Lady of the Lake. Woodrow alumna Katie Shank posed for photographer Kathleen Wilke. Photo courtesy of Woodrow Wilson High School via Facebook.

The Lady of the Lake is no new tale.

In fact, students at Woodrow Wilson High School were telling the story to each other as early as the 1930s.

According to one site, the first published version of the story came in a 1943 account by Anne Clark titled “The Ghost of White Rock.” In it, a young couple parked on the shore of White Rock Lake turn on their headlights to find a girl wearing a white dress approaching. She says she needed a ride home immediately, that she had been in a boat that had overturned. As the couple near the address she gave them in Oak Cliff, they look in the back seat, and she’s gone.

The couple knock on the door of the house, and the man who answers says his daughter drowned while sailing on the lake three weeks ago.

Another telling of the story was published in Frank X. Tolbert’s book, “Neiman-Marcus, Texas: The Story of the Proud Dallas Store.”

In that one, the couple, the Malloys, were directors for display for Neiman Marcus. They saw the girl wearing a wet, white dress walking on a road near the lake, and the woman identifies the dress as something purchased at Neiman Marcus.

They agree to give the girl a ride home, same as in the earlier version, but she asks to be taken to a home in Lakewood. The couple turn around to look in the back seat, and they don’t see the girl, only a wet spot on the seat.

When they arrive at the Lakewood home, the man says he had a daughter who loved wearing clothes from Neiman Marcus who died about two years earlier when she fell off a pier at the lake.

Writer Rose-Mary Rumbley says the legend was created by Guy H. Malloy, who first saw the Lady of the Lake arise from White Rock Lake. He was driving home to East Dallas from Neiman Marcus late one Saturday night.