Champ, or Champy, is a monster reputed to be living in Lake Champlain, situated in the American states of New York and Vermont and also partly in Quebec, Canada.
Champ is thought to be similar to the Loch Ness monster, and there have been reported sightings in the lake going back 100s of years.
Lake Champlain is a naturally formed freshwater lake and was discovered in 1609 by Samuel de Champlain.
Champ has allegedly been living in the waters of Lake Champlain since before European settlers arrived.
The Iroquois and Abenaki tribes that are native to the area had tales of a large, horned serpent or snake living in the murky waters of Lake Champlain.
The Abenaki called the creature Gitaskog, and in the 18th century, they warned French explorers about cryptid, suggesting they did not disturb the creature.
Soon after the European settlers landed, they began to report sightings of a monster in the lake, and the modern legend known as Champ was started.
Some historians have suggested the creature might be a particularly large garfish or sturgeon. Others have argued that Champ may simply be floating pieces of debris.
The nearby town of Port Henry erected a statue of Champ, and they celebrate Champ Day on the first Saturday in August. Champ is even used as a mascot for the Vermont Lake Monsters, a Minor League Baseball team.
Champ is hugely popular with the residents close to Lake Champlain, and in the 1980s, both Vermont and New York passed legislation that is supposed to protect the creature.
Over the years, over 300 sightings of Champ have been recorded. However, Cryptozoologist Nick Valenzuela has estimated that that number is likely closer to 600.
Unfortunately, no definitive picture of the monster has been put together. This is because accounts tend to differ, so it is impossible to say for sure what this supposed monster looks like.
However, it seems likely to have humps, fins, and enormous jaws like an alligator. The alleged monster may look like a plesiosaur (an aquatic creature that lived in the dinosaur era). This means it would have a long neck, a broad body, and perhaps four paddle-esque limbs, and a fairly short tail.
Sightings and Tales
Some of the sightings of Champ date back almost 200 years, so here are some of the highlights.
The Plattsburgh Republican, in 1819, published an account by Captain Crum, who says he saw a huge serpent-like creature. The captain claimed the creature was over 180 feet long and had a head shaped like a seahorse’s.
In 1873 the crew and passengers of a steamer claim they saw an unidentified creature in the water near Dresden, New York.
In 1883 Sheriff Nathan H. Mooney reported seeing an enormous water serpent from a distance of only 50 yards.
The 20th century brought yet more sightings, with tourist Sandra Mansi taking arguably the most famous photograph of Champ. This was in 1977, and the snap remains the most conclusive evidence of a monster living in the lake. The photograph was examined by experts, who found no sign of it having been tampered with.
Mansi claimed that the creature rose six feet out of the water, and about 12 feet of its body was exposed. She said she was able to observe Champ for about five or six minutes.
In 2003, Mansi told a local paper, “I think I saw some kind of dinosaur that day. It wasn’t a fish. No fish can hold itself up six or eight feet out of the water.”
In 1993 a baby champ allegedly swam in between a couple of people who were bathing in the lake.
1995 saw some footage being taken of the supposed monster. Dennis Hall, an authority on Champ, took this footage.
A wave of new sightings in the 21st century
There has been a load of new sightings and fresh interest in Champ since the start of this century. Champ has featured on the Today Show, NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries, and Fox Network’s Sightings. The monster also showed up on Discovery’s America’s Loch Ness Monster in 2003.
Scientists undertook some research at the lake in 2003. Using underwater microphones, they captured some high-pitched ticking and chirping – similar to the noises made by dolphins – but were unable to identify where the noises were originating from.
In the summer of 2006, two fishermen reported what they thought was a sighting of Champ. The pair recorded footage of a sea creature the likes of which they had never seen. They were previously skeptical about the existence of Champ, but their experience left them wondering.
Katy Elizabeth has been searching for definitive proof of Champ for years now. Earlier this year, Katy released some footage of what many believe may be absolute proof that the monster exists.
The video was taken on July 08 near the mouth of the Winooski River and showed a large creature breaking through the surface of the water.
Naysayers point to a variety of things that would seem to discount the possibility of Champ. Firstly, no animal is able to consistently reproduce itself (apart from single-celled lifeforms).
Secondly, no carcass or physical evidence of Champ has ever been found. Thirdly, a number of the alleged sightings could be explained by rocks, tree trunks, and monster-shaped driftwood.
Lastly, many of the sightings occur between late spring and early fall. A lot of internal seiches (standing waves) happen during this time, meaning that debris gets dragged up to the surface of the water. This debris, it is argued, could easily be mistaken for a sea creature or “monster.”
|Champy, Chaousarou, Tatoskok, Lake Champlain Monster, Gitaskog
|Canada, United States,
factfictionandconjecture.ca, “The Lake Champlain Monster (Champ/Champy),” accessed August 16, 2017.
cryptosightings.com, “Lake Monster Champ captured in new video from Lake Champlain,” accessed August 16, 2017.
paranormal-encyclopedia.com, “Champ – the Lake Champlain “Monster,” accessed August 16, 2017.
cryptidinfobase.weebly.com, “Untitled,” accessed August 16, 2017,
https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/life/2022/08/17/vt-top-sightings-of-champ-the-lake-champlain-monster/65401829007/, “Evidence of Champ? An overview of Lake Champlain’s most famous sightings,” accessed March 15, 2023.