Tag Archives: Lake Monster

Lake Spirit


There was once a young lady who drowned her baby in a lake. As punishment, she was cursed to the same fate of drowning, and now her spirit remains by the lake. She comes to haunt those who do bad things.


There were lots of Mexicans and Mexican Americans where I grew up, so this was your typical boogeyman story to tell kids so they won’t do bad stuff, just with a deeper connection to Mexico/home. 


In this text, I see the theme of karma/ the golden rule being enforced: you are treated differently based on how you have treated others. Water is also dangerous for younger children if they cannot swim, so stories like this one can help to keep them safe by instilling a fear of the water in them until they are older and capable of being safe when near a lake, or knowing how to swim. This story also gives authority to the fear it attempts to instill by establishing that the lady has already drowned her own child, so she would most likely have no qualms about drowning someone else’s child.

Water Babies of Pyramid Lake – Legend

Water Babies of Pyramid Lake


Long ago there was a Native American woman who had two children. She took her children down to the river to bathe them but they were dragged under the current. When she discovered her children’s death she took them to a burial sight to bury them. She cried so hard over her children’s grave that it filled with water and became pyramid lake. The woman then laid by the lake to watch her children where she turned to stone. To this day her babies can be heard in the lake and they drag unsuspecting victims down to drown them.


“I heard this story many times growing up as a kid and visiting the lake. Pyramid lake was on an Indian reservation so it always had some mysticism too it. I remember some of my uncles telling me the story while on a boat in the lake. After they told the story they threw me in to scare me. I guess I’m not much better than them now cause I use the story to scare my little cousins or brother whenever we visit.”


Pyramid Lake near Reno Nevada is often seen as a mysterious lake as it is a salt water lake with no outlets. The use of tears in the legend is used to describe why the lake is a salt water lake and its odd positioning without any outlets. The myth likely stems from the mysticism surrounding the Native American reservations that the lake lies on. Similar to the story of poltergeist and similar legends in which native Americans play a key role, the guilt of the actions taken by American settlers has led to stories of vengeful native spirits. Some state that the legend stems from the lake being used as a location where malformed native babies were drowned. All in all the legend of the pyramid lake water babies is another relic from the colonial Americans atrocities.

The Ogapoga

Informant AJ is a freshman at a university in the Canadian province of British Columbia whose family lives in San Jose, California. AJ moved to BC for the first time in August of 2022 to begin university.


“It’s a little unfamiliar to me but I’ve heard a few people talk about it here and there and seeing the statue posted downtown. It seems to be a creature in the Okanagan Lake just a few miles down south of the university. And there’s some sea creature that does something, I’m not very sure. I would say it looks like a sea dragon, kind of like a snake.”


“We have a little statue of it downtown and some people will take pictures of that and ride it for fun. I heard somebody mention it and they were like, ‘You’ve never heard of Ogopogo?!’ The lake is one of the biggest attractions here in Kelowna, so I’m sure that’s a fun story that people who live here can tell visitors.”


Because the Ogopogo has a statue in downtown Kelowna, the legend of the Ogopogo has taken on an aspect of capitalist appeal as the city utilizes the legend as a tourist attraction, representing an example of folklorismus. However, the Ogopogo traces its roots to stories from the Interior Salish First Nation people of a lake spirit known as the N’ha-a-itk. In this sense, the Ogopogo also carries a mythic nature, but as the story passed through the generations and through the colonization of North America, monetary interests grabbed hold of this myth and transformed it into the tourist attraction AJ knows it as. When he first moved to Kelowna, BC, there was a big reaction when AJ announced that he wasn’t aware of the Ogopogo, indicating its strong public appeal. Yet, the manner in which he learned about the Ogopogo, through visits to the statue in downtown Kelowna, indicate the weakening of the traditional myth of the Ogopogo.

One Eyed Willy of Chollas Lake

Context: H is a  23 year old American, born in California and lived there until moving to Denver Colorado for College. After spending nearly five years in Denver he moved to New Mexico where he currently lives and has lived for the past two years. This entry was collected over a Zoom call. 

Intv: “Do you remember any of the tales that came out of the summer camp we went to?”

H: “There was that one, of like One Eyed Willy… I wish I could remember the story better, you might actually be able to help me out a little.” 

Intv: “Hmm wasn’t there like a kid who was fishing or something?”

H: “I thought it had to do with a fish that took the eye of a fisherman? Oh, didn’t it go like The fisherman hooked the fish in the eye, and when the fish started to pull, he wouldn’t let go and got dragged down into the lake? Cause I remember there was that structure out in the lake and we all used to say that’s where the fisherman remained, and we were always told to look out for a fish with one eye when we would fish.” 

Analysis: I can’t say for certain, but I wonder if One Eyed Willy got his name from The Goonies. However, for a kid without any prior knowledge of The Goonies, it so easily became a piece of folklore that many children, myself included, believed. Outside of being a fun ghost story however, it also serves the purpose of informing young campers how to be safe while fishing. To be careful so that One Eyed Willy wouldn’t get you. 

Tahoe Tessie

Background information: My mom is a second-generation Filipino-American, meaning she was born here in the US. Her parents immigrated from the Philippines when they were both relatively young, and my mom’s family grew up with a lot of relatives in San Francisco, CA. However, later in her childhood, she moved with her parents and sister to Lake Tahoe, CA.

Mom: There’s like a little Loch Ness Monster type thing that people talk about in Tahoe called “Tahoe Tessie”. I’ve never really seen anything, but you know when you really stare out at the water, your eyes might play tricks on you. Sometimes though, I really have felt like I couldn’t identify what something was, and I think, no one really knows what could be in the lake – no one has ever gotten all the way to the bottom! It’s a hella deep lake, and who knows, maybe there is some kind of freshwater serpentine thing. No one would know because it’s not like they ever mess with anyone or anything on the shore.

Me: Where did you learn about Tahoe Tessie?

Mom: I think it’s just the kind of thing you hear about as a kid, I remember my friends asking me if I had heard about Tahoe Tessie, or being at the lake and hearing people talk about seeing it. But it’s well-known for people who live there.

This legend is interesting because it is so specific to an area/region – I don’t think very many people outside of Lake Tahoe know about Tahoe Tessie, and I have never heard of anyone who has had an actual sighting. However, my mom mentioned a lot about the idea of the “unknown” since no one has ever actually seen the entirety of Lake Tahoe, and I think that this is where a lot of legendary creatures like Tahoe Tessie come from.