Guest Author - Phyllis Doyle Burns
Washington state in the Pacific Northwest has an abundance of beautiful lakes that draw people year round to their waters to fish, swim, go boating or just sitting and gazing at all the beauty of nature. The Pacific Northwest has some lakes that are unsurpassed for their serene loveliness. This is also an area that has a plethora of spirits and "monsters" hanging out in the lakes and the tales from old continue to thrive with sightings of ghostly apparitions, spirits and hauntings.
Some of these lakes that have tales of hauntings linked to them are Lake Chelan, Moses Lake, Quinault Lake, Spirit Lake, Lake Steilacoom and Lake Washington.
Lake Chelan is just one of the lakes in the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, where mountainous jagged peaks stand looking out over deep valleys and cascading waterfalls. The Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas are beautiful to behold and difficult to leave after a vacation. There is one permanent resident at the lake however. Ogopogo! This is a monster who at one time devoured all the grazing animals on was once flat prairie land. When the Indians who lived there and depended on the animals for their substance, they appealed to Great Spirit to help them. Great Spirit threw down a large stone to kill the monster and the stone, instead of killing he monster, made a huge crater with mountains surrounding it. The monster was buried in one of the canyons that were created by the stone and the canyon eventually filled up with water, forming Lake Chelan. However, the monster did not die. Occasionally it moves it's great tail, causing huge wave disturbances on the lake. The "monster" is referred to as a serpent or sometimes a dinosaur.
During the day Moses Lake is just another beautiful lake to spend time by, in or on. You would not, however, want to be there alone at night - unless you are a serious ghost hunter and prepared to hold your own against several different spirits that haunt the area!
One of those spirits is the ghost of a woman that has some sort of sign on her back, some say an image of the devil it is, and she haunts the wilderness around the lake.
Another ghost is that of a man brandishing a sword as he looks down upon the waters from a high point on Lewis Horn. While he is focusing on his sword skills, another spirit, that of a woman who seems to be bound is sometimes spotted looking out over a valley at midnight. There is another woman often spotted who has the head of a goblin.
A huge serpent or monster in Lake Quinalt on the Olympic Peninsula once fought Kwatee the Changer, a trickster god of the Northwest Indian tribes and still lives in the deep waters.
Spirit Lake was the favorite haunting place of many evil spirits. In days of old, the Northwest Indians refused to hunt in that area due to the threat of bad luck and the evil that lingers there.
In Lake Washington there is said to be huge, monstrous octopi that live in the deep and are quite timid actually, but very frightening to look upon when spotted by a diver unexpectedly. Some of the largest octopi in the world are in the northwest waters of the Pacific Ocean. Apparently, when the waters receded ages ago, a few of the octopi were trapped in waters that remained in the deep canyons here. The octopi gradually adapted to the waters that eventually became a fresh water lake.
Lake Steilacoom has the ancient monster known as Whe-atchee. Whe-atchee is the Indian name for Lake Steilacoom and named after the female demon who lives in it's depths. No Indian ever bathes in that lake for fear of Whe-atchee. When she shows herself it is by raising her head and right arm out of the water, elevating the little finger and thumb and closing the middle fingers and saying," Here is my Whe-atchee." Not a sight anyone wants to see when they desire to enter the cool waters. It is known as an evil place by the Indians.
When I was growing up in Washington, I loved the lakes and loved to swim in them. At that time, my siblings and I were not concerned about ghosts of the lakes - we just wanted to swim, anytime, anywhere we could. We lived about two miles from Wapato Lake in Tacoma. All summer long, at least once a week, we would trek over to the lake and swim in the murky, muddy waters of Wapato. The smell was atrocious and would cling to us until we got home and took a bath. You could almost see the odor surrounding us, it was that bad. When walking into the lake we could not see the bottom, the water was so murky, but we could feel with our feet that the bottom was slimy silt and we would sink in about three or four inches. It was pretty icky feeling, but once we were deep enough to swim it was ok.
To even think of going into those waters now makes me cringe! Whatever possessed us to do that? Well, since it was the only lake close enough for us to walk to and since we were kids who loved to swim, we put up with it. Many other kids and even adults were always there swimming out to the dock in those mysterious waters. We were not the only daredevils - or fools! No one ever talked about any spirits or hauntings at Wapato, but, who knows what lurked deep in those muddy waters, or what lived under that silt below our feet? I do not even want to think about it!
For your enjoyment and conveinence: