Oklahoma's Monsters and Other Unexplainable Legends
Ever since the days of the ancient Caddo Empire, Oklahoma's residents have conjured wild tales and fascinating stories about strange monsters and unbelievable beasts roaming the wilds. Some of them, such as Oklahoma's own Bigfoot—the Boggy Bottom Monster—have been well-documented through the years, but there's a lot of other legends of strange and unique beasts running around the state.
Many of these stories originate from ancient Native American legends, while others are more modern in origin. As you read through this list of monsters and other unexplainable legends, try to see if you can figure out the hidden truth behind the myths.
Oklahoma's Giant Octopus
This strange beast is most commonly found in Lake Thunderbird, Lake Oolagah, and Lake Tenkiller. According to those who have seen it, it is about as big as a horse, a slightly red color, and somewhat resembles a shark with tentacles. Do you believe it? As always, it's possible, but I doubt it. To date, there has never been a freshwater octopus discovered, and since each of the three lakes were man-made, it would be slightly difficult for an OkieOctopus to slither on up in there.
The Oklahoman Satyr
The Oklahoman Satyr? Not quite, but close. According to some Native American legends, there is a strange beast running around through the forests of Oklahoma. Half-woman, half-deer, this woman is not one to tangle with. She lures unsuspecting young men into the forest with her beauty, but once they discover that she has hooves, she morphs into a doe and tramples them. Personally, I think someone had a little too much of that firewater and ended up paying the price.
Oklahoma's Alligator Man
Now this one's interesting: In November of 1920, a strange beast indeed was reported in an issue of the Oklahoman. Apparently, in 1842, a frightening scene happened near Tahlequah as a man stumbled on to a hidden cave. Curious, he decided to explore a bit, which didn't turn out to be such a good idea. While at the mouth of the cave, he could make out the outline of a large man inside. But, this was no ordinary man . . . as it slowly moved forward, a strangely reptilian feature began to emerge: this creature had the body of a man but the head of an alligator and skin that was just as tough! It was reported that after the beast saw the man, it quickly gave chase. A few days later, it was reportedly seen making its way across the prairie north of town. Townsfolk organized a posse to hunt it down, but it was never seen again. The story clearly must be fact, since it was reported in The Oklahoman!
Have you ever heard of the Ishkitini? It's a fabled being brought forth from Native American legends, notably the Choctaw. According to these myths, the Ishkitini is a "skinwalker," or a being that takes on both aspects of man and animal. In many legends, this being can transform from its human form into a wolf, coyote, bear, or any other number of creatures. Tales abound of the Ishkitini overtaking vehicles traveling along back roads, or creeping up to open windows at night. One particularly frightening manifestation is the Stigini. It is said that this human transforms into a horned owl, and, when seen, is the harbinger of death—usually violent and terrifying. Rumor has it that the area around Bird Creek Church in Sasakwa is full of these beasts, so next time you're around in that area, keep an
In Western Oklahoma, another strange beast right out of prehistoric times has been spotted throughout the mountainous areas. Known as the Thunderbird, this enormous flying beast has a wingspan that measures up to 160 feet wide and has a body of more than 90 feet. The beast has been described as being featherless and resembling a dragon. According to investigator Callan Hudson, many early settlers in the southeastern portion of the state were terrorized by the beast for many months, causing some of them to flee the state. Another incident reports that small children from Clarita were being abducted by this massive beast, causing families to confine their children indoors. The beast was finally brought down around the 1920s by a local rifleman. It is thought that the beast is buried near Clarita, in a river bottom, where its bones are believed to still exist.
Fact, or fiction? There are some strange things lurking through the wild forests and deep lakes of Oklahoma, but how much truth is there to these stories? I'll let you be the judge.
© 2018 Eric Standridge