Of the Week

The Rougarou

Written by Zavier Colon

Cryptid of The Week: Week 6

Welcome back dear reader to the fifth installment of Cryptid of The Week. To start this week’s installment off I would like to apologize for last week’s break as I instead posted an article about the coronavirus. I would like to apologize to any of you who might have been disappointed about the lack of a new cryptid article. For all those who do not know a cryptid is “ an animal (such as Sasquatch or the Loch Ness Monster) that has been claimed to exist but never proven to exist. Contrary to popular belief, cryptids don’t have to be supernatural, mythical or even all that strange” (Merriam Webster dictionary definition). Now let us begin with this week’s newest cryptid the Rougarou.

The Rougarou is an old Louisiana legend having originated from Cajun folklore and believed to have been brought by the Cajun people when they migrated from France to Louisiana. The Rougarou is described as a beast with the head of a wolf and torso of a man that prowls the Louisiana swamps in the south and the sugarcane fields and forests in the north. The story of the Rougarou is often told as a deterrence to misbehaving children saying that if they do not behave the Rougarou will come and snatch them up. The Rougarou is often attributed to having been created by the Cajuns for this very reason of frightening disobedient children taking inspiration for the monster from werewolves as they are much alike. The Rougarou, however, has never been stated to only come out during a full moon which is a common similarity in most European werewolf mythos. The origin of how a Rougarou is created has also never been specified with stories of a curse that transfers from person to person, or that the only way to create a Rougarou is if a witch curses someone with lycanthropy; the stories vary depending on who you ask. The use of the creature as a deterrent for disobedience is believed to have originated from the French Catholic story of the (loup-garou) which is sometimes used by Louisiana locals to refer to the Rougarou as well. The belief was that anyone who breaks lent 7 years in a row will turn into werewolf and is believed to have inspired the use of the Rougarou story as a disobedience deterrent.

The story of the Rougarou is still being told to this day, scaring little kids into listening to what their parents tell them, otherwise the Rougarou will come and eat them up. Thank you all again for tuning into another Cryptid of The Week installment and I would just like to thank all of my long time readers as well as any new ones who might be tuning in for the first time. Once again if you have any cryptid suggestions for what I should write or any monster suggestions at all feel free to comment down below, and I’ll write about them for next week’s installment.

Featured Image credit: https://blog.nwf.org/2019/10/save-the-swamp-but-beware-the-rougarou/

Article image credit:https://pinebarrensinstitute.com/cryptids/2018/8/18/quick-cryptid-snippet-rougarou

About the author

Zavier Colon