Bessie is the nickname given to the lake monster allegedly living in Lake Erie, the 11th largest lake on earth, at 25,774 square kilometres and more than 200 feet deep. Sightings of Bessie have occurred before Europeans, as the Seneca have told of the Oniare, a ferocious animal that capsizes canoes. It is described as being similar to the Loch Ness monster in appearance, about 40 feet long, with a large body and a swan-like neck with a snake-like head. It has four flippers, with smooth black, dark grey, or brown skin, and a short tail.
The first recorded sighting was 1793, when the captain of the ship Felicity, saw an enormous snake-like monster rise its neck out of the water. Later, in 1892, the entire crew of a boat saw a lake monster thrashing around the water.
In 1960, a man named Ken Golic heard an unusual sound coming from the lake from his dock. He threw a rock in the direction of the sound and saw what he thought was a baby Bessie swimming away from him, as it was only 15 feet long and 2.5 feet wide.
In 1981, Theresa Kovach saw a bessie playing in the water. In 1985, Tony Schill of Akron, Ohio saw a serpent when he was boating. It was dark brown and had a long tail. Tony claimed that five humps came out of the water and was adamant it wasn’t a sturgeon. A friend was also boating with Tony, and saw the same thing.
In 1997, a video allegedly showing a bessie was taken, although it is quite blurry. In 1999, Leslee Rasgaitis was out with her nephews on Huntington Beach when they saw a very long ripple in the still water. They then saw what was causing it, a long otter-like creature just below the surface.