Monsters of lake or sea are so persistent in the folklore
of many people and countries as to be almost inevitable in
any coastal or lake area one might name. However, a fullblown monster in the middle of a semi-desert region seems
out of place. Unusual as it may be, the monster of Bear Lake
has a considerable history underlined by accounts of reliable witnesses—some accounts serious, others clearly fictitious accounts in the American frontier tall tale tradition.
These stories certainly could be admitted to the widening
collection of the modern world's most persistent monsters.
They harken back to old-world legends which people brought
with them, such as the traditions about the Loch Ness
There are numerous accounts of Bear Lake Monster
sightings, each with its particular details. Several variants
Climb a tree, quick, here comes
the Bear Lake Monster;
With Joseph C. Rich astride,
acting as sponsor.
Hide in the branches well,
and all stop breathing;
Finding no boys to eat,
soon they'll be leaving.