Variations: Nûñ’yunu’ï (“Stone Dress”)
In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee, United States, the Cherokee tribe tells of a vampiric creature they call U’tlûñ’tä (“Spear Finger”). A singular entity, it walks along the river looking for children, pretending to be a kindly old woman that they can feel safe with and trust. U’tlûñ’tä has the ability to shape-shift into any animal as well as any specific person it needs to in order to have a successful hunt. After it has gained a child’s trust enough for him to let his guard down, U’tlûñ’tä uses its spearlike finger to stab the child through the heart or the back of his neck, killing him. Then it digs through the body for the liver, which it greedily consumes.
Apart from U’tlûñ’tä’s amazing shape-shifting abilities, it also has control over stones. It can lift any boulder, no matter its size or weight. U’tlûñ’tä can also fuse two stones into one simply by slamming them together.
Killing U’tlûñ’tä is possible, but not easy. It can only die if stabbed in the heart, which is located in its right hand in the joint where the finger meets the hand. But be advised, this will not be an easy mark to hit as it keeps that hand balled up in a tight fist as often as possible.
U’tlûñ’tä may be something of a nursery bogey,a monster created by concerned parents to teach children not to talk to strangers.
- Dale, Tales of the Tepee, 54 57;
- Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, 316;
- Myres, Annual Reports, 316 20