A 24-year-old man has reportedly become one of the latest in an array of fatal incidents involving Lake Lanier, ahuge reservoir in northern Georgia with a tragic history. Following the deadly past few days, where three men lost their lives, it’s led people down a rabbit hole on the area’s past. Diving into the history of Lake Lanier and how many people have died, some fears over it being ‘haunted’ or ‘cursed’ has risen in recent years.
By exploring thehistory of Lake Lanier and researching how many sad deaths have occurred, the horrifying past adds perspective to understanding its haunting present, as the news grips Americans.
How many people have reportedly died in Lake Lanier?
Lake Lanier is a reservoir in the northern portion of the US state of Georgia. It was created by the completion of Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River in 1956 and is also fed by the waters of the Chestatee River.
According to Narcity, throughout history there have been around 700 deaths reported at Lake Lanier due to accidents and drownings, making it one of America’s most dangerous lakes. Although, this is an estimation, as record-keeping wouldn’t have been as thorough as it is in present day.
Officially named Lake Sidney Lanier, the 38,000-acre recreational body of water an hour’s drive northeast of Atlanta provides drinking water for around 5 million people. The Buford Dam at the lake’s southern end generates hydroelectric power for the metro Atlanta area.
Washington Post reports that between 1994 and 2022, more than 200 have died at Lake Lanier alone. Therefore, has at least been hundreds of reported deaths at the lake, with the past 30 years taken into account.
Between 1994 and 2022 at Georgia’s most famous manmade lake, at least 76 people died in boating incidents, and there were 140 drowning deaths, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
While some assume the lake’s popularity could explain the high number of fatalities, Lake Allatoona which is only 40 miles west of Lanier, has a similar number of visitors each year but one-third of the deaths, as per Oxford American.
There has been six tragic deaths at the site in 2023 alone, with the three latest fatalities doubling the number of three deaths last month in a matter of days.
A history of Lake Lanier deaths from ‘1st-year-of-death‘ to 2023
On Friday July 28, 2023, a 24-year-old reportedly died after jumping into Lake Lanier from his family’s dock.
A TikTok user named @nurse_nya spoke through the strange story.
On Saturday, July 29, a 61-year-old man disappeared when he drove off the side of a boat and never resurfaced, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said. Sadly, Tracey Stewart’s body was found at around 9pm in the water. The same night, a 27-year-old man was reported missing after he went swimming new Van Pugh Park. Rescue teams are still searching for the unidentified man’s body.
These come just days after 24-year-old Thomas Milner died, which officials say occurred when he was electrocuted after jumping into the water off a dock.
When the Lake was built in 1956, it is reported that 250 families were displaced. Roughly 50,000 acres of farmland were destroyed and 20 cemeteries were either relocated or otherwise engulfed by the lake’s waters over its five-year construction period.
This suggests that the‘1st-year-of-death’ took place when the lake was built. However, official records may differ.
Fears over Lake Lanier’s history being ‘haunted’
During the creation of the lake, a cemetery was flooded. Thus, creating the rumor that Lake Lanier is now haunted by those who believe in the paranormal.
45 years before its creation, in 1912, the lake was formerly a small African-American town named Oscarville.
TikTok user named @blackkout___ broke down the historical facts surroundingOscarville, which supposedly eventually became Lake Lanier, in an informative video accompanied by images and reported dates explaining the events.
Settled along the Chattahoochee waters, Oscarville was home to around 1,100 black people, most of whom were freed after fighting in the American Civil War.
Over time, pieces of the land were allegedly sold to the government, and by 1950 a plan to build Lake Lanier was in effect.
It is thought the entire town of Oscarville was eventually underwater, flooded in conjunction with the Buford Dam to support the growing demand for a water supply to the nearby cities.
The resulting reservoir was named after Sidney Lanier, a poet, and musician (who was also a Confederate private).
This leads to the previously mentioned report construction had allegedly destroyed more than 50,000 acres of farmland and displaced more than 250 families.