In the eighth grade at Clark Junior High School in Anchorage, students were all required to study Alaska History. Fair enough, but since the great state of Alaska was only a few decades old at that time, we finished our required history lessons fairly quickly, in approximately three weeks. After all, you can only study larger-than-life characters like Soapy Smith, Joseph Juneau and Linious "Mac" McGee before you start to run out of colorful history.
To fill up the rest of the semester, the very old and very wise Mrs. Johnson (not her real name; changed to protect the innocent -- or guilty, depending on how you look at it) decided to teach us about Alaska myths and legends. I’m pretty darn sure she had a hidden agenda -- to pay back all the little hellions that frequently disrupted her class by scaring the living daylights out of us and filling our nights with cold sweats and nightmares of baby-stealing, child-eating monsters.
To make it even worse, she insisted on testing our knowledge of these critters to make sure we’d never forget them! So here are five mythical creatures of Alaska that haunted my dreams.