Friday 22 May 2015

Lake Pepin creature in the news

Lake Pepin town hopes its own Loch Ness monster draws the curious
By Richard Chin
Is having a monster in the neighborhood good for business? A couple of small towns in the region are hoping so, thanks in part to a Twin Cities author and paranormal researcher. Chad Lewis makes a living writing guidebooks like "The Minnesota Road Guide to Haunted Locations" and "The Minnesota Road Guide to Mysterious Creatures."
In 2013, the Minneapolis man co-wrote a book about the "Van Meter Visitor," a giant half-man, half-animal creature with batlike wings, a glowing horn, three-toed feet and bad body odor that supposedly emerged from an abandoned mine and terrorized the small town of Van Meter, Iowa, for several days in the fall of 1903.
Renewed interest in the bizarre old tale led to Lewis helping Van Meter organize a "Visitor Day's Festival," including a monster hunt walking tour. "It was successful for us," said Van Meter resident Rachel Backstrom, who was on the monster festival planning committee. The town of about 1,000 people drew about 300 people to the second annual event in September, Backstrom said. "We pretty much sold out our T-shirts," she said.
Now Lewis is doing something similar for Lake Pepin, south of the Twin Cities. He and co-author Noah Voss recently published "Pepie: The Lake Monster of the Mississippi River" about a creature supposedly lurking in the waters of Lake Pepin. On Sunday, they're helping Lake City, Minn., put on Pepie Fest, "the world's largest lake monster hunt and festival," according to Lewis. "There's not a lot of lake monster festivals around the world," Lewis admits.
Tales of a sea serpent swimming in Lake Pepin supposedly reach back to native Dakota people and early pioneers and explorers. For example, a "Book of Days Almanac" published by the Minnesota Historical Society reports that a strange creature was seen swimming in the lake on April 28, 1871

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