The Cannibal Pink Mist of the Tomoka River

By Kris M

The Cannibal Pink Mist of the Tomoka River

You’re in the woods and get an eerie sense that you're being followed. You find the courage to turn your head and catch a glimpse of a strange pink mist that seems to be following you. This was the reality for locals in the woods along the Tomoka River west of Daytona. Between 1955 and 1966, numerous people reported a pink misty cloudy trailing closely behind them. The fog was said to swallow you whole and hug the ground, blocking anything near. Many have speculated the cause for the unusual fog over the years. The more logical theory is that it’s linked to pollution which causes the sunlight to reflect a pinkish tinge. But there is one major problem with that theory. In those days, this rural area was far from any industrial pollution.

The mist has been blamed for at least a dozen disappearances in the area. One local story suggests a connection between the pink mist and an Indian legend. Chief Tomkie disobeyed local religious practices by stealing a golden cup and drinking from a divine spring that  was said to bless you with special healing powers. Nearby tribes retaliated by attacking Tommie’s band. Tomkie miraculously survived the battled, escaping untouched. Indian maiden Oleeta wasn’t going to let the thief get away and struck Tomkie with an arrow straight through his heart. As she rushed to retrieve the stolen golden cup, she was struck with a poisoned arrow. She was found dead, still clinging to the golden cup. The sacred cup is said to be in possession of Florida Indians until this day. Tomkie’s spirit still wanders his old land in the mists of the Tomoka River. Could Tomkie have anything to do with the strange pink clouds?

Other local legends tell of balls of glowing red and white lights hovering just above the ground near the mist. Some claim they know someone who was devoured by the pink fog. Rumor has it that the mist will eat the flesh from your bones. This could explain why the missing bodies were never found. Some have even nicknamed it ‘The Cannibal Cloud.’

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