North Carolina’s Lake Norman Monster
By James Donahue
Where there is a deep
body of water, even on inland lakes, it is not uncommon to find local legends about strange unexplained creatures that live
in the lake. Such is the case for Lake Norman,
located north of Charlotte along State Highway 77.
The manmade lake was
created when the Duke Power Company built the Cowans Ford Dam across the Catawba River in
the early 1960s to generate electricity. Thus the monster myth linked to the lake is contemporary and lacking any history.
This is a large lake, offering up to 32,500 acres of surface when filled to capacity, and a shoreline of 520 miles. The locals
refer to it as the Inland Sea. A state park is located there where camping, fishing and hiking
are among the recreational activities.
It is from the fishermen
and swimmers utilizing the park that many of the stories of a “monster” living in the lake have been generated.
There have been enough stories that a special website, LakeNormanMonster.com, has been created. You can read the stories on
Among the stories was
one told by a Huntersville man named Bobby who said he saw the creature with his own eyes while in a small boat and fishing
with his father. “I had a bass on my fishing line and while I was reeling it in I saw a big creature in the lake with
huge eyes about the size of a basketball and a striped squirmy tail.” He said something pulled on his line and the fish
he was reeling in was suddenly gone, as was the creature. He said his father did not see what he saw, and refused to believe
Jeff Fengoe of Denver said he and his brother were on a dock, preparing to launch their
boat too go fishing, when they saw something flopping in the water. When they looked they saw it was “so large that
we thought that it must be a shark or a dolphin. We were starting to wonder if it was a good idea to go fishing.” Fengoe
said he grabbed a flashlight and directed the light on the water. He said the light revealed a “black and enormous”
Another man from Charlotte said he was camping on the lake with a friend and waded out
in the water in the morning to recover something he saw floating there. “When I got about waist deep I saw two glowing
orbs just below the water, kind of glowing like cat eyes. I knew this was more than something like a fish in the lake.”
Other people have reported
seeing a giant catfish, as big as a car and with a mouth large enough to swallow a human, in the lake. Others say they believe
the creature may be an alligator. The rumor is that whatever this creature is, is appears to have been mutated through contact
with a nearby nuclear power plant.
The stories caused Asheville
author Joshua P. Warren and a team of paranormal investigators called LEMUR to spend a day on the lake in April, 2003. They
loaded a pontoon boat with video and digital cameras and spent the time floating around, enjoying the day. Nothing unusual
Whatever they are seeing, the locals refer to the creature as “Normie.”
Some believe that it swam up the river from the ocean and got trapped there before the lake was formed in the 1960s.