An interesting story thread popped up this weekend on one of the social media platform’s public forums called “r/askreddit” titled “Native Americans of Reddit, what are your or your tribes ghost stories, legends, or supernatural occurrences?”
The responses so far have been very interesting and describe legends ranging from the paranormal to cryptid animals. We’re going to share some of the latter legends here as described by Reddit users. Although, as with any social media platform, the information that is shared on Reddit may or may not be accurate, but it does make for a fascinating read.
“It’s a legend about a horned snake in Tsalagi (Cherokee) legend. Uktena is said to be very large and round like a tree trunk, with horns on his head. The only way to wound him is to shoot at a singular spot on his forehead that emits bright light. It’s similar to a diamond. If you defeat Uktena, you become a miracle worker. A great warrior. Yet, once you see the light of his forehead, you run toward it instead of trying to escape. Even to see Uktena sleeping is death. Not to the hunter, but to his family.” (source)
The Flame Walker
“My Tribe talks about a beast called (rough translation here) ‘The flame walker’.
Spirits who take the form of a small blue flame, that leads people into the swamps and bogs, where they eventually drown or otherwise vanish. (yes they are basically will-o-wisps)
Another are the ‘Water Faced hunters’ (again rough translation, and i am not heavily involved with my tribe these days).
These creatures have a face that acts like a pool of water, reflecting the face of anyone who looks them in the ‘eyes’. They mercilessly hunt down the people who ‘acknowledge them’. The only way to avoid them is to not speak to, or others interact with a stranger unless you can see their face from the corner of your eye…” (source)
“So my dad told me this story about one of the tribal members a long time ago. I don’t remember if it was a friend or his family members but I guess one night he was out drinking and was walking down loop road. Then for like a week or two no one knew where he was or what happened to him.
I don’t remember if they searched for him or not cause its just a story my dad told me but he ended up popping up later on naked and covered in blood. Someone found him and got him to the reservation and they were helping him out and what not and they asked him what happened.
From what my dad told me he said he was taken by the little people and they beat him and kidnapped him. Again I don’t remember most of the details cause my dad told me this a while back so its kind of hard to remember but yeah. And from what he told me the guy was f***ed up for a while like having bad dreams about them and all that.
Little people from what I remember aren’t friendly. They play pranks and stuff like when my aunt was camping she had put some clothes to change into for the morning. Well that following morning she couldn’t find her pair of shorts. She checked everywhere and couldn’t find it. Then later on when she was packing she took her pillow case off the pillow and her shorts were in the pillow case. There was no way it could have gone in there.
Then the same time my uncle put out some socks and the same thing happened to him except it ended up under his bed that he was sleeping with no explanation as to how it moved to under there. But if you piss them off its definitely not a good thing as from what I was told they could put what essentially is black magic on you. Which can cause bad luck among other things.
If you’re lucky enough you can even find one of their homes. They can look like a birds nest on the side of a tree with all the sticks facing down but they can be as big as a beach ball just hanging there. I saw a big one myself and its pretty freaky.” (source)
Another Redditor added:
“Yakama tribe has a similar legend – when I grew up mom, granda, etc referred to them as “Stick Indians.” Other stuff I’ve found calls them “Stick Shower Indians,” due to them having the propensity to capture you, tie you down, and shower you with tiny spears.
My uncle had a story about being out hunting and hearing them behind the trees. At first he thought he was just sauced (Uncle was a drinker) – but he started hearing them to tell him to run. Then he heard the bear. He ran, and he listened. The voices in the trees guided him to an old trappers cabin and he held up for the night. Heard the whispers until he fell asleep. When he woke up, no whispers. No bear. So, he went back to hunting.
We were NEVER allowed to talk about Stick Indians while camping, as it would attract their attention.” (source)
“Dene from northern British Columbia here, my mom used to always tell me stories of the Nehgunni, or bushmen/wild-men when I was young, they were people who lived in the forest and took away people who wandered too far out, specifically children.
I always figured these stories were created by my people to serve two purposes, first to teach young children to not wander far off, and second to give explanations to kidnappings done by other tribes, which was a fairly common occurrence even up until the early to mid 20th century, my grandmothers brother was taken by Cree from Alberta and raised by them. They had assumed he had died until decades later when they were reunited and learned what had happened.” (source)
Another Redditor added:
“My grandmother is Cree. When she was about 13 she and her best friend were hanging out by the river when two Dene men paddled up in their Canoe, grabbed the best friend, and took off with her. She never saw her again.
I don’t know what the hell is up with the people snatching, northern tribes are weird AF in that regard.” (source)
See-at-co and the Dangerous Being
“So the first one is called See-at-co (don’t know the translation in English). Lived at this lake and it’s was his spot, we DO NOT go there or he will kill you. Used to have nightmares about him based on what I was taught as a kid. Like how you could stand at the edge of the water and be looking in and he would come out of it and just grab you.
But then the mountain blew up and filled in the lake so don’t know if he’s still around or not.
The second I don’t remember the name but translated into to English is “dangerous being” who lives in rivers and drowns people. Anthropologists think it was our way of describing dangerous log jams and whirl pools in our river.” (source)
Little People, Hairy Man and the Hum
“Other than personal ones that have to do with dead close relatives, I have a few: One of them is called “Little People” also nicknamed “The Mischief Ones”. They’re tiny little spirits that show up under any given circumstance and may mess around with your belongings for fun or bring you good luck depending. I’ve seen them.
There’s also another one more along the cryptozoology lines called “The Hairy Man”.. kind of like bigfoot but with a lot less hair. Big naked dude with patches of super long stringy hair where hair normally grows on a person (like arms and pubes). Scary looking but totally harmless…it’s said that when a child gets lost and dies in the tundra they turn into “Hairy Man” and wander the land for all eternity. Never seen this one.
Another one is, if you google it, is a worldwide phenomenon called “The Hum”…in certain areas in the country, especially rural ones like where I’m living right now, some people (younger people?) can hear a buzzing noise that sounds like a huge machine. It has no obvious source, sounds large & far into the distance which will usually be gone by the morning. We like to keep ours eyes on the sky on nights that we hear it.. it’s said that you’ll see UFO-like activity in the sky if you’re in the right place/right time.” (source)
“The story of Nagha(translated to Bush man)
I know of no oral traditional tales based on the Nagha, these stories I’ve heard from people who have had personal experiences with them.
The Nagha kidnapped a young boy from a town called Edzo 40-50 years ago. To this day his family goes to an island and leaves offerings of clothes and food to them. This boy was seen years later. The only Nagha to have been seen wearing a shirt and baseball cap. They had turned him from a regular boy, to a Nagha using medicine(Dene magic).
A guy I worked with once told me he bought an illegal gun and went far out into the bush to shoot it at trees, he came to a spot on the land where everything was bigger, the trees, the grass, everything. He immediately left. When he came back with his friend they had found a grizzly bear torn clean into five parts, head, body, arms and legs. With no evidence that the bear had been fed on(scratches or meat missing).
They noped the fuck out of there, and when he told he grandmother about it, she slapped him and told him never to go back there. It’s forbidden land, it belonged to the Nagha.
Last but not least. Another fellow I had worked with had seen Nagha while he slept in his tent at a hunting camp as a kid.
There was a plastic window in his tent, he awoke to the sound of his four dogs outside crying. When he looked up at the window (he described the window to be in the wall about 7-8 from floor level) he had seen the Nagha looking at him. He was too scared to move so he stayed still until his brother woke up shortly after. As they went outside to investigate, he noticed the usually aggressive dogs were still huddled in there house crying. He looked out towards the lake and saw Nagha running along the shore in an unusually fast pace, he described it as nearly gliding across the ground while moving your arms and legs in a walking motion.
When the Nagha noticed him, it stopped, and ran backwards in the same motion and pace.
He ran to his parents and woke them up but never saw a Nagha again.” (source)
“Mexican here. We were tribesmen too, we just built a bit of an empire, so I’ll tell you the story of the Chaneque. These creeps are young children with the faces of Old Men and not much is known about them. They live in the deserts and jungles of Mexico and the legend goes that if you see one and follow it, you’ll lose either three or seven days. My grandfather always told me that if you lose seven days to a Chaneque, they follow you home and they try their absolute best to drive you to insanity, depression, or suicide. If you lose three days, it means one of two things will happen. The first is that you’ll go to war where you will die a brutal but glorious death. The second is that you will be the victim of great tragedy. Lose your life savings, break both legs, lose family. That sort of thing. If you turn your back on the Chaneque, it will transform into a great and terrible jaguar and you’ll be devoured. To avoid this fate, you must back away from it, avoiding eye contact at all costs, for if you make eye contact, it will steal your soul. When you can no longer see it, you must pray and pray hard.
I’m not quite sure how well this monster is known throughout Mexico or if its even told the same. But I know that this story has been in my family for generations. My grandfather’s grandfather told him. My father’s grandfather told him. My grandfather told me. My father will tell my son. And I’ll tell my grandson. (Yes, in that order. Old traditions.) I pray we never see one of these monsters.
Edit: I’m Aztec, by the way. Or Mexica, if you care to split hairs.” (source)
There are several more stories on this thread, if you have some time it is worth reading.
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