The Louisiana Swamp Monster
Creatures that dwell deep in the forest or lurk in swamps, tend to be a thing that we hope exists only in our nightmares. With glowing eyes, claws-for-paws and a stench that could drop a room, they are not the kind of creatures you want to stumble upon. And the Louisiana Swamp Monster is no exception. As one of the most popular Louisiana cryptids, it is most often associated with legends of the Rougarou. This infamous monster has ties to French, Cajun and Metis legends that speak of otherworldly abilities and terrifying tales and these creatures may or may not be lurking around the swamps and bayous of Louisiana.
Are they the same being?
Traditional Cajun folklore legend says that the Rougarou is a werewolf-like half man, half wolf creature. It lurks around the swampland in Louisiana with razor-sharp teeth and glowing eyes. Their victims are most often touted as those that venture too far into the swampland as well as those that don’t follow the rules.
The term Rougarou derives from the term “loup garou” which means werewolf in French. Tales of these creatures are said to have been brought to Louisiana by French-Canadian settlers. Traditionally, stories of the Louisiana Rougarou have been used as a warning for children who misbehave or Catholics who opt to not practice Lent for seven years in a row. Both infractions are said to put you at risk for becoming one of these monsters.
Other cultures have variations on the classic Rougarou monster lore, such as a shapeshifter, found in Metis culture, that can take on the appearance of a wolf in-line with Cree legends. These creatures are said to be men either possessed by evil or those that have offended the Creator.
Whichever lore you subscribe to, what might be the scariest factor is that all you have to do is lock eyes with one and you could end up as a terrifying creature yourself. Thankfully, there is a cure. The curse can be lifted—or more transferred from one to another. An uninfected person can cut the Rougarou and draw their blood, then the curse transfers to them with the previously infected returning to its original human form.
Perhaps warding off the monster is the best course of action. Rougarou legend say that these creatures can’t count past 12, so 13 rocks or pennies left on your doorstep or windowsill will trip them up. They’ll just have to stop and count them, and in frustration will eventually retreat back to their swamp.
Sasquatch Swamp Monster
The appearance of the Rougarou shows similarities to Sasquatch, specifically in the case of the Honey Island Swamp Monster. Standing at seven feet tall and moving bipedal with yellow or red eyes, grey hair and the overwhelming reek of death, this monster is often called the Louisiana Bigfoot.
It’s said that you’ll find this creature dwelling in the swampland of Honey Island, Louisiana. That’s where Harlan Ford was in the 1960s when he claimed to have captured an image of this Louisiana Swamp Monster while photographing wildlife. But one encounter wasn’t enough, Ford spent almost a decade looking for the creature and evidence of its existence. And its presence gained national fame when Ford and a friend, Billy Mills, discovered footprints (with only four toes) they attributed to it.
While local tour group owners say they’ve never set eyes on the Honey Island Swamp Monster, brave souls still venture out into the swamp to see if they can spot one. And whether the Louisiana Swamp Monster is a Rougarou, Bigfoot or some variation of the two, they should count themselves lucky that they’re unlikely to spot one.
For an interesting interview with a gentleman in Lousiana please check out our August 2016 Podcast.
By Tae Haahr,
Research Writer - Sasquatch Syndicate Inc.