Louisiana October 26, 2018
7 Folktales, Legends, and Superstitions Every Louisianian Has Heard At Least Once
Every state has their own unique lore that is passed down from generation to generation. Louisiana is no different, and if you’ve spent any time living here, then you’ve certainly heard these seven folktales, legends, and superstitions at least once. From the spooky to the downright silly, here are some of our favorites:
1. The Rougarou
In terms of Cajun folklore, the Rougarou may be the most popular. This creepy creature is said to live in the swamps and sugar cane fields of southern Louisiana, waiting for its next victim. It’s often described as having the body of a human and the head of a wolf - almost like a werewolf. The story of the Rougarou is centuries old and, as any oral tradition goes, sometimes new stories splinter off into their own versions. While all of the versions are cautionary tales, there are a few different versions you may have heard.
In one version, the Rougarou hunts down Catholics who do not obey the rules of Lent. In another version, the Rougarou is under a spell for 101 days, and afterward, the spell is then transferred to another person when the Rougarou draws the blood of someone else. During the day, the creature is in human form, so it could be anyone... but at night, they take the form of the Rougarou on the prowl for blood.
2. If someone passes a mop over your foot, you will never marry.
Random? Sure. True? We’re not so sure.
3. The legend of Le Feu Follet.
Also known as the Cajun Fairy, it appears as a phosphorescent ball of fire in the swamps and marshlands of Louisiana. While it can sometimes take the forms of loved ones, it is also said to have a devilish version which also takes the form of a ball of light. Its goal is to confuse those who follow the light until they become lost in the swamps, eventually drowning. So if you ever find yourself in a swamp at night, maybe don’t follow the light, ok?
4. The Honey Island Swamp Monster
Located in St. Tammany Parish, the Honey Island Swamp is considered to be one of the most pristine river swamps in the country. For decades, there has been the legend of the Honey Island Swamp Monster floating around, and at least one gentleman claims to have seen it with his own eyes.
Legend has it that early in the 20th century, a train carrying a traveling circus crashed and many chimpanzees escaped. Naturally, they bred with the alligators in the area, which resulted in the creation of a hybrid creature. Believed to be about seven feet tall with webbed feet, piercing yellow eyes, and matted grey hair, the monster seamlessly blends into the surroundings, making him difficult to spot.
5. Itchy hands? Depending on which one it is, it could mean completely different things.
If your right hand itches, it means an old friend is about to make an appearance in your life. If your left hand itches, then you are about to come into some money. I love old friends but come on, left hand!
6. Ellerbe Road School
This Shreveport school was originally named George Washington Carver School, but has been closed down for many years. While the school was open, it was badly damaged by a fire that killed some of the students. Many believe the structure to be haunted, and some even believe that there are devil worshipers that use the school to summon Satan. There is also a water tower on the property, and legend has it that if you climb to the top and peer inside, you will see your reflection as the way you will look on the day you will die.
7. The Grunch
Stories of the Grunch have circulated in the New Orleans area for centuries; the oldest account being shortly after the Louisiana Purchase. According to the legend, this monster is said to have razor sharp teeth, the legs of a goat, and is the size of a man. It lurks in the tall grass, waiting for those who park their car on Grunch Road (which has since been repaved and renamed). Some stories claim that the Grunch is the result of a curse put on by none other than the Voodoo Queen herself, Marie Laveau.
How many of these unusual tales have you heard of? Are there others that you know of? Share your stories in the comments below – especially if you have had a run-in with any of the terrifying creatures!