Cryptid: An animal whose existence is unsubstantiated.
From Bigfoot to the Jersey Devil and Mothman, American folklore is full of cryptid creatures. But some are far more real than others, leaving a trail of bodies and carnage in their wake. One potent example is Louisiana’s Rougarou – a cryptid killer so infamous that state authorities have the mythical creature on-file.
History’s dramatized Cryptid: The Swamp Beast series showcases several Rougarou cases. The show features reenactments, but the victims themselves were real people who met unexplainable ends.
Down in Louisiana, members of the state’s animal control team race against the clock to save one of their own from the ravenous cryptid in Season 1, Episode 5: “We’re the Hunted.” Within, several discoveries lead to authorities believing a real-life predator is on the loose; one that’s brutally killing men and cattle alike.
Searching the bayou for several missing persons is the Cajun Beast Team. Several murders have already been committed, and the team is racing against the clock to prevent further casualties. But things take an even more gruesome turn when their lead tracker, Luke, comes across an abandoned hunting shack in the Atchafalaya Basin.
“Oh dear god,” he utters as he enters the shack. “It’s a butcher den. There’s bones in here. It’s like someone was gutted and torn apart. This is unhuman.”
Luke radios for help, but gets no answer. It is then that he finds a skull with ears still attached. At this point in the investigation, it’s unclear if a cryptid killer – or a human murderer – is on the loose. Or both.
Members of the animal control team race against the clock to save one of their own. A grisly discovery begins to shed light on the predator lurking in the swamps, in Season 1, Episode 5, “We’re the Hunted.”HISTORY
Cryptid Killer: The Louisiana Legend of the Rougarou
Luke marks the location of the cabin on his map for the sheriff’s office to investigate. His primary focus is to search for two missing young boys. As his discovery shows, the boys are in real danger.
The events depicted in Cryptid: The Swamp Beast are all true cases with real victims. And fact is always stranger than fiction. Which is exactly why the National Wildlife Federation has a full file on Louisiana’s Rougarou.
According to the NWF, the Rougarou (sometimes pronounced loup-garou) is a horrible monster from Cajun folklore. In it’s legends, the beast often has the body of a man and the head of a wolf, dog, or even an alligator. As a shapeshifter, the beast can take on the form of any person, too.
In various forms, the Rougarou prowls Louisiana swamps looking for those who misbehave. Some legends have it targeting “naughty children” specifically.
Yet the unexplained murders in the state’s swampy areas remain very real. This has led officials, some of which featured in History’s retelling above, to believe an elusive, large predator is to blame for the cryptid legends. A few plausible explanations could be a black bear or the once-prevalent red wolf.
Or perhaps the Rougarou is something yet to be discovered by humanity.