INDIAN DEVILS

It is nearly as hard to collect stories about the Indian Devil as it is about the Lake Monsters. Floyd Hunnewell (1907 - 1987) told me that when he was ten or twelve he and his father were walking from Lower Mud Lake home along a woods road that roughly paralleled Spearin Brook. They became aware of an Indian Devil following them, off the road, first on one side and then on the other side. Floyd was frightened by this creature, but his father, Charles Sidney Hunnewell, had an ax and showed no fear. The last they saw of the critter was when they came to the Addison place.

Foster Carlow, Sr. and Charlie White were hunting one night on Breakneck and heard the ungodly screech attributed to the Indian Devil. They didn’t see it, but heard it running across the field. Later they found out that Floyd Hunnewell had had a close call with the creature near the same place on Breakneck. Floyd sensed something behind him and when he turned it was about to pounce on him. Floyd swung his ax at it and the critter leaped 10 feet to the side, avoiding the ax. It screeched and bounded across the field fast as lightning.

Some say the Indian Devil can walk on its hind feet. The story is told of Walter Henderson who had been to town (Calais) in that Pontiac Car that he later sold to Foster Carlow, Sr. It was about dark and as Walter approached Wapsconhagan Hill he saw what he thought was someone walking alongside the road. Walter slowed down to give the hiker a lift. As he was about stopped, the hiker dropped to all four feet, glared at him with bright yellow eyes, and leaped clear across the road. This whole episode may not have happened. Some say that Walter had stopped at the liquor store on his way home.

Carleton Cooper had two experiences with an Indian Devil. Nelson Flood had killed a beef critter and hauled the guts up to the end of the field. Bernard Flood and Carleton went up one night to see what might be feeding there. They got the light on a big tan cat, but in three leaps it was out of the field, so fast neither could get a shot at it. A few days later Darrell Frost and Carleton were deer hunting down beyond the Perkins Place (at the end of the Green Hill Road). They were coming out of the woods at dusk when they heard some thing following them. Like with Floyd’s story, it was first on one side, then the other. They never saw it but heard its eerie scream as they approached the open fields. Carleton says that it was scary and that they kept their rifles ready and with one pointing toward each side.

Lance Keen is the only one around here who has shot an Indian Devil. It seems that Cecil had been hunting near the Pokey Cut-off Road. When he returned home, he set the rifle in the corner in the hall and went to the kitchen where Melva had his supper on the table. Lance was in the living room with his friend John Eisman watching Walt Disney on TV. Suddenly there was a terrible bang and Melva screamed. Cecil got his boots tangled under the table and yelled at Lance, "What have you shot?" In the living room he found Lance holding onto the rifle, with smoke coming from its barrel. A somewhat confused Lance explained that he had seen an Indian Devil on the TV and had shot it. He had shot things before on the TV, but this time Cecil had not jacked the cartridge out of the chamber. Seems that when Cecil had come out of the woods, he took the clip out of his rifle, but the cartridge in the chamber had jammed. Cecil pushed it back in, then forgot it while talking to some friends. Lance is a good shot and Cecil had to buy a new TV.

A-CHS members all know that the Passamaquoddy name for the Indian Devil is Lunk Sous. People elsewhere in the country call it a mountain lion, cougar, or panther. The Alexander Elementary School mascot is the Black Panther. Maine’s IF&W understands that many people are seeing these critters, but states it needs proof that these are not escapees or illegally released animals. Let us know of your adventures with this creature of the wilderness.