Posted Wednesday, March 01, 2023
By Squatchable.com staff
I have come across a fascinating video on YouTube that explores the paranormal mysteries of Indiana. Within its lakes, ponds, rivers, woods, and even cemeteries, there are stories of monsters and unexplained creatures that have terrified the citizens of Indiana, often leaving disturbing evidence that they were there and may return without warning.
The video begins by introducing us to a large Mausoleum in Oxford West Cemetery, located in the small town of Oxford, just west of Lafayette, Indiana. This Mausoleum was built in September 1889, following sightings of an enormous snake that was spotted in the graveyard by at least a dozen witnesses. According to the Logansport Journal, the snake was at least 15 feet long and as wide as a stovepipe. Witnesses claimed it had horns and eyes that glowed, but more terrifying, they found holes all over the cemetery, underneath the graves of loved ones. In a day when caskets were made of wood and easily disintegrated, the beast was eating the bodies of the dead. It was then that this castle of a mausoleum was built to protect the dearly departed from being the lunch of what would be called the ghoul snake of Oxford West Cemetery. The mausoleum is incredibly impressive and looks like it would resist hurricane-force winds or the devious attempts to get in by a monster snake. But is there any proof? You'll find circular bare spots that are probably naturally occurring, but you'll also find holes - a lot of them - and they are all about 15 inches across, the size of an old stovepipe. In some places, the ground is raised in long lines as if something is burrowing. Is it just a large mole, or a large snake still searching for bodies? No one has seen the ghoul snake in a long time since 1889, and the construction of the mausoleum. Burials have also had concrete vaults and locked caskets made of steel, providing ultra-safe places for eternal rest and a strong deterrent against a monster snake with a huge appetite.
Moving on, northeast of Logansport is the town of Rochester in Lake Manitou. The lake covers 775 acres, is three miles long by two miles wide, and is up to 65 feet deep. But the Potawatomi word Manitou has a special meaning; loosely translated, it means Devil's Lake, for they believed it was home to a lake monster. They'd seen a giant serpent-like creature appear in the water, swimming with a large wig behind it. They called the fearsome creature "Miss Shekinovic," but by all accounts, it resembled later reports of the Loch Ness Monster. It killed two other warriors in a single day, leaving them with a perpetual fear of this place. They warned white settlers, but the stories were dismissed as just Indian folklore, but not for long. Men surveying the lake reported seeing a creature over 30 feet long and with the head of a horse. Then John Lindsay, a local blacksmith, spotted what he described as a snake-like creature at least 60 feet long with a head three feet in diameter that looked like a horse. And just like sightings of Bigfoot and other lake monsters today, everyone made fun of him, saying he'd been drinking. But it was not the last sighting by far. Three fishermen spotted the lake monster, and it was reported in the Logansport Telegraph newspaper. They said it had a head like a cow, a body like a snake, and was maybe 60 feet long. The story went nationwide, and fishermen from the East Coast came with large nets to try and capture whatever it was but left empty-handed. Freakishly large fish were caught in the Devil's Lake, some over 200 pounds, but none of them resembled a serpent with a cow or horse's head, and catching them did not stop sightings of the lake Manitou monster. In 1969, Carol Utter and her son were out on the lake when something surfaced. It was larger than her 14-foot fishing boat, and she could not see the entire length of the creature. And many fishermen since then have reported something very similar. Some say the lake has an eerie quality; it's difficult to explain. Local residents have reported a deep booming noise from the lake and wonder if it's the manitou monster. It's been almost 200 years since the first sighting, and yet the mystery has never been solved.
Northwest of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is the town of Churubusco, where a farmer spotted a monster snapping turtle in 1898. The turtle was five feet wide, six feet long, and weighed up to 1500 pounds, and looked like a dinosaur. However, when the farmer told people about the dinosaur in his lake, no one believed him. But in July 1948, two friends, Charlie Wilson and Oro Blue, were out on the same lake and saw the monster with their own eyes. And no one believed them either. But everything changed after Minister Orville Reese and the lake's new owner, Gail Harris, saw the monster turtle, and they told everyone. For starters, no one was telling the minister that he was a liar or had been drinking, but they did tell Gail Harris that if there was a monster, prove it. And that's just what he did. Right off the bat, Gail made an elaborate trap and actually caught the lake monster on day one, but it was way too strong and busted its way out. This ignited an obsession within Gale, and he attached an underwater periscope and light to the boat so he could drive across and look for the monster.
Newspapers and radio programs published the stories from coast to coast, and over 5,000 people came to the tiny town, and the phone rang non-stop. The monster was called the beast of Busco but also Oscar, in honor of Oscar Folk, the man who had first seen the massive turtle in 1898. Curious people came to the lake to help in the search, but Oscar eluded them as well. Gail even brought a female turtle as a lure, but Oscar was not in a romantic mood. An airplane flew overhead to try and spot him, but Oscar was a no-show. Diving equipment was enlisted, and a friend jumped in the water to take a look, but the diving helmet filled with water, and he nearly drowned.
General Electric, having heard the news of the monster turtle, offered a new tactic: high voltage. They sent 2,500 volts into the lake to make Oscar surface and maybe stun him a little. The lake was electrified, and the huge turtle came up to the surface briefly but quickly swam away. In the end, all it did was kill a bunch of fish and frogs. Gail was starting to look pretty silly and was losing face with the people at Churubusco and all the out-of-towners who came to see a monster. In a last desperate move, Gail decided to drain the lake. He rigged his tractor to be a pump and started pumping all the water out of the lake. He used over 2,000 gallons of fuel. In the end, Gail wasn't crazy, and there really was a lake monster. He reduced the size of the lake from seven acres to just one, but Oscar did not show up. While sightings of alligators in Indiana may seem strange, it is important to note that alligators are able to survive in colder climates than previously thought. As the climate continues to change, it is possible that we may see more alligator sightings in unexpected areas.
Overall, Indiana has a rich history of mysterious and unexplained creatures, from the ghoul snake of Oxford West Cemetery to the lake monster of Lake Manitou to the Beast of Busco. While some may dismiss these sightings as mere folklore, there are many credible eyewitness accounts and physical evidence to suggest that there may be more to these stories than meets the eye.
For Bigfoot enthusiasts, witnesses, and researchers, Indiana is a treasure trove of paranormal activity and unexplained phenomena. Whether you are interested in cryptids or simply enjoy a good mystery, Indiana's lakes, ponds, rivers, woods, and cemeteries are sure to have a story or two to tell. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and head to Indiana to uncover the truth behind these mysterious creatures.