Lake Van Monster

cem_ozuduru_vangolucanavarijpegNow in production is a lake monster movie about a lake other than Loch Ness or Lake Champlain. While these latter are well-known domiciles of megafauna of a vaguely prehistoric nature, it is less well-known that Lake Van (aka Van Gölü) in eastern Turkey — a large, rather voluminous enclosed lake — has been the site of over 1000 reported sightings of a similar monster since 1995. (See the website Searching for Cryptonia, for more details and some interestingly left-field speculation. This is the blog of Doug Ormsham, who corresponded with me over an extended period concerning his great-grandfather Hugo Drakenswode, who was apparently a cryptozoologist and monster hunter.)

The Lake Van Monster has, of course, become quite a tourist attraction. Now Bünyamin Yaşar is directing a film called Van Gölü Canavarı (Lake Van Monster), to be released later this year.


Shooting at the lake

Director Bünyamin Yaşar with cast and crew

The Lake Van monster has never featured in a film before, despite its tourist appeal, and The Backbrain wondered if it was destined to be in this one, given that the plot apparently concerns three disgruntled shepherds who concoct a scheme to make money by showing fake footage of the monster.

However, the director has expanded on the plot:

“Three shepherds, who were dismissed from their town, come up with an idea while swimming in the lake that will fool the people of the town: They make a mock-up of a monster and film it,” he said. “Then they make the people watch it in return for money and make very good money. But, at the end of the film, the shepherds see the real monster in the lake.”

He added:

“The film will leave a question mark in people’s minds,” added Yaşar, who said there would be elements of comedy and romance, as well as action scenes, in the film, which stars Levent Aras, Nazif Çetin and Didem Ellialtı.


The lake is a picturesque one, quite extensive and sporting many features reminiscent of Loch Ness — not least of which is the fact that it has a castle overlooking it, just like Urquhart Castle on the Loch.

Van Castle on the southern shore of Lake Van

Urquhart Castle on the southern shore of Loch Ness, Scotland

The monster has become so famous locally that statues have been built to it at various centres around the lake — though they offer vastly different views of the beast.



At any rate, it will be fascinating to see how the film develops. See here for further details about the lake monster and his film.

Gallery of Images, including more of the production:

Addendum: Videos relating to both the film and the monster on Undead Backbrain

This entry was posted in Film, Giant Monsters, Lake Monsters, Monsters in general. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Lake Van Monster

  1. Avery says:

    I so look forward to this one! Another famous lake monster making their big screen debut! I love a good lake monster flick! Can’t get enough of em’!

  2. Backbrain says:

    I had noticed that, Avery! 🙂

  3. Jeff Ritchie says:

    Hmmm lake monsters have never been the same since Dr Karl explained away Nessie, never let a science geek near cryptozoology in my opinion.

  4. Pingback: Undead Backbrain » Blog Archive » Lake Van Monster: Video Addendum

  5. Goji says:

    What exactly is there to “explain away” about Nessie. There is something unusual in Loch Ness, that much is clear.

    Anways, looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

  6. Carole Davis says:

    May I use your picture of the statue of the monster? I am writing a travelogue self-published little paperbck, non-color book with a story about Lake Van and am telling about our unsuccessful 🙁 search for the monster. Thank you.

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