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Have You Ever Heard of the Lake George Monster?

Beneath this serene water lies a mythical beast.

Colin Archer, Getty Images.
Colin Archer, Getty Images.

A beast by the name of… Georgie? I think Harry Watrous and Colonel Mann, the creators of the Lake George Monster, had it all wrong. How can you be intimidated by a monster when it has a name this cute and looks this goofy?

Georgie entered the lives of Lake Georgians the product of an elaborate prank in 1904. Apparently, Watrous and Mann were quite the fishermen back in the day (or they led one another to believe they were.) A few weeks before Georgie’s creation, Mann played a trick on Watrous in which he crafted (and mounted) a large wooden fish and played it off as his unbelievable catch of the day. Watrous decided to get back at Mann in a big way — and by ‘big,’ we mean 10 feet long-big.

Watrous took Mann’s wooden fish and raised him a 10-foot-long sea monster made of log. These guys did not mess around when it came to jokes — fish jokes, to be precise. Mann’s reaction turned out to be exactly what Watrous had hoped for: Sheer terror. (Apparently this thing was pretty horrifying from afar.) So, they decided to clown the whole village with Georgie — and inadvertently, New York State as a whole.

After the log monster caused a stir throughout the entire state, the pair abandoned the gag and Georgie himself.  It wasn’t until 1920 that Georgie’s body was found in the lake. For 40-something years after, Georgie’s home was in a Lake George resident’s garage. Then Georgie was sold to appear at public events like parades. People even made little Georgie lookalikes to honor the village.

It turns out Georgie had quite the life, and we won’t soon forget him.

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