The Black Brake swamp is a huge cypress swamp on the Louisiana-Mississippi border. It covers 70,000 acres and adjoins a large body of water called Lake End to the east, and various bayous and channels to the west. The towns of Sunflower, Louisiana, Malfourche, Mississippi, and Itta Bena, Mississippi are all near the Black Brake.
The swamp is difficult to navigate, full of dense thickets and vegetation-choked dead ends. Unexperienced visitors can easily become disoriented in the mazelike network of channels. Alligators and snakes live in the swamp. The Black Brake is a center of rumors and ghost stories, centered on a rise of land somewhere in the middle of the swamp known as Spanish Island.
Prior to 1975 the swamp supported many hunters, fisherman and loggers. In that year the western half of the swamp was turned into a wildlife refuge. Since then, many of the towns around the Black Brake have been in economic decline.