Myths and Legends in the Bahamas


Mythical beast of Bahamian legend.

Lusca, legend of the Bahamas

Lusca is a mythical creature of Bahamian folklore. Half-shark, half-octopus, Lusca lurks around in the underwater caves, tunnels and blue holes found all over the Caribbean. However, it is believed that she lives mostly in the underwater caves and blue holes around the Bahamas Islands, especially around Andros, the largest island in the Bahamas.

She is mean spirited and some islanders believe that she likes to drown divers and explorers who are not careful. Some even believe that if your boat is over a bluehole she could pull it in down into the dark waters.

Dean's Bluehole in the Bahamas

The tidal currents of the inland blue holes are said to be the breath of Lusca. As she breathes in, water pours into the caverns, in some cases forming a whirlpool, and when Lusca breathes out, cold, clear water gushes up to the surface.

But Lusca is not all bad because the tidal flow also brings food for the real creatures that live in the blue holes, such as grouper, lobster and reef sharks and other fish. So, Lusca has long been thought of as the guardian of the dark blue holes because she makes sure the fish that live there are fed.

Even today, many local Bahamians stay away from the mystical blue holes.


Chickcharnies live in Andros, the largest island in The Bahamas. They are elfish, birdlike creatures with piercing red eyes. They have three fingers, three toes and a tail, which they use to hang upside down from trees.

Chickcharnies live in the pine forests and build nests by joining two pine trees together at the top.


Chickcharnies are peaceful but mischievous creatures and they like pretty colours. When you go sightseeing in Andros carry flowers or wear bright colours to charm them. Legend says if you see a chickcharnie and show it respect, you'll be blessed with good luck for the rest of your life. Be careful not to sneer at it, however, or your head will turn completely around!

An old legend has it that a man named Billy Bowleg - the great Seminole medicine man - was adopted and trained by the Chickcharnies. They took him when he was 14 and kept him for five years. When he returned to this people his reputation as a healer spread throughout the Bahamas.

Where the Chickcharnie came from
There really once was a creature like the Chickcharnie on Andros. It was a 2-foot-tall owl called Tyto pollens, a remote cousin of the smaller Common Barn-owl. Tyto pollens was a large owl that could not fly and like most other owls it swivel its head. So that's probably where the Chickcharnie legen came from... but who knows.


Anansi is a very popular figure in Bahamian stories. He is a trickster, and is usually a spider-god, but in some stories he is human and in some stories he is part spider part human.

Anansi is very rebellous and sometimes he likes to cause trouble. He can do almost anything. He can marry the Kings daughter, create wmoney out of thin air; He can trick the Devil and even cheat Death. Even if Anansi loses in one story, you know that he will win in the next. He is very intelligent and quick-witted. No matter what happens to him he usually comes out well in the end... often because he was able to trick some one.

The Lost City of Atlantis

Lost City of Atlantis

Many people believe that the ancient, sunken city of Atlantis was in the Bimini islands in the Bahamas. Huge, flat stones lying neatly about 20 feet under the clear waters of North Bimini might be all that is left of The Lost City of Atlantis. They look like a road and are known as Bimini Road.