This legend has haunted me my whole life. My dad probably told me the story the first time as a toddler, and I'm sure I've made him repeat it four hundred thousand times since then. So it should be no surprise that the idea of the legend inspires me. It has actually inspired the premise behind my WIP!
Well, the legend and my step mom's facebook status one day, which said, "We're going camping in Tate's Hell, if you don't hear from us in a week, send a search party!"
Tate's Hell is a real place, and this is Tate's story:
Everyone tells the legend differently, but this is how my dad always told it.
Back in those days, panthers roamed the forests of Florida. Cebe Tate, a farmer, kept losing livestock to a panther, so he set out into the forest with nothing but a shotgun and his hunting dogs in search of the beast. The forests around here are easy to get turned around in. They're full of swamps and poisonous snakes, and any number of other predators.
Old Cebe got lost out in the swamp. He wandered out in the forest for seven days and seven nights. His dogs killed off one by one, Cebe was all alone. They say he was bitten by a rattle snake, and sure to die out there, nobody ever knowing what happened to him. But Cebe found a source of fresh water in those woods -- a waterfall out in the swampy flat lands of Florida.
Dad says somehow the waterfall kept him alive despite the venom racing through his system. But determined to escape the forest, Cebe left the fall to find his way out. On that seventh day, Cebe stumbled out of the forest into a small community and lived only long enough to mutter the words, "My name is Cebe Tate, and I just came from Hell."
There are a lot of local stories of people going into the forest and never coming out again. And as you can imagine, nobody has ever found this legendary waterfall, yet locals still insist it exists.
So there you have it, a local legend, and the inspiration for my WIP.
Do you guys have any local legends you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them!