Keelut

Date of Discovery

It’s likely that the first written documentation of the Keelut was in the 1800s when anthropologists and ethnologists first traveled to the arctic regions to record folklore from the oral traditions of the Native Americans that had inhabited the northern region since well before the Bering Strait crossing melted.

Name

The Keelut is also known as the Qiqirn, Qiqion, and Ke’lets, which translates roughly to “Spirit of Death,” or “Evil Earth Spirit.”

Physical Description

Physically, the Keelut is described as being a black dog who looks malnourished—it is hairless in nature, except for its paws, which have a fluffy patch of fur to prevent tracks from being left behind.

Other than its hairless nature, the Keelut is said to be related to the Church Grim, or Barguest of Great Britain.

Origin

The Keelut is a mythological creature from the Inuit culture and arose as a way to keep people from unwittingly traveling into the darkness of an Alaskan or Canadian winter. To travel alone during the winter in the dark would almost certainly mean death in a cold and unforgiving climate.

Mythology and Lore

Within the Inuit culture, the Keelut is a spirit of the underworld known to be an evil creature that stalks its victims while they are alone in the dark of winter. As a predator, it only ever appears during the winter, because of the lack of darkness during the warmer months of the year. Due to the hair that is only present on its paws, the Keelut leaves no tracks which allow it to stealthily stalk its prey without giving any warning. Stories say that this evil spirit is not just a harbinger of death, but that it feasts upon the dead. In folktales, if a traveler were to see a keelut, it would disorient the traveler, eventually causing the person to succumb to hypothermia, which would result in their death.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Books & Literature

  • Hold the Dark (2014)

Movies

  • Hold the Dark (2018)



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Kenai Cemetery, Kenai, AK

Categories
Haunted Places

Date of Discovery

The city of Kenai was founded in by the Kachemak people after the Russian fur traders arrived in 1741, they worked to get the Kenatize Indian Tribe incorporated in the early 1970s. As more American’s began incorporating into the town the cemetery was built and became known as the “American” cemetery.

Name

Kenai Cemetery is located on the Kenai Peninsula near where the Kenia River meets the famous Cook Inlet. To locals, it is known as “The American Cemetery”.

Physical Description

The cemetery is surrounded by beautiful scenery, historic settlements, and tons of other attractions as Kenai is the hear of Alaskan adventure.

Origin

The origin of this haunting is rather vague, and each day Alaskan natives add to the reports helping to piece it more together. The servants found were reported to have belonged to its original owner, but little support for these claims has been found.

Mythology & Lore

Kenai Cemetery was investigated by many paranormal teams, and in 2012 they reported a women’s spirit going by the name of Marie, the ghost of Arthur Johnson, as well as several servants’ spirits on the property. They also reported EVP recordings of unknown voices whispering in the backgrounds. They heard footsteps in the snow but never capture video or photo evidence of these spirits. They did however check the plot registers to find there were a few ‘Marie’s on the list, but no Arthur Johnson. Each day people visit a blogging site Only for your State to keep adding to the sightings of these spirits and more. Giving this cemetery a ghostly history that is coming to life. Now the City of Kenai owns the cemetery and maintains its upkeep.

Is there anything we missed about Kenia Cemetery? Let us know in the comments section below!

Index
Alaska Ghost Hunting
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Krampus

Krampus Stuffing Child into Basket
Krampus Stuffing Child into Basket

Date of Discovery

If you believe the idea that the Wild Man could, in fact, be the predecessor or most ancient embodiment of the Christmas Devil, then the first report of his existence dates back to 2000 BCE.

Name

Krampus actually goes by several different names, including Knecht Ruprecht, Certa, Perchten, Black Peter, Schmutzli, Pelznickel, and Klaubauf. There is also a record of him being referred to as the Wild Man, but it is unsure if these legends refer to Krampus himself, or Bigfoot. Krampus and Bigfoot are considered distinctly separate creatures.

The name Krampus is derived from the German word krampen which means, “claw.”

Physical Description

Der Weihnachtsmann und Krampus
Der Weihnachtsmann und Krampus
(St. Nicholas and Krampus)

Krampus is typically portrayed as a monstrously large, muscled, dark half-goat, half-demon, with horns, fangs, and a ridiculously long tongue. He’s seen as the anti-St. Nicholas who carries a chain with bells to announce his arrival, as well as a wicker basket or, in some cultures, a bag and bundle of birch sticks so he can mercilessly beat naughty children and then haul them to the underworld.

Origin

The origin of Krampus as he is known today relates heavily to German folklore that celebrates Krampus with a December 5th holiday celebration called Krampusnacht, where children placed their shoes out to see whether or not they have been naughty or nice. If a child had been naughty, they would receive either a rod or piece of coal, where good children would receive candies or some other type of sweet treat.

Mythology and Lore

Due to the possible spread of misinformation on the internet, it has recently been proposed that Krampus is the son of Hel, a Norse goddess of the underworld–so much so that it has appeared in articles in National Geographic and Smithsonian Magazine. That claim, however, is not necessarily as factual as it may seem–those who know Norse Mythology either have no record of this part of the mythology or vehemently rebuke the idea.

Instead, Krampus is the Christmas Devil–the evil counterpart of St. Nicholas or Santa Claus whom aside, from leaving children an indicator of their behavior throughout the year, would gather bratty and naughty children into a sack or wicker basket, beat them with the birch sticks he carried and the drag them off to hell.

It’s a popular event in countries such as Austria, Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic for men to dress in a Krampus costume and take part in an event called Krampuslauf. Typically this is celebrated as a sort of parade of Krampus monsters as a way to bring back old traditions.

Mythological Timeline

The people over at the Official Krampus website gave a timeline of how the mythology of the Krampus legend is believed to have evolved. There are several references that might indeed be speaking of what we now call Bigfoot, which is also referenced to the Wild Man.

Krampus Chasing a Child
Krampus Chasing a Child on a German Krampusnacht Postcard

2000 BCE

  • In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Enkidu is considered the earliest known appearance of the Wild Man within folklore.

600 BCE 

  • Within the Old Testament, in the Book of Daniel, the Christian mythos tells of when God punished King Nebuchadnezzar for his pride and turned him into a hairy beast.

217 BCE 

  • Saturnalia, a pagan holiday within the month of December is officially introduced in Rome as the official winter celebration. It established one of the first instances of social role reversals where the slave became the master and vice versa. People would throw wild parties and give gifts to one another.

300s

  • Around five hundred years after the introduction of Saturnalia to Rome, the Romans had actually converted to Christianity–with their influence, they converted many Germanic tribes to Christianity. Their pagan roots survived only in small remote villages within the Alps where the Church could not gain favor.

1250

  • Konungs skuggsjá, or King’s Mirror–a historical Norwegian text in which the Wild Man appears, described as being covered in hair.

1600s

  • The first appearance of Krampus as Knecht Ruprecht within the Christmas procession in Nuremberg.

Early 1800s

  • When the Brothers Grimm began recording and publishing Germanic Folktales, acceptance began to be re-established within the culture. Jacob Grimm even mentioned Krampus within his Deutsche mythologie.
  • Within this time postcards celebrating Krampusnacht were introduced into the culture of Austria, Germany and other parts of Europe which officially initiated the recognition of Krampus and other companions of St. Nicholas.
  • When German and Dutch immigrants began to arrive in the US, they also brought the popularity of Pelznickel traditions to Pennsylvania, and Maryland which spread as far west as Indiana.

2004

  • A collection of vintage Krampus postcards from the 1800s was published by Monte Beauchamp as Devil in Design. This would mark the growth of the popularity of Krampus within the English speaking world.
  • The Venture Bros., an Adult Swim Network show featured Krampus during a Christmas special.

2007

  • Supernatural, an American television show based on the unexplainable supernatural mythos of the world, they showcased Krampus as a diabolical monster they had to defeat.

2009

  • Stephen Colbert, an American comedian, brought Krampus on to his television show The Colbert Report.

2013

  • Krampus was featured twice within American television, by appearing both on Grimm and the animated television series American Dad.

2015

  • The movie Krampus was released as a horror/comedy fusion.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Books & Literature

Movies

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Is there anything we missed about Krampus? Let us know in the comments section below!

Kushtaka

Categories
Horror Mystery and Lore

Date of Discovery

Though there is not a set date these creatures came in Alaskan native folklore, most of the legends simply state “in the old times.”

Name

The Kushtaka is also known as Kooshadkhaa which means “land otter man” and is where the American name Otterman comes from. In other language’s they are called Baykok (or bakaak), Keelut, and Wayob.

Physical Description

The Kushtaka is a mythical shape-shifting creature capable of assuming human or otter-like form. They share the same nature and appearance as the Skinwalkers from the Central Plains as well, depending on the tribe’s legend. Some have been reported as demon-like, others are closer to an otter-like yeti.

Origin

These mythical creatures are found in the folklore of the Tlingit and Tsimshain people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. Two main theories among Eleherean scholars are that Kushtaka were “converted” mortal kith or that they are stolen fey-souls that failed to meld properly. There is little supporting these hypotheses as each tribe’s reports range in similarity, so the origin of the Kushtaka’s is still unknown to this day.  

Mythology and Lore

The tales of the Kushtaka’s behavior conflict a bit with one another painting ever different pictures of these creatures. In some tales they are cruel creatures who play tricks on the Tlingit sailors to cause their deaths; however, in others, they are friendly and helpful to the sailors as well as villagers, and even saving them from the freezing waters. When they are saving people, the accounts tell that the Kushtaka will transform the dying person into an otter as well, giving them the ability to withstand the cold and make it to safety. Many legends tell of the Kushtaka emitting a high pitched, three-part whistle in a pattern of low=high-low. Some legends say the Kushtaka lure women to the rivers with screams of babies, then it makes its choice to transform them into fellow otters or kill the person and tear them to shreds. Locals believe only a few things can ward off these trickster creatures; cooper, urine, dogs, and fire. They also kept their children safely away from the waters and always travel there in pairs.

Many tribes still tell the tales of the Kushtaka from the old times, however, they never seem to nail down the real nature or mission this creature is on. Sometimes violent or deadly and with a demon=like appearance; others, it’s mild and calm with a friendly appearance of otter-like creatures. It seems the Kusktaka will continue to be sought out and studied in hopes of truly understanding them.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Books & Literature

Movies

Television Series



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