You’ve heard of the Loch Ness monster, but did you know that Lake Norman has its very own mythological monster? And his name is Normie.
Earlier this month, filmmakers of the History channel show, MonsterQuest, visited Lake Norman to check out the myth for a new series called Boogeymen. Matt Myers has been tracking fishing tales and monster sightings for much longer. He runs the website LakeNormanMonster.com, and he joined WFAE’s Ben Bradford to discuss Normie.
BRADFORD: Matt, who is Normie?
MYERS: We’d like to think that Normie is the friendly lake monster who lives in Lake Norman. If you visit the website you’ll see something an artistic rendition of him, sort of a Loch Ness monster-looking, with a nice little smile but we’re trying to make it kid friendly. It’s okay to swim in the lake.
BRADFORD: So, how did we end up having a mythological monster in the lake?
MYERS: That’s a very good question. Fishing’s always been a hobby of mine and I just started hearing tales of a big fish in Lake Norman, so I just decided to put up a small website and see if I could gather information.
BRADFORD: And what kind of website are we talking about here?
MYERS: It started out with what you hear every time you’ve got a lake with a dam—divers seeing catfish the size of Volkswagens. That seems to be a common myth that happens anywhere there’s a dam. But you just hear things about large fish that got away or fish that are too big to bring into the boat. And, some of them may be fish tales, some of them may be the truth, who really knows? So we started with that, and it grew from 60 visitors to 1,100 visitors, and just kept growing and growing as the site went on.
BRADFORD: And now you’ve got Normie merchandise and T-shirts, and monster sighting boat tours, and we’ve got TV crews coming to check out our own local legend here.
MYERS: Yep, exactly. What the series focuses on is small towns that have monsters or something unexplained, and how that’s affected tourism and local industry.
BRADFORD: How has it affected tourism and local industries here?
MYERS: Not as much as we would like according to Kirk [Ballard, president of Mooresville- South Iredell County Chamber of Commerce]. He’d like to see more of a buy in for it, and it’s great for the kids, and anything that would bring people here. But, you’ve got people who’ve grown up around the Lake Norman area and know that it’s a man-made lake and are like, “There’s nothing in there.”
So, I think with more local buy-in and with this Boogeyman episode coming up, supposedly next spring or next summer, hopefully we’ll get more exposure and people will be here not just for NASCAR. Maybe they’ll come here and try to catch the monster, too.