6 spooky mysteries of the Great Lakes

Mishibijiw/Mishipeshu

Also known by some as the Dragon of Lake Superior, Mishibijiw (Anglicized as Mishipeshu) is an Ojibwa figure of a fearsome water-dwelling creature that has the body of a horned lynx with scales and webbed paws. A picture of Mishibijiw appears at the Agawa pictograph site in Lake Superior Provincial Park, showing the powerful water spirit with horns and spines on its back. Accounts from early French and English settlers report seeing a water creature that resembled a large lizard in Lake Superior, but First Nations stories more often refer to Mishibijiw as a shape shifter or a water cat.

South Bay Bessie

Why should Loch Ness or Okanagan Lake (home of the famed Ogopogo) get all the glory? Lake Erie has its very own sea monster known as South Bay Bessie. According to reports—the first of which happened in 1793—Bessie is about nine to 12 meters long, and is grey and snake-like (although it’s also been reported to have a dog-shaped head, sparkling eyes and a pointy tail). Since no one is sure what Bessie is, there’s a $5,000 reward for anyone who captures it.

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