Terrifying Creatures from Native American Folklore

These monsters are so creepy!

5. Bakwas

Terrifying creatures from Native American folklore

The Bakwas is a terrifying creature that originates from the Kwakiutl people of British Columbia. This beast is often known as the wild man of the woods and resides in a spirit realm. It has large eyebrows and a pointed nose. It is believed that the Bakwas were originally the spirits of people who had drowned.

The Bakwas are often shy of people, but if one takes an interest in you, it is terrifying. Legend says that the Bakwas love to eat “ghost food” that it finds in cockles, fish, or berries and that it lives in an invisible house in the woods. The danger comes when the Bakwas attempts to lure you to its home. It offers its victims tempting foods to get them to its invisible house. Unfortunately, the food is cursed, and anyone who eats it becomes a Bakwas themselves.

4. Unhcegila

Terrifying creatures from Native American folklore

The Unhceglia, from Dakota and Lakota Sioux folklore, is most often described as a massive serpent with iron fangs and impenetrable scales. Some even say that if one looks into the creature’s eyes, they first go blind, then go insane, then die.

According to legend, the Unhceglia was once a peaceful creature that coexisted with the Dakota and Lakota tribes. Then, it began to develop a taste for human flesh. Ever since then, it has been a formidable enemy. Its scales are invulnerable to spears and arrows. However, it can be killed if it is hit with an arrow between the eyes, where it sports a small red crystal.

3. Mishipeshu

Terrifying creatures from Native American folklore

The Mishipeshu is often known as the Underwater Panther. This creature comes from the tribes of the Northeastern Woodlands, such as the Iroquois, Wappani, Ojibwa, and Shawnee. This terrifying monster appears to be a hybrid of numerous creatures; it has the head and paws of a panther, a body covered in scales, and sharp spikes on its back and tail. It lurks deep in the waters of lakes and rivers, hardly ever surfacing.

This creature is terrifying because of its awful power: it is said that the Michipeshu is the cause of destructive storms and natural disasters. Occurrences such as tidal waves, hurricanes, rapids, whirlpools, and thin ice are often attributed to angering the Michipeshu.

2. Wendigo

Terrifying creatures from Native American folklore
Monsters Vault

The Wendigo is one of the better-known Native American creatures, often making its way into popular culture. This monster originated in the folklore of the Chippewa, Ottawa, Algonquin, and Potawatomi peoples. It is often known as the Ice Cannibal: the Wendigo is said to be a sinful human who was coated in ice as punishment. Luckily, it can be defeated by piercing the ice and destroying the heart of the human inside. Some stories claim that the person inside can be saved, but most often, they can only be saved through death.

The Wendigo is a terrifying monster that hunts humans and eats their flesh. Some say that the victims of the Wendigo become possessed, and begin to crave human flesh as well. This theory seems to gain some credence from the existence of Wendigo Psychosis: a psychological disease characterized by a desire for human flesh.

1. Baykok

Terrifying creatures from Native American folklore
Warriors of Myth

If you’ve ever been frightened by an animated skeleton in a horror film, you may have been looking at a creature inspired by the Baykok, a skeletal creature found in the mythology of the Chippewa people. The Baykok was a skeleton with translucent skin, band black eyes that turn red when stalking a victim. When it screams, its victim is frozen with terror, becoming easy prey. Sometimes, it shoots its victims with an arrow that puts them to sleep. It then sneaks up and cuts the victim open, devouring their liver and replacing it with a stone. The victim awakens with no memory of the ordeal but slowly dies because of the missing organ.

It is said that the Baykok were originally warriors who committed major sins, such as rape or incest. After death, they are cursed to walk the earth, hunting humans for food. The only way to kill a Baykok is to find the original human remains and give them a proper burial.

You might hear the approach of a Baykok when walking through the woods. It is said that you can hear its bones popping and its skin stretching as it moves.

Well there’s our look at some terrifying creatures from Native American folklore. Have you heard of any of these wicked creatures? Let us know in the comments below or on any of our socials.