Friday, August 5, 2011

Scary Scary Lake

            So I just learned about another lake monster the other day.  This one is very different from other lake monsters that I have written about.  This one is much more sinister, and, believe it or not, much more mysterious than any other lake monster that I’ve heard about.  The lake in question is called Elizabeth Lake.  This lake is located near Palmdale in LA County.  Some say that this is the oldest lake in the state.  I’m not really a person who studies lake history, so I couldn’t tell you for sure.  This lake has been nicknamed Laguna Del Diablo; and if you look at the history of this lake, it’s easy to see why.
            Elizabeth Lake lies on the San Andreas fault line.  From what I’ve heard, fault lines are scary and interesting places.  There’s an unpredictable nature to them, and they can produce all kinds of odd phenomena.  Could this be the reason that something strange is attributed to the lake?  Perhaps.  Read on and maybe we can figure something out.
            This area, in the 1800s, was inhabited by Spanish settlers.  However, weird things happened in the lake way before the Spanish got there.  Native American legends suggest that a dark force created the lake.  To the Spanish, this dark force translated into the Devil.  A few sightings and the influence from Native American stories became the legend; the monster of Elizabeth Lake.  Tradition states that Satan is indeed the one who created this lake to house one of his favorite pets.  It is also said that the bottom of this lake contains a passage to Hell.  So I suppose the lake serves as some sort of backyard, where the Devil’s pet can get out, get some exercise, and wreak some havoc.
            The monster itself sounds absolutely appalling.  It has bat wings, a giraffe neck, a bulldog face, six legs, it’s about fifty feet long, and of course, it stinks to high heaven.  Apparently, this beast was so fowl and its presence was so greatly felt, that ranchers thought they needed to abandon their land just to escape the monster’s clutches.             
            This horrible creature first really made itself known in the 1830s, and tortured a man named Don Pedro Carillo.  This guy had a ranch built very close to the lake.  One night, not one, not two, but all of his ranch building burned down.  Carillo soon left the place, claiming the disaster was the work of the devil.  Was it really the monster that caused this?  No one saw it actually starting the fire that night; however, the lake was starting to get a pretty bad reputation.
            Later on, in the 1850s, some American settlers who moved in near the lake were terrorized by late night visions, disturbing screams, and other unnatural phenomena.  They too fled from the lake.  It seemed, at this point, that the area was uninhabitable. 
            Another brave soul tried to make the land his home, Don Chico Lopez.  He was lured into a sense of security, as nothing at all happened the first few months after moving in.  Eventually, animals started to go missing.  We’re not talking about an occasional dog running off, we’re talking about giant cows just vanishing.  To make things worse, a giant shadow of a winged entity would cast itself over the house each and every night.  This is when the actual sightings began.  Workers were actually seeing this abomination!  A few of the hands actually took a shot at this thing, and the bullets reportedly bounced right off its hide.  If I were there, I’d definitely quit; apparently, many of the ranch hands felt the same way.  Those animals kept disappearing, the terror was evidently mounting, so Lopez had to give up and sell his property.  Again, the land around the lake was abandoned.
            As if everything wasn’t weird enough, things were about to get decidedly stranger when Miguel Leonis stepped up and purchased the land.  This guy was very tough, so when the monster started picking off his animals, Leonis was certainly not going to turn his tail and run.  Instead, one night he hid and waited for the creature to rear its ugly head.  Of course Leonis shot at it, but when he discovered that this had no effect, he did one of the craziest things I can imagine; he ran right up to it and attacked it with the butt of his gun.  He ended up punching it in the eye; quite an amazing maneuver if this thing was really fifty feet across.  This must have really startled the Elizabeth Lake monster, because after that, it retreated back into the lake.  It turns out that the beast had a much more vicious bark than bite, because the next thing everybody knew, the monster took off, toward Arizona.
            It is here where the Elizabeth Lake monster meets up with another western legend to form one very tall and beastly tale.  It looked like the monster actually made it to Arizona, close to Tombstone to be exact.  In 1890, a large, winged creature appeared in the area.  Some cowboys lured it down and somehow killed it.  There even seemed to be a picture to accompany this wild claim.  A picture allegedly appeared in the Tombstone Epitaph in which a bunch of cowboys are posed with what seems to be a dead pterodactyl.  Some have suggested that the Tombstone pterodactyl and the Elizabeth Lake monster are the same thing.  This could be verified, had not the picture and apparently all copies of the newspaper gone missing; leaving nothing but a couple of crazy Wild West legends.
            So now that you know the history of the Elizabeth Lake monster, let’s try to put some pieces together, shall we?
            As with many lake monsters, this one is very old; Native American legend says so.  Something odd has haunted that lake for a long time.  Could it be the work of the fault line?  I’m sure its presence definitely has something to do with it.  Strange lights, feelings and noises could be associated with the lake for as long as anyone can remember, because of that darned fault line.  Skeptics will probably place all the blame on that lake’s location.  But what of the description of the beast?  It is no simple description; it’s immensely complicated.  With other lake monsters, the animal seems to differ from one sighting to the next.  And, perhaps that’s what happened with the Elizabeth Lake monster; maybe each individual sighting added up to make a very jumbled and disturbing creature.  If we do take it to heart that the chimeric appearance of the beast was actually a true description; what could it possibly be?  In a way, it sounds like some kind of saurpod, with the long neck and such.  But saurpods don’t have six legs, from everything that I know.  Could be an evolutionary deal, but I doubt it.  Perhaps the number of legs is the first of many exaggerations and misidentifications.  Something that fits that monster’s description has to be an exaggeration, right?  There is no way this thing could conceivably be real.  Unless it was, in fact, a true demon.  Really?  I’ve heard of demonic possessions and the occasional sighting of a little demon hiding in someone’s room.  I’ve heard of people being terrorized by demons, plagued by demons, and seduced by demons.  I have absolutely never heard of the Devil swinging by and dropping off a horrible demon off in a lake.  I suppose it could be possible.  The sightings stopped in the 1880s, maybe the Devil was bolder and more invested in terrorizing living people than he is now.  I don’t really know.
            Another theory, and I promise I didn’t make this one up, is that the Elizabeth Lake monster was no kind of living being.  Some say it was an alien spaceship.  No one knew what a spaceship was back then, so it might have been given the characteristics of some kind of living organism.  Underwater UFOs, or USOs, as they are now called, are a pretty common phenomenon these days.  There is all sorts of speculation whirling about that aliens, or whatever inhabits these craft, have set up underwater stations, out of reach of the human eye.  We haven’t been down to the deepest depth of the deepest ocean, so it could be possible.  Was Elizabeth Lake a sort of sea port for flying vessels in the Wild West era?  Some characteristics of this so called monster certainly don’t seem organic; such as the ability to thwart bullets.  Maybe it could be some sort of ship.  Yet I still can’t get over how organic this thing seems.  I imagine a horrible face and head sitting atop a slithering, prowling creature; its muscles undulating beneath its leathery skin.
            The most intriguing part of this story, to me, is the fact that the sighting suddenly stopped.  This creature had seemingly been around for hundreds of years, first making its appearance known through native legends.  It faces one attack, and, at least in California, that’s the last anyone sees or hears of it.  Did Miguel Leonis really fight off a beast from hell?  I’m pretty sure there have been no modern sightings; nothing, not even from a lunatic trying to hold on to some bygone legend.  To me it seems that this was a Wild West legend that died when the west got significantly less wild. 
            And what of the Tombstone event?  Was this really the same horrible creature from the lake?  The real question is what happened to that infamous photograph of the downed monster?  Volumes have been written trying to make sense of this, and I just won’t get into that now.
            What a lot of rambling just to tell you about a simple monster.  It’s a really interesting story, with very strange aspects to it.  Whatever it was, I’m pretty sure it’s gone now.  Maybe it died, maybe it went back to the underworld, and maybe, just maybe, it didn’t exist at all.


  1. Nice presentation about this lake monster. Do you have references for it?

  2. Thanks for reading! I don't have exact references for it. I mostly just collected a bunch of folklore from various sources and added my own flavor to it. Did you have a specific question about this monster?

  3. Lots of questions can be generated from such stories, especially if one is trying to determine the degree of truth. I'm interested in whether these stories have any basis in fact so I need to have references. References are key to proper research. See what I wrote about referencing work here:

  4. I lived in Elizabeth Lake for a while and around the area my entire life and like most who call it home have seen and experienced weird phenomena. Ask anyone living in the high desert nearby about alien activity and they either have similar first hand accounts or know someone who would attest. As a child I was followed by a pink/white/blue orb the size od a basketball and had only ever mentioned it to family. Fifteen years later this same orb was brought up in conversation by my father in law. I let him lead off and indeed he saw the same thing as I only 15 miles east of where I lived.
    Many nights while fishing the lake have been met with eerie sounds or strange weather events. If you are looking for skeptics you dont have to go far. You will hear most that the lake has been dry and people rode bikes on the bed. While that is true, nobody living today has EVER seen the entire bed dry. There always remains two deep wells on opposite ends. Just sayin'.

  5. Great article!

    I was actually at the Lake the other day, not knowing about its story: