Mooresville Tribune Article

Mooresville Tribune Article

Monster Mythology: Canadian film crew investigating our Normie
By Jessica Osborne
Staff Writer

A local myth has attracted international interest, with a Canadian film crew visiting Mooresville on Monday to interview well-known artist and photographer Cotton Ketchie.

The CMJ Productions crew, from Montreal, particularly wanted to talk about monsters for a television documentary on mythological monsters. The documentary will include Lake Norman’s own “Normie, the Loch Norman monster.”

The crew has been traveling around filming other such phenomena for its documentary, including Big Foot sightings in North Carolina; Ogopogo, a lake monster reported to live in British Columbia’s Okanagan Lake; the Hodag of Wisconsin; and the legend of Pepie in Lake Pepin, the largest lake in the Mississippi River between Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Another group is filming in Europe tracking down similar local myths for the documentary, said Catherine Lemercier, who interviewed Ketchie. She said a team of researchers from the production company searched for people within each community to talk to them about local folklore.

The film crew set up shop in Ketchie’s downtown Landmark Galleries, asking him questions about the history of Mooresville and Lake Norman as well as his beginnings as a painter and photographer.

Ketchie talked about the many changes to Mooresville since the creation of the lake, specifically with how the fishing culture changed, and Mooresville’s transformation from a mill community to a micropolitan.

During filming, Ketchie was asked to sketch a picture of “Normie.” Ketchie explained that since he has never seen the lake creature he would draw what he imagined it looks like.

“I never saw it, but I did see gar,” he said of the menacing, needle-nosed fish that frequent Lake Norman. “I heard stories of people seeing something, and the new Lake Norman monster. It’s a big body of water, but I never saw one. I was more interested in catching fish.”

Lemercier said the crew planned to speak to several other well-know folks, too, including historian Cindy Jacobs and professional fishing guide Capt. Gus Gustafson.

“We’ll be going out on the lake with him as he tells stories to children about Normie,” Lemercier said of Gustafson.
Whether “Normie” exists remains to be seen, but Ketchie thinks it could be a large garfish or catfish adding to the local folklore.

“There have been people who’ve caught hundred-pound catfish in the lake,” he said. “But who knows what’s down there now?”

This article is reprinted from The Mooresville Tribune.’s Editor’s Note:

The film crew was here for 3 days interviewing a lot of people, including local fishing expert Jake Bussolini and fishing guide Capt. Gus Gustafson, as well as filming a children’s sight-seeing cruise where the kids looked for Normie after being read the “Normie” the Lake Norman Monster childrens book by the author, Amy Myers. (She was interviewed, as well.)

The 13-episode series, called BOOGEYMEN, aired on Destination America here in the US spring/summer 2015.