The Tlingit Indians of Southeastern Alaska have for years bellieved in a creature called the Kushtaka, the land otter man. Just like the leprechauns, kushtaka are shape shifting creatures too. They can take the shape of a human being as well as the shape of an animal, specifically an otter. Folktales give different accounts of their behavior. Some stories tell that Kushtaka are cruel mystical creatures. They get great pleasures from tricking poor sailors to their death by mimicking voices of loved ones who are in distress and asking for help.
Other stories show Kushtaka as a friendly creature that often help lost individuals. Through illusions, these creatures would distract individuals with false impression of their families or their friends to save them from freezing to death. Often times they would transform a lost individual into a fellow Kushtaka so that he will survive the cold. In this case, the Kushtaka will prove to be a very helpful ally of the humans.
However, this is not always the case. Depending on a whim, Kushtaka can be a very malevolent creature. This would cause the Tlingit Indians to speak reticently about this creature. Some legends would tell how Kushtaka will imitate a crying baby or a screaming woman asking for help. The voice would lure the victim to a river where it will be cruelly killed and torn to shreds. In some cases the victim will be turned into another Kushtaka.