In 1936, an Idaho Guide (put out by Vardis Fisher of the Federal Writers' Project) published "a few tall tales" including the following story of Carl Buck. Originality was the main basis for choice of those included. In explaining the selection, Fisher noted:

Every Western State has its tall tales, a few of which are indigenous but most of which belong to the folklore of the world and reappear with variations as something new under an old name. Of the few given [including the Carl Buck yarn] it is not known how ancient their ancestry may be or in how many countries or how many times they may have been born anew; but only such fables have been chosen as seem likely not to have been trademarked by too much use.

Other tales included incidents attributed to Thomas Wickersham, Fay Hubbard, Sam Strickland, and Sam Rich. These resemble the Paul Bunyan stories, which were omitted because of overuse elsewhere.

Carl Buck of eastern Idaho was a crack rifleshot. He could trim the whiskers off a cat at a hundred yards or shoot between the legs of a hummingbird at fifty. One morning he saw a coyote out in a field and seized his gun and at just a little over half a mile blazed away. The coyote did not budge. It was strange, Carl reflected, that he had missed so easy a shot; and after approaching a hundred yards nearer he fired again. And still that coyote stood there beyond the sagebrush and looked at him. Carl examined his gun and approached another hundred yards and again fired--and again drew nearer and fired and drew nearer. When he was only fifty yards away, he sat and took a dead rest and delivered six shots--and still that beast stood without batting an eye and stared at him across the sagebrush. At this point Carl began to have a weird sense of unreality, and for perhaps an hour he wiped his brow and looked at the coyote and the coyote looked at him. He thereupon decided to approach without firing, and learned to his amazement that he had with his first shot struck the beast exactly in the center of the forehead and had put twenty-six more bullets through the same hole. The coyote's chin had caught in the fork of a sagebrush and there the villain had hung as dead as a doornail while its body from the neck clear to its tail was being shot completely away.

Submitted and transcribed by Sandra Davis


Farragut State Park in Athol has numerous reports of The Brig being haunted by full-body specters as well as objects moving by themselves in the former military jail cells. It was the site of at least one homicide and suicide during World War II. In its day, this site was the home of three hundred thousand Navy personnel.

Frazier Hall at Idaho State University in Pocatello is said to be haunted by a ghost named Alex. The building houses the speech and theater departments. In addition to the sound of steps on the fourth floor, there have been reports of people seeing specters in the seats of the auditorium, and hearing the piano playing when no one is present.

Old Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise is reportedly haunted by former prisoners. It was investigated on an episode of Ghost Adventures.

Owyhee Mountains in Owyhee County are allegedly inhabited by demon-possessed canibalistic dwarves in some caves. The two-foot-high naked creatures are exceedingly strong, and one of them can carry a dead elk on his back. According to Shoshone and Bannock legends, the dwarves can be identified by their long tails, which they sometimes hide by wrapping them around their bodies. The dwarves have been accused of abducting little children and devouring them.

Source:  Wikipedia
Submitted and transcribed by Sandra Davis

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