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The intrinsic fear that prevailed, by whatever name, was that these entities or disembodied spirits could steal one's soul. Worse, that once bitten by one of them, a person became one of them. The Black Plague of the 1300's, for example, was frequently blamed on vampires and the like, the belief being fostered by the early Church using this fear to control or cajole an uneducated and superstitious populace.
The early emigrants brought with them their own names and descriptions, their own fears, of such beings. From the Pilgrims who saw a Witch or Devil's Disciple behind nearly every tree to the French Voyagers, who feared the Lé Rou (werewolf). Little did they know that the indigenous people also had similar beliefs. This did not change with the spread of emigrants into the western plains. To the Cheyenne and other plains tribes, the frightening existence of multiple Séoto, spooks, goblins or disembodied spirits of dead was commonly believed.
In modern times such superstitions and myths have fallen beside the road of antiquity. That applies, of course, to only those who have not yet encountered the least known of such spiritual entities, the Cheyenne's Mâhpeva mé'hkôheo'o' ......... the Bog Babies.