Local Legends and Creatures of North America Part 2

I hope you all enjoyed part 1 of my exploration of creatures and legends of North America. If you missed it find it here: Lets take a look at 5 more of my favorourites from this continent before crossing the Atlantic.

#1 Bigfoot or Sasquatch

Bigfoot can be found in many forests across North America, but the most sightings have been reported along the Pacific coast, especially Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.
Bigfoot is described as a tall, upright or bipedal, ape-like creature. Not quite man not quite ape, with a body completely covered in fur and in some cases reported to be as much as 9 feet tall. There are different variations of his temperament, some claiming that the bigfoot is simply a large animal, probably nocturnal and most likely a herbivore. Other legends suggest he’s a blood thirty beast and even uttering his name will cause him to come and take you away.

The modern-day Bigfoot’s legend originated in 1958 as a simple article in a small local newspaper. Andrew Genzoli of the Humboldt Times did a small write up on some large footprints found near a logging site in California. He jokingly wrote that “maybe we have a relative of the abominable snowman”. People loved the article and rolled with it, inventing the name “Bigfoot” and the rest is history.

Books to read: The Bigfoot Book: The Encyclopedia of Sasquatch Yeti and Cryptid Primates by Nick Redfern buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Bigfoot-Book-Encyclopedia-Sasquatch-Primates-ebook/dp/B0110IBO9Q. Monster by Frank E. Peretti check it out here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/65684.Monster

Movies to watch: Exists see trailer here:https://youtu.be/vNKqNBey9MQ,Willow Creek see trailer here: https://youtu.be/QPlc9UY2iuQ, Abominable see trailer here: https://youtu.be/mtpF7bWAnts, and Primal Rage see trailer here: https://youtu.be/m_c-G_6JKzA

#2. Bloody Mary

Who hasn’t played Bloody Mary? You light a candle stand in front of a dark mirror and chant her name 3 times (or more depending on the variation) in hopes that a scary witch will appear covered in blood and cause you bodily harm. It’s actually a pretty bizarre thing to do, now that I stop and think about it. Looking at it as an adult made me curious as to where the legend began.

Originally the ritual was meant to show a young unwed woman her future husband. The young girl was supposed to walk up the stairs backwards holding a candle and a hand mirror. The goal was to catch a glimpse of her future lovers face, but if for some unfortunate reason she happened to see a skull it meant she would die before ever being wed.

Whether you want to see a bloody apparition or your future husband, there is actually a pretty good chance that you will. It’s actually a proven scientific phenomenon coined the “strange face illusion” by Giovanni Caputo. If you stare at your face in a mirror in a poorly lit room for a prolonged period of time it will cause hallucinations. The brains facial recognition system goes haywire thus causing us to see something other than ourselves, sometimes something scary.

Book to read: Mary: The Summoning check it out here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17661402-mary by Hillary Monahan

Movies to watch: Urban Legends: Bloody Mary watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/kKWa-voJcR0, Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary (1975)

#3 The Montauk Monster

This is an especially interesting legend to me because it’s current, plausible and there is actual HD colour photographic evidence.

In July of 2008 an unidentifiable creature washed ashore on the beach of Montauk New York. It was discovered and photographed by 26 year old Jenna Hewitt. She was at the beach with friends and saw a small gathering of people standing around something. At first the creature was thought to be a racoon (seriously that isn’t a damn racoon!), but there is no way to find out since the body mysteriously disappeared. Several unsubstantiated claims stated that “a guy came and took it” no one knows who or where though.

There is a possibility that it was an animal from Plum Island. Plum Island is the animal disease center of New York. There has been speculation that unethical animal testing is still continuing to happen there. During the cold war biological weapons were tested on livestock and the facility still remains a place of mystery and controversy. Maybe the creature was the result of some horrific experiment gone wrong. One thing is for sure the public will never know what really happened.

Book to read: The Montauk Monster by Hunter Shea check it out here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18371375-the-montauk-monster (honestly anything by him is good)

#4 La Llorona or The Weeping Woman

The legend of La Llorona takes us to an unnamed rural village in Mexico, where there once lived a young woman named Maria. She came from a poor family, but was well known for her exceptional beauty. One day a wealthy man of status was passing through her village and was said to have been stopped in his tracks by her beauty. He fell in love with her and proposed marriage. While her family was thrilled that she was marrying a wealthy man his family was extremely disappointed in his choice. The young couple chose to stay in Maria’s village away from his father. After some happy years passed Maria gave birth to twin boys. Maria’s husband was always travelling and had very little time to spend with his family, he slowly began to fall out of love with her and finally left one day never to return. Some time later as Maria and her boys were walking along the river she spotted her husband with a younger more beautiful woman in his carriage, in her frustration and shame she tossed her boys into the river where they drowned. Once she realized what she had done she dove in after them and drowned herself. At the gates of heaven, she was asked where her children were and not permitted to enter until she found them, so she roams the earth for eternity searching for her dead children.

She can still be heard crying and searching for her children, but if you do hear her wailing run the other way! Her cries bring great misfortune and even death. Keep your children close so she doesn’t steal them confusing them for her own.

Books to read: Hell House: & Other True Hauntings from Around the World by Allison Vale check it out here: https://books.google.ca/books/about/Hell_House.html?id=ih0-CZ8XF-IC&redir_esc=y (awesome book, one of my personal favourites), Prietita and the Ghost Woman by Gloria E. Anzaldua

Movies to watch: The Curse of La Llorona… coming soon. Watch the trailer here:https://youtu.be/jjSShe-0AwM
#5 Marie Laveau

Marie Laveau was a real person said to have done extraordinary things, whether she did perform any magical feats or not she is still one of my personal heroes.

She was born in 1801 in the French Quarter of New Orleans a free woman (fairly uncommon in that time and place for a woman of colour). Not much is known about her early life except who her parents were and where she lived. What we do know and what makes her interesting is that she grew up to be the voodoo queen and was said to have “walked the streets like she owned them”. Marie was also a devout Catholic and attended mass regularly. She began her career as a hairdresser and became a nurse during the yellow fever epidemic. She was very skilled with medicine and healing and knew how to prepare and use medicinal herbs. Concerned with the welfare of people’s souls Marie often stayed with people for their last moments and served them their last meal. She even helped criminals condemned to die at the gallows.  She was said to be an extremely beautiful and benevolent person, unless crossed.

Marie was believed to be clairvoyant knowing everything about everyone. She prepared some of the most potent grigri bags (talismans) that were said to cure any disease or make people do whatever she wanted them to do. She was rumored to own a large snake named Zombi. Due to her persuasive personality and political connections she was allowed to perform voodoo rituals inside the Saint Louis catholic church, a practice that anywhere else or done by anyone else would be considered blasphemy. One of her most important accomplishments as a voodoo priestess and the case that convinced even the skeptics was freeing a man on trial for murder. His father came to her begging for help and offered her a house in exchange for his sons freedom. She is said to have prayed for days and even suffered physical torture. She placed 3 Guinea peppers (extremely hot peppers) in her mouth and held them there for hours. She snuck in on the day of the mans sentencing and put the voodoo peppers under the judge’s chair, it was believed that In exchange for her suffering the voodoo spirits set the man free. She was rewarded with a beautiful home on St. Anne’s or so it’s said and now had proven her ability to sway even the justice system. It’s said that all voodoo needs to succeed is for people to believe in it.

People still travel to Laveau’s grave in hopes of getting wishes granted. It’s believed that if you draw an x on the gravestone, turn around 3 times, knock on the tomb and yell out your wish it would be granted. If the wish was granted you needed to return with an offering and circle the x. You can only visit now on a guided tour that is definitely on my bucket list. You can take the tour here: https://freetoursbyfoot.com/new-orleans-tours/walking-tours/st-louis-1-cemetery-tour/
Books to read: Voodoo Queen: The Spirited Lives of Marie Laveau by Martha Ward buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Voodoo-Queen-Spirited-Lives-Laveau/dp/1578066298, Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau by Jewell Parker Rhodes
What to watch: The History channels: Voodoo Secrets, watch it here:https://youtu.be/TIPzaDRjCVc

Thanks for reading my follow up on North American legends, we’ll travel to Europe next and scope out their creatures and folklore.

Posted by Candace Stone

Check out my Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/Theshocker82/

Leave a Reply