Stacker Lee (also Stagolee, Stackerlee, Stackalee) is in American folklore, a black man who entered into a Devil ’s pACt and brought about his own undoing. By selling his soul, Stacker Lee obtained a magical Stetson hat, which enabled him to metamorphose into various shapes, from animals to mountains (see metamorphosis); to have great prowess with women; and to have mastery over fire: he could walk on hot slag and eat flames.
But the supernatural powers swelled Stacker Lee’s ego to the point where even the Devil found him to be unbearably obnoxious, and so the Devil arranged for him to lose his hat. The hat was stolen in a barroom by Billy Lyon (also Billy Lion or Billy Galion). In a rage, Stacker Lee shot Billy to death and ultimately went to hell himself.
- American Folklore and Legend. Pleasantville, N.Y.: reader’s Digest Assn., 1978.
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