Creepy Native American Mythological Creatures
Many people have been exposed to Egyptian, Greek, and Roman mythology, but knowledge of Native American mythology is not nearly as widespread. The idea of researching Native American mythology can seem very daunting, given how many different tribal histories and religions exist. Which is a shame, because Native American creatures of myth are just as interesting as their European and African counterparts.
Fortunately, the work has been done for you. This list of 20 creepy creatures in Native American culture will tell you everything you need to know about the most popular Native American deities and monsters. You'll learn the tribe or region from which each legend originates, and observe similarities between these myths and some popular mainstream ones. For example, you'll learn that there are Native American versions of Beauty and the Beast and Jonah and the Whale.
Some of the beings on this list are notorious, individual monsters, while others are races of creatures, meaning they exist in great numbers. Either way, every creature on this list is certified creepy.
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WendigoPhoto: JD Hancock / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Likely the most well-known creature on this list, Wendigos originate from Cree and Ojibwe mythology. Television shows like Supernatural and Charmed depict Wendigos as lupine monsters similar to werewolves, but original Native American myths did not include this description.
According to the Cree people, these creepy creatures are wild, giant human-eaters who take from and slay innocent people. Some stories claim that they can possess humans and that their victims turn into Wendigos. Then, there's Wendigo Psychosis, a psychological disease that causes people to crave human flesh. And yes, this is a real thing.
- 22,366 VOTES
The Inuit believed this creepy creature was an underworld deity that makes his way to Earth sometimes. He is described as a gray, hairless dog (except for his feet) who stalks victims at night before slaying and eating them.
Even if Keelut doesn't kill you, his presence is a sign your days are numbered; he's a harbinger of doom. Legends say he doesn't leave tracks (which is significant in snowy Alaska), thus adding to his sneakiness.
- 32,100 VOTES
Baykoks are evil, skeletal creatures that fly and can become invisible. They have sunken, red eyes, and their scream freezes people in fright. They are warrior-creatures who hunt humans for food. The creepiest thing about them is how they are created and wiped out - Baykok are former human warriors who had shameful deaths after committing grave acts like rape, incest, or infanticide.
The only way to stop a Baykok is to find its original human remains and give them a proper burial.
- 42,031 VOTES
Pukwudgies are a race of creatures from Wampanoag folklore. They stand two to three feet tall and their faces are human-like, with enlarged noses and ears. Pukwudgies are similar to goblins but have gray skin and, according to some legends, sharp porcupine quills. In stories, their behavior ranges from mischievous (hiding possessions) to downright treacherous (pushing people off cliffs).
Pukwudgies are very powerful. They have poison arrows and are able to teleport, create fire, and morph into porcupines. They are able to control the souls of the humans they've killed. Perhaps creepiest of all, residents of Massachusetts still report Pukwudgie encounters.
- 51,043 VOTES
Mannegishi are hideous, malicious, and small. Their diminutive stature makes them extra creepy. According to Cree folklore, the Mannegishi are a race of trickster creatures who live in rivers. They are the size of small children, hairy, have large heads, and speak with a strange, whiny voice. They also have narrow faces, huge eyes, no nose, and six fingers on each hand.
When feeling particularly nasty, Mannegishi swim underneath canoes and overturn them. They only capsize boats when they are on the rapids of a river, thus ensuring their victims have no hope of survival.
- 61,451 VOTES
Adlets are a race of creatures from the mythology of the Inuit and surrounding tribes. They are humanoid wolves who stand much taller than humans. Their top half is human and their eyes are piercingly blue. Their bottom half is wolf-like, and they often carry spears. Adlets are extremely fast runners, and some eat human flesh.
According to legend, the Adlet race was started after a woman got busy with a giant dog. In most tribal stories, Adlets are savage and aggressive and attack humans whenever they come in contact with them.