When you think of haunted places, you likely think of a house, a cemetery, an old jail, or somewhere abandoned, not a body of water. While you are highly likely to experience the paranormal at those types of places, they’re not the only ones where you can capture evidence of the unknown. Rivers and other waters can be just as active, as dark history swims within them.
Throughout time, water has been associated with deities and (mythological and folkloric) water spirits of various cultures. Some paranormal experts and investigators suggest that water is a strong conductor for spirits to make contact with the living due to the energy it gives off. It’s known in the paranormal field that ghosts/spirits need energy in order to communicate, so is it so crazy that rivers and lakes can be just as haunted as any other location?
Below are various rivers and haunted waters that have creepy stories and urban legends surrounding them. I hope you don’t have a fear of water…
The Sandy River
Located in northern Oregon is the Sandy River, a tributary of the Columbia River and stretches for 56 miles and joins the Columbia River about 14 miles from Portland. Known for being a beautiful place of recreation, it’s also known for its unusually high rate of drownings and people have claimed to feel being pulled underwater by something unseen. Apparitions and unexplainable mists have been spotted floating above and/or rising from the water. One Reddit user (I’ll keep them anonymous) explains her experience with the Sandy River. To sum it up, she states that she and her boyfriend were visiting at 2 or 3 am one night when she saw something misty but human-like walk out of the river and onto the bank. She studied it frighteningly as it didn’t appear to have feet or anything below the knee for that matter. As it drew near, it faded (bottom to top) until it had completely vanished. She also claimed that the river had already claimed a few lives that summer…
Lying outside of the United States is a river called the Khooni Nadi in New Delhi, India. But there are other sinister nicknames that it goes by: The Bermuda Triangle of Delhi and “The Bloody River” and it’s known as one of the most haunted places in India. This river is surrounded by stories and curses, one involving the legend that the river sucks people underwater, for them never to be seen again. You may also hear the sound of people wailing and crying, though no one can ever pinpoint where it comes from. Apparitions appear as well, going in and coming out of the water. People also claim that the river has an unnerving habit of turning a dark red color.
The Wolf River
The Wolf River (called the Blackbird River by the French in the 17th century), located in western Tennessee is a 105-mile long stretch of water that runs into northern Mississippi. It is estimated to be about 12,000 years old and was formed by the Midwestern Glacier melding with soft alluvial soil, as it was titled ‘the land that leaks’ by the Chickasaw that once inhabited the area.
There is a section of the river known for its beauty and the untouched countryside that surrounds. And this section is often referred to as the “Ghost River” as when you reach the signs, evidence of the Wolf river begins to disappear a mile after as you reach a narrow, winding swamp and roaming wildlife. It is here that the phantoms of Civil War soldiers have been spotted, along with mysterious, floating balls of light within the trees.
The dark origins of this Maine River (actually beginning in New Hampshire) started in the 1600s with the chief of the Saco tribe, Squando. He had a newborn infant with this wife but their happiness was shortlived when in 1675, Squando and his family were heading down the Saco River when they came upon two drunken English sailors. They snatched the child from them and threw it in the river under the assumption that all Natives were natural-born swimmers. While the mother was able to save the child from drowning, the infant died not long after. There is another version of this story, whereas instead of the victim being a baby, it was a young woman-the chief’s daughter. And in despair, Squando cursed the river, proclaiming that it would take the lives of three white men every year. With the river being rough, accidents are just bound to happen, but many locals claim that this curse is indeed true as three white people die in the river every year. Maybe this is just a coincidence…or maybe it isn’t…
Previously known as Truk Lagoon, it is located in the central pacific, in the Federated States of Micronesia and is north-east of New Guinea. During World War II, the islands served as the home base for Japan’s Pacific Theater campaign. When American’s attacked in February of 1944, the two-day battle was full of death of bloodshed for people then deemed the lagoon as being the biggest graveyard of ships in the world as more than 50 ships sunk, Japanese aircrafts were destroyed, and more than 400 Japanese soldiers were killed in one ship alone. Today, the bones of the deceased are still being found, along with old vehicles, bombers, military artillery, and ships. Over the years while in search of more remnants from the battle, people have heard ghostly sounds and have spotted ghostly figures within the water.
Murky waters, dangerous animals, and quicksand can make bayous seem pretty scary just as they are. But in the Manchac Swamp in Louisiana, there’s much more to fear. According to locals and lore, one of the ominous beings is the rougarou (A man who transforms into a wolf – similar to the werewolf but a French variation) as it’s said to lurk in the water. A ghost that is said to haunt the area is of Julie White/Julie Brown who was apparently a voodoo priestess that got a kick out of scaring her neighbors. She often said that when she died, she would take them with her. What makes this statement eerie is that her funeral was held the very same day as the New Orleans hurricane of 1915 occurred which wiped out the town. Was she fulfilling her threat?
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Disclaimer: The information above is a combination of prior knowledge and research. No works were plagiarized, only referenced as a source of information. While anyone is welcome to comment, I attempt to make this a positive and friendly community where we can share our experiences. Any derogatory or negative comment(s) will be deleted. As always, reader discretion is advised.