As the season of Lent draws near, the tales of a special swamp monster become more and more common. A Cajun legend, the Rougarou has been the fantasy of swamp hunters and small children alike. For generations, folk tales have talked about a creature with a human body and the head of a wolf that prowls the swamp - the Louisiana werewolf.
No one is quite sure when the Rougarou prowls the most as there is no indication the creature is controlled by the full moon as stated in most werewolf lore. Many believe the monster to be created by a local witch or Voodoo priestess. However, the process after that is mere speculation. There are those that believe the witch must turn into the Rougarou herself and then pass the curse on to another, but others believe the priestess can merely curse another to lycanthropy. Legend has it that the 101-day curse can only be shortened by transferring the curse to someone else, likely by drinking their blood.
Today, elders frequently use the folklore of the Rougarou to scare young children into behaving. When the elders begin to threaten that the children will be taken from their beds by the Rougarou, the children leave 13 small objects around their beds to distract the monster. Tales say that the creature will spend the entire night counting the objects and starting over each time it gets to 12.
To this day, there are still claimed sightings of the Rougarou. Book your next swamp tour at Atchafalaya Basin Landing and maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of the Louisiana werewolf with your own eyes!