The Great Lakes are a wonder of nature and a boon for the continent of North America. They provide fresh water to millions of people and connect the interiors with the Atlantic Ocean to increase trade and prosperity. Ships have sailed in the Great Lakes for hundreds of years. As it happens, there are a lot of myths and legends related to the Great Lakes. Some of these have been proved to be nothing more than hoaxes but ‘a lot’ of these are still unexplained. By ‘a lot’, we mean….
10. Kingstie Monster:
Kingstie was a monster of Lake Ontario that was actually a hoax invented in 1934 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. They used an empty barrel and filled it with empty bottles to give it buoyancy. They attached a head that looked like a dragon and anchored it to the bottom with a rope. On May 16th, 2004 it was spotted underwater by two individuals while fishing and was named Kingstie for being near Kingston.
9. Underwater Panther:
Mishipeshu is a mythical monster that looks like an underwater panther that exists in legends and stories of a lot of Indian tribes around the Great Lakes area. Different tribes have different names for it but it is supposed to have the head of a panther and the body of a dragon with scales and dagger like spine. It is supposed to guard the copper that is found in that area and if anyone tries to take away the copper as happened in the 1840’s they face a horrible death through accidents and sinking of ships.
8. Michigan Triangle:
The Michigan triangle is like the Bermuda Triangle but lesser known. It is located in Lake Michigan between the towns of Ludington, Benton Harbor and Manitowoc on the other shore of the lake. Unexplained phenomena such as disappearance of ships, appearance of strange creatures and time either slowing down or speeding up have been reported in this area. The famous disappearances have been of Captain George R. Donner from inside his cabin onboard O.S. McFarland, Northwest Orient Airline Flight 2501 and a Soviet trainer jet that disappeared during an air show.
7. The Ghost Fleet of Lake Superior:
Lake Superior has seen a lot of ships disappearing without a trace over time and it is said that these ships form the ghost fleet of Lake Superior. Some of the ships that form the ghost fleet are the Adella Shores that disappeared in 1909, The Bannockburn in 1902 and the Hudson in 1901. The Bannockburn has been reported to have been sighted on stormy nights in Lake Superior and so is called the Flying Dutchman of Lake Superior. The Hudson has also been sighted and according to one account even boarded by tug master.
6. Stonehenge under Lake Michigan:
While scanning for ship wrecks with a sonar, a team recently discovered a boulder with the carving of a mastodon in Lake Michigan. There were also a series of stones arranged in circles like the Stonehenge. These findings were discovered at about 40 feet depth into Grand Traverse Bay in Lake Michigan. There have been other petroglyphs and Stonehenge formations found in areas nearby the Great Lakes as well.
5. Ontario’s Lake Monsters:
Other than the hoax monster Kingstie, there have been many other sightings of monsters in Lake Ontario. Multiple sightings of a snake like monster have been reported for the last 200 years. Other sightings have suggested monsters with short legs, horns and a long tail. There was also a mass sighting in 1881 by the passengers of steam ship Gypsy who saw a creature about 35 to 40 feet in length.
4. The Magician of Lake Huron:
The magician of Lake Huron is a legend of the Indians that lived near that area. It is a story about a magician who lives near the lake and is attacked by two spirits. He defeats them and gets great gifts from them. He brings his parents to live with him and brings tobacco for his father from the camps of his enemies across the frozen lake.
3. Demonic Siren of Lake Erie:
There is a legend about Lake Erie that there lives a demonic siren called the Storm Hag at the bottom of the lake. She is described as a demon with yellow eyes, green skin and long shark like teeth. Her arms are long and fingernails are pointed like talons and are poisonous. She has green teeth and is sometimes called Jenny Greenteeth. She is said to be behind a lot of mysterious disappearances of ships in Lake Erie. It is said that she first sings a song and when a sailor hear her sing it means that the storm is going to come. When the storm comes she attacks the ship and kills all the sailors and takes the ship down with her.
2. Sleeping Bear Dunes:
The legend of the sleeping bear dunes says that long ago there was a mother bear that was driven into Lake Michigan along with her two cubs due a raging forest fire in Wisconsin. She swam across to the other shore but her cubs were weak and were left behind. The mother bear climbed a high bluff to lookout for her cubs but they had drowned. The mother bear didn’t move from her spot for days and died. The Great Spirit created two islands to mark the spot where the cubs had drowned and another dune where the mother had stood waiting for her cubs.
Bessie or South Bay Bessie is the most famous monster of Lake Erie. It is supposed to be a long snake like creature of length anywhere from 30 to 40 feet. It has gray scales and a large head. It has been sighted multiple times since the 1800’s. In 1992 it was supposed to have attacked and killed three people. The survivor of the attack had described the monster as having a head as big as a car.