Lake Lanier drowning: 19-year-old's body found after he drowned in 'haunted, cursed, murder lake'
Twitter users were quick to comment on the lake's history marred by several drowning incidents and allege that the lake may be haunted
LAKE LANIER, GEORGIA: The Gainesville Police Department along with the Hall County Fire, Department of Natural Resources, the Army Corps of Engineers, and a crew of 20 divers were deployed at Lake Lanier, earlier this evening in search of a teenager. Witnesses claimed that he had been swimming in the lake when he disappeared and never resurfaced. Emergency crews were called to the scene at 3 pm on July 14.
After hours of searching, the body of 19-year-old Jesus Victoria Reynosa was recovered using side-scan sonar, around 6 pm, said Mark McKinnon with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Sergeant Kevin Holbrook with the Gainesville Police Department said two people had been swimming in the lake when both went under the water. One resurfaced, while the other wasn't immediately found. The victim's family has been notified.
The news of the man's drowning caused quite a stir on Twitter, with many users and Georgia locals alleging that Lake Lanier is haunted. The lake has sparked controversy over the years because of multiple tragic incidents that have claimed the lives of several drowning victims. "Why... why does anyone *want* to swim in Lake Lanier is my question? There's a reason I affectionately call it murder lake," said one user, while another added. "Dead**s Lake Lanier must be haunted or some s**t, I swear a person goes missing there every other week."
This isn't the first time people have claimed Lake Lanier is haunted. An estimated seven million people visit the lake each year for recreational activities. Yet, residents and visitors alike continue to believe that the lake is cursed or haunted because of the number of people that succumb to drowning in its waters. Lake Lanier is located in North Georgia, some 60 miles from Atlanta, and more than 600 miles of its shoreline bordering five counties — Hall, Dawson, Lumpkin, Forsyth and Gwinnett. It is the largest lake in the state of Georgia.
As it seems, the rumors of hauntings may not completely be unfounded. Lake Lanier is a man-made lake that was built in 1957 by the US Army Corps of Engineers to manage navigation and flood control from the Chattahoochee River in order to supply water to the residents in the city of Atlanta. However, problems have followed the lake since the very beginning. In the five years that it took the lake to fill to its intended water level, the US government had purchased more than 50,000 acres of farmland for this ambitious project. In turn, more than 250 families and 15 businesses were displaced, while 20 cemeteries along with their corpses had to be relocated.
So, if one was to swim to the bottom of the lake (and make it out alive), they would find the old town still intact, complete with roads, walls and houses, eerily resembling an abandoned ghost town, but all underwater. According to a report by Newsweek, a handful of gravesites had also been submerged when the town was flooded out, which only adds to the local stories of the lake being haunted. "Bruh this lake cursed," a Twitter user commented beneath Fox News' update on the incident, while another concurred, "I'm from Michigan and even I know better than to get in that lake, at this point." With the number of people that have drowned in the lake in the past, this user's comment doesn't come as a surprise where he claimed, "Lake Lanier is basically a graveyard now," while another said, "It is one of the most haunted Lakes in the world."