Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster is a cryptid said to inhabit Bear Lake that sits on the border between Utah and Idaho. The creature is part of local folklore that first appeared from articles that were written by Joseph C. Rich in 1868.

The article said that the local Indians called the creature a “water devil”, and that the creature has reappeared. According to the article, many white settlers have seen the creature. Rich 26 years later admitted that he fabricated the original sightings as a hoax, and it was a “wonderful first class lie”.

Even after the article by Rich was recanted, many more articles and reported sightings were claimed by residents. Sightings from different areas of Utah led to the belief that there was an underground channel that connected the Great Salt Lake to Bear Lake as well as other lakes and waterways.

LDS Church president Brigham Young, investigated the claims and actually sent a large rope to Paris, Idaho to help capture the creature. A local resident also was interested in the creature’s capture. He proposed placing a large baited hook attached to a twenty-foot cable and 300 yards of one-inch-thick rope. It would be attached to a buoy and then would be connected with 100 yards of rope to a tree. The capture of the creature was to be in direct competition with P.T. Barnum’s show.

The Bear Lake monster is said to be around 90 feet long, has a serpent-like body an a face similar to a walrus according to some eye witnesses. Others state the creature to be a large reptile, similar to a crocodile.

Reported sightings continued and in 1907, a letter was published in a Logan, Utah newspaper, claiming two men witnessed the monster attacking their camp and killing one of their horses. A four-year-old boy reported seeing it in 1937, a boy scout leader in 1946 and a business owner in 2002, who said the creature surfaced beside his boat. It had dark green, slimy skin and red eyes.

The myth of the Bear Lake monster spurred local residents to use it as part of its culture. A tourist boat that was shaped like the lake monster gave 45 minute cruises of the lake with stories of folklore. During the local Raspberry Days parade, a float that is filled with local children is called “The Real Bear Lake Monsters”.

In an episode of Animal Planet’s “Lost Tapes,” the creature is depicted as crocodile-like or even a mosasaur. Also in the episode, a legend was told of Pecos Bill, who fought and defeated the monster and another of a group of girls staying in a tent who were attacked.

In 2012, SyFy channel’s Haunted Highway featured in season one, episode one, the “Bear Lake Beast,” where investigators found a cow bone in a cave submerged under the lake.

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