Aviva Directory » Faith & Spirituality » Paranormal » Cryptozoology » Lake Monsters & Sea Serpents » Bessie

Also known as South Bay Bessie or the Lake Erie Monster, Bessie is a lake monster in Lake Erie.

Situated on the boundaries between the United States and Canada, with shorelines in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and the Canadian province of Ontario, Lake Erie is the southernmost of the Great Lakes.

Sightings of Bessie have been reported periodically since 1793. The lake monster is said to be snakelike, thirty to forty feet long, and gray in color. Although there have been modern sightings, the historical accounts have been more descriptive of the cryptid.

The earliest reports were vague stories of large lake serpents on the Canadian side of Lake Erie. The monster was said to be able to come upon the land, although it was primarily seen in the water.

In July of 1892, Captain Jenkins, while piloting the steam barge, Fenton, came across what he believed to be a wreck in the middle of the lake. As he got closer, however, he found that it was a serpent, at least thirty feet in length. Its neck was short and thick, the head was about a foot long, with nostrils above the snout, a large mouth that was turned upward. It had a forked tongue, and its eyes were blazing like balls of fire. The creature was black with yellowish bands on its body, and white patches on its head. By his account, the creature chased his barge, keeping pace for about twenty miles.

More recent sightings were reported in 1931, 1960, 1969, 1981, 1983, 1985, and 1989. In the summer of 1990, a blackish water creature, estimated to be forty to fifty feet long, was seen along the Ohio shore several times. A college teacher said its head was about the size of a football, and it was described as swimming in a serpentine manner. One eyewitness said it had what appeared to be small horns on the top of its head.

There were other sightings, including one on the Canadian side of the lake in October of 1994.

By the 1990s, lake monster mania was underway, with a flurry of reported sightings in 1990. By then, the sea monster was being promoted as a tourism marketing scheme.

Skeptics have suggested that Bessie could be a large specimen of a lake sturgeon made larger through fear or exaggeration, as the largest lake sturgeon found was just over seven feet long. Fishing nearly eliminated the sturgeon from Lake Erie by the late 1800s, but they have been making a comeback.

There have been no sightings of Bessie since the early 1990s.

True or not, websites focused on Bessie or other lake monsters inhabiting Lake Erie are appropriate topics for this portion of our guide.



Recommended Resources

Search for Bessie on Google or Bing