Hometown Tales Podcast

Monday, December 29, 2008

Vincennes, IN - The Loup Garou

Back in the early 18th century, when French trappers who worked and lived along Wabash River, they always included the Loup-garou (werewolf) in their fireside tales.

The Loup-garou was a fierce werewolf (though stories of the Loup-garou includes people transformed into cow, horse, or some other animal). Once under a spell as a Loup-garou, the unfortunate victim became an enraged animal that roamed each night through the fields and forests for a certain period of time, usually 101 days. During the day, he returned to his human form, though he was continually morose and sickly and fearful to tell of his predicament lest even a worse sentence should befall him. The main way he could be released from the spell before serving the stipulated time was for someone to recognize him as a person transformed to an animal and somehow draw blood. Even when this backwoods exorcism had been performed, both the victim and his rescuer could not mention the incident, even to each other, until the time was up: 101 days. Anyone who violated this taboo would become possessed immediately and face a much stiffer sentence.

These stories were told for generations and fortunately recorded in the 1920s by Miss Anna C. O’Flynn, who taught school for many years in the old French section of Vincennes.