Monster Monday: Loup-Garou

We all know about vampires and werewolves, or at least we think we do. The legends and myths that inspired these monsters are sometimes surprisingly different, but no less chilling. In this series of posts, Monster Monday, we’ll investigate the monsters that have informed our modern notions, as well as some lesser known monsters. Today, we talk about the Loup-Garou.

Eighteenth-century engraving of a werewolf attack
Eighteenth-century engraving of a werewolf attack

The loup-garou is a version of the werewolf legend popular in French-speaking areas, particularly in Quebec and Louisiana. Loup is the French word for “wolf,” and garou comes from an Old French word for “werewolf.” A person can become a loup-garou through a variety of means. A person who turns his back on his Christian duties and falls under the sway of the Devil is said to become one. A person can also become one through witchcraft. In addition, if a person is attacked by a loup-garou but survives, then the victim will become a lou-garou for 101 days, transforming at night and reverting to a human during the day. If he goes all 101 days without anyone finding out, then the curse will be lifted, but if anyone discovers his secret, the curse becomes permanent.

A loup-garou appears as a powerfully built man with the head of a wolf. It stalks fields and forests and in Louisiana swamps, looking for victims. A loup-garou can transform at will and is not subject to the phases of the moon. It also retains its human intelligence. Cutting a loup-garou will make it revert to its human form.

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