Native American Legends That Are Downright Terrifying

Throughout history, every civilization has its own myths and legends. From the ancient Greeks to the Egyptians, each one of these cultures has terrifying stories. Ancient lore of the Native American people is no different, and here are 9 bone-chilling creatures that may not be well known, but they’re more unsettling than anything you’ve read about before!

1. Kanontsistonties: The Flying Heads

native american legends

These vampire-like beasts of Iriquois myth can be any size from minuscule to gigantic. In one well-known story, one of the creatures attacked a woman who was roasting chestnuts, but accidentally burned to ashes after eating a hot coal.

2. Chenoo: The Ice Giant

native american legends

The Wabanaki people say that Chenoo once committed some unforgivable crime. As such, the gods cursed him, turning him to ice. Yet his spirit, though frozen, remains awake within the body of a troll-like creature, gobbling up any humans that are unfortunate enough to come his way.

3. Camazotz: The Death Bat

native american legends

The Mayans believed that the god Camazotz was a monster from the hellish underworld of Xibalba, where he rules over flocks of bloodthirsty vampire bats. He had the power to destroy entire civilizations, but instead, he made a treaty with the humans to not only not bring about the apocalypse, but bring us fire. The catch? He demanded human sacrifices.

4. Mishipeshu: The Water-Panther

native american legends

Many tribes, including the Cree, Algonquin, Ojibwe, and Shawnee, have told tales of the Water-Panther. Usually, it’s portrayed as a huge dragon-like cat creature that stalks lakes and rivers, searching for humans to pull down into the waters.

5. Skudakumooch: The Ghost-Witch

native american legends

The Passamaquoddy and Micmac mythology tells of the Ghost-Witch, born from the corpse of a shaman who practiced black magic in life. Each night, the demonic entity emerges with murderous intent. Even making eye contact or hearing the witch’s voice can curse those who are unprepared. Luckily, they can be killed with fire.

6. Tah-tah-kle’-ah: The Owl Women

native american legends

The Yakama tribe tells of five magical women who look like giant owls. By day, they live in caves, but by night, they fly away and devour all types of animals, including humans. They have a particular taste for children. They can even imitate human language to hunt them.

7. Teihiihan: The Little Cannibals

native american legends

These fierce, child-like humanoids of Cheyenne and Arapaho legend are known to attack in large numbers. Some myths say that they were powerful warriors in another life, but after dying in battle, they were resurrected as dwarves.

8. Uktena: The Horned Serpent

native american legends

According to Cherokee legend, these dragon-like beasts were once humans but turned into serpents to get revenge upon those who wronged them. Much like in European legend, tales are told of men proving their bravery by facing the creatures in battle.

9. Wendigo: The Evil That Devours

native american legends

The most well-known version of the Wendigo comes from the Great Lakes region, but it appears in many tribal legends. Sometimes, it’s a cautionary tale warning against the evils of cannibalism, as anyone who consumes human flesh will be turned into an irredeemable manifestation of pure evil with a bottomless appetite.

European legendary creatures like vampires and werewolves have nothing on some of these terrifying creatures. I think the Skudakumooch scares me the most, what about you?


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