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Stikini, the owl witches of Seminole folklore

3 min read

Owls, creepy legends and the paranormal seem to have gone hand-in-hand for centuries.
Native Americans across North America, in particular, have a variety of lore about them, as well as their powers and prowess.
One of them is the Stikini, of Seminole folklore, which is also known not by chance as the Man-Owl.
When the tribe was forced to come to Oklahoma in the1800s, they were also forced to live alongside this new threat.

Stikinis were said originally be human witches that grew more terrible and powerful the more evil they bestowed upon people and the world.
One of their most notable powers was the ability to transform into owl-like humanoids to terrorize local villages.
It is said that by day they looked like other Seminole people, but by night they changed completely. Unlike a vampire turning into a bat, the Stikini had more of a werewolf-like transformation: once the moon came up, they would vomit up their souls, internal organs, and blood and transform into undead owl-monsters that feasted upon human flesh.

It is often said that they would purposefully travel deep into the woods to transform away from prying eyes, and they would hang their internal organs high in trees to prevent wild animals from snatching them.
This also means that if you are in the forest late at night and find some organs dangling above you…you should leave them alone and head to safety.
It is believed this transformation represents the spiritual being of the Stinkini and the ‘human’ appearance it wears during the day is simply a mask.
In its human form, while resembling Seminole people, it also rejects cultural norms and may seem standoffish or strange to the people it comes in contact with.
Either way, the owl-humanoids have tremendous strength and power and can rip a grown man apart with ease.
The word itself is so powerful that among some Seminoles it is believed simply speaking the word aloud would attract Stikinis to you, or that you yourself would risk becoming one.
Often, Stinkinis lore was only spoken aloud by powerful Medicine Men and Women in the community, as they could protect themselves against these hateful creatures.
In fact, in addition to their habit of eating hearts, If you hear the cry of one, it is said to be an omen of coming death.

But there are some ways to protect against these creatures.
For example, if you fear one is using your town as hunting grounds venture into the forest and try to find where they hung their organs. Once found, you can destroy them leaving the Stikini unable to return to its human form. They, like vampires and other creatures of the night, will be killed or grievously harmed in direct sunlight without the option of retreating to their human form. But they can also be killed using ritually blessed arrows, and the weapons are also said to be dressed in owl feathers.

There is a place called Stikland in Sasakwa, Oklahoma, where it is believed that the area is infested with a massive amount of Stikinis. There were a lot of disturbing and bizarre incidents that were reported in this area and, despite I didn’t find lot of details, It would be best to be careful when you end up there…

Images from web – Google Research