; Phantoms and Monsters - Real Cryptid Encounter Reports - Fortean Researcher Lon Strickler

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Archive: Beware the Kushtaka!

Much of the recent paranormal and cryptid related television programming as been geared towards unexplained phenomena in Alaska. I received an account a few years ago that demonstrates some of the odd activity that occurs in America's last frontier:

It all starts on a winter night in Juneau, Alaska. About 4 years back while I was a senior in high school, a few friends of mine were over at my house, a neighborhood on the side of a mountain surrounded by a forest. We were bored with our video games and TV, so we all decide to walk a trail in the woods. This is about 3am and we weren't worried about running into bears because it was their hibernation time. So we gear up for the zero degree weather and leave for a trail up the mountain that I had played at as a kid, running through the woods and building forts. So of course growing up in it, knowing it like my own home I wasn't too worried. We had crossed a bridge onto the trail and walked about a half mile when my friend stops and says he heard something up ahead. I say that it's most likely a deer or something, having seen much of Alaska's wildlife in these woods. So we keep walking and by this point he's a little nervous glancing around a lot. My third friend started to say it was probably the Kushtaka, a local legend of a creature that shape-shifts into something that lures you to your death. He freaks out even more and I tell him I've spent half my life in these woods and haven't seen one thing that was remotely strange.

About 5 minutes later we heard snow crunch under a huge pine tree about 10 yards in front of us. We stopped dead in our tracks, looking up the path towards the tree. I shine the flashlight in that direction and we catch a flash of something move behind the tree, almost like a bike reflector or something. We start walking slowly away from the tree, back down the trail, not looking away from the tree. Then we see a hand from behind the tree touch the ground and I stop dead, frozen with fear, not looking away with my flashlight directly on it. It took a few seconds for my friends to realize what I was looking at. Then they saw it too. My friend who had been scared this whole time goes nuts and starts putting together words that made no sense. Whatever was behind the trees leaned out to look at us. It's eyes reflected like a dog's from the beam of my flashlight, making its face blurry from the glare. Instantly we all run, not daring to stop.

No movement was heard until we had reached the bridge, when one of my friends fell on the ice. That's when I heard it bounding up the path towards us. I shine my light and there it is running towards us on all fours half screaming, half howling. It looks almost like a human but seemed to be a lot taller and skinnier, very pale in the moonlight and against the snow. It was completely naked. So I run and jump off the low bridge onto the frozen creek and yell for them to follow me. We run down the side of the creek towards my neighborhood. I have never run so fast and so far, but I kept on for fear of what I saw. During the entire run I could hear whatever it was running through the woods directly to the right of us, all the way until we got to the street light by a children's park.

To this day my friend and I still bring up crazy theories of what we had seen. My other friend, the one who had been so terrified, had never brought it up again. JB

Shamans and Kushtakas: North Coast Tales of the Supernatural

Kushtaka: The Legend of the Bay of Death

In Search of the Kushtaka The Expanded 2nd Edition

Shy Ghosts Dancing: Dark Tales from Southeast Alaska


The Ketchikan Sighting

I was on a logging road in Ketchikan hiking with my friend when I saw it! Boy did my heart start racing!! It was about 40 yards from the road! Not sure if it knew I was there or not, because the noise of flowing water from the stream. It seemed to travel fast! It made my hair stand up!! At one point you can see a whitish yellowish thing in it's hand! I believe it was skunk cabbage. Not sure, but it is in bloom.

You see it jump and after that point it just seems to disappear. There was a lot of brush and trees between it and I, I could not tell where it had gone. It was a scary sort of exciting feeling at the same time!! We went to search for tracks but the river bed where we thought it was walking was full of perfect skipping rocks, we found no prints! If there is a BigFoot, Sasquatch, or Kushtaka I swear I saw him!!

NOTE: Here's an interesting account - Kushtaka And The Bay Of Death