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Legends and Monsters III

This edition of Francophone Legends and Monsters will feature creatures from Brittany, France, and Lake Memphremagog in Québec. One is said to be beautiful and wise, yet bloodthirsty and dangerous. The other is mysterious and elusive, yet many have spotted him over the years. 


Coast of Brittany, France

These creatures are from the Brittany region in France. Korrigans could be compared to fairies, goblins, or maybe dwarves. These spirits are associated with rivers and wells, and like to live near water. They are generally described as small, perhaps two feet tall. They are said to have wings, which are beautiful and delicate like those of a wasp. While you may be imagining a pretty, gentle creature, they are actually quite dangerous. These devious creatures use their beauty to lure unsuspecting men to their deaths. 

Potential Korrigan Depiction

However, some seek out korrigans, as they are said to be very wise, and are believed to see the future. In addition to the danger of meeting a korrigan, they can be difficult to find, as they are shapeshifters. 

But regardless of their form, these French sprites are rather mysterious. And despite their beauty and wisdom, they are dangerous and to be avoided.  


Lake Memphremagog

On the border between Québec and Vermont, lies Lake Memphremagog. Memphremagog is relatively shallow at both ends (although its deepest point is well over 350 feet). It is bordered on the West by picturesque mountains, and full of over 20 islands. However, there are rumors of a monster in this lake. His name is Memphré. 

Records of sightings go back to the early 1800s. In some years, there were as many as eight instances where Memphré was spotted. According to a 1997 Sherbrooke University study, there have been 215 well-documented sightings of Memphré. 

In 1961, two fishermen saw what they believed to be Memphré when he swam past their boat. The creature was black, they said, and about 40 feet long. It swam partially submerged under the water. 


Then in 1994, four people in two separate boats spotted a similar, or perhaps the same, creature. It was also black, but these folks thought he was closer to 30 feet long, and they spotted three humps on the creature as he swam through the water. 

Whatever Memphré looks like, many over the years have said they’ve seen some part of him, and most agree that he’s dark-colored and serpent-like. 

Written by Jasmine Grace,

University Intern

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