Ogopogo

Historical Image of the Basilosaurus
Historical Image of the Basilosaurus

Date of Discovery

In 1872, the first detailed account of Ogopogo from a white settler came from Susan Allison. As the first non-native person to live in the region closest to Lake Okanagan, she confirmed her sighting with the native people of the area, who told her about N’ha-a-itk–the original name of Ogopogo. It’s clear from her experience that the indigenous people of the area were clearly aware of this lake monster well before it became a part of the written lore of the region.

Name

The Ogopogo, or Oggy is often referenced to by its original name which is N’ha-a-itk, and Naitaka which it received from the indigenous population. N’ha-a-itk in Séliš (the anglicized version, Salish) which translates to the “spirit of the lake; snake of the water; or water demon.”

Physical Description

Lake Okanagan in 1897
Lake Okanagan in 1897

Ogopogo is most commonly described as being a serpent that is between forty and fifty feet long, and Karl Shuker, a British cryptozoologist that has categorized it as a many-humped variety of lake monster. It has often been suggested that the Ogopogo is actually the same kind of primitive serpentine whale as a Basilosaurus. Physical evidence for this lake monster has been limited to unclear photographs, which cause these sightings to be doubted, giving way to explanations that they’re really misidentified otters swimming in formation, or floating logs.

Origin

Originating from the indigenous people in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada–the Ogopogo lives in Okanagan Lake. It is sighted most frequently around Rattlesnake Island, where it is said he lives in a naturally occurring cave underneath the island. Lake Okanagan is the largest of five inter-connected freshwater fjord lakes in the Okanagan Valley, and it is named after the indigenous tribe that first inhabited the area. The lake was created by melting glaciers when they flooded the valley over ten thousand years ago, and it stretches approximately seventy-nine miles. With a maximum depth of 762 feet and an average depth of 249 feet, the Okanagan Lake has frozen over during only eight winters in the last 110 years.

Indigenous Petroglyph of the Ogopogo
Naitaka Petroglyph

Mythology and Lore

Ogopogo is more closely intertwined with the area’s native folklore than any other lake monster known to exist. The Secwepemc and Syilx tribes called the lake monster Naitaka and N’ha-a-itk, and they regarded the creature as an evil supernatural entity with enormous power and malicious intentions. Within the folklore of these tribes, it was said that Naitaka demanded a live sacrifice in order to allow safe passage across the lake, so for hundreds of years, the people of these tribes would sacrifice small animals before entering the water.

In some of the oral traditions that are passed down, there is a visiting chief by the name of Timbasket, who rejected the idea of sacrificing an animal for safe passage–he rejected the very idea that Naitaka even existed. In response to this insult, Naitaka, “whipped up the surface of the lake with his long tail,” which caused the canoe to capsize and its occupants to be sucked down to the bottom of the lake. There are many stories in which Naitaka has been described to have used its tail to create a fierce storm in the water and drown its victims.

Within local folklore, Sir John Lambton was claimed to have killed a “wyrm,” from the lake, which resulted in all of his descendants to be cursed by a witch that would not allow any Lambton to die in bed. In 1855, John MacDougal, a settler claimed that his horses were pulled down into the water and his canoe would have followed if he hadn’t cut the line just in time.

Modern Day Sightings

In 1968, Art Folden noticed something moving in the lake while driving on Highway 97–he pulled off of the road and filmed footage that he claimed was the lake monster in a large wake that was moving across the water. He estimated that Ogopogo was around 300 yards off the shore of the lake and computer analysis of the footage concluded that it was a solid, three-dimensional object. Folden said he noticed something large and lifelike in the distance of the calm water which caused him to pull his home movie camera to capture the object.

Just off the beach at Kelowna, in 1980 a tourist by the name of Larry Thal from Vancouver shot some 8mm film that lasted for approximately ten seconds, while he and around 50 other tourists watched what they claimed was a forty-five minute long Ogopogo sighting. Many skeptics believe that it was a misidentified sighting of swimming otters. In 1989 John Kirk believed he saw an animal that measured between 35 and 40 feet in length, black in color, had a lashing tail, and five sleek humps. In Kirk’s opinion, the creature looked to be moving at approximately twenty-five miles per hour.

July 24, 1992 a video appeared of something that was swimming just beneath the surface of the water–the person who filmed it, DeMara, also made two subsequent videotapes that skeptics have debunked to having just been formations of otters. Much of what followed for documented sightings in 2005 were supposedly debunked was also explained away as fallen trees or yet even more often otters. John Kirk, along with Benjamin Radford, and Joe Nickell conducted an investigation in 2005 for National Geographic Channel’s Is It Real? In this investigation, they used boats to calculate the actual distances that this creature was being sighted from, but found that it was much closer than originally believed. This result gave them the conclusion that

Since technology has improved, more videos have surfaced from cell phone video captures, but this also leaves room for more mistaken sightings being more widespread, due to the availability of the technology.

Speculations About the Sightings

Author and renowned skeptic, Benjamin Radford, believes that most sightings can be explained away as misidentifications of waterfowl, otters, or beavers. He stated that the indigenous people of the land were never talking about a real monster when referencing Ogopogo, but more of a water spirit that were only myths and legends to teach people to be wary of the open water.

Modern Pop-Culture References

In Arlene Gaal’s book, Ogopogo: The True Story of the Okanagan Lake Million Dollar Monster, she tells of a Vancouver reporter by the name of Ronald Kenvyn who composed a song that included the following stanza.

His mother was an earwig,
His father was a whale;
A little bit of head
And hardly any tail—
And Ogopogo was his name.

Ronald Kenvyn
https://youtu.be/5qnzkcC_6o4

Books & Literature



Is there anything we missed about the Ogopogo? Let us know in the comments section below!

Old Tacoma City Hall

Date of Establishment

Finished in late April of 1893 Tacoma’s Old City Hall building was the seat for the city’s government until 1957. Now Placed on the National Registry of Historic Places the build was saved from demolition in 1974. The building originally housed a jail in its basement, however, after the 1959 renovations this space was modernized. Today the owners continue to fix it up while looking for more business and apartments to be leased.

Name & Location

The town of Tacoma, Washington is an urban port city on Washington’s Puget Sound, about 32 miles from Seattle. It adopted its name from the Mount Rainier, originally called Takhoma or Tahoma, but is locally known as the “City of Destiny”. In 1940 the city gained a new nickname of “Galloping Gertie” after the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The town itself was founded in 1864 when a Civil War veteran built his cabinet; which served as the first post office in later years.

blank

Tacoma’s Old City Hall is located in downtown Tacoma, Washington on in the heart of the business district. Designed by E. A Hatherton from San Francisco, the building proudly stood stately and ornate as the apple of civic pride for Tacoma residents. Today the Stratford Company actively owns and leases the spaces, while trying to maintain its historical look.

Physical Description

The building showcases Italian Renaissance-style architecture as it stands five-story high in the middle of downtown Tacoma. It also features a beautiful ten-story clock tower peering down with four massive bells inside. Inside the main building, it is described as “a unique blend of classic architectural details”. With 16-ft heigh ceilings, sweeping archways, and tall windows this building created a distinctive office environment.

Origin

Like most old buildings the true amount of spirits or manifestations to happen is unknown. Some believe the spirits are people who were wronged in the “political game” coming back for vengeance. While others may believe these entities are lonely, missing interaction, or are engaging in pranking for chuckles. Main believes no matter who these spirits are, they want to draw attention and help to their crumbling home, so they may live on with it.

One entity or spirit that stands out is that of Mr. Gus, he is known for talking to the living for attention. He’s reported to roam the 1st floor where the old Bar area would be. He engages new employees with tricks and disappears when they begin talking about him to others. The origin of the “bell” entity is unknown, mangers have slept in the tower overnight looking for practical jokers only to leave convinced its due to an entity. However, some believe it is the spirit of a young girl, who’s father donated them after her death. The claims from security guards have never been tracked to a specific spirit, nor the basic creepy residual energy.

Mythology and Lore

The Old City Hall is not unlike every old building, it has its share of haunting tales and urban legends. The bell tower is known to ring late-night or early-morning. Since the 70s police have responded to numerous disturbances within the building or bell tower. These include lights flashing, disturbing noises, voices and coughing, shadow figures/apparitions, fire and security alarms being triggered, and so forth. Upon investing the ground, however, the police never find signs of forced entry, tampering, or trespassing. Witnesses have even claimed to see objects flying across the room toward them. Security guards are often the targets of these “spirit’s” pranks, but now and then visitors experience the haunting as well., and even speaking to them.

Most reports from the Old City Hall suggest that “Gus” moves the building’s elevator up and down, and unlocks the door for visitors. Along with any electrical item you can think of being a target for Hall’s spirits. There are too many personal experiences to cover and match up over this building’s history. Up until now, most paranormal teams have been yet to investigate Tacoma’s, City Hall. The residence or businesses still leasing the building continue to report active from time to time, but little is published on the matter.

Tacoma as a troubled history that has 1000s of the reason a ghost may haunt this majestic and creepy old building. From battling Indians to settle the area, railroad misfortune, fires, flooding; this town and its residents have seen it all. As the Historic Society works to rebuild and restore this building, hopefully, the tails from the past will follow. Therefore, giving the spirits that roam here a story to share with the world as their own.

Modern Pop-Culture References
Books & Literature
Movies
  • Three Fugitives (1989) [Filmed on site]
Index
  • Washington Haunted Houses
  • Kiro 7
  • Haunted House.com
  • Northwest Military.com



Is there anything we missed about Old Tacoma City Hall? Let us know in the comments section below!

Old Town Pizza – Portland Oregon

Categories
Haunted Places

Date of Establishment & Haunting

Old Town pizza resides where the lobby was in the original Merchant Hotel which was built in 1880 by wealthy lumber barons. The haunting began between the late 1800s and early 1900s, but the exact date of the original sighting is unknown.

Name & Location

Old Town Pizza, Merchant Hotel. The building is located in Portland, Oregon’s Old Town District also known as Chinatown in the Northwest part of the city.

Physical Description

An ornate stone building is one of Portland most beautiful pieces of architecture. The Merchant Hotel sits on the corner of NW 3rd and Davis St in Portland, Oregon and takes up half of the city block. The four story building has been wonderfully maintained and the spooky nature of it’s past is evident as soon as you approach.

Haunted Merchant Hotel Portland Oregon

Origin

The Merchant Hotel was built in the late 1800s (1880) by Brothers Louis, Adolph, and Theodore Nicolai and it was originally a luxury hotel in what is now known as Portland’s Old Town district and Chinatown. The building is built atop Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels which connected businesses to the docks to move goods. Later the tunnels were allegedly used to shanghai sailors thus the mysterious name.

blank

Mythology and Lore

Nina (pronounced “Nigh-na”) is the most notorious ghost and has been frequently sighted at the Old Town Pizza restaurant. Nina was forced into prostitution and worked at the upscale hotel. When she had the chance to escape the life she was forced into with support from local missionaries she took it. However, she never made it out of the hotel. She was found dead at the bottom of an elevator shaft not too long after planning her escape.

She reportedly will tap employees on the shoulder when they are in the basement. She has been seen wearing a white or black dress and will observe patrons eating.

Owner Adam Milne said an employee once saw a woman in a white dress go downstairs during closing time. When he went down to tell her they were closed, no one was there – Portland Eater Oct 27, 2016

Modern Pop-Culture References

Books

Puzzle Box Horror’s “Atlas of Lore” July 2020 article Slice

Index

  1. https://pdx.eater.com/2016/10/27/13440764/haunted-portland-restaurants-and-bars-oregon
  2. Portland Historic Landmarks Commission (July 2014), Historic Landmarks — Portland, Oregon (XLS), retrieved February 1, 2015.
  3. Portland Bureau of Planning (April 4, 2008). “National Historic Landmark Nomination (Revised Documentation): Skidmore/Old Town Historic District” (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  4. “Merchants Hotel”. Historic Resource Inventory, City of Portland. Oregon Historic Sites Database. Retrieved January 26, 2015. “Old Hotel Remodeled For New Role” (December 7, 1968). The Oregonian, Section 1, p. 15.

Have more information or a story of the haunting, post it in the comments below.

Orphan’s Story

Categories
Horror Books

 Date of Discovery

This manuscript was originally written between 1608 and 1615 by Martín de León y Cárdenas, a Spanish Augustinian traveler. Throughout history, multiple people have tried to have the manuscript printed but ultimately did not have success until recently.

Name

Orphan’s Story or Historia del Huérfano

Physical Description

The first draft was a 328-page manuscript slightly yellowed, slightly worn and aged, and missing a few pages. It is hand-written in a decorative style reflective of the Golden or Imperial age.  The new age print takes on a more modern bound look, featuring artwork from the original manuscript on the front, yet a rather plain book front past that.

Origin

The original manuscript was dated back to the Golden Age of Spain, around the 1600s

Mythology & Lore

This story was about a Granada orphan who traveled to the Spanish empire in the Americas to seek his fortune. Along the way, the protagonist spends time in the high society of imperial Peru, the slave-filled mines of Bolivia, as well as witnessing Sir Francis Drake’s assault on Puerto Rico in 1595.

It was first set to appear in 1621 under the pen name of Andrés de León but never made it to the press due to the presidential atmosphere at the time in Sicily. The manuscript then sat in the Hispanic Society of America until 1965 when a Spanish academic, Belinda Palacios, rediscovered it. Palacios learned many attempts to publish The Orphan’s Story had happened, giving rise to rumors that malevolent energy lurked among the almost 400 pages causing the people working on it to die. In an interview with The Guardian, Ms. Palacios commented on the reported deaths “One from a strange disease, one in a car accident and another of something else.” Palacios also heard from other Professors she was working with to publish the book, one specialized in colonial letters from the Andean regions and Mexico, who was named Raquel Chang-Rodriguez. Chang-Rodriguez’s letters describe how Antonio Rodriguez Monino and William C. Bryant both died before finishing their editions of the book and is why the manuscript is believed to be cursed or bewitched.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Books & Literature



Is there anything we missed about The Orphan Story? Let us know in the comments section below!

Ozark Howler

Date of Discovery

Ozark Howler sightings date back to the early 1800s in some regions, the earliest legend comes from Daniel Boone’s encounter with this creature. Legends say Boone fired a few shots at the creature, some say he took it home as a trophy but little evidence supports that. The most recent sightings came in 2015 when a local resident claims to have photographed the Howler at Devil’s Den State Park.

Name

The Ozark Howler “Howler” has racked up a list of names such as Howler and the Ozark Black Howler. Some of these creatures’ lesser-known names are the Hoo-Hoo, the Nightshade Bear, and the Devil Cat. This creature is known to live in remote areas in the Ozarks. Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas are the four states that make up the Ozark area and have the most sightings of the Howler.

Physical Description

These creatures are typically a bear sized being, with a thick and stocky build. It’s covered with black shaggy hair, and in some reports has prominent horns near their ears. This “Howler” has glowing red eyes and the cry of a wolf’s howl, elk’s bugle, and the laugh of a hyena. Often some sightings claim this creature is a large ‘’cat-like’’ monster, but the size of a bear. Still have shaggy hair, but the tan color of a mountain lion or puma. This version does not come with horns, however. Also the “cat” version of the Howler as orangey-red glowing eyes, but the growl of a big cat rather than a true howl.

Origin

This creature has origin tales from Arkansas to Missouri and back, all pointing to the 1800s as its true origin date. Many believe this was a hoax to fool the cyrtid community from early American folklore, while others have determined the Howlers real. Some claim this is a lost branch of the mountain lion line mix with and unknown ‘big cat’ breed. This missing link from Howler to a big cat has scientists scrambling to match the species and close this unknown link.  

Mythology and Lore

Some legends state the Howler to be a growling demon stalking its prey across the country or mountainsides. Others report the Howler appearing in the distance just for a look at the passer-byes before disappearing again. The 1800s versions of the Howler telltale of people being attacked and killed; while recent tales to match. Most sightings have become passive walk byes with some strange howling or growling.

Scientists have spent years research breeding populations of big cats in the Ozark area, as well as thermal imagery in hopes of catching a reading of this creature. Many large-scale efforts have been brought to sighting location’s in multiple states, only turning up minor evidence the Howler could have been there. Pawprints and dark hairs are the only traces past blurred out pictures and local tales.  This, however, does not stop locals, researchers, and cryptid hunters from searching out the Howler. Many still comb the area in hopes of seeing this creature.

Adding even more confusion to this creature’s tale in the late 1990s hoax. Convinced this and other legends were a hoax, an Arkansas student made it his mission to prove the cyrtid community wrong. This person flooded websites and blogs with outlandish sighting stories of the Howler, as well as other legends. This made researching and proving the truth of the Howler, to be massively difficult. Scientists have since launched full investigations to get to the bottom of the Howler legend.

Today many still search for the Ozark Howler across the States, others have written this creature off completely. Unfortunately, we will have to make our own choice as to what we believe over this creature’s truth. Hopefully, in a few years, the cyrtid community will be able to say for sure what is truth and what is false information. Thus giving Howler hunters a set origin and behavior to match the creature they so long to capture. This is one creature that real or not, has dug deep into American folklore of the Ozark region. It is doubtful the Howler will ever be free from humans searching it out, but it is a fun way to spend your time traveling the Ozarks.

Modern Pop-Culture References
Books & Literature
Movies
Index

Fandom
Explore Southern History
Unlock the Ozarks



Is there anything we missed about Ozark Howler? Let us know in the comments section below!