I find inspiration for these posts from a variety of different places. Some are topics I have grown up hearing about. Some are suggested by y’all. Some are things that I come across while researching other topics. And then sometimes I get inspiration from television shows which is how one of today’s topic came about. I didn’t know about the first creature until I was watching the television show, Supernatural (yes this is still my favorite television show). In season four, episode four a rougarou was mentioned. As soon as I heard the word, I was intrigued. Since then I have been trying to learn more about this interesting urban legend. Researching the rougarou lead me to learning about the second topic of today’s post, the Honey Island Swamp Monster.
The rougarou is a Cajun twist on a French urban legend. In French communities, werewolves are called loup-garous. Since medieval France, loup-garous were blamed for various crimes such as a house being broken into and people who acted strangely or appeared sickly during the daytime were accused of being a loup-garous. People became loup-garous when Catholics failed to follow the rules of Lent for seven years. As French settlers came to the World and settled in Canada and parts of the United States, they brought their urban legends with them.
Rougarous (also known as roux-ga-roux, rugaroo, and rugaru) are thought to prowl around the swamps around Acadiana and Greater New Orleans area. They are said to have a human body with either the head of a dog or a wolf. The legend of Rougarous is used mostly to keep misbehaving kids out of the swamp at night by telling them that the rougarou would get them. Granted there are plenty of natural creatures in those swamps that could get a kid just as easily… It is also said that rougarous will hunt down bad Catholics that don’t follow the rules of Lent. There are a couple of ways that someone cane become a rougarou. One way is by putting a curse on someone to become a rougarou. The curse is usually done by a voodoo priestess. How the curse seems to vary from source to source. If the curse is put on a person, they have to avoid tasting the blood or flesh of a human for 101 days to not turn into a rougarou. Another version says that if a person has a curse put on them, they have 101 days to pass the curse on to someone else by biting them or they will be a rougarou forever. If you want to protect yourself from a rougarou from coming into your house, place 13 objects by your front door. Rougarous can only count to twelve. So by having 13 objects by your front door, they will become confused and keep trying to count the objects until the sun comes up and they turn back into a human.
The rougarou is a celebrated creature in Louisiana. The Audubon Zoo has an exhibit dedicated to the creature. There is also a Rougarou Festival in Houma on the last weekend in October every year. If you get a chance to visit either, please send me pictures!!!
HONEY ISLAND SWAMP MONSTER
The Honey Island Swamp Monster is an interesting creature. Also known as the Louisiana Wookie or the Cajun Sasquatch, this Bigfoot like creature is seen in the swamps surrounding Pearl River. They are typically around seven feet tall, dark reddish hair, three toes on each foot with webbing between the toes, and is suppose to stink like the dickens. Local legend says that the creature came to be when a traveling circus lost some chimpanzees in the swamps. Those chimpanzees mated with alligators and their offspring were the seven foot swamp monster.
The Honey Island Swamp Monster was first seen in 1963 by Harlan Ford. Harlan was a retired air traffic controller who took up wild life photography during his retirement. In 1974, Harlan and his friend, Billy Mills, said that they had seen weird footprints out in the swamp. They also came up on the body of a wild boar that had it’s throat slashed. After Harlan’s death, his family was going through his things when they discovered a Super 8 film that showed a Bigfoot like creature walking through the swamp. If Harlan was faking these sightings and evidence, why would he hide away the footage of the creature?
The local Native tribe called the swamp monster as Letiche. They described it as a human- like creature that ate meat and walked on two legs. Their legends said that it was a lost or abandoned child in the swamp that was raised by alligators. A Cajun Jungle Book?
Have you heard of either creature? Do you think either one exists? Do you think the Honey Island Swamp Monster is related to the Bigfoot creatures that have been spotted in North Carolina and along the East Coast? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!