The Lachrymose Leeches are creatures named after their home in Lake Lachrymose. They are featured in The Wide Window.


They have six rows of very sharp teeth and one very sharp nose, and can smell food at extreme distances though according to Josephine Anwhistle they are blind, thus probably an explanation to the attacks on humans who have recently eaten. Illustrations show that they have long segmented bodies with two fins that circle their bodies at the neck and middle. They normally feed on small fish and crabs, but will devour human beings if they smell food on a person. Thus, anyone traveling on the lake is advised to wait one hour after eating before entering the lake for any reason.[1]


Known victims of the Leeches are Ike and possibly Josephine Anwhistle, since it is unknown if Josephine is alive or fallen victim to the leeches. Ike only waited 45 minutes before swimming. He thought that was enough (he should have waited 1 hour).



  • Ironically, Ike Anwhistle gave Lemony Snicket a Lachrymose Leech paperweight as a graduation present.
  • Although, fortunately, these leeches don't exist in real life, there is a very similar creature that do called "lampreys", especially "sea lampreys". They have tons of teeth, although they can't maul their victims apart like a Lachrymose Leech can. When lampreys bite into their victim, their wounds are very shallow.
  • In the console version of the video game, the player must protect Josephine from the leeches by firing peppermints.[2]

A leech in a jar.

  • A leech appeared in "An Unfortunate Teaser", a YouTube teaser for the Netflix TV series. The official Netflix channel commented on it: "Nope, this isn't an official Netflix teaser, but we won't call Count Olaf - THIS IS MOST MARVELOUS."[3] Despite this, many don't believe this claim due to the high quality of the teaser, as well as the leech being essentially identical to what would appear in the show.

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