The “scariest” mythical creatures from American folklore

The “scariest” mythical creatures from American folklore

Elizabeth Walker, Staff Writer

Sorry to the die hard believers, but Bigfoot will not be appearing on this list. Since the spooky season is in full force, why not celebrate with some spooky tales of haunting and horror? Here are the nine scariest mythical (or completely real) creatures from American folklore that you need to watch out for.

 

  1. Wendigo: Roughly translated, Wendigo means “the evil spirit that devours mankind.” From Native American folklore, specifically Algonquin, it is said that these giant, 15 feet tall beasts are actually humans transformed into their grotesque figures by the consumption of human flesh. Apparently indigenous to the Great Lakes region, these evil half-man creatures lurk in the shadows and prey upon the flesh of unsuspecting citizens. They are associated with cold weather, famine, murder, and insatiable greed. It’s said that they mimic human voices to lure their prey away from civilization, and then kill them.
  2. Slide-Rock Bolter: First discovered in the 1800’s by lumberjacks in North America, the Slide-Rock Bolter is native to Colorado and looks like a giant eel that hooks onto the side of mountains with its tail (which some natives describe as “large, hairy knuckles”). It is claimed that the beast waits high up in the mountains for someone to walk beneath its path, and then it will release its hold upon the slope and slide down, ready to devour the victim. They are said to be grey, which helps with camouflage. Some believe that this blue whale-sized beast is hiding dormant in the vast mountains of Colorado. Beware to anyone who is brave enough to venture into the shadiest parts of the Colorado hills. 
  3. Pukwudgie: Pukwudgies are traditionally from Wampanoag tales, but some have been spotted quite recently in Delaware. These creatures are supposedly two or three feet tall and resemble humans to an extent (with grotesquely exaggerated noses, ears, feet, and hands). These troll-like creatures used to be friends with humans but have since turned against them. Pukwudgies are known for their horrible tricks, causing trouble, attacking people, and killing people with poison arrows. It is advised to avoid these ne’er-do-wells at all costs, unless you’re looking to be blinded with sand, thrown off a cliff, or simply be attacked with a dagger. 
  4. Qalupalik: The legend of the Qalupalik comes from the Inuit tribes of Canada. It is classified as a “mermaid,” if you could even call it such. They have webbed hands with claws, and fins that stick out every which way. Their faces are reminiscent of menacing blob fishes. They carry what is called an amauti (traditionally for mothers to carry their children around in) to easily snatch the Inuit babies away from their mothers. Legends don’t say what the Qalupalik does with the children, but they never return. This wise-tale definitely frightened kids into keeping their curfews. 
  5. Ludwig the Bloodsucker: During the 1800’s there was a vampire creature named Ludwig the Bloodsucker. Earning the title of “America’s First Vampire” this little nudnik would go around the streets of New York and prey upon intoxicated pub-dwelling people, sucking all of their blood out. He was known to be especially hairy—with crazy black hair—and very short. Many claim that he could drink human blood “as if it were wine.”
  6. The Donkey Lady: There actually is a true story behind this legend. A lady named Doc Anderson used to live on a road in a little shack in San Antonio, Texas where she raised and cared for donkeys. People thought she was eclectic and strange. People over the years have seen her continually going and leading donkeys to water. They believe this could be a legend that started “The Donkey Lady” because there is the bridge on the road she used to live on which is haunted. Another claims that a ghost of a tragic house fire is The Donkey Lady, but the mystery remains. It is said that if you honk 3 times she will appear upon the bridge.
  7. Pope Lick Monster: The Pope Lick Monster is also a bridge-dwelling creature, making its permanent residence in Pope Lick Creek, Kentucky. Its top half is human and its bottom half is goat, with protruding horns from its forehead. He lures his victims unto the train track with his melodic voice, and then they get hit by trains. People have actually been hit by trains for simply searching for the beast at night. Real or not, this legend has claimed more lives than most.
  8. The Beast of Busco: In 1949 two Indiana residents in Churubusco, Indiana were fishing on a fine morning. They spotted a giant turtle coming out of the lake. The men were frightened, and told the whole town. The town began their tedious hunt for the magical giant turtle. This crazy legend has lived on for almost 70 years, with tourists coming from near and far to catch a glimpse of this famous gigantic beast that haunts the waters of the town.
  9. Green Clawed Beast: One fine summer day near Evansville, Indiana, two friends were swimming in the water of the Ohio River. Everything was fine until the woman was pulled under the water by a mysterious force, over and over again. She managed to kick free, only to be pulled backwards and under the water for a long time. Her friend, after the woman finally resurfaced, lunged for her tube and tried to save her. This scared the beast away and they both made it safely to shore. The ambulance was called and she was treated for many contusions on her leg, and something terribly peculiar: a green palm print wrapped around her leg. The stain was imprinted onto her skin for several days. Ever since, the waters of the Ohio River have been stagnant, the fearful people hoping nobody gets pulled under, never to return to the surface again.

 

Whether these stories are straight facts or old wives’ tales, these legends all speak one universal truth: the unknown outside world can be a very scary place. Legends are typically created for things people can’t understand or explain. Stay vigilant this Halloween season, you never know what kind of creepy creature may be lurking right around the corner—or worse: right behind you.