The legend of the Loup Garou [pronounced Loo Garoo] (also sometimes called the Rougarou), is that of the Cajun Werewolf. Among the Cajun people, there is a long tradition of the infamous Loup Garou creeping among the Spanish moss covered cypress islands of the deep swamps, and swaying roseau cane of the brackish marshes.
The Loup Garou is a beast that was once man, but is cursed to stalk the earth as half wolf and half man.
Legend contends that Loup Garou is a result of a curse which will remain in place for a period of 101 days. It can only be released when the cursed draws the blood of a human. Some weathered old Cajuns also purport that a person can chose to become a Loup Garou. Yet others believe it is a curse that is passed on through a person’s bloodline.
Part of the myth originates as a result of the rich Catholic traditions of South Louisiana. It was believed that if a Catholic failed to observe lent for 7 years in a row, they would have the curse of the Loup Garou descend upon them.
No matter which myth you hear, they all have some form of trigger which causes a man to be transformed into an evil, powerful, half man/half beast with a restless craving for human flesh. All across Cajun country, it is still quite common to hear an old-timer to tell a misbehaving child “You’d better behave, or the Loup Garou will get you!”
When you’re alone on your deer stand or duck blind in the early morning or late evening hours, and you hear the guttural cry of some unknown tormented beast lurking in the darkness, you may have just escaped the clutches of the infamous Cajun Loup Garou…. Or have you!?! [enter sudden burst of explosive and scary music]
Awesome post, my friend! Love your treatment of the local legend. Every place and time has its own stories, and it always helps to be aware of prevailing superstitions. (In some areas I’ve been to, the local guides use these stories as an excuse to charge more money for taking you out into the unknown!)
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no wonder people are afraid of the Rougarou! That thing has the ugliest face I’ve ever seen! LOL