This is an interesting little piece of South Carolina campus folklore. Anyone have anything to add?
The Third Eye Man
The “Third Eye Man” was first spotted on November 12, 1949, on the campus of the University of South Carolina. According to school records, a strange man dressed in bright silver was sighted opening “a manhole cover on the corner of Sumter and Green Streets, directly opposite of the historic Longstreet Theatre.” At 10:43 p.m., two male students watched as this man entered the sewer portal, and diligently pulled the manhole cover into its proper position. One of the students, Christopher Nichols (class of 1953), wrote for the Gamecock and immediately spread the news of this “Sewer man” — as he was called in the article. After a few weeks, any interest in the “sewer man” died down.
Almost six months later, on April 7, 1950, this “sewer man” was spotted again. A university police officer on patrol came across two mutilated chickens behind Longstreet Theatre. Feathers and chicken parts were strewed all over the loading dock of Longstreet. Believing that this mess was left by fraternity students or some other pranksters, the officer walked back to his car to report the scene. After calling into the station, the officer returned to the loading dock only to discover a silver man huddled over the chicken pieces. Immediately, the officer turned his flashlight on this man who looked up at the cop. In the beam of the light, the officer could make out a very disturbing face, grotesque in color and shape, and in the middle of this man’s forehead, a third eye! It wasn’t a large eye, but nevertheless, there was a third eye starring back at the cop! The policeman retreated from the scene and called in back-ups. When other officers arrived on the scene, there was nothing left on the loading dock except a few scattered feathers and bones. Of course, the cop who witnessed this “third eye man” was in hysterics, and was never able to convince the other officers of what he saw.
In the late 1960’s, the “catacombs” or underground tunnels at the University, were a favorite place for students. These tunnels connect most of the University. One night in early October, a group of fraternity guys decided to take three pledges down to the tunnels for a challenge. Entering the tunnels from the basement of Gambrell, the group of guys headed west towards the horseshoe. As they rounded the first corner, they were met by a “crippled looking man dressed all in silver” (according to police reports). This bizarre looking man charged at the students with a lead pipe, and suddenly the frat boys realized that this was no prank. One of the pledges, Matthew Tabor, was knocked to the ground by the creature, and suffered “minor cuts and minor shock.” Two of the older boys immediately went to the police department, and that evening, the first “third eye man-hunt” took place. After hours of searching the tunnels, the police came up with nothing. However, they did take precautions by sealing off most of the entrances to the catacombs, and by declaring the tunnels off-limit to any person, student, or faculty member.
According to one of the maintenance men who still works at the University today, “we don’t use the tunnels unless it is absolutely necessary.” There have been several sightings in the late 80’s and early 90’s, though most were dismissed by the University Police force. Those who are adventurous enough to climb down into the tunnels risk being suspended from school. Students WILL find a way into the catacombs from time to time, but there is always the possibility that they will come face-to-face with the ominous third eye man.
Department of English, Graduate Studies
University of South Carolina
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