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Monsters and other Unexplainable Legends in Oklahoma

Updated on July 22, 2012

Ever since the days of the ancient Caddo Empire, Oklahoma's residents have conjured wild tales and fascinating stories about strange monsters and unbelievable beasts roaming the wilds. Some of them, such as Oklahoma's own Bigfoot, the Boggy Bottom Monster, have been well-documented through the years, but there's a lot of other legends of strange and unique beasts running around the state.

Many of these stories originate from ancient Native American legends, while others are more modern in origin. As you read through this list of monsters and other unexplainable legends, try to see if you can figure out the hidden truth behind the myths.

Oklahoma's Giant Octopus

This strange beast is most commonly found in Lake Thunderbird, Lake Oolagah, and Lake Tenkiller. According to those who have seen it, it is about as big as a horse, a slightly red color, and somewhat resembles a shark with tentacles. Do you believe it? As always, it's possible, but I doubt it. To date, there has never been a freshwater octopus discovered, and since each of the three lakes were man-made, it would be slightly difficult for an OkieOctopus to slither on up in there..

The Oklahoman Satyr

The Oklahoman Satyr? Not quite, but close. According to some Native American legends, there is a strange beast running around through the forests of Oklahoma. Half-woman, half-deer, this woman is not one to tangle with. She lures unsuspecting young men into the forest with her beauty, but once they discover that she has hooves, she morphs into a doe and tramples them. Personally, I think someone had a little too much of that firewater and ended up paying the price.

Oklahoma's Alligator Man

Now this one's interesting: In November of 1920, a strange beast indeed was reported in an issue of the Oklahoman. Apparently, in 1842, a frightening scene happened near Tahlequah as a man stumbled on to a hidden cave. Curious, he decided to explore a bit, which didn't turn out to be such a good idea. While at the mouth of the cave, he could make out the outline of a large man inside. But, this was no ordinary man.. as it slowly moved forward, a strangely reptilian feature began to emerge: this creature had the body of a man but had the head of an alligator and skin that was just as tough! It was reported that after the beast saw the man, it quickly gave chase. A few days later, it was reportedly seen making its way across the prairie north of town. Townsfolk organized a posse to hunt it down, but it was never seen again. The story clearly must be fact, since it was reported in The Oklahoman!

The Ishkitini

Have you ever heard of the Ishkitini? It's a fabled being brought forth from Native American legends, notably the Choctaw. According to these myths, the Ishkitini is a "skinwalker", or a being that takes on both aspects of man and animal. In many legends, this being can transform from its human form into a wolf, coyote, bear, or any other number of creatures. Tales abound of the Ishkitini overtaking vehicles traveling along back roads, or creeping up to open windows at night. One particularly frightening manifestation is the Stigini. It is said that this human transforms into a horned owl, and, when seen, is the harbinger of death - usually violent and terrifying. Rumor has it that the area around Bird Creek Church in Sasakwa is full of these beasts, so next time you're around in that area, keep an eye out!

Oklahoma's Thunderbird

In Western Oklahoma, another strange beast right out of prehistoric times has been spotted throughout the mountainous areas. Known as the Thunderbird, this enormous flying beast has a wingspan that measures up to 160 feet wide and has a body of more than 90 feet. The beast has been described as being featherless and resembling a dragon. According to investigator Callan Hudson, many early settlers in the southeastern portion of the state were terrorized by the beast for many months, causing some of them flee the state. Another incident reports that small children from Clarita were being abducted by this massive beast, causing families to confine their children indoors. The beast was finally brought down around the 1920s by a local rifleman. It is thought that the beast is buried near Clarita, in a river bottom, where its bones are believed to still exist.

Fact, or fiction? There are some strange things lurking through the wild forests and deep lakes of Oklahoma, but how much truth is there to these stories? I'll let you be the judge..


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      peggy 2 months ago

      is this in grove Oklahoma and if so were can I go to fine the where abouts where these creators are at

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      Richard R 15 months ago

      Re: the Oklahoma Thunderbird - I can find no record of the Callan Hudson an investigator you mentioned - what is your source ?

    • profile image

      Kaype 22 months ago

      I have lived in Oklahoma my whole life and I've never seen any of these legends but I do believe in them. One time I was hanging out at Oolagah Lake I believe maybe..? it was quite a while ago so I don't really remember it, but I do remember I felt a creepy presence and thought I saw something sort of like a Bigfoot by the lake. Keep in mind, this was around midnight in about 2012 or 2013. I never told anybody this though.

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      lindsey 23 months ago

      I grew up in sasakwa my whole life near the south Canadian river. That was the main party place for us when we were teens. I also grew up going to bird creek church. All these stories you here r true. I've seen them myself. And the deerwoman doesn't go to pow wows, there called stomp dances and they are located far back in the woods hidden. The skinwalker (stigini) is a shapeshifter. I have seen the remains of them on the river where I grew up. If you don't believe in all this. Come take a trip with me, then make your own opinions.

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      Sidney 2 years ago

      Just wanted to add something onto the satyr story: this originated from a creek legend of the deer woman, who went around at powows distracting men.

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      Rhondaj 2 years ago

      I'm still trying to figure out the " mountainous areas of western Oklahoma. " Is the thunderbird supposed to be in western Oklahoma or southeastern Oklahoma? Both are mentioned.

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      dave 3 years ago

      Ive lived in oklahoma my entire life and i saw the deer woman as a young 15 year old and theres one detail not mentioned about her her left eye is really scard up like she was cut with a knife and she has a scar across her throat as well. I was in the woods of haskell when i saw her and she was really tall she had a neclace thing on that looked really old and had these brightly coloured beads i will do any exam u want i know what i saw i even shot at her with a 22mag rifle my family give me crap to this day but i still stick to my story

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      dj cookie 3 years ago

      Hi! I'm Chickasaw my grandma and dad told us about stigini and little people apperently the stigini and little people are real I know its hard to believed but little people tried to lure me into the woods and the stigini has been seen a couple times here in sasakwa

    • Kim T-Garza profile image

      Kim T-Garza 3 years ago

      We are Choctaw and my grandma used to tell us stories of deerwoman, bigfoot, and little people, plus more. She was born in an unpopulated area in southeast Oklahoma and lived their until the 1950s. However, at that time she didn't call them bigfoot. She would describe them as the big bears that walk on two legs. I didn't know she was giving me a description of bigfoot until I got older and put two and two together. Once my grandparents moved to Dallas she vowed she would never go back. And she never did. I believe these creatures existed at one time or another. My grandparents never gave me reason to believe the things they saw were made up. They were christians. But if anyone has any other stories I would love to hear them.

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      n.w. okla. 4 years ago

      My son -in-law has told a story about the deer woman trying to lure his uncle off during a tribal party. He really believes in deer woman and so does his family

    • putnut profile image

      putnut 5 years ago from Central Illinois or wherever else I am at the moment.

      Don't personally believe in any of it, but it's a fun read.

    • Oklahoma Traveler profile image

      Oklahoma Traveler 5 years ago from Wister, Oklahoma

      Thanks Mecheshier and Jean-Anne! There's actually a lot more than this, but I found these to be the most interesting.

    • Jenn-Anne profile image

      Jenn-Anne 5 years ago

      Oooh - fun hub! I'm quite interested in this sort of thing and enjoyed reading about some of the potential cryptids wandering about Oklahoma (or maybe not). Voted up!

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      Wow, a great Hub. Love the stories and information. I didn't know there were so many mystical creatures in OK. Thanks for sharing. Voted up for interesting and awesome.

    • Oklahoma Traveler profile image

      Oklahoma Traveler 5 years ago from Wister, Oklahoma

      It's entirely possible! With so much uninhabited area in the world, I would bet that there are things lurking out there that we never even thought existed!

      Also, here's a great article on Oklahoma's Boggy Bottom Monster:

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      kumar24894 5 years ago from Fuck of HUBPAGES

      I believe in Bigfoot. Nat Geo also once showed footage about it.

      great hub :)