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MICHIGAN MONSTERS: Creatures in Great Lakes cause big scares over the decades

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - This week's "Michigan Monsters" story could keep you away from the beach this summer.

We're continuing our special series of reports, taking a look at the mythical creatures that could be lurking around Michigan.

You've heard about the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland.

But there are less famous legends of large dinosaur or snake-like creatures in the Great Lakes.

Stories of monsters in the lakes date back thousands of years.

Native Americans had their own tales of aquatic beasts with supernatural powers.

When Europeans arrived they wrote about looking out for monsters in the lake that could put them in danger.

Jump to the late 1800s when newspapers in Chicago caused quite a scare, claiming a 50 foot long serpent was spotted swimming in Lake Michigan.

Over the years, most of the reports about lake monsters have proved to be hoaxes.

However, sightings in Lake Erie in the early 1990s remain a mystery.

Now that we're in the digital age, questionable videos and pictures keep popping up, and we're no closer solving this mystery.

Newschannel 3 talked to people in South Haven to see what they think about monsters in the lake.

"I think it's definitely a possibility, the lake is so big and most of the bodies of water are unexplored still. So you never really know what's out there. You've seen things that are sea monsters, but they're just things we're not familiar with," said Anna Gibes.

"Probably not. It's probably not the most realistic of things," said Natalie Wiseman.

But what if a lake monster swam up on shore, finally giving us proof?

"I probably wouldn't be swimming in the lake anymore. It would be kind of cool though that something so strange is so close by," Gibes said.

"I would be terrified that I would be killed in the lake by this weird snake creature," Wiseman said.

Next week, "Michigan Monsters" will get back on dryland.

Just a hint: It's really a story to howl about.

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