Lake of Spirits

Payback in a New Novel

By Khaliela Wright

Low, haunting sounds carried like whispers on the wind often emanate from the lonesome mist that hovers over Spirit Lake. People claim those whispers are the mournful laments of the dead seeking to free themselves from their watery graves. While the bodies dumped in Spirit Lake in Stuart Scott’s new novel, Spirit Lake Payback, are fictional, the lake has claimed a number of real-life bodies, giving it a well-earned reputation for being haunted.

For example, in 2012 Luke Anana-Kuewa was found floating facedown in the lake, where he had been dumped after having been beaten, choked, and smothered. But Spirit Lake apparently began claiming bodies long before Fredrick Blackwell of the Panhandle Lumber Company founded the town of the same name and began selling lots in 1907.

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Khaliela Wright

About Khaliela Wright

Khaliela Wright earned her master’s in economics from Washington State University. In 2016, she founded the Palouse Writers Guild and in 2021, she founded Hart & Hind Publishing Company. When not immersed in business and economic statistics for work, she’s a freelance writer and works on a novel. Khaliela lives in rural Idaho and delights in being anything but the quintessential small-town girl. Visit

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