In Canadian folklore, Cressie is an eel-like lake monster said to reside in Crescent Lake, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
“Cressie” has been described as a large, dark-colored eel 1.5 m (5 ft) to 8 m (25 ft) in length. In local folklore, sightings of Cressie originate in the 1950s, when two men claimed they saw something that looked like an upturned boat heading upwind that flipped itself around and dived below the lake. In July, 1991, Cressie was supposedly seen swimming on the lake’s surface. In the summer of 2003, several town residents say they saw the creature swimming again. According to the tale, divers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have allegedly described seeing “giant eels as thick as a man’s thigh” in the lake, however RCMP does not confirm any such reports. Although local Native Canadian legends of the “Woodum Haoot” (Pond Devil) or “Haoot Tuwedyee” (Swimming Demon) are often cited by cryptozooloists, no connection has ever been verified.
According to skeptical investigator Joe Nickell, several natural occurrences can explain “Cressie” sightings, such as lake eels misinterpreted as a larger creature, floating and decomposing logs, and the dark-colored northern river otter, “who swims both under water and at the surface where its wake can make it appear much longer, and moves in an undulating (rising and falling) manner…In addition, multiple otters swimming in a line can give the effect of a single giant serpentine creature slithering with an up-and-down movement through water”.
A large statue depicting “Cressie” greets visitors to Robert’s Arm and Beotuk Trail. It includes a plaque describing alleged sightings. Local businesses promote tourism and encourage vistors to search for “Cressie” at “Cressie’s Castle”, a scenic area specifically created for visitors to view the lake from.