Spirit Lake - Kaniskee

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The Coeur d’Alénes Indians are said to have named Lake Kaniskee, which means Lake of the Spirit. There is a ghostly girl here with long black hair and wearing a white dress, who rides over the water here in her phantom canoe. Tales told in these parts say she was an Indian girl who drowned herself after her beloved was killed in a tribal scuffle. She is said to have rowed to the center of the lake on a moonlit night and simply jumped in.

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Geographic Information

Address:
Spirit Lake, ID
United States

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GPS:
47.944107650962984, -116.89801024273038
County:
Kootenai County, Idaho
Nearest Towns:
Spirit Lake, ID (2.1 mi.)
Blanchard, ID (6.4 mi.)
Athol, ID (8.8 mi.)
Rathdrum, ID (9.0 mi.)
Hauser, ID (13.1 mi.)
Hayden, ID (13.3 mi.)
Hayden Lake, ID (14.4 mi.)
Post Falls, ID (15.8 mi.)
Dalton Gardens, ID (16.0 mi.)
Priest River, ID (16.4 mi.)

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Comments (4)

  1. Another take on this story is that, Hyas-Tyee-Skookum-Tum-Tum (Good Chieftains) of the Kootenai Tribe had a lovely daughter, Hya-Pam (Fearless Running Water) who loved a kootenay Brave, Hasht-Eel-Ame-Hoom (Shining Eagle). Hostile tribes lived east of here, governed by an ancient chief, Pu-Pu-Mox-Mox (Yellow Serpent). He threatened war on the Kootenays if he was not allowed to wed Hya-Pam. To avert war, Hya-Pam’s father consented to the marriage.

    The Indian Maid and her Brave were dismayed and vowed their eternal love. Binding themselves together with the ‘marriage chain of rushes’ they leaped into the lake from Suicide Cliff. As the lovers were never found, folklore tells us that on a moonlit night, when the wind is still, you may see their shadowy silhouettes as they drift across the lake in a phantom canoe. As the lake ice floes melt and grind together in springtime, weird, mournful and haunting sounds are heard, are these the cries of the Indian lovers as they seek release from the Lake of the Spirits

  2. Chris Robideaux  |  

    This lake is indelibly etched in my memory, as I spent most summers growing up there, namely at my grandparents’ cabin on Rocky Beach, directly adjacent to Suicide Cliff. They had a bay window with a long view down the lake, west to Mt. Spokane. The place was endlessly enchanting to me, and in fact I remember my father telling us a tale of a witch that lived on one of the bays on the south side…perhaps he meant a ghost. The ghost of Hya-Pam, maybe? So many golden summer days spent skiing or sailing across those mysterious waters will forever haunt and enthrall me.

  3. My family and I spent a week there once, and my little sister, who was four at the time, comes running up the dock, and asks my mum if she can go play with her new friend. My mum gets freaked out, for good reason lol, and tells her no. The next morning, she says that the same girl wants to go canoeing with her, but once again, we said no, we had no idea who this girl was, and we’d never seen her. Freaked me out to see this page.

  4. My nephew and I went fishing here at this lake. It was night time and I hadn’t caught anything, yet my eight year old nephew was yanking fish out of the water like crazy. We were sitting apart from each other and I noticed that my nephew was talking out loud. I asked him if he was talking to me, he said ,”No, I’m talking to the fish.” I looked at him and said,”okay.” I was thinking it was cute that a little boy was enjoying fishing and talking to the fish. Well, my nephew became tired and went back to camp, taking his eight fish he had caught with him. I figured I’d move to his fishing spot to try my luck there. As I cast the line into the water, a fish stuck it’s head out and said,” Hey old man, where did the kid go?” I looked at the fish and just stared at it as it swam away. I was scared!

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