Alright. I just wanted to add one short story about a mythological beast from the Inuit. This happens to be one of my favorite pictures of all time, just because of the level of creepiness involved. These are Qallupilluit, Qallupilluk singular. Now, Qallupilluit are ocean creatures that steals lone children through cracks in the ice.
There are many descriptions for a Qallupilluit, so I’ll name a couple popular ones. They are claimed to be short with blue skin, they wear parkas made of loon feathers, and their hair is home to a host of sea critters like crabs, and laced with seaweed.
Sometimes they are described with long hair, like the picture, and green skin with long finger nails. They are said to wear a amauti, a unique parka created with a pouch for a child to rest in.
Sometimes they are said to have scaly and bumpy skin. And even sometimes they have an eider duck parka. Most descriptions of the creature include a pouch for carrying children.
They are said to reek of sulfur, which I’m sure adds to their non-existant appeal. Inuit elders say that Qallupilluit have a specific humming sound that they make, and you can hear it when they are near. They also tend to jump out of the cracks in the ice without warning. And, the most creepy thing to me, they knock on the ice and you can hear the distinct tapping. If the ocean gets particularly wavy or steam rises, a Qallupilluit is hiding in the water.
No one is sure why they steal children. Some speculate loneliness. Others speculate dinner. Some variations of Qallupilluit mythology say that the child stolen will either die or turn into a mermaid to live underwater with the Qallupilluk that took them.
Most accounts claim that this was a legend created to scare children away from playing on the beach alone, or approaching cracking, drifting ice. But, even so, I wanted to include this because something about the idea of Qallupilluit really scares the crap out of me. Humming, ice tapping, baby kidnapping ocean creatures.
The Inuit sure knew how to scare the crap out of children (and possibly everyone else. Unless I’m alone here.)
Robert Munsch has a book about them (co-written with an Inuit storyteller). It’s called A Promise is a Promise. Of course, the premise itself is absolutely terrifying and creepy and as such it was definitely one of my favourites.