Moonlight, Magic, & Myths of Louisiana

Apr 19, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Lynn Emery

Louisiana’s mysterious and mythical side is woven into my new mystery, Blood Bayou. The setting is the fictional town of Beau Chene, Louisiana, located in Vermilion Parish. When a sixteen-year-old is accused of murder, psychic LaShaun Rousselle suspects the case against her is far more complex than it appears on the surface. Blood Bayou is the seventh book in the LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series. Psychic LaShaun Rousselle and Deputy Chase Broussard fight human and supernatural crime in the swamps of Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. The legend associated with Blood Bayou is also fictional, but there are plenty of authentic Louisiana myths that inspired my creation.

Our beautiful bayous have lured visitors for hundreds of years. Indigenous people first called our swamps and bayous home. Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to arrive in 1528. The French claimed the territory as a colony in 1682. Added to this rich gumbo are the legends and cultures from the peoples of Africa the Caribbean Islands and Germany. Here are just a few.

The legend of the loup garou or, as it’s called here, the rougarou, is a myth that originated in France. The stories traveled to Louisiana with the Acadians who migrated. It is said that a rougarou is a human that has been cursed to turn into a wolf or werewolf. In Cajun tradition, those who don’t observe Lent faithfully are punished by becoming rougarou. Once transformed, one can only be released from the curse by biting someone else and passing it on. The rougarou is often depicted as a creature with supernatural powers and a murderous temper prowling the swamps late at night beneath a full moon. This story was told to frighten children (and adults) into being obedient during lent.

Lynn Emery

The Fifolet is another supernatural creature from Louisiana folklore. According to legend, the Fifolet is a spirit-like creature that takes the form of a tiny blue flame. It is said to haunt swamps, bayous, and cemeteries, and can be seen floating in the air or dancing atop the water. The Fifolet is believed to be a sign of bad luck, and if seen by a human, it is said to bring misfortune to them. It is also believed that the Fifolet will lead travelers astray and cause them to get lost in the swamps. Some stories say that the Fifolet can be captured and held captive in a jar, although it is difficult to do so. While it is believed to bring bad luck, some people also believe that it can be used for good, such as helping people find their way in the swamp.

The legend of the Honey Island Swamp Monster is a cryptid said to inhabit the Honey Island Swamp in Louisiana. It is described as a bipedal creature, similar to Bigfoot, covered in brown or black fur and standing 7–8 feet tall. It is said to have red eyes, a foul odor, long arms, and large feet with three toes. The legends of the Honey Island Swamp Monster date back to the 1960s. It was first reported by two hunters who claimed to have seen the creature while hunting in the swamp. Since then, there have been several other sightings of the creature and some photos and videos have been taken of what is believed to be the creature. Although it has never been proven to exist, the legend of the Honey Island Swamp Monster has become a popular topic among cryptozoologists and has been featured in several documentaries and books.

But, please don’t let these stories keep you away. Come to experience the food, hospitality, and plentiful festivals in Louisiana to “Feed You Soul.” After all, they’re only myths. Maybe …

Watch the YouTube trailer for Blood Bayou
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Mix knowledge of voodoo, Louisiana politics and forensic social work, and you get a snapshot of author Lynn Emery. Lynn has written thirty-five novels so far, one of which inspired the BET made-for-television movie After All.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


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