As Halloween approaches in Idaho, we start to think about legends, ghosts, and monsters. Some of us believe these stories, some are skeptics, and others don't have an opinion but enjoy the idea of them. What makes "spooky season" so much fun is that we're not sure whether these stories are true. We like the possibility of them being true from afar. We want to suspend our disbelief to feel the terror, even for a few minutes. That's why lines at Haunted World and other Idaho haunted attractions get as long as the calendar turns to October.

Idaho, as a state, has wonderful legends and scary stories to keep us all up at night. The ghosts on the bridge in Caldwell, the paranormal activity at the Old Idaho Penitentiary, The haunting of the Idaho State Tuberculosis Hospital, and the monster in Lake Payette.

If you're unfamiliar with the tale, a sea serpent similar to the Loch Ness Monster has been rumored to reside in the depths of Payette Lake. As Idahoans flock to McCall every summer, rumors of the lake monster emerge. The first documented sighting was in 1920, and talk of the beast continues now, over 100 years later. Its name, Sharlie, was given to the creature in a contest in 1954.

Those who have seen Payette Lake's most haunting resident all describe the same distinguishing features: 30-35 feet long, dinosaur head, pronounced jaw, humps like a camel, and shell-like skin. The combination of its unlikely appearance and the fact that there hasn't been a documented sighting since 2002 makes it easy to dismiss... until now!

According to Newsweek, researchers say that its diet was made up of small fish, which you could easily find in Payette Lake. Could Sharlie have been the last remaining Serpentisuchops? We may have to wait for its carcass to turn up on the shores of McCall to know for sure.

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