores of the pond.

As the number of sightings increased, so too
did concerns about the safety of local
families. Residents of the pond area
gathered and discussed the situation and
finally decided that an effort should be
launched to capture or drive off the monster.

Men assembled with guns, boats and
horses and a plan was devised by which they
would converge on the creature’s last
reported location from various directions at
Ocheesee Pond
The pond is a noted fishing
spot today and is accessed
by a public boat ramp on its
open southern end.
Many of these men had served only twenty
years before in the Confederate Army. They
knew the pond well and had seen far scarier
things in their lifetimes than a man covered
in hair.

It did not take them long to find their prey and
on August 18, 1884, startling news went out
from Columbus, Georgia:

News brought by the steamer Amos Hays
from Lower River is to the effect that the wild
man captured in Ocheecee Swamp, near
Chattahoochee, and carried to Tallahassee,
did not belong to a Florida asylum, and that
all inquiry proved unavailing to identify him.
He had been swimming in Ocheecee Lake,
from island to island, and when taken was
entirely destitute of clothing, emaciated, and
covered with a phenomenal growth of hair.
He could give no account of himself, and the
theory is that he escaped from an asylum of
some other state, and spent his time in the
woods, living on berries, &c.

Other reports followed, but the details were
consistent. The captured Wild Man acted
insane, was covered with a thick growth of
hair and had lived deep in the swamps.

The newspapers of the time, however, were
silent on the eventual fate of the Ocheesee
Pond Wild Man. Despite the fact that his body
was covered in thick hair, he was human
enough in appearance that his captors
believed that he probably had escaped from
an asylum.

No asylum reported such an odd escapee,
however, and his captors became even more
baffled by the Wild Man.

The last account of him mentions that he
was being sent to Tallahassee and then
back to Chattahoochee after he could not be
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Ocheesee Pond is located a few miles south
of the towns of Sneads and Grand Ridge in
Jackson County, Florida (about 50 minutes
west of Tallahassee). To reach the public
boat ramp take Arkansas Road north off C.R.
280 (Shady Grove Road). The landing is
about 4/10s of a mile straight ahead.
Ghosts & Monsters of the South