Did you know that Lake Placid was haunted? Next time you’re up there, you may want to keep an eye out for the lady of the lake before she spots you first!
There is a particular part of Lake Placid that is supposedly haunted by Mabel Smith Douglass, better known locally as “The Lady of the Lake.” Mabel Smith Douglass was from New Jersey and was the first dean of the New Jersey College for Women, now known as Douglass College in her honor. As the story goes, in 1932, Douglass retired for health reasons. About a year later, she went rowing on Lake Placid to collect leaves for decoration and never seen again.
Her boat was found capsized near the shore three miles from where she started. Police dragged the lake, searched mountain trails nearby and still couldn’t find her. The strangest part of the entire story was that she was eventually found, in 1965, 30 years later, 95 feet below the water’s surface by scuba divers on a shelf. She was then buried in Brooklyn.
The entire situation is a little eerie. When Douglass was found, she had a 50-pound anchor tied to her neck with a short rope and when they tried to bring her above water, much of her body disintegrated or fell apart but was well preserved because of the low temperatures that deep in the water. It was officially ruled an accident but many suspect her death was due to suicide.
Many have said that even though her physical form left the lake, her spirit still lingers. Many have reported seeing a spirit of a woman near Pulpit Rock. The divers who found her even remember an eerie feeling around the body when they found her, something about her positioning and condition were unnatural. If you want a chance to see the spirit of Mabel Smith Douglass, Lake Placid Boat Tours features tours to the area and explain her story (they will reopen again in the Spring).