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  • Writer's pictureSusan Jameson

Lake Erie Bessie | PMF #37

Pure Michigan Facts #37

Welcome back to our Fun Michigan Facts!


Lake Erie Has Its Own Loch Ness Monster!

According to Great Lakes Guide "Bessie has been the subject of superstitious sailors, drunk tourists, and newspaper hoaxes over the centuries. But the legend of the serpentine creature living in Lake Erie actually originated in First Nations culture.

First Nations groups in the Lake Erie region, particularly the Iroquois tribe, would speak of Oniare (“own-yar-eh”), a water spirit that lives in the Great Lakes. The name “Oniare” is the Mohawk word for "snake.”

Oniare is a horned dragon-like snake that breathes both poison and fire (talk about bad breath!). Oniare is said to capsize canoes and devour humans, though the creature will sometimes spare travelers who make great enough offerings."


Lake Erie Monster T Shirt Bay Wear Northern Michigan

Image from Great Lakes Guide


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