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THE STORM HAG

Erie’s history is a long and colorful one, but growing up as a great lakes port is perhaps Erie’s greatest the single influence.  In the 1700 and 1800 Erie was a vital link in the navigation of the great lakes. The safe harbor of the bay provides a natural port for both commercial and military needs, but the sailor on the ships have a few legends of their own. Tales a few 20th century boater claim have a basis in truth.

Anyone who’s spent summer weekends aboard a boat bobbing in the surf off Presque isle has a healthy respect for ferocity of the lake. If you’ve ever taken sail during a small craft warnings have arisen, you know the quick and powerful anger of Lake Erie. Anger often felt by early sailors, whose home was the port of Erie. Since the beginning of Great Lakes sailing careful records were kept of the many shipwrecks off Erie’s shores. The causes were listed as collision, capsizing, destroyed by fire, but there exists a large file marked disappeared.

According to early sailors there exists off the shores of Lake Erie a strange creature, a creature they have called the “Storm Hag”. According to sailing legend the storm hag was a creature so terrible the mere sight of it would turn the bravest of men pale with fear, the stories are many.

A dark and stormy fall evening 1782, an owler ship is tossed about from wave to wave in a last ditch attempt to make back to the safety of Presque Isle. For a moment the lake settles, moonlight reflected in the midnight aqua mirror. Suddenly with out warning the violent storm hag rises, spewing forth venom she thrusts forward. The shrieking screams of her victim echoing across the lake. There are those today that claim to have heard those ancient echoes, the last scream of drowning men swallowed by the fury of the lake.

Mighty ships have vanished without a trace just off the shores of Lake Erie. These events have occurred; victims of the storm hag or of what some have called the Great Lakes Triangle? An area which includes the shores of Erie County and which according to author Howard Burliz has more than it’s share of disappearances. These mysterious disappearances continue to occur, and the include airplanes as well as ships.

 In fact more ships and planes have been lost in the Great Lakes Triangle than have within the famed Bermuda Triangle.

Another one of Erie's Legends.