It had taken the canal building rivermen 15 years to stretch the river flow to the Great Lake here. It would take some of the people of Lake Town’s water, true, but it brought ships! The government promised trade, fur, and food.
As they approached the project’s last days the rivermen sat down in the ditch far too often. Least, as was concerning the people of nearby Lake Town. “Look how they rest on their laurels! I want to see water! I need better clothing!” The people needed to speed up the rivermen.
The rivermen were ruffians. They cussed and they fought and they passed out drunk in front of taverns. Such unseemly people should be seen off quickly, to protect the citizenry.
So the people of Lake town hatched a plan: They would bury a full barrel of whisky, and every ten feet the rivermen would find another. When the whisky was found, to the citizen’s surprise, the rivermen drank it up right in the bed of the river. The rivermen danced and dug harder.
In ten feet they found another barrel, and in ten feet another, and another! The rivermen were too pleased, too drunk, too at ease to halt the last of the digging. Where should have been laid some explosive to finish the job for them, the men happily dug in too far. The Great Lake overtook them. Not one riverman survivor.
So the ghosts all around what we now call the “Eerie Canal” were just simple workin men, tricked into dying with whisky.