Legend of the Third Eye Man (Columbia, SC)

Now that we’re residents of Columbia, South Carolina … its time to look into the legends and lore of these intriguing lands. The Legend of the Third Eye Man was the first to find, whether it be an urban legend or a true creature or spirit, time will tell. Apparently there is a massive network of catacombs and steam tunnels underneath the University of South Carolina. Haunting these halls is supposedly a phantom cyclops. He was first spotted on November 12th, 1949 on the campus of USC. Records state he is a strange looking man dressed in bright silver who was spotted opening a man-hole cover on the corner of Green street and Sumter street, opposite the haunted historic Long street Theater. He became known as “the sewer man” at that point. Six months later on April 7th, 1950 he re-surfaced and was sighted again by a university police office on patrol who discovered two mutilated chickens behind the theater. He reported chicken parts to be strewn all over the loading dock. When he returned to his car to report the scene, thinking it was a fraternity prank, he returned to the scene to find a silver man huddled over the chicken parts. He shined his flashlight on him to find a very disturbing face, grotesque in color and shape, and a third eye in the middle of his forehead like that of a cyclops, staring back at him. He retreated from the scene, called backup, and was laughed at when nothing was found on the docks but a few feathers and chicken bones. By the 1960’s students started hunting down and invading the tunnels. When a fraternity had three pledges down in the tunnels for a challenge, from the basement of Gambrell, they ran into a crippled looking man dressed in all silver and reported the sighting to the police. He charged at the students with a lead pipe, knocking student Matthew Tabor to the ground, suffering minor cuts and shock. The first official man-hunt for this attacker took place coming up with nothing, but that started the tedious task of sealing off many of the entrances to the catacombs and making them off limits. The catacombs do exist, as photos of them are rampant online. Whether or not this mysterious hominid exists is a whole different story. Legend tells that these tunnels link various venues of the government to the USC campus allowing undetected and protected transportation between them, some say even to Fort Jackson. Some say they go back to the days of the confederate war. Many say the Three Eyed Man is also the ghoul that haunts the Longstreet Theatre, and instead of living in the tunnels, he lives in the theater late at night. He has played the terror and villian in many a fraternity initiation through the years.

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