Louisiana Swamp Monsters

by blackspanielgallery

There are two creatures of lure that are associated with southern Louisiana, and both are claimed to dwell in the swamp.

Many areas have a legend of a strange animal with monster-like characteristics. I remember hearing of the Yeti when I was very young. It seems every corner of the world has such a legend. But, many of these so-called monsters are different. The Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster are nothing alike.

Southern Louisiana is no different. In fact, there are two monsters believed to roam the swamps. Are they real? Well, one thing all such monsters have in common is they are rarely seen. They seem to avoid people. And many pieces of evidence turn out to be hoaxes. It does not help in determining what kernel of truth might lie in the legends as long as there are pranksters planting false evidence.

The Honey Island Swamp Monster

There is an area just east of New Orleans where the Pearl River flows carrying water towards the Gulf of Mexico.  The area is swampy, a condition the river itself tends to help create.  Like many rivers, as the water nears the mouth of that river it splits into channels.  This divides the land between the various channels.


This area is partially in Louisiana, and partially in Mississippi.  It is an area that attracts fishermen and hunters.  Often bountiful crayfish catches have been made in the swamp.  So, humans do enter the swamp.


 When I was in my twenties there was a rash of sightings of what was called the Honey Island Swamp Monster.  People would see fleeting shadows.  Others would report deep claw scratching on trees.  No one photographed the monster, but there were frequent reports of it.  By frequent I mean annual. 


Although I did much fishing and crayfishing in my twenties with my brothers, I never went into the Honey Island Swamp.  We spoke of it, but had a fear.  Our fear was not of the monster, but the state line is not clear, and the penalty for fishing in Mississippi with only a Louisiana license was enough to keep us away. 


People offered possible animals that could have been mistaken as the monster.  The area is home to wild boars, which can grow to a large size.  Another possibility was the black bear, which could leave claw marks. 


Well, for decades the monster has made little news.  Younger people today may not have heard of the Honey Island Swamp Monster.


The Rugaru

The rugaru, and there are many spellings, such as rougarou among many, is a Cajun lore creature.  This is a werewolf of sorts.  It comes from the Cajuns, and is reported to roam the swamp by night. 


There is supposed to be a resemblance between the rugaru and a dog or wolf.  Because legend has it that this creature will attack, it is avoided. 


Of course all sightings are vague, and there is a lack of any real, compelling evidence. 


Is a second monster of the Louisiana swamp, or is this and the Honey Island Swamp Monster the same?  Well, it is likely neither exists, and the idea of the werewolf characteristics is an exaggeration if there is some strange creature lurking in the swamp. 


Blue Dog

One curious thing about the Blue Dog art is that the artist, George Rodrigue, is supposed to have made a statement that the Blue Dog is not really a dog.  His art often depicted Cajun life, and the “Blue Dog” is supposed to be his rendering of a rugaru.  That is the story I have heard, and it fits with the Cajun lifestyle he brought to art.


Blue Dog

Why Is Blue Dog Blue?

Paintings of Blue Dog in many different colors, including salmon, cherry, and moss green, explain why Blue Dog had to be blue.

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Rodrigue: The Sanders Collection; New Book Celebrates the Art of George Rodrigue from the Private...

Rodrigue: The Sanders Collection (Rodrigue Studio / Hardcover $85.00 / ISBN: 978-0-692-28195-6 / Publication Date: April 25, 2015) contains 100 full-color images that cover the ...

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Blue Dog Speaks

When Cajun artist George Rodrigue began his series of Blue Dog paintings in 1984, he had no idea that they would consume the greater part of his life for over two decades, and t...

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Are You Blue Dog's Friend?

Beautifully designed, and featuring a reflective mirror page at the end that brings young readers into the story, this is a one-of-a-kind glimpse at the world of Blue Dog and th...

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The introduction image is our own.. 

Updated: 12/08/2018, blackspanielgallery
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frankbeswick on 12/18/2018

I mentioned the tyrannosaurus under the bed. But today I was with my three year old grand-daughter who tells us of the dinosaur under her bed. I have never mentioned the tyrannosaurus so as not to frighten her, but we each had/have the same childhood fear, something lurking in the dark down there. So swamp monsters lurk in the nether darkness of the swamp. Maybe the real location of the monster is our subconscious minds and we project it into dark and/or dangerous locations. It is not without significance that we locate the Devil, the ultimate monster, in the underworld.The Mayans had an idea of the underworld as mud-filled, a swamp in fact.

frankbeswick on 12/18/2018

Thanks for this information.

blackspanielgallery on 12/18/2018

As long as the topography is the same, and the wind direction repeats, it certainly could repeat. Some high mountains have a cloud feature that is close to permanent called a banner cloud.

frankbeswick on 12/18/2018

The problem was that moving cloud encountered the summit, The centre rose above it and the sides went round, but due to the topography of the mountain each of the side streams divided into two, making it look as though there were arms and legs, with the centre being the head. This phenomenon could happen again.

blackspanielgallery on 12/17/2018

Clouds at summits are not unusual, and replicating wind direction can cause a similar appearance that repeats or persists. So, it is possible many will see a similar feature over time.

frankbeswick on 12/17/2018

The legend started when a mountaineer saw a cloud formation that had human shape. It was actually clouds moving round the summit. While he was descending the peak he claimed that in the mist into which he had walked he heard the sound of footsteps behind him. He ran down in terror.

Fear and disorientation in mist is common. My second son [then aged 10] once suffered it on Snowdon,] but fortunately I was there to support him.

But the legend of the Great Grey Man has grown so much that he is said to be hair-covered, ten feet tall and to walk with huge strides. You see how the blanks are being filled in.

blackspanielgallery on 12/16/2018

Imagination is a real issue, and once having heard of some legend one can easily fill in blanks with the mind.

frankbeswick on 12/16/2018

I think that when we are alone in wild places our imaginations begin to work overtime. Noises acquire new significance, and shadows become threatening.

In Britain we have the legend of the Great Grey Man of Ben Macdui, a ten foot giant said to haunt the mountain.Some claim to have seen him, but this is imagination working without control. The legend has grown around peculiarly shaped cloud formations rising over the summit, and any crunching of gravel on the mountain, which is explicable as falling scree, is perceived as his footsteps.Where a giant would live on that rocky Scottish summit is not explained.

blackspanielgallery on 12/15/2018

The problem is a legal one. There could be a large fine and have one's fishing or hunting equipment confiscated.

DerdriuMarriner on 12/15/2018

blackspanielgallery, Thank you for the legends and the products. What are the consequences of being in Mississippi with a Louisiana license and vice versa? Is it terrain or tradition that leaves the boundary between Louisiana and Mississippi unclear in the Honey Island Swamp?

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