EAST students at Kiamichi Technology Center in Poteau, Oklahoma recorded Choctaw storyteller Joe Perry sharing supernatural incidents from his life and family members. In addition to creating this story for MoMS' Stories: YES program, students also developed an exhibit at the LeFlore County Museum at Hotel Lowrey with support from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Read more about the project on our blog.
Find the complete transcript at the bottom of this page.
Speaker 1: One of the stories that Dad used and this is from his personal experience that he was building a fence one time down around the spring. And he noticed a beagle looking dog coming toward him from off in the distance. And he said, the closer the dog got, he noticed that something wasn't quite right with it. And it was coming on a straight line toward him down the fence row. And he just quit what he was doing and started watching that dog and it come closer and closer and it looked up at him. And he said, well, dogs usually don't do that. Especially if they don't know you, they'll just ignore you and go along. Well, he said this thing had human hands instead of feet. And he knew then that it was a and that was a shape-shifter. He said he more or less was stunned and he just stood watching it, he watched it walk off and it just kept going down the fence line until it just walked out of sight.
Speaker 1: [1:24] And another time, Dad was in town and this was back when they had benches in front of these old stores and a bunch of these old men that's spit wheelin, just to kill the time of day. And there was a stranger. All these men noticed that there was a stranger and he had a black dust-around and a big brimmed hat and he was just walking down the sidewalk toward all of these guys. And he walked up there, they all just was watching him and he lifted his head up a little bit and he had the face of an owl. And that really got their attention but they was too shocked to do anything and they said is it was like he had hands but it was like he was flapping his wings under that duster and stuff. And they said they stood there, didn't nobody do nothing, they was just shocked. And he walked on down around the building and when they decided to go and track and go see what was happening, he was gone. And there was several different things like that had happened. Another time Dad was, I think he was plowing a garden at that time.
Speaker 1: [3:04] And it was a little ways from the house but he noticed something out of the corner of his eyes and it was in the tree. And when he looked, he said he could see a figure and it was standing on a branch and it was just watching him. He said but he could see through it and it was kinda like it was glimmering and shining and it didn't move and he didn't move for a long time. Finally, he decided, "I might want to get out of here." So, he backed away a little bit and took off but he'd look back and it would still be in that branch shimmering and he watched it for a long time and finally, when he looked back, it was gone. So, you know that's... He didn't really know if that was a shillow or a ghost or he didn't really have no explanations for it. And the strangest things that ever happened to me I guess, one of the strangest, that was me and my best friend had went to the railroad tracks and we sat alongside the hill and we'd been putting pennies on the railroad and letting the train smash them.
Speaker 1: [4:24] And there was coyotes back in those days and so, I had a little 22 single shot. And we'd been watching the trains went and picked up our smashed pennies and was getting back towards the house. And there was a barn in between us and the house and we had just put up a brand new five strand barbed wire fence. And we heard what we thought was my sister talking in the barn. And there was a black dog that had followed us home. We didn't know who he was, we all like dogs so we let him stay. We heard my sister, thought it was her saying, "Man that's a good looking black dog."
Speaker 1: [5:12] And we were, "What in the world is she doing in a barn "at this time of night?" And we took a step, we decided we was gonna scare her. And we took a step we started sneaking in and we was creeping up through, then we heard a man's voice. That stopped us. Slim looked at me and I looked at Slim, "Who in our world is this?" Well, let's scare both of them. So, Slim come up with the idea, "I'll go sneak around this side of the barn, "you go to the south side and we'll meet at the doorway. "And when we get there, we'll jump out and holler at 'em." Well, Slim had a flashlight and I had a 22, so we crept around there being real quiet, we got to the door, nodded at each other.
Speaker 1: [5:58] We jumped in the barn, my sister wasn't there, no man was there but that dog was sitting there looking at us. He was grinning at us and his eyes was red just glowing red. And Slim looked at me and I looked at Slim, we crossed trails, he went to that side of the barn, I went to that side of the barn, we ran to the back, we both jumped that five strand barbed wire fence. Well, in the meantime, my sister thought we was at Slim's house, so she had locked up all the doors. And she was up and I think she was doing dishes and we hit that back screen door and it was locked, couldn't get in. And we was banging and hollering and trying to get in and well, she come to the back door to let us in but by then we was on the front door. And we started beating on that door trying to get in, well she come through the house to open up the front door we was in the back again. So, she finally got us in there. We just fell in into the back, the kitchen there. And she said, "what in the world?" When we asked her where she was, "Was you just not in the barn?" She said, "Are you crazy? "I ain't going out in that dark thing." And we said, "Well that dog was talking to somebody." She didn't believe us. And the next morning, we went out and the dog was gone.
Additional content in transcript . . .
Asset ID: 2019.01
Themes: Crossroads, Native American, family, storytelling, religion, foodways, folklore, Halloween, scary
Date recorded: 2019
Length of recording: 36:48 m
Related traveling exhibition: Crossroads: Change in Rural America
Sponsor or affiliated organization: EAST (Education Accelerated by Service & Technology) Kiamichi Technology Center, Poteau, Oklahoma
More information: https://www.museumonmainstreet.org/blog-node/celebrating-choctaw-culture-through-student-stories-and-displays