Wyoming September 04, 2017
The Sinister Story Behind This Popular Wyoming Lake Will Give You Chills
Typically, state parks are places for relaxation and lighthearted fun. One state park in Wyoming, however, has the shadow of tragedy darkening its history.
You’ll find Lake De Smet near the base of the Bighorn Mountains, and although pioneers and travelers through the area came across it as early as the 1840s, Native Americans have known about it for generations. With a history of eerie incidents, the lake is the setting of an Indian legend that will give you chills.
Lake De Smet can be found in the wilderness in the northern part of Wyoming.
The lake was named for Father Pierre Jean De Smet, the Jesuit priest who is credited with being the first white man to set eyes on the lake. He was accompanying fur trappers through the area at the time.
The lake is beautiful by day, but stories have abounded for centuries about the spooky things that go on there when the sun goes down and the sky and lake are dark at night.
Wyoming folklore tells tales of a Loch Ness-type creature that supposedly lives in Lake De Smet, swimmers have been reported to disappear beneath the water never to surface again, animals become frightened and won't go near certain areas of the lake, and it's said that unnatural noises can be heard there at night.
One Native American legend tells the tale of a tribe of Indians that set up camp on the shore of Lake De Smet.
Little Moon, a young warrior from the tribe, made plans with his sweetheart, Star Dust, to meet at the edge of the lake under cover of night after everyone else was asleep.
Little Moon arrived early and sat looking over the lake as he waited for Star Dust. He noticed an odd bank of mist hovering over the lake and, as he watched, it formed into the face of a beautiful maiden who smiled at the young brave and beckoned to him. Little Moon was so entranced with the beautiful woman in the mist, he barely noticed Star Dust when she walked up beside him.
The apparition had Little Moon so spell-bound that he angrily shoved Star Dust Away when she tried to place her arms around him in greeting. When the young man turned back to the lake, the vision of the woman was gone.
When dawn broke the next morning, Star Dust's body was found, drowned in the waters of the lake. It's believed that she plunged herself into Lake De Smet, overcome by grief from her lover's rejection.
As retribution, Star Dust's father had Little Moon tied to a rock near the place where the girl's body had been found. He was left there at the mercy of the lake, the weather, and wild animals.
It's said that, even today, moaning sounds can be heard at the lake at night, and that they're the anguished keening of Little Moon.
Have you visited Lake De Smet after dark? Did you see the mysterious spirit over the water or hear Little Moon’s haunting cries?