Lake Wonapango

Welcome to another episode of creepy stories.

In today’s episode we will take a nice trip to a nice quiet lake where people enjoy fishingand swimming.

It’s sure to be relaxing… right?;Lake Wonapango Credit To – Katherine C Everyone who grew up near Lake Wonapango hadtheir own story about the lake.

Some were your traditional and expected fishstories, some dealt with summer love and improprieties, and others were tragic talesof misadventure.

And then there were the other stories, ones that spoke of great loss, the kind that doesnot stop when the sufferer passes on.

Lake Wonapango held deep, dark secrets onits sandy bed, and sometimes those secrets floated to the surface.

I remember well the night I myself came faceto face with one of those secrets.

All my years of trying to forget have done nothingbut burn it more firmly in my thoughts.

I was never the fishing type.

While it wasthe most common past time for those who lived around the lake, it was just never my thing.

I did not have the patience or the appetite for the long hours spent catching the localfare.

It seemed wasteful to haul them up and toss them back in.

Still, like most folks around the lake, I had my boat.

It was little more than a rowboat—Imean, it had a tiny outboard motor strapped to it, but I rarely used it.

You see, I tookthe boat out not for fishing or swimming, but just to enjoy the water.

I always wentout at night, and the growl of the motor seemed overwhelming in the otherwise peaceful setting.

So, I used it as a chance to get a good work out in, rowing along to a few of the calm,quiet spots I knew of.

The night in question was one of those nightshanging in between spring and summer.

The air carried the thick humidity of summer,but still settled on the cool side of warm.

It was heavy with the hopes and aspirationsof summer.

The crickets, frogs, and cicadas had all startedtheir raucous chorus, so I would say it was anything but quiet out there.

But out on thewater, it was still peaceful.

There’s something about Lake Wonapango thatjust feels right when the critters are singing out of key.

There were two empty bottles in the bottom of my boat, and I was leaned back againstthe edge, the lake water gently rocking me backand forth.

The sky stretched out like an endless canvas above me, inky darkness pierced by diamondlight.

The moon was full, glowing warmly down onthe scene.

I know that this memory is colored by nostalgia,cast glorious in contrast to the events that were to come.

But I don’t know if I could imagine somethingbetter and more peaceful than that evening.

Maybethat’s why it had to go so wrong.

Perhaps beautyand peace like thatsimply cannot exist in this world for long.

The balance must be righted.

In that moment of peace, there was a splash.

Now, anyone who has spent much time on isolatedwaters can tell you a splash does not mean much.

I was surrounded by all sorts of wildlifethat may have wanted to slide into the water.

Or a tree branch could have fallen in.

Heck,it could have even been one of the many local fishes swishing to the surface to snag anunfortunate water skimmer.

There was no real reason it should have caught my attention.

Part of what bugged me is that it did, though.

Whatever thoughts and reveries I had werelost and shattered along with the surface of the lake.

I sat forward, scanning about.

The boat listed a bit with my sudden movements, the bottles rolling and clanging in the bottom.

The ripples began near an old fallen log that jutted its way into the river.

Probably aturtle, I thought, swimming back to the shore after a long day of sunning.

I tried to restback against the boat, slip back into my quiet contemplation,but my ears were on edge, straining for any other sounds.

Silence.

Complete and total save for the water lappingagainst my boat.

The bugs and frogs had quieted down, and theirabsence made me feel suddenly self-conscious.

I grabbed the oars to row back home, now feelingout of place on the lake that had always been home.

As my paddles dipped into the water, I imagined I heard an echoing splash hiding in theirnoise.

It was paranoia, I told myself, or an echo from the banks.

But still my ears strained.

I finally paused mid-stroke,the oars lying limp in the water,and heard another splash following behind me.

(quickly) I spun around and watched as something broke the surface of the water.

It was anarm, long and pale in the moonlight.

I felt frozen to the spot,watching as the other arm roseand fell, gentlestrokes pullingwhoever it was steadily closer.

I watched the faded shadow glide beneath thewater, the feet arcing into the air and pushing it downward just before it reached my boat.

People did swim in Lake Wonapango, so I assumed I must have surprised a sunbather or skinnydipper with my evening sail.

I wondered who it was, since they had obviously made towardsmy boat and darted away to avoid detection.

My mind wandered to a couple particular townsfolkI would not mind stumbling upon skinny dipping, but before the thoughts could get too far,something bumped the bottom of the boat.

I was alert and scanning the water, assumingit must be someone playing a joke on me after disturbing them.

I was not too thrilled aboutthe potential baptism I might endure if they took it too far; my goal was relaxation, notswimming in the murky water.

I watched for them, trying to see when they would surface.

But no one showed.

The second bump was louder, sending me careeninginto the side and almost overboard.

It was no longer a funny joke, and I grabbed thepaddles again.

They could spend all evening in the dark depths of Lake Wonapango if that’swhat they wanted to do, but I was going to go home and put an end to the long day.

The paddle in my left hand barely moved in the water before something latched onto it,ripping it from my hands.

Wood splintered as it came free, disappearinginto the water behind a trialing white arm.

I watched it rocket to the bottom until Ilost it in the shadows.

I admit, I was cursing up a good storm outthere on my boat.

Down to one oar, it was going to take me a while to get myself home.

This joke was not funny any longer.

I took my remaining paddle and prepared for the longjourney home.

Only then a hand appeared over the side ofthe boat.

The fingers were long,pale and greenish in the light.

I assumed it was the reflection of the moon on the water or something,but now I’m not so sure.

One thing I did note as weird was the webbing between the fingers andthe long, taperingfingernails.

That hand was attached toa long, slenderarm.

Suddenly, a face broke the surface of thewater.

It was mostly human, but just not quite right.

The eyes were too round, not the right oval shape.

They also stretched a bit too big and had an unusual sheen to them.

The lips were wide and flat, curled into a suggestion of a smile.

Overall, the face was somewhat flattened.

But she blinked those big, shining eyes atme and I was caught.

Her hand—a bit slimy, very cold—trailedalong mine, winding up my arm.

I felt myself leaning towards her, enrapturedat the unnatural beauty.

Her hair lay in wet ringlets along her body,and it was clear she was completely naked below the water.

I could not tell you whatelse was going on in the world around me, because my entire being was consumed withdevouring her presence.

It was as if I had never experienced humanconnection until that point.

Her lips slipped into an alluring smile, an unspoken invitationto come closer.

I tingled with the feeling of her hand onmy arm—I only later realized that the tingle was not simply arousal, but a potent toxinthat left my arm numb for hours after.

In the moment, however, it was bliss.

Every nerve dancedwith her touch, sizzling to new lifeas her skin glided over my own.

I was in the water before I realized it,drawn in by her smiling eyes.

I felt as if I were diving straight into herpupils, drenching myself in their dark depths.

But the muddy water of Lake Wonapango filledmy mouth, its vile taste reminding me that this was no paradise.

My arms flailed about, the one she had carefully caressed flopping mostly useless in the water.

I felt her hands running across my chest, the same burn of pleasure and paralysis followingher fingertips.

You would think that I would have been ableto realize the danger I was in with this mysterious creature,but I feltno threat from her.

Even as she gently tugged me towards the lake bed, I felt she was onlyinterested in my wellbeing.

She could have held me underwater and watched me drown aslong as her eyes held mine.

No, it was not the awareness of her perilousness, but thelong forgotten admonitions of my parents.

You never go swimming if you’ve been drinking.

It was a recipe for disaster.

Their warnings ringing clear, I made for the boatI suppose she sensed my intention to escape, because those long nails on her hand begandigging into my skin.

Fortunately, she had well-numbed most of my upper body by thatpoint.

I managed to flop into the boat, my vision going blurry around the edges.

Eventually,the moon was the only thing left—that and some thunderous pounding against the sidesof my boat.

I woke up the next morning, the heat havingreturned in force.

My chest was sticky with blood, my head pounded, and my arms felt likethey were filled with sand.

It was a long, painful, exhausting trip back to shore asI stared down a long road of recovery and failed forgetting stretching ahead of me.

Most people blamed the bottles in the bottom of my boat for the strange report.

I musthave fallen in, gotten scraped up on some rocks.

Others, I think, thought it was suicidegone wrong.

But, I now know why the lake has claimed more than its fair share of victims.

I know why men and women go missing out there, no sign of a problem in their peacefully floatingboat.

I stay away from the lake at night.

I got lucky once, and I’m in no mood totempt fate.

I don’t think I could resist those eyes this time, and I know I’d makemy home on the sandy bottom of the lake if she ever invited me again.

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