The Native Americans consisted of millions of people spread across the country in dozens and dozens of settlements and individual tribes. Like most other cultures and believe systems around the world, the Native Americans had their own, although it’s important to remember that one myth or cryptid believed by one group of Native Americans did not necessarily mean that it was something that all of them believed.
There are some truly fascinating monsters, creatures, and cryptids from Native American lore as we will see here.
The Skinwalker was a monster that the Apache, Hopi, Pueblo, and Navajo peoples believed in. It’s actually a cryptid that can be found in a number of cultures around the world, but for now let’s focus on the one that the Native Americans recount in their oral traditions.
While the origin of the monster varies greatly between the different tribes, almost all of them describe the creature as an abnormally large humanoid with bright orange eyes, and are also said to be extremely agile, tough, and nearly impossible to kill.
Another incredibly well-known Native American legend is the Wendigo, a monster that was said to stalk the coldest winter months in search of prey.
Some anthologists believe that the Wendigo was created as a means of keeping cannibalism under control among the Algonquin-speaking tribes of some areas in the north, where the winters were especially harsh, and sometimes resorting to cannibalism was a necessity. The Wendigo is believed to be a humanoid creature that was either too greedy or indulged in cannibalism and was cursed to walk the earth, forever trying to sate its unending hunger.
Giant serpents have long been a part of cultures from around the world, and it was no different for the Cherokee people. The Uktena was a massive snake with horns on its head, and some iterations of the legend even believed the creature had the ability to fly with large wings.
It was such a strongly held belief among the Cherokee that they would pass down knowledge from one generation to the next about where the Uktena would dwell, and which areas were worth avoiding.
Witches are another type of evil creature that are present in most of the world’s cultures in one form or another, and people have sought them out for their power, whether it’s for a love potion or for a chance at winning with the best NFL Super Bowl odds.
For the peoples that belonged to the Wabanaki, the Skadegamutc was all too real, and represented a great evil that was meant to be feared by all. The Wabanaki believed that the Skadegamutc was an evil sorcerer that refused to remain dead, instead rising out its grave and taking on a new form as it stalked dark forests. It prowls the woods at night, waiting for an unsuspecting victim to consume their flesh and blood and feed their desire to remain immortal.