In 1994, South Carolina’s John D. Lake became the site of
an infamous murder, and a horrific accident followed just two years later. Now,
some locals say ghosts lurk near the water.
The Susan Smith Murders
On October 25, 1994, Susan Smith strapped her two young
sons into their car seats, drove to John D. Long lake, and rolled her car down
a steep boat ramp. The boys, ages 3 and 13 months, drowned in the murky water,
where they remained until divers discovered their bodies nine days later. The
case gained international notoriety both because of Susan’s heinous act and
because she originally claimed a black man kidnapped her children. Sadly, there
were more deaths to come.
Soon after Susan’s arrest, the site of the murders became
a major tourist attraction, attracting dozens of people a day. On the night of
August 31, 1996, an SUV full of 10 people parked near the boat ramp and
adjacent memorials. As five people got out of the vehicle, the SUV rolled down
a steep embankment and into the water, just as Susan’s car had two years
earlier. Four children and one adult drowned inside the vehicle, while two
others died trying to save them. The victims included an entire family, and the
drownings led the state to close the infamous boat ramp and grass it over.
The Ghosts of John D. Long Lake
It wasn’t long before talk of ghosts began.
“It’s like the lake is haunted or something,” a local
man told The Associated Press. “It keeps taking lives.”
Soon after the accidental drownings, the Weekly
World News published an article claiming an ancient curse was
responsible for the deaths at John D. Long Lake.
“According to the centuries-old oral tradition of the
local Yamasee, the ‘jinxed’ lake is inhabited by an evil spirit with the power
to draw humans to their deaths,” the tabloid reported. “This latest tragedy brings the total
known deaths to 23. One might say the water spirit is quite powerful!”
Today, visitors hear disembodied laughter or the faint
sound of a baby crying. Sightings of strange mists, orbs, and shadowy figures
are also common according to reports on paranormal-themed sites like
GhostVillage.com and HauntedPlaces.org. A stranded fisherman also reported
seeing a strange light in the sky after dark.
What do you think? Is John D. Long Lake truly haunted, or
has its tragic history caused imaginations to run awry?