Rougarou is a Cajun creature that most people living in Louisiana have heard of. However, if you have never been to Louisiana, you are unlikely to know about it. Countless creepy swap tales about this creature have been told for generations by families living along the bayous. It is believed that the Rougarou lurks in the swamps of Louisiana and hunts down Catholics who do not observe Lent and kids who do not behave.

So, What Is The Rougarou?

As you might have gotten an idea by now, Rougarou is a dog-like, beastly creature in Cajun folklore. It is actually based on the French word “Loup-Garou,” which translates to werewolf. The term was commonly used by early French settlers for referring to the swamp monster. Over the years, Rougarou has become the term used in Southern Louisiana to refer to the creature. Many people who live in the area tell stories passed down to them by their parents, who say that the stories had been passed down to them by their parents, and so on. There is even a Rougarou Fest that takes place every year in Houma, LA.


According to legend, the Rougarou is used for warning Catholics who do not observe Lent, a time to abstain and fast in Catholicism. It was believed that anyone who does not observe Lent for seven years straight would become a Rougarou. Other legends were used to make kids behave and follow the religion. The saying “You better behave or the Rougarou will get you” was commonly used by parents to get their children to behave. The French and French Canadian settlers who lived in Cajun, Louisiana, have been versions of the legend. The stories have only morphed over the years. However, each version acts as a cautionary tale. The stories are centered on a man who is actually half-man and half-dog.

There are ways that one can also morph into a Rougarou, such as getting cursed by someone. To overcome the curse, someone else has to cut you and draw blood out. However, when someone cuts you, the curse would transfer to them. Although you would be released from the curse, the other person would turn into Rougarou.
Louisiana is one of the oldest states. It was the first few states to be settled. A visit to the state will bring you through beautiful sceneries and haunted buildings. There are plenty of abandoned places in Louisiana to make you feel at unease. The swamplands are known for their beauty. However, the Rougarou can be found lurking if you get lucky (or unlucky). The tale about the Rougarou is centuries old.

Medieval France

Medieval France and Europe were obsessed with all types of tales, including werewolves. It was believed that there are witches and werewolves everywhere. The early French settlers brought with them their beliefs. Whenever something went wrong in 16th century-France, it was blamed on werewolves. It was a thing back in the days. Villagers even captured people whom they thought to be a werewolf and a public trial was held. Anyone acting strange would be taken to trial. The public was asked if they thought the person was a werewolf, and if they agreed, the individual would be hanged to death.
The French Catholics believed that anyone who does not follow the rules of Lent for about seven years straight would transform into a werewolf. There was even a legend about kids being taken away by the Rougarou if they failed to do what their parents asked. It would take them during the middle of the night. Thus, the French took the legend with them as they migrated to the Southern United States and Canada. It was said that the swamps of Greater New Orleans are home to the beast. There is another tale of the Rougarou curse lasting 101 days. The curse would remain unless it is transferred to another person. It is thought to come from a local witch.

How Can You Protect Yourself From the Rougarou?

To protect oneself from the Rougarou, one has to lay 13 small objects by the door. Since a Rougarou is thought to be unable to count past 12, it would remain perplexed until the sun rises, and it would have to flee. You can either place 13 rocks or 13 pennies by the windowsill or doorstep to protect yourself from the Rougarou. The rocks or pennies would keep the monster busy throughout the night. It would have no option but to head back to the swamp once the sun rises.
There is another tradition that involves placing a colander at the doorstep. It does the same as the monster would try to count the holes and fail. The next generation of kids living in the region needs to understand the unique folklore. Many Cajuns believe in the Rougarou and would warn you to be careful. There are Rougarou sightings claimed to this day in Louisiana. Although the number of these sightings has dropped, some people still continue to see the creature.

Rougarou stories continue to be told. Chances are that someone you know has talked about it. However, you have nothing to worry about, as you are unlikely to encounter it unless you visit a swamp in Louisiana.