; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Kushtaka! Confronting the 'Land Otter Man'

A group of friends in Juneau, Alaska were bored one winter night, so they decide to trek through the nearby forest. That's when they confront something that they can't explain.

The following account demonstrate some of the odd activity that still occurs in America's last frontier:

"It all starts on a winter night in Juneau, Alaska. About 12 years back, while I was a senior in high school, a few friends of mine were over at my house. This is in 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 2 am and we weren't worried about running into bears because it was their hibernation period. 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 shapeshifts 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. Its 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

NOTE: This link should help you understand the legend of the Kushtaka. Lon

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