People the world over develop their own specific folklore, heavily influenced by the natural world around them and their own culture.
The North American continent was no different.
Reddit user A_KULT_KILLAH wanted to know about the myths and legends of North America and asked, "Native Americans of Reddit, what are your or your tribes ghost stories, legends, or supernatural occurrences?"
Here are some of the interesting legends and superstitions of North America's First Nations.
ᏣᎳᎩ (Tsalagi or Cherokee) beaded Uktena
Uktena. It's a legend about a horned snake in Tsalagi (Cherokee) legend. Uktena is said to be very large and round like a tree trunk, with horns on his head. The only way to wound him is to shoot at a singular spot on his forehead that emits bright light. It's similar to a diamond. If you defeat Uktena, you become a miracle worker. A great warrior. Yet, once you see the light of his forehead, you run toward it instead of trying to escape. Even to see Uktena sleeping is death. Not to the hunter, but to his family.
Dené Nakani or Nehgunni
Dené from northern British Columbia here, my mom used to always tell me stories of the Nehgunni [Nakani], or bushmen/wild-men when I was young, they were people who lived in the forest and took away people who wandered too far out, specifically children.
I always figured these stories were created by my people to serve two purposes, first to teach young children to not wander far off, and second to give explanations to kidnappings or missing people.
Este Lopocke or Este Lubutke
Miccosukee Little People tricksters
Miccosukee tribal member here (South Florida) and for us it's the little people. Essentially really small people (like barbie doll sized and smaller) that live in the trees. They play jokes and stuff mainly unless you piss them off. Had family members get tricks played on them that couldn't be explained. And then we have our fair share of stories that circulate our reservation like a tribal member being taken by the little people. All on the reservation in the Everglades (like 40 mins west of Miami).
Dog Tails or Why They Sniff Each Other
when dogs danced
Lenni Lenape story about why dogs sniff each other's butts.
When the humans slept, dogs would get together and party, but not before taking their tails off. They'd dance the entire night, put their tails back on and return home. But one time a wolf found them and all the dogs had to scramble away to their homes for safety, but a lot of them grabbed the wrong tail. They never danced again at night because they were afraid of the wolf, so they were stuck with weird mismatched tails for the rest of their lives.
This is the reason that dogs sniff each other's butts; to see if the other dog has their tail.
Haida Raven Brings Light to the Earth
Raven Art by Jody Bergsma
In the beginning there was no light in the world, because an old magician kept it hidden in a box inside his house. Raven, who was always hungry, didn't like the darkness because it was difficult to find food. One day he was looking for food near the old magician's house. He heard a voice saying, "I have a box, and inside this box is another box, and inside this there is another box, and inside the smallest box is all the light in the world." Raven decided to steal the light.
Raven waited until the old man's daughter went down to the river to collect water. Just as she was dipping her basket into the river, he changed himself into a *hemlock needle. The needle floated into her basket. When the girl drank some water, she swallowed Raven too.
Inside the girl's belly Raven took the form of a human baby. He grew and grew, and in time she gave birth to a funny looking child with black eyes and a big nose. The old man loved his grandson so much that he gave in to the child's every wish. Raven became spoilt and greedy. He was bored with all his toys, and wanted to play with the box that held the light. Finally the grandfather opened the box and tossed the glowing ball of light to Raven.
As soon as Raven caught the light, he immediately changed into his bird form. Holding the light in his beak, he flew up the chimney hole into the dark world. The magician was angry. He wanted to get the light back into his box. He flew after Raven. The light was heavy in Raven's beak, and he was getting tired. The magician was coming closer. Raven broke off some pieces of the light and threw them into the sky. They became the stars. The magician was still coming closer, so Raven broke off another piece of the light and threw it into the sky. It became the moon. Finally Raven became so tired that he tossed the last and biggest piece of the light into the sky. It became the sun; and that is how daylight came to the world.
Cowlitz legend of the See-at-coh (art by AndyFil)
See-at-coh (don't know the translation in English). Lived at this lake and it was his spot. We DO NOT go there or he will kill you. Used to have nightmares about him based on what I was taught as a kid. Like how you could stand at the edge of the water and be looking in and he would come out of it and just grab you. No whistling at night and keep windows covered.
But then the mountain blew up [Mt. Saint Helen] and filled in the lake so don't know if he's still around or not.
Nahual of Mexico
First of all, I live in rural Mexico. There are many, many different People. The ones who settled here speak Nahuatl. This took place in the early 1900's. One of my favourites is the nahual. Some people were thought to be able to turn into an animal. Most of them could only turn into one, but the most powerful could turn into different animals . There was a man who owned an hacienda where my town is, and he had a sort of overseer that everyone was afraid of .
Said overseer could take a message all the way to the next state (think hundreds of miles) and bring back a sealed response in a single day. He also seemed to know everything everyone did, all the time. He was rumoured to be a nahual that could turn into a coyote.
His quarters were heavily warded in his absence, which only added fuel to the rumor, for you can only kill a nahual if you find the human skin he sheds to transform, and burn said skin.
Yamǫ́rıa & Yamǫǫ̀zha
Powerful Magic painting of Yamǫǫ̀zha by Archie Beaulieu
Yamǫ́rıa & Yamǫǫ̀zha the giant twins [of the Dené].
There are landmarks all around the territory I live in that is exhibited as "proof" they were alive.
In the middle of the Mackenzie river( biggest river in the NorthWest Territories) there is a large stone sticking out of the river which looks like the petrified guts of a beaver, there is a giant branchless, leafless tree sticking out of the top of this stone.
It is said that Yamǫǫ̀zha had hunted a giant beaver and gutted him there in the river. He used his spear to anchor down the cuts so fish may feed on them. They are still there to this day.
Yamǫ́rıa's body can be seen laying down, it is essentially a mountain range that looks like a giant human laying on his back, completely with face and feet. This can be seen from the peak of the hill as you enter a town called Ft. Liard, the southwestern most town in the NWT.
Walking Sam of the Pine Ridge Reservation
"Walking Sam" skulks in the shadows of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and convinces people to take their own lives, especially young people. He's 7 feet tall, very thin and has no mouth. When he stretches out his long arms, nooses hang down with Lakota children hanging from them. Walking Sam finds you when you're alone and puts thoughts in your head until you feel worthless and kill yourself. Sometimes Walking Sam is depicted looking like Abraham Lincoln, complete with the stovepipe hat. "Walking Sam", "Uncle Sam", I don't know if that's where the name came from.
But Walking Sam is an evil infected upon the people when the Oceti Sakowin were forced onto the reservations; he isn't a legend of the people before Pine Ridge Reservation existed. Lincoln was President when the Lakota were being forced onto reservations. Lincoln also ordered the execution of 38 Lakota men the day after Christmas in 1862. It's the largest mass execution in U.S. history. I always thought Walking Sam was Lincoln. They carved his face onto Ŝa´kpe Tuŋkaŋŝi in the Paha Sa´pa (Mount Rushmore was Six Grandfathers in the Black Hills) My Father attended Holy Rosary boarding school at Pine Ridge in the 1940s & 1950s, but our people didn't live on the reservation. My Grandmother said evil stalked the people there. My Father never wanted us to ever even visit any of our cousins or his Uncles there.
Clans of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy)
I know the [Haudenosaunee] rules.
- If you hear someone you know calling your name, but you also know they are not supposed to be there, DON'T respond. Especially if they are out of sight and insisting you come to them.
- Always play group games in counter-clockwise order, otherwise your playing with the dead.
- Also don't eat in the dark, this is considered inviting the dead to eat with you. If you can extend your hand all the way out and still see it clearly then your fine.
- Don't play card games past midnight. If you do, and someone knocks at the door, don't answer it.
- Try not to drop your cards, if you do then don't bend down to pick them up, or you will see hooves under the table. That's bad.
- Say thank you after meals, even if you're the one that made it. Even better if you say it in native tongue. If someone finishes their meal and says thank you, you say "you're welcome", even if you didn't give it to them. Even better in native tongue.
- Don't try to contact spirits, especially with board games. This is not a tribe custom, it's more of an unspoken common sense among the Rez people.
- After someone dies, you should gather family as quickly as possible to have feasts for 10 days. The first dinner is large, then every meal after that is smaller feasts meant for portions of the family to come at different times to help. The last feast on the 10 day is the closing dinner, which is the largest, with the entire family expected to show up and help. For every meal of these 10 days, put out a plate of the deceased's favorite foods first. Contrary to rule 4, you do not say thank you at any time during these 10 days. This is because it is believed that it takes the dead 10 days to relive their lives before they pass on, so this is your last chance to eat with them.
- If a bird flies into your house, someone's going to die.
- Pregnant woman should not hold any child that isn't theirs.
- It's accepted that if you actually try to curse someone, literally going through all of the steps with the intention of harm, not an accidentally wishing them bad luck, then your family will also be cursed horribly.
- If you play with fire you'll wet the bed.
To learn more general information about Native American mythology of the United States, visit the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian website or for Canada, visit the First Nations in Canada website. For information about specific tribes, visit their tribal government website for recommended resources.
Raise your hands--who had an emo phase in the 2000s? I know I did, as did a lot of people around me. All of us heard “It's just a phase" from our parents at some point, but when you're a kid, life as we know it seems so permanent.
Of course, most of the time, it was “just a phase". And looking back, those phases are regrettable, to say the least. Here are some prime examples of that.
What was your biggest/most regrettable "It's not a phase, mom. It's my life." that, in fact, turned out to be just a phase and not your life?
The enthusiasm of a young person can lead to some unexpected changes that parents are just not ready for.
I was VERY into The Transformers when I was a wee lad in the 1980s. One day, I decided to change my name to the name of my favorite Autobot. My name was lame, and I wanted an awesome Transformer name. And I was VERY insistent that my parents only call me by my new name. Calling me by my 'old' name would cause a big fat tantrum on my part.
So for the better part of a week, my poor parents had to call me Wheeljack.
Very 2008.Ariana Grande Shrug GIFGiphy
My cat-ear phase. I wore cat ears every single day. Everywhere. I had like 20 pairs of them. Now everyone thinks I'm a furry.
I find that very cute and wouldn't have thought you'd be furry. Even if you'd had cat mittens. I think my suspicions would have started if you moved a bit like a cat, displayed catlike grooming habits or got a cat mask.
Not gonna lie, that car sounds cool.
I went to a car show once as a teen, and the only newer car there was some chick's PT cruiser. It was hot glittery pink, and at the time I was obsessed. I insisted that one day I would have a hot pink car, with pink seats, pink dash, pink carpets, etc. I was pretty heavily goth at the time, so my parents just rolled their eyes.
These phases can often lead to some very strange fashion choices.
When I was a teenager (early 00s), I was waiting for my mother to pick me up and was wearing one of those sh!tty sports wristwatches. It was itching me so I took it off for a second, but then she arrived and because I was struggling to get it back on my wrist, I looped it around the equally sh!tty chain I had around my neck in a rush to get out the door.
My mom asked me about it in the car, and I told her this was my new style and I planned to wear it like that every day. She rolled her eyes.
I wore that watch on a chain around my neck every single day for 3 years or so. There are even professional family photos where I'm wearing it because I refused to take it off.
One day, the chain broke and I lost the watch. I was in high school at that point anyway and it was a major lady repellent, so... phase over.
Not everyone can be Eminem.slim shady eminem GIFGiphy
Baggy pants, being a rapper someday and being a professional skater.
When I was about 14 and Eminem was starting to blow up I bought myself a keyboard with a synthesizer. It cost like $200 which was all the money I had saved up. It finally came (this was way before amazon prime and such) and I tried rapping.
My sister told me "you're effing horrible" and I gave up right then and there.
This should be a sin.
I used to button the top buttons of polo shirts.
I must say, this is probably the worst one I've read.
Looking back at our regrettable choices, all we can do is cringe.
An optimistic look at bad tattoos.check me out season 3 GIF by PortlandiaGiphy
Being a tattooer. Regrettable because of those poor people who have my awful doodles on their bodies.
Take heart! My favorite tattoo is the one I drunkenly got my buddy to do in his living room one year during March Madness! It's dumb and frankly mediocre? But such a good story and has such good associations I smile every time I see it.
My friend and I decided we were going to open a bar in Jamaica with exotic snakes in glass cages in the walls at each booth. We convinced ourselves it would be amazing for at least two years in college. It was going to be called Fredro's.
My entire family made fun of me for it. Once we got out of college, we realized it was not feasible and joined the office grind. We're also two white guys with no ties to Jamaica.
Talk about cringey.
I wore a top hat with an anime pin on it for around a year. Met one of my current best friends while wearing it, idk how he could bear to speak to me after that.
My weirdest phase was probably when I insisted on wearing knee-high rainbow socks to school every day. But honestly, I don't regret it. I rocked those socks, and I wish I still have a pair.
To all the people out there cringing over their past selves, remember that you were just a kid, and to be easy on yourselves. After all, we've all been there
It should not take much for a consumer to be satisfied with the products they purchase.
Yet, too often, manufacturers who oversell their products fail to deliver what is promised and are inevitably left with angry customers who want their money back.
Whether the merchandise was defective or ridiculously overpriced, strangers online shared some of their worst purchases when Redditor BooksMcGee asked:
"What is the worst product you ever paid money for?"
Short Life Span
"This NERF gun that's supposed to shoot tennis balls for your dog. I bought it cause I thought you could load 3 at a time and shoot them far, but it's just one and it's super loud and the gun broke after like 4 shots (reading reviews later, this was a common issue)."
"There were these toys called squiggles when I was a kid and the commercials made it seem like the toy was alive. It looked like you would get this crazy little fuzzy worms as pets that would follow you around an so sick tricks and listen to your every command. It was really just a piece of fluffy string tied to another piece of string with googly eyes on it. People may say that it was supposed to be a magic trick but they should also explain that to a 5 year old who really wanted a pet."
"Not their fault, but I paid $70 for a Yugioh card hours before it was limited to one copy. Probably dropped to $20 by the end of the day."
These purchases were bad for your bum.
"A bicycle that literally fell apart before I made it out of the parking lot."
Not Worth Sitting On
"Joybird brand couch. Was so terrible, we returned it. Still hard to believe, we returned a freaking couch."
Going Nowhere Fast
"A 2000 VW Beetle (used)."
"Biggest piece of sh*t that literally had to have just about everything replaced before 100k miles and would still break down every time you left the driveway to the point where the tow-truck driver knew us on a first-name basis."
"An Oldsmobile Achieva from one of those buy here pay here places. I should have known better, but I was young and thought I was getting a good deal. I had the thing for about 5 months, I drove it for maybe 3 weeks. The rest of the time it was either in the shop, or in my driveway waiting until pay day so I could afford to fix whatever broke on it this week. Eventually told the dealer just take it, I'm not paying for it any more. He said nope, and I will make sure your credit is ruined. I said well you sold me a lemon, do you really want to go this route? He came and took it. Never reported anything to credit. I heard he got sued by several other people who sold sh**ty cars too and eventually went out of business."
"Always amazes me when I see them driving around still, I can only assume there's enthusiasts who just love repairing horribly designed cars."
These Redditors were not convinced what they ingested was edible.
"A box of plain Cheerios. Thought they were honey nut, poured a bowl, was very disappointed."
"If I wanted to taste cardboard, I'd just eat the box."
"A burnt frozen pizza at the air and space museum cafe in DC. I Don't wish that experience on anyone. There are some amazing restaurants in DC, don't settle."
The following electronics just gave off a bad charge.
"Asus Transformer Pad TF700"
"This was one of those early 'high end' Android tablets that was grossly underpowered, and it showed. Thing was slow as sh!t in no time flat. Rookie mistake investing into shiny new tech while they were still working all the bugs out. Think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-400 for it..."
"macbook pro 2018 13" touchbar. 2 years old and dead (battery). they're asking $300-$400 to change the battery. malfunctioning keyboard with double presses and missing presses. that's a lot of money for bad design."
"Past winter my old room heater broke down and I had to buy a new one. Went to a store nearby and somehow got convinced to buy a very costly heating device.. It's also my fault, since there were some sligthly cheaper options around, but nope. I wanted the expensive one thinking it will make my small room a volcano with little to no effort/cost (that's also what the seller told me). Long story short the device wasn't doing ANYTHING. No significant temperature changes, too much space, a weird noise, and was doubling my previous device in utility cost. I still gloom over those 80 euros.."
Some of my disappointing purchases was clothing, but only because I purchased them online. Unless they are a brand I'm familiar with, I'm usually fine with buying new jeans off of their websites.
But when it comes to graphic tees only available on specialty shops, an M-size shirt is not necessarily the same size as those found in other reputable stores.
I bought a medium sized T-shirt from a boutique store online because I loved the look of the design. But when it arrived, the supposed medium fit me like an XL.
At least I gained a fierce cleaning rag from this impulsive purchase.
We all know the job interview butterflies.
We sit outside the office or wait for the phone call and our foot taps at rapid speed. We run through some rehearsed answers, but worry that they'll ask a slew of things we never even considered. We try not to sweat too much.
Often, it turns out alright. We may not get the job, but we're respectable, give solid answers, and learn a lot about the place we're trying to get hired.
Other times, however, all of our far-fetched worries seem to come to life.
Curious to hear just how bad an interview can go, Redditor UIGrimsen asked:
"What was your worst job interview?"
Plenty of people had some truly bizarre stories to share. Part of these train wrecks were bad luck, and part were the insane antics of the people giving the interview.
But for us, they're simply hilarious.
"I applied for a job in a Planetarium, the interview was conducted in a big dome."
"Problem was, another part of the Planetarium staff was doing fire alarm tests during the interview. The dome amplified the sound so much, it was deafening. The interview staff acted like nothing was going on. We had to shout so we could hear each other."
"My mom raises chickens … and during COVID one of them got sick (not COVID). She had it inside to feed water hourly to try to nurse it back to life. My mom has to run an errand so I'm in charge of this chicken for the afternoon."
"I was on a phone screening with a candidate for a position in my office and this chicken starts having a seizure and dies on the middle of this phone call. I look over and it's laying almost like it was crucified."
"The candidate heard the commotion and asked if everything was ok … Which I relied 'yeah, the chicken just died.' "
"She withdrew her application the next morning."
"1.) I walked in as the HR lady farted"
"2.) it was a small office with no windows"
"3.) I asked her questions about their employee retention rate that she couldn't answer"
"4.) the fart stayed the duration of the interview"
"5.) I hope the fart got the job, because I didn't want it"
A Very Instructive Moment
"Applied to work at a vet clinic. Veterinarian did the interview while spaying a cat, apparently one of the cleanest and quickest surgeries they do. I fainted."
"Was not offered the job (after I woke up)."
Others shared moments when their excitement was deflated instantly. They encountered such closed-minded interviewers that there was almost no need for discussion.
That Bus Perk
"As an interviewee It was when I applied to a job as a Junior programmer and in 5 minutes the guys goes 'look, I'll be honest, there is no job, you can get an internship, no pay, we offer the bus pass' "
Plains, Trains, and Automobiles Later...
"I took vacation days to interview, bought my own plane ticket, and paid for my own hotel. First thing the interviewer said was, 'I have no intention of hiring you. This is just a courtesy because I knew your brother.' I had 8 more hours left in my interview day. It was painful."
"They ended up offering me the position many weeks down the road because they couldn't fill the position. I politely declined and got a very passive aggressively worded survey to fill out explaining why I passed."
There's a Right Answer??
"Wanted to work at H&M, got interviewed by the worst person ever."
"One question was and I am legit not lying, 'What is your favorite color and why?' "
"I answered 'baby blue because it's calming and not too harsh to the eyes.' My interviewer then said Oooh, sorry! Red is what we were looking for. And then proceeded to show me the exit."
Last, some shared the times they arrived for the interview excited and enthusiastic, but quickly learned how out of their league the position was.
These interviews looked more like brutal interrogations from the FBI than job interviews.
All the Principals
"Fresh out of college, I was looking for my first teaching job. I applied at a small district for an elementary school position."
"I walked in, expecting the principal and a few teachers. Instead I had the superintendent of the district, some high-level admin, and every single elementary school principal in the district. Probably 15 people in all. They peppered me with questions for 45 minutes."
"I had zero experience, just my student teaching. I did not get the job."
Shove Your Masters
"Finished up a masters degree in physics. Got a phone interview and was was told it would be an introductory chat. Was confronted with a technical interview panel (over the phone) of 6 PhDs, 4 of which had graduated from the research group I had just left. We walked through my research project in about 10 minutes."
"Then the pain began... felt like I'd only learned kindergarten physics."
An Extremely Intimidating Position
"Got an interview for a job as a floor manager at a gigantic steel foundry. I have some background in metallurgy so I thought it'd fit. It paid $90k and I was qualified resume-wise. I got there, turned out it was a group interview with three other applicants, to hear the pitch."
"If something messes up, the company loses $100,000 (some shockingly high amount, I don't remember if it was exactly 100k) per hour and it's your sole responsibility to fix it. They said you'd have to be on call 24/7 to handle anything that comes up."
"I got to the solo part out of curiosity and the interviewer they put me with said something to the effect of 'I know this job sounds bad, but actually it's even worse.' I was desperate for a job because I didn't land one straight out of college, but I was glad not to hear back from them after the interview..."
Here's hoping you don't have a job interview scheduled and this just amplified your anxiety 1000%. The nice thing to remember is that these horror stories are few and far between.
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Believe it or not, Canadians don't live in igloos or freeze to death all year round. If you go to Germany, it's highly unlikely that every German you meet will be cold and uninviting. Hop over to the United Kingdom and you're not going to run into tons of people with terrible teeth and bad hygeine.
These are called stereotypes, my friends, and it's best you leave them at the door. People were more than willing to strike down some stereotypes about the countries they know and love after Redditor HelloThere577 asked the online community,
"What are some false stereotypes about your country?"
"When most folks envision Scotland, they think of kilts, whisky, bagpipes, and red hair.
All of those things exist (and are common) here.
People might also imagine verdant hillsides, rocky bluffs, and skies that randomly switch between clear and cloudy.
Once again, that's completely accurate.
However, one stereotype which has absolutely no foundation, in reality, is the assumption that Scotsmen are constantly hunting haggis. In fact, haggis-hunting only takes place in February (which is the season for deosil haggis) and May (which is the season for widdershins haggis). For the rest of the year, the haggis is more or less left alone."
"I am originally from Portugal and moved to the United States. Around 80% of the people that I have met thought Portugal was either in South America, owned by Brazil, or a part of Spain. When I first came here it made me really sad."
"If the wildlife hurts or kills you in Australia, it's generally because you are f***** stupid. You are 10000 times more likely to be injured or killed in a car accident in Australia than by anything in nature."
This is likely very true, but knowing me, I'd probably be easy pickings for one of those huntsman spiders.
"That we end every sentence with "eh" and drink maple syrup by the gallon and have moose and igloos in our backyards."
You mean... you don't?
Just kidding. Canada is lovely––visit sometime. It's a lovely place.
The United States
"That we always have a shotgun at the ready. A shotgun is a home gun where a pistol is your everyday gun. Your revolver is your dress gun, for special occasions. Then of course your assault rifle is for when you're kicking back and cracking open a cold one with the boys."
"Anything related to The Sound of Music."
Probably gets annoying afer a short while. Great movie, though. Still dreaming about a trip to Salzburg.
"A lot of Americans seem to think we're inbred because we're an island. This is dumb, because it's a very big island (10th biggest in the world), and it's not isolated, we've been invaded, invading, and trading with the mainland for thousands of years."
"That we are car thieves. Crime was widespread in Poland in the 90s but today crime (including theft) rate in Poland is low."
"We do gesticulate a lot, but we definitely don't yell like crazy."
It seems Italian Americans are the ones who could learn a thing or two about being more reserved.
"Iceland. We're not some utopian Disneyland filled with quirky superstitious people that all believe in elves."
Remember: The world is an enormous place filled with people from all walks of life, and they don't take too kindly too stereotypes. Expand your horizons by having conversations with as many people as possible. You'd be surprised how quickly your preconceived notions will vanish.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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