By Joseph P. Laycock
Texas State University 

The monster festival: A pilgrimage to small town America


(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

(THE CONVERSATION) One of my hobbies is dragging my patient wife to small towns to study beliefs and practices related to cryptozoology – the hunt for creatures, from Bigfoot to the Loch Ness Monster, whose existence hasn’t been scientifically proven.

This year, our summer “vacation” included a stop in Bishopville, South Carolina, to attend the first annual Lizard Man festival. The Lizard Man of Scape Ore swamp terrorized Lee County in 1988 – and, according to some, co...

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