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Why Prep?
Utah Lore
Utah's Flag
1850 - 2023
Lake Monsters / Legends / Myths
and the Paranormal of Utah
Utah's Flag

Leon's Planet is pleased to present a page about Utah Lore.
Note:  Leon's Planet is an educational website about the multiverse, but it is based in Utah.
So, Leon decided to do a several pages dedicated to his home base--Utah.
See also:  Utah (general information) and Utah's Flowers pages.
Please note that this is a work in progress.

Table of Contents

Lore Other Details
Cryptids of Utah Lake Monsters
Indigenous People Lore Creation Myths
Mormon Lore Miracles and Prophecies (that came true)
Railroad Lore Death and Success
Mining Lore Maybe coming soon.
Paranormal Lore Ghosts, Ghost Towns, Hauntings, etc.
Coming in October 2023.
Maybe more This is a work in progress.

That is a picture by Leon; background and foreground is photo that I took at North Shore of the Great Salt Lake (at the Spiral Jetty) at sunset (2021).
I put a seahorse head on a snake's body and inserted it into the picture.

Lake Monsters of Utah

Creature Description Story
Salt Lake
"Sea Monster"


"North Shore Monster"

Body of a crocodile with the neck and head of a horse. The Deseret News reported:  "In the early summer of 1877, J.H. McNeil of Kelton, Box Elder County, and several other employees of the Barnes and Co. Salt Works company on the lake's north shore reported seeing a huge creature with a crocodile-like body and the head of a horse in the waters of the Great Salt Lake."

Arave, Lynn.  "Great tales surrounding the Great Salt Lake; Its briny bowels are filled with monster myths."  Deseret News.  01 August, 1999.

Recently, the skeleton of a mosasaur was found in Utah!
Fox News Article on the topic.
That (above) is a screen shot from Utah State University (USU)'s website.
Just click on it to go there.
As I mentioned on my Utah Page, Utah has been under the ocean at least three times in history.
The fact that paleontologists have found a mosasaur skeleton in Utah
tells me that there once were mosasaurs in Utah's seas.
What if one (or more) survived until the time of the 1877 when the men of the Barnes & Co. Salt Works
saw that creature in the Great Salt Lake (a remnant of that great inland sea that once covered Utah?
While no fish can survive for long in the Salt Lake, many fish enter the Great Salt Lake from the Bear River
 on the North-eastern part of the lake.  And, of course, that's where they saw the creature.  Also, it could have eaten any antelope or bison that came too close to shore.

Compare the Inkanyamba of South Africa with the description given by McNeil and his men.
Click on the picture above to see a video of live footage of an Inkanyamba.

That (above) is a portion of an old map of Iceland, showing the sea monsters.  Look at the one in the center.
Click on the image to see the full, original map.

Here's another source for the Great Salt Lake Monster:  Syracuse Connection.
Another witness said that it was about 75 feet long and looked like an alligator.

Post Script:  It is highly (and I mean HIGHLY) unlikely that the Salt Lake monster is still in existence.
While the 1700sq.mile, 33 ft-deep lake can support such a creature (in my opinion) by eating known beasts that venture to close to the shore and the copious amount of fish that come into the lake at Willard Bay, via Bear River;  there haven't been any more sightings that we know of since that 1877 sighting.  All I'm saying is that it IS possible that a group of mosasaurs got trapped in the Great Salt Lake when the land rose or the sea subsided (or both).  Since 1877 there have been other sightings of things that look like whales or porpoises in the lake.  What could they be?


This is a screenshot from Google Earth.
I have added the arrows and labels.

About the map:

Kelton, Utah is now a ghost town.  But, that is where the men lived who saw the North-Shore Monster.

Locomotive Springs is where my son and I experienced a haunting experience (recounted on my Utah page).

Then, in the Great Salt Lake, there is a humungous beast!  Here is a close-up of the beast.

Go to Google Earth and see for yourself!


Bear Lake
1)  Your first witnesses are the indigenous peoples.  They say there is a monster in the lake, and as evidence for this they tell the story of some of their men (all of whom were in a boat crossing the lake) died when the boat was turned over by huge beast.  Now, they refuse to swim or boat in the lake.  Nor, will they sleep near the shore at night.  And, I have to say that most of the sightings since then have been at dusk or night time from the shore.  Even the Salt Lake "North Shore Monster" was seen at dusk, and came out of the water at the men.

2)  I read somewhere that some boys were playing by the lake at night and heard something huge thrashing about in the water.

3)  All sightings say that the monster is long and serpentine ranging from 40 to 90 feet in length.

1)  The first mention of the monster in literature was by a journalist, Joseph Rich, in 1868.  His article, claiming many sightings of the monster, made his career.  And, many years later he recanted, saying that it was all a "first-class lie".

2)  Other skeptics say that sightings (the most recent being in 2002) were made up to increase tourism to the lake.  (And, it is true that the locals are "milking" the legends of the monster for all they can).

You most likely don't have anything to worry about during the daytime, and you certainly will NEVER see it during the daytime;  However, at dusk and nighttime, I'd stay away from the shore.

Sources for info on Bear Lake Monster:

[Deseret News]  [Wikipedia]  [NBC News]

Moon Lake
Even though the lake is on the Ute Indian reservation, the Utes won't go near it.  They say that once they saw a herd of wild horses swimming across the lake, and they all suddenly disappeared below the surface, never to resurface again. 1964 Experience.
A group of boy scouts were boating on the lake when some huge animal bumped into the boat nearly capsizing it.  The boys immediately thereafter rowed ashore and never went out there again.
Source for info on Moon Lake Monster:

[USU archive]

Water Babies Apparently all the tribes in Utah, except the Navajo, have stories of water babies, which inhabit ponds (of rivers) and fresh-water lakes.  They are not babies at all, but are called thus because of the sounds they make.  At night they make the sounds of crying babies to lure their victims into the water, at which time they drag the victim down and devour the victim.  Of those who've actually seen them, they say that they look like pigmy mermaids. Sources:  various places on the web.

Note:  These stories are probably told to the children to keep them away from water bodies when unattended by adults, because there is always a possibility of falling in and drowning.

Skinwalkers The Navajo have stories of what they call "skinwalkers", who are humans who've made deals with evil spirits to be able to change form.  Basically, they can change into any animal that they want to. Source:  A Navajo man that I met one day told me.  He said that the Navajo don't like to talk about the skinwalkers, but he was far away from the Navajo reservation at the time and forewent the the taboo of talking about them.

Skeptics say it was probably a bison that they saw (instead of a sea monster).
But, I don't see how a buffalo could be mistaken for an alligator, do you?


Indigenous Lore of Utah

Note:  There are many versions and each band of each tribe may have a slightly different version.

Tribe Creation Story
Shoshone Coyote was a deity.  He had human form, but his name was Coyote.
Coyote followed a female home (in one version).  In another he was coaxed to go home with the girl having been promised water to drink.  There were no humans on Earth, only the girl and her mother (they were humanoid, but not human).  Coyote lived with the two women for some time, having many babies that were kept in a large jug.  Then the women instructed Coyote to take the babies out to a specified place and "drop them off".  Coyote was warned not to open the jug, except a little bit when they asked for water.  When they asked for water, Coyote opened the jug a little to much and they escaped, and they became all the tribes of humans.

[Source1]  [Source2]  [Read all the versions here.]

Paiutes Tabuts (The Wise Wolf) created humans by carving sticks, and storing them in a bag.  His plan was to evenly distribute them throughout the world, so that they could live in peace.
But, Shinangwav (Coyote and brother to Wise Wolf),  opened the bag and all the people fell out at once, in one place; except a few people left in the bag.  Wise Wolf put them in the best place.  They became the Paiute.  This story explains why people are fighting all the time all over the world--over space to live.


Goshutes Sinav (meaning unknown; either Wolf or Coyote) saw two women (who were goddesses; not human women for sure), who lived on an island in the Great Salt Lake. (NOTE:  this is probably metaphorical or a misunderstanding of oral tradition.  The island is probably representing a planet, and the Great Salt Lake is probably representing the vast cosmic sea of space.)

The two women had many babies and instructed Sinav to distribute these humans throughout the Earth (probably throughout the galaxy).  The last to be "dropped off" were the Goshute.


Utes Sinawav (meaning unclear;  Wolf?) and Coyote were the first two in existence.
Sinawav (Wolf-Creator?) gave Coyote a bag of sticks and told him to take the bag to the sacred grounds (the High places of Utah).  Wolf instructed Coyote not to open that bag until he got to the sacred grounds.

But, of course, Coyote was curious.  He heard noises inside the bag, and the bag moved by whatever was inside.  Finally, on his way to the sacred grounds, curiosity got the better of Coyote and he decided that he would just take a peek.  When he opened the bag, all these people came rushing out.  Coyote got scared.  Finally, he mustered up the courage to close the bag.  There were still some people in there.  He took them to the sacred grounds and let them out.  Those became the Ute people.


Another belief of the Utes is that their pre-human ancestors were bears.   [Source]

Navajo Note:  There are different versions among the different tribes of the Southwest.  This is one of those.

The first people came up through three worlds and settled in the fourth world. They had been driven from each successive world because they had quarreled with one another and committed lascivious crimes. 

In previous worlds they found no other people like themselves, but in the fourth world they found the Kisani or Pueblo people. 

The surface of the fourth world was mixed black and white, and the sky was mostly blue and black. There were no no sun, no moon, no stars, but there were four great snow-covered peaks on the horizon in each of the cardinal directions. 

Late in the autumn they heard in the east the distant sound of a great voice calling. They listened and waited, and soon heard the voice nearer and louder than before. Once more they listened and heard it louder still, very near. 

A moment later four mysterious beings appeared. These were White Body, god of this world; Blue Body, the sprinkler; Yellow Body; and Black Body, the god of fire [Probably had an asbestos suit on. Ha, ha, ha]. Using signs but without speaking, the gods tried to instruct the people, but they were not understood. 
[This is very interesting, because there is one version of the Chinese creation myth, which says that Pangu created humans with the help of a white tiger, a blueish dragon, yellowish phoenix, and a black tortoise.]

When the gods had gone, the people discussed their mysterious visit and tried without success to figure out the signs. The gods appeared on four days in succession and attempted to communicate through signs, but their efforts came to nothing. 

On the fourth day when the other gods departed, Black Body remained behind and spoke to the people in their own language: "You do not seem to understand our signs, so I must tell you what they mean. We want to make people who look more like us. You have bodies like ours, but you have the teeth, the feet and the claws of beasts and insects. The new humans will have hands and feet like ours. Also, you are unclean; you smell bad. We will come back in twelve days. Be clean when we return." 

On the morning of the twelfth day the people washed themselves well. Then the women dried their skin with yellow cornmeal, the men with white cornmeal. Soon they heard the distant call, shouted four times, of the approaching gods. 

When the gods appeared, Blue Body and Black Body each carried a sacred buckskin. White Body carried two ears of corn, one yellow, one white, each covered completely with grains. The gods laid one buckskin on the ground with the head to the west, and on this they placed the two ears of corn with their tips to the east. Under the white ear they put the feather of a white eagle; under the yellow the feather of a yellow eagle. 

Then they told the people to stand back and allow the wind to enter. Between the skins the wind wind blew from the east and the yellow wind from the west. While the wind was blowing the eight of the gods, the Mirage People, came and walked around the objects on the ground four times. As they walked, the eagle feathers, whose tips protruded from the buckskins, were seen to move. 

When the Mirage People had finished their walk, the upper buckskin was lifted. The ears of corn had disappeared; a man and a woman lay in their place. The white ear of corn had become the man, the yellow ear the woman, First Man and First Woman. It was the wind that gave them life, and it is the wind that comes out of our mouths now that gives us life.  

(I don't remember where I found this info.  It was from a long time ago.)

w/ Asian traditions
   The Mongolian People have a tradition that their ancestors came from the union of a wolf and deer.

Very interesting correlation, don't you think?--How the wolf is revered by both the Mongolians and the Indians of Western North America.  Learn more about Mongolia on my Mongolian Page (I lived there for 5 years).

   The Korean People have a tradition that their ancestors came from the union of a male god with a female bear, who produce the first human; Dan Gun  <pronounced Dahn Guun>.  For the Korean Legend of Dan Gun, click here.




Mormon Lore of Utah

Lore T/F More Info...
Pioneers Saved by seagulls.

T The story goes that when the Mormon pioneers settled in the Salt Lake Valley, they planted crops, but... what became known as the "Mormon Crickets" came and started devouring all the crops.  The Mormons prayed to their God for relief, and God sent the seagulls to devour the crickets, thus saving the rest of their crops.

And thus, the California seagull is the state bird.

For most of my life, I thought that the seagulls came all the way from California.  That's just not true.  The seagulls have been here as long as lake Bonneville (now the Great Salt Lake) has been here, and probably even longer.  The seagulls survive mostly on the brine flies that live on the shores of the Great Salt Lake.

Today, there is a monument to seagulls in gold at Temple Square, Salt Lake City.

Picture Credits:
Nephites from Book of Mormon Central
Sister Missionaries from Shelly on Pinterest.

The sister missionaries saved by Nephite warriors.


? I call this one a "Mormon Urban Legend".
And, let me define "legend".  A legend involves real people that really existed, and it is based upon some truth, but the stories may have been exaggerated over time.

When I was on my mission for the LDS church in Chicago, Illinois I was told this story.

There were a couple of "sister" missionaries in the Chicago mission, and one day they were knocking on doors.  While doing so, they knocked on the door of a man, who unbeknownst to them was the kind of man who did bad things (which shall not be mentioned here).  The "sisters" (as in sisters in the gospel) gave their spiel and he listened patiently.  Then, they asked if he wanted them to come in and tell him more about the gospel.  He declined.

Later, when he was caught by the police, the police asked him why he didn't invite the "sisters" in.  He said, "Because there were two really big, strong men dressed in indigenous clothing and clad with ancient weapons standing right behind them."

Note:  The "sisters" never saw the two big, strong men.

It is surmised by Mormons that the two men were deceased Nephite warriors, there to protect the "sisters".

After my mission, I recounted this story to many other people who had been on missions and they all said that the incident happened in their mission.  So, I concluded that this was a case of Mormon urban legend.  It may have happened sometime, somewhere, but when?  and where?  and who appeared behind the "sisters"?

All of the Native Americans are descendants of Lehi. F This is a misconception.
I think that it is possible that some of the Eastern Native Americans might be related to the Israelites (like possibly the Cherokee).  But, I'm convinced that the Western Native Americans came from Asia.
Brigham Young Prophecies that
came true.
T I don't claim to have all of his prophecies, but two of them that came true are on my Utah Page (in the history section).
to be continued...    
when I have time...    


Railroad Lore Utah

Title Source More Info...
Chinese deaths Box Elder Museum Chinese bodies lie in shallow graves all over the desert, for they were buried there when they died as they were working the transcontinental railroad.
Boom Town Corrine Utah Page. People thought that Corrine, Utah would be the railroad junction city of the West, and so thousands moved there after the transcontinental railroad was completed.

Corrine did not become the Junction City of the West.  Ogden did, just as Brigham Young prophesied it would, because Corrine was too wicked.

See more about this on Leon's Utah Page (in the history section).


Please note:  this is a work in progress....

I'm working on it.
(Takes a lot of research).






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