Gumberoo

Date of Discovery

First sighted in the 1900s.

Name

The Gumberoo, with a scientific name of Megalogaster repercussus.

Physical Description

This bear-like creature is described as being incredibly fat–in some cases, compared to the shape of a football–with no hair, and dark leathery skin. Oddly enough, this creature has a large grin with sharp teeth, a beard, and prominent eyebrows. Their dark complexion is said to be as black as coal, but there is speculation that this is due to rubbing up against the inside of the charred cedar tree.

Origin

The Gumberoo originated in the foggy region along the Pacific Coast from Grays Harbor, WA, the entire coast of Oregon, all the way to Humboldt Bay, CA as well as the forests of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Its origin is spun from the folklore of lumberjacks and forest workers–with particular emphasis on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

According to Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth by Carol Rose, the Gumberoo belongs to a group of beings within this mythology called the Fearsome Critters. All of the Fearsome Critters are noted to have exaggerated proportions and activities which are believed to be the explanation of the strange sounds and bumps in the night when in isolated and remote locations. They also provided some amusement for the men in the camps, as they told stories to pass their down-time.

The Gumberoo is said to be a scarce creature due to the fact that it is quite combustible, and forest fires are relatively prevalent. They are said to be as flammable as celluloid film; during and after a forest fire within the heavily forested cedar region near Coos Bay, lumberjacks reported that they heard loud sounds that were not identifiable as well as the smell of burning rubber.

Mythology and Lore

When the lumberjacks, responsible for its discovery, attempted to kill it–except the Gumberoo didn’t die, its skin was apparently impenetrable. It is said to hibernate a majority of the time and it lives in old enormous, burned, and hollowed-out cedar trees. When it does come out, it only comes out at night and has an insatiable appetite when it does. The Gumberoo will devour anything that crosses its path, even reportedly a whole horse at one point, which was still not enough to discomfort nor satiate it.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Podcasts



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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)



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

Lafittes Bar – New Orleans Louisiana

This haunted bar dates back to 1803 around the time of the Louisiana purchase. Jean Lafitte was a famous French pirate who plundered vessels at the mouth of the Mississippi river and proprietor of the bar. The bar is claimed to be the first bar in New Orleans and it started off as a meeting place for pirates, smugglers and other criminals in the area. It was known to be a rough place where more than one murder may have occurred.

The haunting is said to be the spirit of a young man who had his mind set on becoming a pirate in Jean Lafitte’s crew.

This young man had stolen a silver necklace and had taken it to Lafitte’s bar to both sell it and gain recognition for his skills as a burglar. His hope was that Lafitte himself would catchword of his deeds and bring him aboard his ship. As word spread in the bar that he had a stolen necklace to sell he was approached by a pirate. this pirate asked to see the necklace. After sharing his prize the pirate let the young man know that he had stolen that necklace from his very own sister. It is rumored that the pirate brutally murdered the young wannabe shipmate right there in the bar.

Since that murder occurred many people have sighted the spirit of the young man over the years. He is said to be seen holding his neck and stomach where he may have been stabbed. He has been reported staggering around the bar only to vanish when interacted with.

Lafitte’s Bar is considered one of the most haunted bars in the United States.

Lalaurie Mansion – New Orleans Louisiana

The Lalaurie Mansion is considered one of the most haunted houses in the United States. It is located in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Delphine LaLaurie inhabited the mansion with her third husband Dr. Louis Lalaurie. Delphine had a mysterious past being that her first two husbands both mysteriously died. She inherited a great fortune from those marriages and her wealth only grew when she married Louis LaLaurie. They moved into the mansion around 1831 and it was known as a high brow spot for entertaining and parties. Delphine was known to abuse the house slaves with a very short temper and it seems possible she got pleasure out of the torture.

On one occasion during a party at the house, Delphine became enraged at a slave girl and allegedly pushed her over the stair rail to her death in the courtyard. She was later accused of barbarism for how she treated her slaves which at the time was illegal. Due to the Lalaurie’s status though they were quickly able to regain their slaves and continue with little re-corse. On April 10th, 1834 during another party the house experienced a kitchen fire. It was discovered that another slave had set fire to the kitchen on purpose as she would rather die than remain chained to the kitchen stove where she had been shackled for days.

When the fire brigade arrived and began investigating they found a chamber upstairs with as many as seven deceased slaves that had been tortured, possibly experimented on in a medical fashion, and all were chained to the walls or floors.

After the gruesome discovery and angry mob formed but Delphine, Louis, and their two children escaped justice in a carriage. They were never again found so the mystery of what happened in that torture chamber continues on to this day.

This haunted house has reports of liquid leaking from the walls, banging and screaming coming from the upstairs chamber and a history of being cursed. No one who has owned the house has kept it for more than a few years and several experienced financial ruins while owning it. At one-time actor, Nicholas Cage owned the house, but he also quickly turned it over.

Due to the hideous activities that occurred in the house, it is often considered one of America’s most haunted mansions. This paranormal story still has gaps though. Where did the family escape too and did they continue torturing and killing people?

Maman Brigitte

Vèvè of Maman Brigitte

Date of Discovery

It is speculated that Maman Brigitte came into being when African tribes were forced into slavery and were relocated to Haiti during the 1700s.

Name

Her name is Maman Brigitte, or Manman Brijit, which in English roughly translates to “Mama Brigid.” In other regions, she’s also referred to as Saint Brigid or Gran Brigitte.

Physical Description

Maman Brigitte is the only fair-skinned loa and the consensus is that she didn’t originate from Africa like her fellow loa. Instead, Maman Brigitte is thought to come from Ireland, a representation of the Celtic Goddess Brigid, or the Christianized version of the pagan deity, Saint Brigid of Kildare.

Origin

While it may seem strange that a European deity would be in the company of loa that originated from Africa, it’s theorized that due to the trend of indentured servitude that brought many English, Scottish, and Irish people to the Caribbean and United States. These indentured servants were overwhelmingly female in number, so they brought with them the tradition of the Goddess Brigid, who came to keep company with the loa that were brought with the enslaved peoples of Africa.

Mythology and Lore

Due to a heavy Catholic influence upon voodoo, Maman Brigitte is often referred to as a sort of Mary Magdalene; because of her origins, Maman Brigitte is portrayed as a red-headed, fair-skinned and wispy woman. Like her consort, Baron Samedi, she is part of the family of loa who has authority over the cemeteries and death. Maman Brigitte stands guard over graves and tombstones; in typical voodoo tradition, in a new cemetery, the first woman who has been buried within bears a special cross at her grave and is said to belong specifically to Maman Brigitte. Maman Brigitte is associated with death, but also with life–her particular brand of power is healing, especially sexually transmitted diseases, fertility, and divine authorities and judgment. While she heals those who deserve it, she is also a champion for those who have been wrong, by severely punishing the wicked.

Devotees of Maman Brigitte will leave this loa an offering of candles, black roosters, as well as pepper-infused rum. As the protector of women, she is primarily worshipped by females and she is often called upon to assist women who are battered, cheated on, or during rough childbirth.



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

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