Native American Mythical Creatures Bring Horror to Ancient Legends

Native American Mythical Creatures Bring Horror to Ancient Legends

Native American mythical creatures are often magical and helpful. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes they are downright terrifying and we can only pray that these legends come from the imagination and not from real events.

The Rotting Abomination Known as the Wendigo

wendigo as portrayed in video game until dawn

A Wendigo as portrayed in the video game Until Dawn.

The Wendigo, or Wendigoag (plural) are one of the most terrifying Native American mythical creatures. Stories of the beast are most commonly found amongst the Algonquian people who at one time lived along the Atlantic Coast and the Great Lakes Region. The word Wendigo can be translated as meaning ‘evil spirit that devours mankind’ although it has also been described as meaning cannibal. In fact, legend states that a Wendigo is created when a human being chooses to consume the flesh of another human. Cannibalism is said to create Wendigoag even if it is done only to survive. Another legend states that the Wendigo was a warrior who made a deal with the devil to be turned into the creature in order to protect his tribe. Once the tribe was saved, the warrior was cast out.

Wendigoag are described as having a hunger that is never satisfied no matter how much they eat. They’re physically characterized as being gaunt yet towering at approximately 4.5 meters (almost 15 feet) tall. Glowing eyes punctuate their faces above a set of oversized fangs and an elongated tongue. Accounts differ on whether they are covered in hair or bare decaying skin of a rotten yellow color. The human who was once the Wendigo is said to live frozen in the Wendigo’s heart. In order to kill the Wendigo, you must pierce its heart, thus killing the human as well.

The Shape Shifting Terror of the Skinwalker

unknown artist interpretation of navajo skinwalker

An unknown artist’s depiction of a Navajo Skinwalker.

Native American mythical creatures can be scary but arguably none are as unnerving as the legendary Navajo skinwalker. This one is about a medicine man, priest or witch that has achieved the highest spiritual levels and made the decision to use the knowledge and skills for evil. The skinwalker is said to transform into an animal or even other people in order to harm and destroy people. In following the path to become a skinwalker, a person has to commit one of the worst acts possible; killing a loved one or close family member. They are rarely caught because of their high degree of skill and ability to remain hidden in plain sight. If a tracker happens to uncover the identity of a skin walker, they must say their name in full and this will cause the skinwalker to become sick and die of the ills thy inflicted on others.

Teihiihan: The Most Heartless of Native American Mythical Creatures

teihiihan are native american mythological creature that engage in cannibalism

Teihiihan are said to engage in cannibalism.

These strange creatures come from stories told in Arapaho folklore in which they are described as enemies of intensely aggressive tribes. The Teihiihan are said to be bloodthirsty cannibals who are extremely strong and fast. Their speed makes them hard to spot at times and gives way to legends of invisibility. They are not considered to be especially smart and this is their downfall. If their hearts are destroyed, they die. Therefore, they often leave their hearts at home before going into battle. While this gives them a distinct edge in battle, it also leaves their unattended hearts vulnerable to predators and enemies.

As you can see, there is a world of ancient horror present in Native American history. Present day accounts of these creatures exist, so it’s best to stay extra alert next time you’re out in the woods far from home, where you may encounter ancient spirits.

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