I grew up milking a life-long fascination with the Loch Ness monster — I'm convinced that Nessy (as I've called her since I was six years old) not only exists, but thrives on humans' collective disbelief. (She's probably just chilling under water biding her time until opportunity is ripe to take over Scotland, and then the world.) But let's be serious — do swamp monsters really exist? Yahoo! Travel's editor-in-chief Paula Froelich explores just that in a new A Broad Abroad video, where she dives into the swamplands of Louisiana to find herself what's known in Cajun culture as the Rougarou. Part man, part werewolf, the storied Rougarou lives in the bayou, and is thought to have fierce, glowing eyes, and a thirst for blood. Basically, it's like the Loch Ness monster, only eight thousand times scarier. I mean, say what you will about Nessy, but I doubt she'd ever try to eat a human.
The Rougarou, on the other hand, wants to do nothing else. Its name literally translates into "wolf man," and according to Cajun legend, the nightmarish creature is said to be a person who is cursed to prowl the Louisiana swampland in its monster form until it can shed the blood of another human. Then, the curse is broken, and another person becomes the Rougarou. Freaking scary, am I right?
In theory, absolutely. But as Froelich discovered while roaming the allegedly accursed waters with her Louisiana Swamp guide, if the Rougarou does exist, it keeps a pretty low profile. The terrifying creature was nowhere to be found during what turned out to be a pretty chill trip through the wetlands. (Supposedly, there's a 50-foot "dinogator" that is supposed to haunt those parts as well, but he also went unseen.) That's not to say the trip was a complete bust, however. Froelich did find herself face-to-face with a few Louisiana gators who, surprisingly, seemed to have something of a sweet tooth — they'll let you safely get up close enough to touch them, so long as you make sure to toss a few marshmallows their way. (To be fair, I'm also a much friendlier person when there are marshmallows involved.)
That's not to say that the Rougarou isn't real, though. Hey, maybe he's just camera shy. Not all monsters like to be the center of attention — and besides, its their invisibility that makes them truly scary.
Check out Froelich's trip in her video below, and for more of her adventures, visit A Broad Abroad.