Lake Ronkonkoma Islip

LAKE RONKONKOMA ISLIP, NEW YORK WEBSITE: www.lakeronkonkoma.org/ tour_index.htm About 50 miles east of Manhattan, you can find the scenic residential village of Ronkonkoma. Located in the township of Islip, Ronkonkoma is home to the largest lake on Long Island, Lake Ronkonkoma. It is the lake and its shores that are said to be haunted by the spirit of an Indian princess. In one version of the princess’s story, usually referred to as “The Troubled Spirit of the Lake,” the Indian maiden is sacrificed to appease a god, Manitou. In order to save her people from the rising waters, she ties herself down with stones, rows out to the middle of the lake, and slips over the edge into the water. Her lover dives in after her, unable to bear leaving her alone in the infinite waters (another legend connected with the lake is that it’s bottomless— it’s not). Lake Ronkonkoma is what’s known as a kettlehole lake. It was formed by an isolated piece of glacier about 20,000 years ago. When the ice melted, it left a depression behind, called a kettle. The depression filled with water to create a kettlehole lake. In December 1952, four members of a skindiving team touched the bottom, disproving the old legend that the lake was bottomless. Another version of this legend, often called “The Lady of the Lake,” tells the tale of the princess and her love for an English settler. Their love was forbidden and she was set to marry another. One night, she attempted to swim across the lake to her waiting lover, but she drowned halfway across. The legend goes on to say LAKE RONKONKOMA 62 Encyclopedia of Haunted Places that the princess returns to the lake once a year to look for a companion to join her in her watery tomb. Lonely and heartbroken, she has become like the Sirens of Greek myth, luring men to their deaths. Locals claim that there is at least one drowning per year at the lake, and most of the victims are male. Newspaper and police reports do seem to support the legend’s claims in this area—the average, indeed, seems to be one a year and mostly male. In addition to drownings, there are reports of odd moving lights and a misty fog that hangs over the lake. Cold fingers grab swimmers who venture out too far. The most common reported event is the sound of someone sobbing. Witnesses say that the weeping is heartbreaking and sounds as if it is everywhere. Is it the princess still mourning the loss of her life, or is she still looking for a beloved face among her victims? —Nikki Turpin Co-Founder, Long Island Ghost Hunters

Taken from the: Encyclopedia of Haunted Places -Ghostly Locales from around the World – Compiled & Edited by Jeff Belanger – Copyright 2005 by Jeff Belanger

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