The Cryptid Zoo: Champ

"Champ" is the name applied to the creature or creatures that are supposed to inhabit Lake Champlain, a body of water over 100 miles long that is bordered by the American states of Vermont and New York and by Quebec in Canada. Champ has been sighted regularly for over four hundred years, according to records, and American Indian tribes from the area have even older legends of this beast, which they called chousarou or tatoskok.

Supposedly, the first white person to see Champ was Samuel de Champlain, the discoverer of the lake and its namesake. However, some people question this bit of history, since his original sighting report seems to have grown larger over the years, and has certainly evolved some ancillary legends.

Champ is generally described as a typical lake monster, with a long, serpentine body, a horse-shaped head, and a length of either twenty feet or forty feet. The length is quite variable depending on which reports you consider to be more accurate, with everything from 10 to 187 feet being recorded. Of course, some say that the shorter lengths indicate juveniles of the species. Just like with Nessie, quite a number of controversial photos exist, as well as videotapes, with many of these being impressive enough to make the experts argue with each other, but none clear enough to really settle the issue. Enough people consider the monster to be real that they have pushed through laws that make it illegal to kill or harrass Champ.

You can find out more about Champ from the following sources:

Benjamin, R.W. Champ - Lake Champlain Monster

Blackman, W. Haden. The Field Guide to North American Monsters. New York: Three Rivers Press, 1998. Pages 54-56


Clark, Jerome and Coleman, Loren. Cryptozoology A-Z. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. Pages 56-60, 103.
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Clark, Jerome. Unexplained!. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1999. Pages 235-244

Clogston, Sean & Lloyd, Nancy. The Legendary Champ of Lake Champlain

Coleman, Loren. Mysterious America: The Revised Edition. New York: Paraview Press, 2001. Pages 16, 85-86, 90, 97-104

Hall, Dennis Jay. Champ Quest 2000 : The Ultimate Search Field Guide & Almanac for Lake Champlain

Krystek, Lee. Champ of Lake Champlain

Newton, Michael. Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide to Hidden Animals and Their Pursuers. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2005. Pages 94-96, 123, 251, 376, 418, 435, 507

Rose, Carol. Giants, Monsters and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend and Myth. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2000. Pages 74-75

Steiger, Brad. Out of the Dark: The Complete Guide to Beings from Beyond. New York: Kensington Books, 2001. Pages 85-86

Weidensaul, Scott. The Ghost with Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking and the Search for Lost Species. New York: North Point Press, 2002. Pages 156-157, 165

Wikipedia, The. Champ

Zarzynski, Joseph. Champ: Beyond the Legend. Montpelier, Vermont: Capitol City Press, 1988.

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The text on this page is copyright 2006 by Jamie Hall. Please use proper citation if you are using this website for research.