A viral video of an alligator acting spooky inside a storm drain will make you think twice about investigating noises near your house. Stephen King’s IT has taught several generations to avoid storm drains. However, one hapless man did not get the memo. In a video shared on Youtube back in 2016, an overly curious fellow hears strange noises in his neighborhood. Not at all like a victim in an old horror film, he decides to take a closer look.
Rather than call animal control or go about his day, the man ventures closer to a storm drain. Inside is a hissing alligator, complete with Pet Semetary style blazing eyes. The camera lingers on the spooky reptile for several moments before abruptly cuting off.
Were these the last moments of this curious man’s life? Did Pennywise the Gator slip out and pull the man inside the drain? One would like to think the man calmly went inside and called the proper authorities. Still, what kind of horror movie would that be?
It’s not certain where this video was filmed. However, it does seem to support the long standing urban legend of sewer gators. Alligator sightings in unlikely places go back to the late 1920s and early 1930s. Most of these stories probably have more legend than fact. New York City has been a particularly popular setting for such stories.
The popular sewer alligator urban legend continues to thrive
According to the New York Times, 100 alligators are unlawfully kept as pets in homes every year. They can be easily ordered online and delivered through the mail when small. However, once they grow, it becomes much more difficult to keep them hidden.
While some escapees and former pets may survive for a while in New York sewers, they will not be able to survive long-term due to the low temperatures and bacteria in human feces. Sewer maintenance crews have stated that there is no underground population. A similar story from 1851 talks about feral pigs living in the sewers of Hampstead, London.
Following the reports of sewer alligators in the 1930s, many people have become more skeptical over the years about how accurate these stories actually are. In fact, some people have even gone as far to say that they are complete fiction and were made up by Teddy May- who was oddly enough, the Commissioner of Sewers at the time.
He was the one original person who gave accounts of alligators in sewers, which were then published. Even though this story is quite popular and has been modified in a few different ways, it took place in New York City. To remember him and his tale, February 9th is now known as Alligators in the Sewers Day that occurs yearly Manhattan.