Myths & Legends
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21 People Share The Most Terrifying Creatures From Their Culture's Folklore

Updated September 15, 2017 30.1k views21 items

Every culture hosts its own mythical creatures, birthed from ancient beliefs and customs of their region. Though mythological in context, these beings for a time had a very tangible effect upon the areas that believed in them, and thus inserted themselves into the annals of history. From sea monsters to undead Hawaiian warriors, these monsters range from benevolent to belligerent with rich backstories of their own. Recurring themes across cultures include abused and battered souls who become vengeful spirits, flesh-loving monsters, and a desire to keep the youngins away from dangerous places like open roads and water.

Collected here are Reddit accounts detailing the various creatures from users' regional and religious folklore's, some of these myths dating back thousands of years. 

  • The Rougaru

    Depends on who you ask. My grandma used to say that if you break the rules of lent the rougarou will grab you by your toes while you're sleeping and drag you into the swamp. And it looks like a wolf man type thing.

    When I was a kid my grandma's sister told me a story about the tail bone. I'm translating from French to English from memory 20 years ago so it might be messed up, but it goes like this. Nonc Dolze was out tending to his sugarcane field one day about a month after Ash Wednesday when he sees something running in the rows. So Dolze sets his dogs on whatever it is and grabs his shotgun. His dogs start fighting with this dog/coyote thing that's pitch black and has eyes blue like glass. So Nonc takes a shot at this thing and only manages to shoot the tail off of this animal. Well there was hard times on the farm and Nonc Dolze just couldn't resist a little gumbo with some meat in it, so he cooked that tail up with some okra.

    Later that night he heard his dogs barking like crazy and then go silent. So he got up and grabbed his gun. As he was walking out his room he heard a scratching noise from outside. He just shrugged it off thinking it was just some little Tigris birds messing around. Dolze gets to his patio and sees the steps to his porch are all scratched up. There's dog hair every where but no sign of his dog. As he's scanning the cane field from his front step he sees a pair of eyes staring at him from between two rows. And faintly on the wind he hears "mon cul , mon cul, s'il trouve mon cul?" (My tail my tail where's my tail).

    Heart racing, Dolze backs into his house and shuts the door. He hears scratching on the front porch. Then in the attic above the porch. Then above the living room. He hears his dog crying outside his window. So he runs to the front door to find his dog, but behind him he hears "mon cul, mon cul, tu mange mon cul?" (Did you eat my tail) He turns around and in the moon light he sees the bluest glass eyes he's ever seen, belonging to a man black as night with the face of a rabid catahoula, with claws so sharp he could hear the breeze whistling from them.

    In a whisper the beast said "mon cul, mon cul, pourqouis tu mange mon cul" (why did you eat my tail). With one finger raised the lougarou reached out and cut Dolze's stomach open and retrieved his tail. The next day his closest neighbors went over to his house and saw a trail of blood leading from the patio to behind his property to the swamp, and found a dog cowering under the porch without a tail.

  • Fairies Aren't Pretty, Peaceful Creatures

    A lot of modern interpretations of fairies are based off Old Irish folklore and so I have to go with them.

    Fairies aren't whimsical little sprites. They are vindictive creatures whose attitude and disposition towards you could change on a whim. Piss off a fairy, and chances are you are going to have a miserable life. Though this works both ways, and to have one in debt to you brings in mad luck... probably. Really fascinating folklore behind these creatures, I advise reading up on them. 

    And they aren't small, wee people.

    Traditionally, they look like you or I. Maybe a bit better looking, dressed better, more charming. Generally they have a complete disdain for human life, and actively try to harm for amusement. The stranger you meet walking down a dark road and fall into conversation with could be a fairy. I often wonder if they're a folk explanation for psychopaths.

  • Finnish Nakki Lurk In Lakes And Rivers

    In Finnish pre-Christian religion, there's a creature called Näkki, that lives in lakes and rivers. It looks partially like a beautiful lady but it's half fish and will drown you if you go to the water or get close to it. It's used sometimes to scare children from going to the water unsupervised.

  • Northern Canada's Wendigo And Salish Legends

    In northern Canada there's a creature called the wendigo. It used to be a person that once upon a time tainted his/her soul and ate human flesh. The wendigo became so consumed with flesh after that that it became insatiable. All attempts it makes at feeding itself grows the wendigo and fails to satiate it. They are said to have eaten their own lips because they just couldn't resist.

    As the legends go you should be careful while walking the forests. As the wendigo might capture you and eat you. But it won't just eat you in one go. It's used to hunger. It'll keep you alive as long as possible so that it has a food source for as long as it can during the winter.

    And it's not just in Canada. The wendigo is an Algonquian myth. So, although those peoples were mostly in what is now Canada, there were also some on the US side of the Great Lakes, into the northeastern US, and even in the Great Plains.

    There is a similar theme in coast Salish tribes. The man in the woods. The Salish name escapes me, but I have a 300-year-old cedar carving of this bogeyman in my living room. Given to my grandfather by a tribe as thanks for him keeping them safe over a tough winter, it was passed to me me eventually. Grandpa owned a remote logging camp and fed the natives when it got ugly out. They presented it to him, telling him that it was a story designed to keep kids from venturing off and getting lost.

    But they admitted, that there had to be some truth to all the legends. A man lost in the woods, possible mental illness, cannibalistic due to extremes, snatching people.

    Folklore can sometimes find itself rooted in fact.