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Louisiana Urban Legends, Monsters, and Haunted Places

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DS Duby is an avid traveler and writer with a keen interest in horror and urban legends.

Is it the guinea pig rougarou?

Is it the guinea pig rougarou?

Louisiana Folklore Creatures

Long before hurricane Katrina brought forth the tales of sharks and alligators swimming through the flooded streets of New Orleans in 2005, there already existed a vast amount of urban legends and ghost stories involving the state of Louisiana. From werewolves to vampires, zombies and ghosts, Louisiana seems to have it all.

The tales of voodoo and witchcraft, along with the ghosts and monsters of Louisiana, have made it one of (if not the biggest) resources for paranormal research and urban legends in the United States. With that being said, it is with creepy pleasure that I give you this edition of "Urban Legends, Monsters and Haunted Places" from the great state of Louisiana.

The Rougarou: Southern Louisiana

The legends of the rougarou, or loup-garou, have been passed down from generation to generation as long as Louisiana has been inhabited by modern man. The rougarou is closely related to the European version of the werewolf but has a few very distinct differences from the wolfmen seen in movies and on television.

Wolves are not native to Louisiana, so many times the beast in the story is replaced with other animals such as dogs, pigs or cattle, and generally appear as being pale white in color. As the story goes, the rougarou will wander the streets at night searching for a savior amongst the crowds of people. It will run through and cause havoc to each individual until somebody eventually shoots or stabs the creature.

With the first drop of blood drawn in the dying blow, the beast will then turn back into a man and reveal to its attacker his true name. This legend is said to usually happen within the smallest of towns in Louisiana; because of this, the rougarou is often already known by its killer. Before the dying man takes his last breath of life, he will warn his savior that he can not mention a word of the incident to anyone for one full year, or he too will suffer the same fate and become the rougarou.

Parents are often known to spin the tales of the rougarou to children who misbehave, warning them that if they don't straighten up, they will be visited by the rougarou in their bed come nightfall. One account tells of a boy who encountered the beast while on his way home from a night out with friends. As the boy was walking along a large white dog was following behind, nipping at his heels and antagonizing the boy to attack. Finally, out of annoyance and slight anger, the boy took out his knife and slashed the dog open; at that point, the beast then turned back into a man.

In this case, the rougarou told the boy how he had sold his soul to the devil to gain prosperity but was tricked by Satan and changed into the beast instead. As the curse seems to demand, he then warned the boy of the penalty of mentioning the events that had taken place, but the boy just couldn't resist.

After repeating the story to several friends, the boy started to disappear from his room at night, and none of his friends or family could find him anywhere until the following morning, at which point he would appear back in his room with no explanation to where he had been.

This went on for about a year until, one morning, his body was found lying in the street. The police claimed it was most likely suicide, but friends and family of the boy knew that there would soon be a new rougarou roaming the streets. Anyone who has ever lived in a small town knows that no story can be kept secret for long, not even the tale of the rougarou.

LaLaurie Mansion: New Orleans, Louisiana

The Madame LaLaurie Mansion (sometimes spelled LeLaurie) is considered by many to be the single most gruesome haunting in the United States. With almost 180 years of reported violent activity, its tale is not for the faint of heart. The LaLaurie family first moved into the Creole mansion on Royal street in 1832.

The madame of the house, Delphine, was well known throughout the city for her grand parties and fine taste in clothing and décor. The locals considered it a great honor to be invited to one of her luxurious gatherings to be wined and dined while relaxing on expensive furniture imported from all over the world.

Though Delphine was well respected by many for her intelligence and wealth, there were those few who knew her for what she truly was from the very beginning, a cruel, evil and heartless creature who would do whatever it took to be amused and get whatever she wanted.

Slavery in itself was one of the worst crimes against humanity that was ever committed, but Madame LaLaurie managed to take this cruel act a step further than that, proving exactly how cruel she really was.

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Delphine had been known to brutally torture even the youngest of her servants, often whipping them to death and merely replacing them with another as if they were just old clothing. It is told that she kept her cook chained to the stove for over 16 hours a day, then locked her in a dark room for the night until the new day began.

There was just no limit to this evil woman's horrifying treatment of other human beings. Eventually, after a neighbor had seen LaLaurie burying a young girl in a shallow grave, the authorities took Delphine's servants away from her, but the insane woman only needed to have relatives purchase them back from the public auctions so she could continue her horrid abuse.

In 1834, a fire was started in the kitchen of the LaLaurie Mansion, apparently set by the cook who could no longer take the abuse. When firefighters showed up and put out the blazing fire, they discovered a more horrifying site than they could have ever imagined.

Within the smoking remains of the fire and water-damaged interior of the home, they found a barred door; beyond that were dozens of slaves chained to the walls and homemade operating tables. The madame had been using them as play toys in her sadistic games for her own sickening pleasure. Surrounding those who were still barely alive were the dismembered remains of those who Delphine had already finished off.

The degree of torture LaLaurie put these poor souls through is far worse than any serial killer known to the world thus far. There was a young man was chained to the wall with a sharp stick protruding from his head where a hole had been drilled; authorities say the woman had been using the stick to stir the man's brains. On one of the makeshift tables, a woman had her stomach cut open, her intestines pulled out and tied tightly around her waist like a gruesome belt, and there were so many others in the room as well, all suffering various forms of abuse and torture.

Word of the woman's evil rapidly spread throughout the city, and soon a large mob gathered outside of the horrid creature's home to serve up punishment for the insane woman's acts of violence and torture. Unfortunately, it was far too late; the family had escaped the city immediately following the fire, never to be seen or heard from again.

Once the victims were removed, the enraged neighbors took their anger out on the house itself, destroying the beast's belongings. It was soon after that the reports of the haunting began.

Only a short time passed before the mansion was once again occupied by newcomers to the city, but none of the occupants ever stayed for long. The reports of screaming and crying throughout the night were bad, but nothing compared to the ghastly sight of the decapitated apparitions and angry spirits that were constantly seen roaming the corridors and passing through the large rooms of the mansion.

Throughout the years, the building has gone through many changes and renovations, from a private school to apartments for the privileged. Though the screams and apparitions have faded through time, they are still occasionally reported by scared tenants and visitors who know little or nothing of the cruel history linked to the mansion of Madame LaLaurie.

The Grunch: Eastern New Orleans, Louisiana

The Grunch is a New Orleans-based urban legend closely related to the chupacabra. Back when New Orleans was first developing the Eastern suburbs, there existed an old road barely known by most residents of the area. This road was long and narrow and led off into the deep thicket of woods surrounding the area, eventually coming to a dead end.

According to legend, there was a strange group of humans living in these woods that were a strange mix of albinos and dwarfs, forced to live away from society during a time when people who were thought of as different were considered creations of the devil. Because of humanity's cruel nature, these people became a sort of sideshow for teenagers and immature adults.

The locals claim that their seclusion in the woods had caused the people to interbreed and combine their abnormalities to eventually become almost inhuman in appearance. At this point in time, the end of that long road, then labeled "Grunch" road, was considered nothing but a freak show and occasionally a make-out spot for desperate teens who may not have believed the legends; that is, until people started to disappear.

It started out with a few goats here and there, nearby farmers reporting their animals missing or finding them dead and drained of their blood. Before long, adult humans began disappearing as well, and reports of strange deformed creatures roaming the woods at the end of "Grunch" road were multiplying every day.

Some say the albino dwarf people sold their souls for a beast to protect them from the onlookers who treated them as freaks, while others claim the beasts are the offspring of the albinos and dwarfs, deformed from many years of inbreeding and mixing abnormalities, driven insane from the cruel treatment they endured from society.

Legends say you will first see a stray goat along the side of the road, appearing to be injured or in need of assistance. It isn't until you leave the safety of your vehicle to help the animal that the grunch comes out to drain you of your blood and feast upon your flesh. The next time you see a stray goat wandering the side of the road, just remember there may be a grunch nearby waiting, ready to have his taste.

Not to be confused with the Grinch, the Grunch is after much more than your christmas presents

Not to be confused with the Grinch, the Grunch is after much more than your christmas presents

What Do You Know of Louisiana Legends?

Louisiana may just be the most haunted region of the United States; it certainly has more urban legends, monsters and haunted places than I could possibly write about in one article. It was a lot of fun, though at times disturbing, researching the Louisiana edition of this series. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

If there is anything you would care to add, be sure to leave a comment in the area below. Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to hearing any tales of the creepy and unusual you may care to share.


pat breaux on October 01, 2018:

I always to read about things people think if legend.

Shawn Tucker on July 20, 2017:

I have always been curious about ghosts and sprits. Even as a child. I believe that there are spirits. Most people think that they are all bad, but I think there are good spirits. I lost my oldest son 6 years ago, and I would love to be able to see him. These things don't scare me . In fact I have a friend that lives in Lake Charles, LA, I am always talking to her about all the things that I've heard about there. I live in the Missouri bootheel and have COPD/w Emphysema so traveling really hard . But I would love to see LA. I am also fascinated with witchcraft, Voo Doo and everything pertaining to that. I am a female and unlike most I have always been a tomboy. I love spiders, snakes, lizards and any other animal you can think of. My husband is scared of everything. He believes the only good snake is a dead one. Of course I would avoid a poisonous one but wouldn't kill it. People think I'm weird, I call it curious. I love nature and all of Gods creations. Everything is here for a reason.. Well thanks for the wonderful story, still hope to get to Louisiana one day. Thank you for listening....

Neshya on May 18, 2016:

What about the Louisiana boo-hang?

Chelsea Frasure from Idaho on December 08, 2015:

I thought vampires stayed in New Orleans too.

Interesting article. I'd never heard of grunches before. Thanks for filling me in.

Djbnola on January 12, 2015:

Being from New Orleans myself I found this hub rather amusing and only legend I didn't hear about growing up was the grunches but I tell you what I was told time and time again never go into the woods during lent and never stray from the path made out for when you do then the ruegarue will come to chase you down and eat you up. Also there are a few legends surrounding jean laffietes hang man's tree down old barataria blvd going into the dark swamps back in Jefferson parish between marrero and crown point

Ckappy on September 25, 2014:

Im writing a paper on urban legends for my writing class for college. This was really interesting, thanks! Helped out a lot!

Kris on October 12, 2013:

I am from New Orleans and still live here...I enjoyed reading your article...I never heard of the Grunch Road before...will have to check on that one...but as far as the other articles go...yes those are very true...when you travel up in New Orleans at night around the area we call up-town around Magazine street...the houses are built with the essence of Victorian and of the turn of the century...but yet have a sense of beauty to creepiness....

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on September 06, 2012:

Thanks Jennzie for reading and commenting!

Jenn from Pennsylvania on September 06, 2012:

These are very interesting stories... that Daphne was one evil woman.

Great hub, voted up and interesting.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on August 04, 2012:

Thanks Rahul, it saddened me as well. Nobody has a right to treat anyone like meaningless objects but that woman was by far one of the worst ever.

Jessee R from Gurgaon, India on August 04, 2012:

I was most intrigued by the LaLaurie Mansion story and was saddened the mad lady had not been brought to justice..

A very intriguing hub

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on July 13, 2012:

Thank you kittythedreamer I will definitely keep Hubbing I love it! I am just under 16000 views now I'm very excited. Thanks again for reading and commenting

Kitty Fields from Summerland on July 13, 2012:

DS Duby - 11,500 hits in 8 weeks is a great accomplishment! Keep hubbing.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on July 13, 2012:

Thank you joseph-Isaak Mail your enthusiasm is really appreciated. I loved researching Louisiana it was by far my favorite so far. Your state holds so many great interests to me. Thank you again for reading and commenting.

Joseph-Isaak Mail from I preside on the American side of the Atlantic Ocean on July 13, 2012:

I'm really excited that you did my home state! I remembered growing up and visiting New Orleans with no prior knowledge of LaLaurie; some of the people there didn't want to go near the building.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 28, 2012:

Thank you very much, kittythedreamer I'm not doing to bad on hits I'm at 11,500 in 8 weeks so I'm happy.

Kitty Fields from Summerland on June 28, 2012:

Very nicely done! Very interesting, too. I had heard of the LaLaurie Mansion but not the others. Voted up, awesome, and interesting. Are you getting a lot of hits on your hubs yet? Just curious.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 27, 2012:

Thank you very much for your kind words AEvans, I'm sure LaLaurie's soul is burning right now. I can't even conceive the thought of that level of cruelty in anyone. I am just grateful that people like her are not a common occurrence in the world. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

AEvans on June 27, 2012:

OMG! Lalaurie was horrific and sadistic! That sent chills down my spine. Drilling a hole in a man's head? Wrapping a woman's intestines around her waist? What a horrific way to be tortured and then killed? She was insane and It's sad that someone in this Country has the burden of carrying the family name. Who did she think she was? I know where her soul went to, and it was not a nice place. Thumbs up!!!! You are amazing! :)

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 27, 2012:

I heard the story of the little girl but the article was running long so I left it out. I had no idea about the prank though. Thanks for the input on it being truly haunted, I would think that if anyplace would be it would be that place with its very cruel history. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Dominique L.

Dominique L from Oregon on June 27, 2012:

Well done, as always, my friend.

And for the record, the LeLaurie house is haunted. I couldn't even walk within a block of the house without mysteriously getting nauseous. Although the worst part has nothing to do with the haunting, but the people who live and work in the building now, who think it's really funny to freak people out because of the legend.

One of the legends that apparently made the LeLaurie's neighbors in the area start to whisper was that one night they heard shouting from the roof of the house, and saw Daphine chasing someone with a whip. It was a little slave girl who ran to the edge of the building and threw herself off. Well, one night, when a walking tour that told ghost stories had stopped outside this building, the owner's son decided he wanted to have some fun, so he climbed on the foor, and, as soon as the group showed up, started making all kinds of noise, and when the guide got to the part in the story where the girl jumps off the roof, the son chucked a dummy off and it landed in the street next to the group. Scared the @#$% out of them.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 27, 2012:

Thank you very much dwachira, I have to agree there is always a lesson to be learned from legends. I know I used to love hearing the stories my mother would tell from her childhood. Thanks again for reading, commenting and sharing.

Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on June 27, 2012:

DS Duby, what an interesting hub you have here. I enjoyed reading about legends and i love stories about legends. I thinks every society has its own versions of legends, but if you listen to those legends keenly they try to pass a certain message to that particular society like being kind, helpful, unselfish, unfearful...and i think nights seemed shorter when we were young because a night with legend stories was always welcome. Voted up, interesting and shared.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 27, 2012:

Thank you Christy, I really enjoy researching the the odd and bizarre. Especially if it's not proven to be either real or fake, though Madame LaLaurie was very real the haunting on the other hand I have no idea. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on June 27, 2012:

What interesting hubs you write DS Duby! Your research on these tales is great.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 26, 2012:

Thank you for the comment. I too like to believe it keeps us feeling younger to think there are things out there that we still don't understand.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on June 26, 2012:

Thank you for this. I like to believe. (it'me - Martin)

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 26, 2012:

Thank you Terrye I really appreciate that. I enjoy writing the urban legend articles a lot but I think I may find a new topic for tomorrow to give me a change of pace.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 26, 2012:

Most of my legends are more on the strange and unusual side rather than being to scary, thank you for reading and commenting Sunshine625 it's definitely appreciated

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on June 26, 2012:

Awesome hub as usual, Scott! Well done and very interesting. VUMS.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on June 26, 2012:

This is the first in your series that I've read. I had no idea that Louisiana was even considered haunted. I have no tales to share, I tend to steer clear of creepy stuff. I appreciate that you didn't scare me off and I was able to finish reading your hub!:)

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