Place item was collected
Lehi, Utah in collectors house
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Lavonne Secretan is my mother. She is 52 years old with 4 children and 2 grandchildren. She is Native-American and was born on an Indian reservation in Canada. She was orphaned at a young age, so she stayed with her aunts and in foster homes growing up. She converted to the Mormon church. We have a very close bond.
I interviewed Lavonne in her living room. It was a relaxed environment with my girlfriend, Dad, sister and her boyfriend present. She would normally tell this story to her kids, so it was a very natural setting where should would tell this story. She believes they would tell the kids this story to keep them in the house so the kids wouldn’t leave. Her relatives would tell her this story from age 5 to 8 or 9. Then she stopped believing them. She definitely believes now that it was a myth. She believes the story came from maybe when an unfortunate event happened like a person went missing while the Northern Lights were shining, the story evolved into what it is now. Her aunts would tell her these stories.
I lived on a reservation in Saskatchewan, right? They would tell us at night when the northern lights are out, that you couldn’t whistle, cuz if you whistled they would just come down and get you and carry you off. So I never whistled and I was scared of death of them. I whistled once, then I ran all the way home.
Lavonne told this story in a casual tone. She has a little animosity on how she was harshly raised so she told the story as a matter of fact. Implying that’s how her Indian relatives would tell stories to scare the kids. The Indians on the reservation would tell this really believing it.
Introduction to Folklore/English 2210
Lynne S. Mcneill
Semester and year
G7: Unexplainable Phenomena
Secretan, Kjeisten, "Scary Northern Lights" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 57.