In the hollows carved out by the shallow streams that criss-cross Boyle County, something is lurking. For over a century, quiet whispers in the county have told the tale of a strange something, a hideous, man-like shape, seeming to be composed of rotting flesh and flowing muck, with the only solid shape on its body are its piercing red eyes and grinning white teeth. The folks of Boyle County call him Sludge Man. And you should be afraid of him. Because he has his own sense of justice.
The rumors of how and why Sludge Man came to be stretch back to the dark days in Kentucky after the end of the Civil War. Law and order had broken down, and the rich plantation owners turned to violence to maintain their grip on power. The flamed the fires of fear and hatred. Gangs of night riders terrorized the countryside. The police and judges were complicit in the brutality. Lynch law ruled the land. And sometime in the early part of the last century, an old man in Boyle County, a former slave, lost his life to the violence.
No one knows his name, or why he was murdered. He was probably just an innocent man in the wrong place at the wrong time. But six men, dressed in hoods and carrying torches surrounded him, trampled the old man to death with their horses' hooves, and threw his body in a hole filled with mud and muck. The rode away laughing.
But soon after that, those six men started to disappear. One by one, they would leave their homes at night, and never be seen again. The bodies of those men were never found. It was only when the last man disappeared that someone saw something. He had gone out when he heard his dogs barking, and soon his wife heard his screaming. She rushed outside in time to see the man being dragged away by a huge, hulking form that seem to be composed of muck and oozing mud. The thing looked behind her as it drug her husband into the woods, and the woman saw burning red eyes and clean white teeth.
The legend of Sludge Man was born.
Ever since then, whispers of Sludge Man have spread through Boyle County. It's said that he emerges from the muddy creeks on hot, moonless nights. It's said that Sludge Man seeks out the cruel, the violent, and those who abuse the weak and prey on the innocent and drags them away. Anyone who beats his dog, hits his wife, or treats the weak and poor with cruelty should beware of Sludge Man. He really seems to dislike people who are cruel to animals.
Where he takes his victims and what he does with them, nobody knows. No trace of any of them has ever been found. There are some who say that if you walk along a certain creek in Boyle County around midnight, you can hear what sounds like the distant screams of men under horrible torture.
Sludge Man has been keeping his sense of order in Boyle County for over a century now. Somehow he seems to know everything that goes on, and know who deserves punishment. Sometimes, on hot, moonless nights in the summer, a slow-moving, determined shape is seen stomping the narrow creek beds of Boyle, heading right for the next man who deserves his judgement.