JOHN KEEL NOT AN AUTHORITY ON ANYTHING

November 15, 2017

Another Picture of the Silver Lake Hoax

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:59 pm

In a local thrift shop I found a copy of The White Woman and Her Valley, by Arch Merrill. Merrill was on the staff of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle for many years, and wrote hundreds of articles on New York history and folklore, which he then turned into books. One of the chapters in this collection concerns the so-called Sea Serpent of Silver Lake, to which John devotes a chapter in Strange Creatures from Time and Space (later republished as The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings). For those who mislaid their copies, a hotel keeper in John’s hometown of Perry, sometime in the 1850s, built an inflatable lake monster, which caused some excitement for a while. The “Sea Serpent” is still remembered fondly in Perry. Merrill’s account is rather brief, but he does present another version of what seems to be the only illustration of the hoax, which I posted here. Merrill’s picture is obviously the same, but many details are either lighter or darker, so I’ll post it here for lake monster hoax fans.

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