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Thursday, March 18, 2010

LINDSAY SELBY: Lake Willoughby monster

Lake Willoughby is a lake in Vermont, USA. It is a glacial lake over 300 feet (95 metres) deep. Fish stocks include rainbow trout, salmon (mainly stocked), burbot, yellow perch, lake chub, common shiner, and a so-called round whitefish, which is a native species of Vermont. The lake is known to fishermen for producing some of the largest trout in the area. It is also said to be home to a monster called Wila or Willy. Stories of the creature go back some years.

In August 14, 1868, the story of a "lake monster" appeared in the Caledonian newspaper. 'It is reported that the great water snake at Willoughby Lake was killed Wednesday of last week by Stephen Edmonds of Newport, VT., a lad of twelve years. Rushing boldly upon the monster he severed its body with a sickle. On actual measurement the two pieces were found to be 23 feet in length.'

Perhaps it was a giant eel?

According to local folklore, there is an underground passageway between Lake Willoughby and Crystal Lake . One local story goes that many years ago a team of horses crashed through the winter ice on Lake Willoughby only to be found months later in Crystal Lake.

In the 1950s a team of divers looking for the body of a man presumed drowned after his boat capsized claimed to see a huge hole in the bottom of the lake and saw eels 8 feet long.

On September 9, 1986, Audrey Besse of Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, saw an unknown creature in Willoughby Lake. The sighting was filed with the International Dracontology Society of Lake Memphremagog . Her sighting is as follows.

While sitting on the "point" near the Wheeler's Camps beach more than 15 years ago, Audrey, Ann Hauk (her mother), and a friend saw a long, dark creature with two or three humps, in the middle of the lake, swimming toward the south end. Mrs Besse went for her binoculars and camera but the creature had submerged before she could use them.

So, does a family of large eels live in the lake?

More can be found in these books:

The Vermont Monster Guide
by Joseph A. Citro; artwork by Stephen R. Bissette; published in 2009 by the University Press of New England in Lebanon, New Hampshire;

Willoughby Lake Legends and Legacies
, Harriet F. Fisher. Academy Books, Rutland, Vermont. 1988.

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

This is an unusually large Giant eel if the dimensions as reported are true-I don't know if a lad with a sickle could cut one in half easily because it would have to have been as thich through as a moderately large tree trunk. BUT Giant eels are one of the commoner categories of suspected Lake Monsters along the St. Lawrence, in New England, and around Labrador and Newfoundland otherwise. Ordinarily they are reported as being ten to twenty feet long.