Detroit Banishes Red Gremlin (Nain Rouge)
The Nain Rouge, or the Red Dwarf, is a urban legend that began way back in 1701.
It involves the city of Detroit and the city’s founder, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. According to legend, Cadillac had a run in with the red colored creature while settling in the Motor City way before it was the…uh Motor City.
Multiple other sightings of the Dwarf were reported throughout the city’s history, judging by reports on Wikipedia:
“The creature is said to have attacked the first white settler of Detroit in 1701, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac who, soon after, lost his fortune. The creature is also said to have appeared on July 30, 1763 before the Battle of Bloody Run, where 58 British soldiers were killed by Native Americans from Chief Pontiac‘s tribe. The small tributary of the Detroit River which still flows through what is now Elmwood Cemetery turned red with blood for days after the battle. It is said he was seen dancing on the banks of the Detroit River.
Famous multiple sighting occurred in the days before the 1805 fire which destroyed most of Detroit. General William Hull reported a “dwarf attack” in the fog just before his surrender of Detroit in the War of 1812.
A woman claimed to have been attacked in 1884, and described the creature as resembling, “a baboon with a horned head…brilliant restless eyes and a devilish leer on its face.” Another attack was reported in 1964.
Other sightings include the day before the 12th Street Riot in 1967 and before a huge snow/ice storm of March 1976, when two utility workers are said to have seen what they thought was a child climbing a utility pole which then jumped from the top of the pole and ran away as they approached.”
Another sighting involves a couple of Detroit bar patrons seeing the Nain Rouge at a Detroit Watering Hole in 1996, but I think Jose Curevo might explain that one better then I can.
The March To Stamp Out The Dwarf!
No one actually wants a Nain Rouge in the city of course, which is why the city is holding the Marche du Nain Rouge, a supposedly 300 year old ritual, rived in Detroit in 2010. The march will hopefully not only rid the city of the ‘Red Gremlin’ but also a confrontation with the infamous ‘harbinger of doom’ who apparently will be making an appearance at a local restaurant.
Then the valiant Dwarf Fighters will go on parade, dressed in disguise so the Dwarf will not take retribution on the parade goers later (The march’s website says to ‘Come as you were or yet could be’) and chanting to rid Detroit of the Nain Rouge once and for all.
In reality the March’s founder,Francis Gunrow, knows that little red gremlins are unlikely to be the cause of any of the city’s issues, but the march is useful to band the city together, especially as Detroit has fallen on hard times economically.
“The Nain Rouge has actually been a part of Detroit’s history since the very beginning. The Marche du Nain Rouge is an idea that we hatched to use this story of this evil creature that haunts the city…and use it to sort of come together and banish this evil spirit and welcome the beginning of Spring.”
And yes, the Nain Rouge really does make an appearance at the festivities, he even gives a speech, as seen in the video below:
(Via Click On Detroit)