Detroit folklore would not be complete without mention of the “Nain Rouge”, or “Red Dwarf”.

According to Legends Of Le Detroit, the dwarf is described as "very red in the face, with a bright, glistening eye; instead of burning, it froze, instead of possessing depth emitted a cold gleam like the reflection from a polished surface, bewildering and dazzling all who came within its focus…..a grinning mouth displaying sharp, pointed teeth, completed this strange face".

The area we now know as Detroit was founded by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac around 1701. The legend states that a fortune teller (some say witch) warned him of offending a creature called "Nain Rouge". If he did, prosperity and unhappiness would occur. Some time later, Cadillac was indeed confronted by the red dwarf one night while walking with his wife. Ignoring the fortune teller's warning, he clubbed the dwarf with his cane, telling him "get out of the way". The dwarf hobbled off, laughing, but obviously offended, as the 'witch' had warned. Retaliating, the dwarf placed a curse on the whole Detroit area.

Since then, the demon appears whenever something tragic or catastrophic happens in Detroit. It was seen cavorting during the fire of 1805 which destroyed almost the whole city.

When rioters were running rampant in 1968, looting, destroying, injuring…the dwarf was seen.

In 1976 two policemen reported a child climbing a telephone pole during a blizzard. Upon approaching the “child”, it turned out to be Nain Rouge who gleefully disappeared.

If ya can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? That’s what Detroiters have been doing in the past few decades. They have embraced this urban legend figure, having celebrations, parades, and even beer & wine named after the demon.

Oh, yeah…there’s much more to read about Nain Rouge, the “Red Dwarf”…and you can do so by CLICKING HERE!


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