These tales are taken from personal accounts, witness testimony, and convincing retellings. Any likeness is coincidental. For entertainment purposes only. Reader discretion is advised
Deer Woman of Haskell
The Deer Woman is a woodland cryptid from the eastern Woodlands and Central Plains tribes. I have always heard tales of this creature being evil. Much like the Celtic mermaids, Deer Woman seeks to lure unsuspecting men to their death. It is said she is attractive and alluring, but if you look closer you will see horns atop its head and hooves where feet should be. Hormonal men are lured away from other people by the sight of the lovely creature. They assume she is a human female getting their attention for sex and companionship. When the man has followed Deer Woman far enough she will turn on him, devouring his flesh to appease her monstrous appetite. There are two tales of a Deer Woman being present on the Haskell grounds.
The first tale is that of a security guard patrolling the pow-wow grounds in the dead of winter. He noticed a female wrapped in a blanket walking in the dark and snow near the tree line by the Indian Health Services buildings. He pulled his vehicle up so his lights were shining on the figure, who had her back turned to the guard. The officer began to walk out into the snow after her. He was about to holler something at her when he stopped and went cold. The tracks leading to the woman were footprints, they were hooved prints. The guard was familiar with the Deer Woman legends and slowly backed up towards his vehicle. He sped off feeling lucky that he had seen the prints in the snow before he went any further.
The second story is said to place in the 1960’s or 70’s at the Haskell Memorial Stadium during a football game. It is said the stadium was packed on an autumn night. Many fans were out cheering for the Haskell Braves. One of the attendees was not human. The crowd noticed that one among them was very different. Again, described as wearing an Indian blanket over most of her body. She took to her Cervidae legs and ran up the steps to the top of the stadium. Onlookers witnessed her drop from the top of the cement seats, around80 feet, to the ground where the Osceola-Keokuk parking lot is now. She then ran off into the night. Was she there to lure young indigenous men into the night? Was she only looking for the comfort of people in a crowd? The answers are uncertain.
For most Deer Woman is an unwelcome creature. I am a single, handsome, and strong male. I am her prey of choice. I will be extra cautious following any beautiful maiden into the night. I advise my brothers and sisters to do the same.
If you or someone you know has had a paranormal, supernatural, or preternatural experience at Haskell Indian Nations University and would like to share your story please contact Joe Singh at joseph.singh@ haskell.edu