The 10 Most Terrifying Native American Legends

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In nearly all cultures, myths and legends can serve as cautionary tales, keeping one foot in practical reality and the other in the realm of the supernatural… and it’s no surprise that the most effective cautionary tales are also the scariest.

The ancient lore of the indigenous peoples of North America are as varied and far-reaching as the continent itself, and unless you’re well-versed in native lore, you might not realize how many of those tales are populated by horrifying spirits, ghosts, witches, demons and monsters… and since we’re in the scare business, we’re going to share the most nightmarish ones with you.

Many of the frightening creatures listed below span multiple tribes — and in some cases, hundreds of generations. So if you investigate their origins further, you’ll see they have many different names and traits, depending on where their tales are told.

In other words, there are evil forces lurking everywhere… so you’d better do your homework!

 

Camazotz: The Death Bat

This ferocious creature originates with the ancient Mayans, who depicted him as a powerful god-monster from the hellish domain of Xibalba, where he presides over swarms of bloodthirsty vampire bats. Though powerful enough to destroy entire civilizations, Camazotz made a treaty with human beings to bring them fire… but in exchange, he demanded human sacrifices.

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