lions, tigers, bears and lake monsters? oh my!

Looking for a different kind of escape? Away from the ordinary? There are a couple of gems in BC that not only provide you with great beaches and gorgeous landscapes but ghosts, sea monsters and more....I mean what else could one ask for in a weekend!

British Columbia has much lore – since the early pioneer days the legends and tall tales have grown. Haunted houses, ghosts of the mountain railway pass, miners that still walk with their lanterns lit in the night searching for a way out......more than enough for wonderful fire side ghost stories while camping in our vast beautiful wilderness. So as the summer camping season gears up let me fill your story arsenal to get all the kids engaged and properly spooked out before they snuggle up with screams and giggles awaiting the next days newest adventures....which may include spotting a monster or two.

Okanagan Lake, British Columbia
Ogopogo Lake Monster – Salish for “Lake Demon”
Picture off a building in downtown Vernon, BC
The myth of Ogopogo has been around the Okanagan for centuries, this fierce lake monster whom has resided at Squally Point has been inconclusively spotted throughout the lake for centuries. 
Scotland's Loch Ness may have the fame as far as lake monsters go, but for many monster searchers (often dubbed cryptozoologists, ahem) Ogopogo is the most likely and best documented of all lake monsters.

For cryptozoologists like John Kirk of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, "The catalogue of films and video of Ogopogo are more numerous and of better quality than anything I have personally seen at Loch Ness and I believe that several of them are very persuasive that a large, living, unknown creature inhabits the lake." Thank you!

There are dozens of reputed lake monsters around world, but what makes Ogopogo so special is its previous reputation as a bloodthirsty killer! Ogopogo, is believed to have its roots in First Nations Canadian legend. It is believed that a beast called N'ha-a-itk (also spelled Naitaka) would demand a live sacrifice from travelers for safe passage across Lake Okanagan. Hundreds of years ago, whenever the First Nations People would venture into the lake, they brought chickens or other small animals to kill and drop into the water to assure a safe journey.

I wonder if hot dogs would work these days!??

Thetis Lake Creature

Thetis Lake Conservation Area
Approximately 20 minutes from Victoria, in Langford on Vancouver Island

Gillman image thanks to....
Thetis Lake is the first regional conservation area in Canada, and was established in 1958. It spans approximately 831 hectares of protected forest and parkland. Located next to the Old Island Highway and a regional trail, it is a popular spot for hiking, swimming, fishing, and boating.

However, on 22 August 1972, the Victoria Daily Times reported that two local teens claimed to have been chased from the beach at Thetis lake by a creature which roughly resembled Gill-man from the Creature from the Black Lagoon. (SCARY OR WHAT?!)
One of the teens claimed to have been slashed on the hand by the creature, which displayed three webbed toes and fingers along with barbed fins on its skull, arms, and legs, prompting an investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It was described to be "roughly triangular in shape, about five feet tall and five feet across the base". At the time, the officer stated that "the boys seem sincere, and until we determine otherwise we have no alternative but to continue our investigation." Four days after the story was reported, two men claimed to have spotted the creature on the opposite side of the lake from its first appearance. According to one, "it came out of the water and looked around. Then it went back into the water. Then we ran!" The boys described the creature as "shaped like an ordinary body, like a human being body but it had a monster face, and it was scaly and had a point sticking out of its head and great big ears." They believed the creature had a human-like face, although it appeared to have scaly and silvery-blue coloured skin.

Similar creatures have been reported from places such as Ohio, Delaware, Louisiana, and North Carolina, for at least the last century. They are said to be related to another cryptozoological creature, the chupacabra. Also, lake monsters like this one, are said to exist all over the world. Haida mythology from the Queen Charlotte Islands describes a similar creature, with a human-like face, two tails, and often wears a hat. This creature is often feared by Haida canoeists.

Any one up for a paddle!!??

Of course none of these stories have been substantiated by any real science, but legend is legend for a reason. It gives us a sense of history, how our ancestors felt, and makes our toes curl! I mean, one day we could have folk lore about a website that took all your personal information and our whereabouts and  made it public knowledge or something! That monster's name might be, let's say, Zuckerburg :+} ??!!

Happy Story Telling BC!