Real Windermere Mythical Creature (we have the evidence)

4 June 2013

The Lake District has a lot of myths and strange creatures. We have ghostly armies on Souther Fell, we have scary monks, we have horses dragging coffins and stone circles that will come to life if you count them. We have vampires who’ll pick the glass from your windows and kings who will rise from the dead.

But where’s the evidence?

There were no hoof marks on Souther Fell, I’ve been to Castlerigg stone circle loads of time and nothing came to life, this leads me to believe that these happenings aren’t true, we’ve been duped.
text and image If you like your mythical creatures to come with irrefutable photographic evidence then look no further than my favourite Lakeland creature - Tizzie Whizie.

Tizzie Whizie was first spotted on Lake Windermere by a Bowness boatman around 1900. The boatman came back to shore and told all the tourists about this amazing creature that could fly across the surface of the lake. Like all mythical creatures Tizzie Whizie was quite shy. The best way to track it down was to listen for it. To do this the boatman would kindly take you onto the lake (perhaps charging a fee) and make you lean out of the boat with your ear close to the water.
The cry was very faint so you had to lean really close to the surface of the lake, almost touching it. It was amazing how many people ‘accidently’ fell in doing this.

But Tizzie Whizie was nowhere to be seen.

The sceptical amongst you might say the boatman was just making this up and pushing people in the lake for a laugh and to make a bit more money, and it does sound a bit like that, but then guess what happened?

Tizzie Whizie was captured (by the boatman).

Not only that, but the boatman managed to get the creature, still alive, to Louis Herbert’s Photographic Studio. They calmed Tizzie down with some warm milk and biscuits and managed to get it to sit on a stand long enough to take a photo. They were so excited that they’d managed to get the photo that they didn’t notice Tizzie flying out of an open window. Who left that open?

Anyway, that doesn’t matter, the important thing was they had the proof. Tizzie Whizie was real and here’s the evidence:

Wait for it...

Here it comes...


That's right, Tizzie Whizie is a hedgehog with bees wings and a squirrels tail. Unbelievable you would think, but there's the evidence right in front of you. This photo was made into a postcard and thousands of them were sold. There was also a £5 reward for its capture, but Tizzie Whizie was never caught again.

I’ve spent a lot of time at Windermere, swimming and hiking, but I’ve never been lucky enough to spot Tizzie whizzing along the lake, it must be quite a sight. I’m told there are still a lot of sightings so I hope the boatmen are still raking it in.

Thanks for reading.

Ian Young

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