Tag Archives | Legends

Did Giants Once Live In Underground Cities Across America?

cityMysterious Universe notes that a string of news stories around the turn of the twentieth century reported archaeological discoveries of hidden subterranean habitats and strangely large human remains:

The most famous of these reports appeared in the April 5, 1909 edition of the Arizona Gazette, entitled “Explorations in Grand Canyon.” Explorer G.E. Kinkaid discovered a huge underground “citadel” while rafting on the Colorado River.

Exploring a tunnel that stretched “nearly a mile underground,” Kinkaid found tablets carved with some type of hieroglyphics, and home to a stone statue he described as resembling Buddha. Mummies, all wrapped in a dark fabric, were supposedly more than nine-feet-tall.

The New York Times reported a nine-foot-tall skeleton of a man discovered in a mound near Maple Creek, Wisconsin, in December 1897. The Times also carried the story “Strange Skeletons Found” near Lake Delevan, Wisconsin, in its May 4, 1912 issue. But an April 9, 1885 story entitled: “Missouri’s buried city: A strange discovery in a coalmine near Moberly,” revealed a find that predated the supposed citadel in the Grand Canyon by 24 years.

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Mythic Viking Navigation Crystal May Have Been Found In Shipwreck

The first ever found remnant of a sunstone, a crystal which legend says was behind the Vikings’ incredible feats of oceanic navigation? Via CBS News:

A rough, whitish block recovered from an Elizabethan shipwreck may be a sunstone, the fabled crystal believed to have helped Vikings and other medieval seafarers navigate the high seas, researchers say.

In a paper published earlier this week, a Franco-British group argued that the Alderney Crystal – a chunk of Icelandic calcite found amid a 16th century wreck at the bottom of the English Channel – worked as a kind of solar compass, allowing sailors to determine the position of the sun even when it was hidden by heavy cloud or fog, or below the horizon.

Icelandic legend appears to refers to such a crystal [but] few other medieval references to sunstones have been found, and no such crystals have ever been recovered from Viking tombs or ships.

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Yeti Theme Park Planned In Siberian Mountains

Your plans for next Christmas vacation? How does cryptozoology-themed family fun on a remote Russian mountain sound? Via TwoCrowsParanormal:

Sunny Siberia is adding a new attraction: a theme park devoted to the legendary Yeti. Hoping to cash in on interest in the search for the beast, officials have dedicated a portion of land and launched plans to construct a park centered on the Yeti. Initial plans for the park include a hotel and a themed children’s playground, all built at the Sheregesh ski resort resting in the Shoria Mountain area. The region claims to have a high number of Yeti sightings.

The brainchild behind the park, Sheregesh adminstrator Igor Idimeshev, says that the people of Shoria refer to the creatures as “Big Men” and that everyone in the region is aware of their existence. Believing it unlucky to speak too much about the encounters, the Big Men are only mentioned in conversation briefly.

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A Classic Prank From Edgar Allan Poe And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Regardless of whether or not this actually happened, it would be great to attempt to device a 2013-appropriate version. io9 writes:

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was supposedly the orchestrator of a cruel joke. One night, bored and idly toying with wicked thoughts, he decided to send a note to five of his friends. The note would be delivered anonymously. It would have no signature, and would contain no information. It would only say, “We are discovered. Flee!”

At his next dinner party, his social circle was abuzz with the sudden, and total, disappearance of one of the people he sent the notes to. The person was never heard from again.

But the story didn’t start or end with him. Edgar Allan Poe also was said to have done such a thing. He might even be said to be the better author to pair with the story, since he had more of a devilish sense of humor.

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Was Santa Claus A Stoned Magic Mushroom Shaman?

This theory may seem far-fetched but explains all; he is garbed in red and white to match the toadstool mushroom.  Mother Nature Network reveals:

According to one theory, the story of Santa and his flying reindeer can be traced to an unlikely source: hallucinogenic or “magic” mushrooms. “Santa is a modern counterpart of a shaman, who consumed mind-altering plants and fungi to commune with the spirit world,” said John Rush, an anthropologist and instructor at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif.

According to the theory, the legend of Santa derives from shamans in the Siberian and Arctic regions who dropped into locals’ teepeelike homes with a bag full of hallucinatory mushrooms as presents in late December, Rush said.

“As the story goes, up until a few hundred years ago these practicing shamans or priests connected to the older traditions would collect Amanita muscaria (the Holy Mushroom), dry them, and then give them as gifts on the winter solstice,” Rush told LiveScience.

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Swiss Santa Claus’s Terrifying Alter-Ego Schmutzli

The harsh Germanic Santa Claus equivalent known as Krampus has seen his celebrity rise in recent years, but he’s not Northern Europe’s only the only psychologically scarring Christmas figure. Switzerland’s black-cloaked Schmutzli, also known as “the Whipping Father,” arrives each December 25th to beat and abduct children. Swissinfo says:

Known as Schmutzli in the German part of the country and Père Fouettard (from “whip”) in French, Samichlaus’s alter ego usually carries a broom of twigs for administering punishment to children.

Kurt Lussi, curator at Lucerne’s History Museum, says that the St. Nicholas custom in Switzerland became interwoven with a festival of masks dating back to pre-Christian times. Schmutzli, he says, was a symbol of the evil spirits which these ancient festivals sought to drive out with a combination of noise and light.

He gives the example of an illustration from 1486 that depicts a demon who abducts children. “This child-stealing motif returns again in Schmutzli,” he said.

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Humboldt Museum: Native American Tale of “Red-Haired Giants” Slain by Tribe

Picture: Timothy O'Sullivan (PD)

Atlas Obscura travels to Nevada’s Humboldt Museum and hears what is purported to be a legend of the Paiute tribe concerning a race of warlike, cave-dwelling, red-haired giants who were slain by fire and arrow.

Local legends passed down by the Paiute Indians tell of a race of giants who were exterminated by the tribe. It is said this was done by trapping the giants in a cave, shooting arrows at them, and then starting a large fire at the mouth of the cave. When the Lovelock Cave was later mined, many giant skeletons and artifacts were found in the area; there was also a large quantity of arrowheads found in the cave. Many of the artifacts were lost in a fire, but some of the skulls and artifacts are located at this museum.

See some of the skulls here.

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Legendary Monsters Of Africa

Mental Floss has a nice rundown of supernatural monstrosities of traditional African folklore, including ghost apes, flying reptiles, and, at right, the one-eyed Popobawa bat and airborne vampiric pest the Adze:

The Popobawa is a fairly recent manifestation reported in Zanzibar and Tanzania. The creature is a demon who appears as a normal human by day, and a one-eyed, bat-winged monster at night. The Popobawa attacks and sodomizes both men and women in the dark of night. Reports of attacks come every few years, with a large number in 1995 attributed to mass hysteria.

The Adze is a vampire in the legends of the Ewe people of Ghana and Togo. It takes the form of a firefly, but if you capture one, it will revert to human appearance. In the insect form, the adze will suck your blood while you sleep and spread disease, which is a possible explanation for malarial outbreaks.

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Did Ancient Hairy Hobbits Once Inhabit A Japanese Island?

Cryptomundo discusses evidence, including tiny tools and bizarre pit dwellings, that supports legends of tiny elfin people living on the island of Hokkaido:

A commonly occurring phenomenon seen in the folklore and myth of a wide range of cultures throughout the world is the existence of miniature humanoid creatures [Faeries, dwarves, leprechauns, or by whatever other names they are known].

On the island of Hokkaido, in the cold northern reaches of the Japanese archipelago, the indigenous Ainu people too have their long traditions of an ancient race of dwarf-like people thought to have inhabited the land long before humans arrived. The Ainu knew these creatures as the Koropokkuru…most commonly translated as “the people who live under the burdock leaves.” Most commonly Koropokkuru are described as being rather hairy and odiferous.

Was there any truth to any of these stories of small, humanoid creatures living in the wilds of Hokkaido, and if so what were they?

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Did Jesus Flee To Japan And Become A Rice Farmer?

This monumental twist seems as plausible and satisfactory of a possible end to Jesus’s life as any. The BBC investigates:

A Japanese legend claims that Jesus escaped Jerusalem and made his way to Aomori in Japan where he became a rice farmer. Christians say the story is nonsense. However, a monument there known as the Grave of Christ attracts curious visitors from all over the world.

To reach the Grave of Christ or Kristo no Hakka as it is known locally, you need to head deep into the northern countryside of Japan, a place of paddy fields and apple orchards. The story goes that after escaping Jerusalem, Jesus made his way across Russia and Siberia to Aomori in the far north of Japan where he became a rice farmer, married, had a family and died peacefully at the age of 114.

Halfway up a remote mountain surrounded by a thicket of bamboo lies a mound of bare earth marked with a large wooden cross.

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