Folktales and Songs

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Entry Category: Folktales and Songs - Starting with H

Heber Springs Water Panther

The Heber Springs Water Panther is a creature described as a cross between a Sasquatch (or “bigfoot”) and a puma that is rumored to haunt the waters of Greers Ferry Lake in Heber Springs (Cleburne County), though its origins appear to lie in a 2007 book. The myth of the Water Panther begins with the Ojibwe, Algonquin, Cree, Ottawa, Menominee, and Shawnee tribes, and the legend may have been brought to Arkansas with the Shawnee, who were invited into the area by the Western Cherokee in the early nineteenth century. The beast was described as a malevolent spirit with features of a big cat or dragon that would drag people underwater to their deaths. In his 2007 book Ozark Tales …

Hell’s Half Acre

Hell’s Half Acre is a talus hillside (a slope formed by an accumulation of broken rocks) located on Indian Mountain, about four miles northeast of downtown Hot Springs (Garland County). Since the first white settlers arrived in Arkansas, the unique contrast of blighted rock surrounded by otherwise ordinary forest has captured the imaginations of locals. Through the efforts of tourism boosters and storytellers, the area earned its name and its popularized reputation as an area haunted by the Devil himself. A Hot Springs tourist guide published in 1892 described Hell’s Half Acre as “[a] barren, weird, forbidding conglomeration of boulders, an arsenal for Titans. Not a blade of grass, not a shrub, not even a lichen dares brave the atmosphere …