Two-toed Tom: The Southeast’s Reptilian Terror

Hundreds of people have hunted Two-toed Tom, but none have succeeded.

The Southeast is no stranger to massive alligators. We’ve got these reptiles in our swimming holes, golf courses, rivers, swamps, and everything in between. Luckily, our run-ins with the creatures are few and far between. They account for few injuries each year, but legend tells of a monstrous alligator with glowing, red eyes that has terrorized the region for years. His name is Two-toed Tom, and we’ll tell you a little bit about how he got that name in just a second.

But first – let’s look at the history of this wretched beast.

Beginning in the early 1900s, communities across the Southeast reported the presence of a gargantuan alligator that ripped their livestock to shreds. In addition, this creature would leave dead humans in its wake every now and again. It wasn’t long before the word “demonic” became synonymous with the bloodthirsty beast.

While numerous people tried to capture the alligator, none were successful. Upon being captured in a trap, the creature would simply continue walking. In doing so, the trap would rip off his or her toes. Hunters and farmers alike would allegedly find massive toes inside the traps, discarded by the monster in passing. It was through this process that the alligator captured its moniker: Two-toed Tom. While we don’t know what gender Two-Toed Tom actually is, you have to admit: the name rolls off the tongue nicely.

Hundreds of people have hunted Two-toed Tom, and none have succeeded. Some say that no matter what was thrown at Two-toed Tom, he would simply shrug it off. And not all of this is just hearsay! In Lee Harper’s 2015 book Go Set a Watchman, characters Louise and Henry walk toward a river. They have this brief conversation:

She said, “You can feel the river already.”

“You must be half alligator,” said Henry. “I can’t.”

“Is Two-toed Tom still around?”

Two-toed Tom lived wherever there was a river. He was a genius: he made tunnels beneath Maycomb and ate people’s chickens at night; he was once tracked from Demopolis to Tensas. He was as old as Maycomb County.

“We might see him tonight.”

As you can infer, Tom apparently burrowed tunnels underneath cities to more easily navigate and hunt. A truly terrifying thought, indeed, when you consider that locals considered the alligator a “genius.”

Where is Two-toed Tom now?

Two-toed Tom has reportedly been sighted as late as the 1980s, but that’s certainly stretching the lifespan of a normal American alligator. It’s possible that Two-toed Tom quietly passed away, time being the adversary he could not best. Of course, no one can explain his glowing, red eyes. It’s possible there is some truth to the whispers of Tom being demonic in nature. And maybe he’s waiting for just the right moment to strike.