7 Folktales, Legends, and Superstitions Every Louisianian Has Heard At Least Once
Every state has its own unique lore that is passed down from generation to generation, and the Pelican State is no different.
Louisiana folklore is as colorful as the state, and if you’ve spent any time living here, then you’ve certainly heard these seven Louisiana legends, folktales, and superstitions at least once. From the spooky to the downright silly, here are some of our favorite tales from Louisiana folklore.
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. Regardless of which version you believe is true, there's no denying that the tale of the Rougarou is one of the most well known of all
2. If someone passes a mop over your foot, you will never marry.
Random? Sure. True? We’re not so sure. One thing we can be sure of, though, is that this is just one of the many strange
superstitions in Louisiana
3. The legend of Le Feu Follet.
Though beautiful, the
swamps in Louisiana
hide a dark secret...at least that's what legend says. Le Feu Follet, also known as the Cajun Fairy, 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. Don’t let the legend deter you from visiting Honey Island Swamp, though. You can actually explore the swamp on one of the most unique – and visually stunning –
tours in Louisiana
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. With all this in mind, it is easy to see why the Ellerbe Road School is often purported as one of the most
haunted places in Louisiana
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.
So, were you already familiar with these oft-repeated tales from Louisiana folklore? If not, which ones had you not heard of before? Do you know of any other Louisiana legends? Did we miss any creepy Louisiana cryptids? Are there others that you know of? Share your stories with us – especially if you have had a run-in with any of the terrifying Louisiana cryptids mentioned above!
When it comes to eerie state tales, these stories from Louisiana folklore are just the tip of the iceberg. The Pelican State is shrouded in history and mystery. Need some proof? We thought so, which is why we compiled a list of the most
haunted places in Louisiana.
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