With the Summer Solstice just a few days away here at the Ghostvillage.com world headquarters, I can’t help but think about summer days, warm winds, and water. No matter the summer, most of us end up around a lake at some point. We think boats, fishing, or dipping our toe in off of some picturesque dock. But we also think mystery.
So many lakes have some kind of paranormal mystery dwelling from the depths. Whether it’s the most famous Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, the Ogopogo of British Columbia, or some other creature from the deep, there are spirits to these bodies of water.
I went to college at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York. At the time, I remember hearing many legends about Lake Ronkonkoma in Suffolk County. One legend is that the lake is bottomless. That one is pretty easy to dismiss, but there is another story that isn’t as easily set aside.
The story goes that there was a Native American princess named Ronkonkoma who fell in love with an early European woodcutter who lived near the lake. But their love was forbidden. So Ronkonkoma would paddle her canoe to the middle of the lake and float messages to the woodcutter on the other side of the water. One day, the anguish of not being allowed to see her love was too much to take, so she took her own life. When the white settler saw his love’s body, he too took his own life and a curse was born.
Here’s the tricky part: the story goes that each year, Ronkonkoma’s spirit drags a man down in the lake and drowns him. The crazy thing is this: the legend is true! Sort of… Dozens of people have drowned in Lake Ronkonkoma over the last 200 years, and the vast majority of them were men. But statistically, most drowning victims are men anyway. Though a decade will go by with no deaths at the lake, when averaged, it sure can look like one per year.
Should someone drown there this summer, the curse of the lady of the lake will be brought up again and her legendary lease will be renewed for a long time to come.
Maybe she’s there to remind us to swim carefully. Maybe she’s there as a reminder that love should never be forbidden. Or maybe she’s really there… lurking in the wakes of the boats and the shadows of the trees.
Last month I told you about my New England Legends show being nominated for an Emmy Award! I wish I was telling you all about how we won and my ego is so big it won’t fit on the planet anymore. But sadly, the night wasn’t ours. You can read all of the details on my personal blog here. But I will say this: not winning motivated me in a way that winning never could. Our very first episode was nominated for an Emmy! We know we can do better. This summer we aim to prove it by producing another episode for PBS. I can’t wait to show it to you this Fall!
Mayor of Ghostvillage.com