Loch Ness Monster Day

As if there weren’t enough reasons for me to daydream about going to Scotland… castles, salmon, single malt Scotch, the settings for the Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Denise Mina mystery books, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh and that gorgeous burr in the accent, there’s the Loch Ness Monster.

Nessie is the quintessential MONSTER of myth and legend.

Even a cursory check on the Internet and you’ll find tons of sites devoted to the hunt for the Loch Ness Monster. I got myself seriously dizzy with Nessie sites featuring everything from inconclusive sonar recordings and ‘un-doctored’ blurry photos to long lists of first-hand accounts of Nessie sightings and Nessie image postcards.

It seems that people have been talking about the monster of Loch Ness for a very long time. The first well-known report was from St. Columba in 565 AD. If you’re not inclined to believe a saint, there are more recent reports including a whole bunch from 1933 when some locals described an enormous beast rising and plunging in the water as they drove by the lake. Of course the locals in question owned a hotel in the area and might very well have seen a lake monster as a tourist draw.

Local, Scottish national and, ultimately, the international press picked up the story. The coverage included noted experts pontificating on the nature of the beast and a new industry ‘proving’ the existence of the monster was born. Footprints on the shore — made by using a stuffed hippopotamus foot — and similar hoaxes fed the frenzy to find Nessie. At one point the Austrian government claimed that the Loch Ness Monster was a British plot to pull tourists away from Austria.

I think I feel a short story about faux monsters coming on.


  1. Beth M.

    It’s just too good not to believe that the Loch Ness monster may exist! I have always loved the legend and thought it would be pretty neat if it does exist. I mean as beautiful as they are, how many lakes and countrysides can you see in Scotland before your eyes roll back up into your head – regardless of how many pubs you’ve been to. Even if you don’t fully believe in the existence of the cryptid, for me, there is some part that says the unknown is just too full of unbelievable possibilities and my imagination goes running. As for the story itself by the locals – marketing and promotion at its best!

    • Candy

      With sufficient single malt, I think I could SEE Nessie! I don’t doubt that a good number of cryptid sightings start in a shot glass. By the way, I didn’t know the word cryptid (or cryptozoology) until the other day. Monster Meditations are surprisingly good for my vocabulary.

      If I do a Loch Ness story, it will definitely be about the pub and Inn owners coming up with a great stunt to pull in the tourists. Marketing and showmanship…