The Strange Tale of the Disappearing Village at Angikuni Lake

angikuni-lake-in-northern-canada-which-legend-says-is-the-site-of-a-vanishing-village (Image: Nicolas Perrault II)

The strange tale of the vanishing village at Angikuni Lake is a Canadian mystery that has endured for decades. But rather than wondering what became of the ill-fated, disappearing community, the real question is: was there ever a village there to begin with?

Angikuni Lake is situated in the heart of Canada’s northernmost territory of Nunavut, a vast and isolated wilderness which very few people call home. But intriguingly, the remote lake was the subject of a 1930 news report claiming that a travelling fur trapper, named Joe Labelle, had stumbled across a shocking sight when he visited a small Inuit village that he had allegedly passed through countless times before.

The villagers, who were warm and welcoming to the trappers and traders that occasionally wandered through, were gone. What’s more, the state of the village apparently indicated that whatever fate had befallen it had come at alarmingly short notice.

Like many unsolved mysteries concerning ghost ships, lost cities, disappearing civilisations and the like, the vanishing village at Angikuni Lake made for an interesting tale. But was there more to it? According to the legend, food had burned over the fire pits where it had allegedly been left hanging, sewing lay where it had been dropped and, worst of all, abandoned sled dogs had died from starvation.

angikuni-lake-in-northern-canada-which-legend-says-is-the-site-of-a-vanishing-village-2 (Image: Google Earth)

The strange story would resurface again and again as the years passed by. It was claimed that something in the region of 25 men, women and children had disappeared from the camp. But the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have dismissed the reports as nothing more than an urban legend.

According to an investigation by Skeptoid, a number of details about the story simply don’t add up. Details such as kayaks being battered by the lake waters are unlikely to be true, because the temperature at the time of year that the event allegedly occurred was so low that the lake would have been frozen.

More to the point, the RCMP assert that there simply was no such settlement at Angikuni Lake – ever. So why the enduring mystery?

The story of the vanishing village at Angikuni Lake was picked up once in 1959 in a book called Stranger than Science, but it wasn’t until FATE magazine published the story that UFO buffs really latched onto it. From that time on, the account that the RCMP calls completely fictitious was firmly entrenched in paranormal lore – yet another example of an unsolved mystery that rose from a local urban legend.

Related: Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm? An Enduring UK Mystery



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