Creepy Legends From The Swamps Of Louisiana

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Vote up the tales that capture the opaque horror unique to the bayou.

New Orleans may be famous for stories about ghosts and vampires, but the surrounding swamps hold some pretty creepy legends too. Thanks to cypress trees dripping with Spanish moss, dense forests that only allow a little light in, and folktales from Cajun and Creole legends, the spooky creatures and ghosts of the bayou could frighten almost anybody. Taking up an area along the Gulf Coast that runs through the southern parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Everglades, bayou country encompasses a wide swath of America. With the notoriously spooky New Orleans almost in the epicenter, it's no wonder so many creepy Louisiana bayou legends exist.

You may be familiar with New Orleans's twisted Madame LaLaurie, but the bayou has its own share of horrifying secrets. If you know about creepy stories from the Everglades, you've probably heard of skunk apes. Louisiana bayous have those hairy beasts too, as well as several other cryptids and the spirits of unbaptized kids floating around. There are even some werewolves allegedly running amok. People from Louisiana may warn visitors about alligators or getting lost in murky, remote areas, but those dangers are relatively tame compared to the creepy stories from the state's swamps.

  • 1
    4,657 VOTES

    Voodoo Priestess Julia Brown Wrought Havoc With A Hurricane

    Less than an hour northwest of New Orleans lies the Manchac wetlands, known for eerie stories about its residents. The most legendary of these locals is the ghost of Julia Brown, sometimes called Julia Black or Julia White. Records indicate a woman named Julia Brown did live in the area after moving from New Orleans, but her legend may have been embellished by the addition of stories about her work as an alleged voodoo priestess.

    Since she lived in a small, remote town, Brown most likely used her voodoo knowledge to provide medical and midwife services to the residents, and stories claim she had experience with curses and all kinds of charms. Townsfolk noted Brown often sat on her porch and sang, sometimes singing the line, "One day I'm going to die and take the whole town with me." It was reportedly on the day of her funeral in 1915 that a powerful hurricane struck Louisiana that swept away around 300 people and wiped out several towns. Legends attribute this storm to a curse from Brown's song and claim she now haunts the swamp where she met her end.

    4,657 votes
  • 2
    3,264 VOTES

    Many Consider Bayou Sale Road To Be The Most Haunted Street In The State

    Many Consider Bayou Sale Road To Be The Most Haunted Street In The State
    Photo: Pxhere / Pxhere / Public Domain

    Bayou Sale Road, AKA LA-57, runs from Dulac to Cocodrie and passes through a wide area of swamp. In addition to scary twists and turns in the road, stories claim many ghosts and even rougarou reveal themselves to those passing through. Wrecks on the dangerous road may account for the abundance of ghosts in the area.

    One of the most famous stories to come out of Bayou Sale Road is about a hitchhiker who refuses to leave the car that gives him a ride until the owners give him treasure or their souls. Other witnesses have claimed the hitchhiker had a transparent appearance or disappeared before he got in the car. Drivers passing through have also witnessed a ghostly woman holding out her hand, seen faces of spirits, and felt an engulfing presence that made their skin crawl.

    3,264 votes
  • 3
    2,413 VOTES

    The Vengeful Fifolet Guard Buried Pirate Treasure

    The Vengeful Fifolet Guard Buried Pirate Treasure
    Photo: Pxhere / Pxhere / Public Domain

    According to legends, pirates often used the dark, murky swamps of Louisiana to safely bury their treasure where no one would find it. Famed pirate Jean Lafitte used this method of saving his booty, but stories add he also slew one of his men and buried the body with the treasure. This ensured the man's soul bound itself to the area and the hole's valuable contents. Stories claim such a spirit turns into a floating light called a fifolet; certainly a spooky sight in the middle of a dark swamp. Those who claimed to have witnessed a fifolet said it emitted a blue glow, a vengeful presence, and sometimes led swamp visitors off to parts unknown so they couldn't find their way back.

    One famous fifolet story involves two men who saw one and decided to follow it and dig up the treasure it guarded. One man grew greedy and knocked his companion out to take the treasure for himself. Unfortunately, he suddenly began to sink along with the treasure and woke his friend up with his screaming. The other man ran off and later returned to find the ground hardened and no trace of his friend.

    2,413 votes
  • 4
    1,623 VOTES

    The Ghostly Residents Of Devil's Swamp Go After Cars

    The Ghostly Residents Of Devil's Swamp Go After Cars
    Photo: Max Pixel / Max Pixel / Public Domain

    The area known as Devil's Swamp near the town of Thibodaux allegedly contains some ghostly residents. Whether they were once people trying to cross the area's train tracks and a train hit them or they are the spirits of enslaved people who perished in the surrounding plantations, stories claim many paranormal happenings occur around the area. According to legends, people who park their cars on the train tracks will be targeted by ghosts that hit and rock the vehicle.

    Some witnesses said handprints appeared on their windows after they mysteriously fogged. Cars don't even have to intentionally park since stories also claim vehicles stall once they reach the middle of the train tracks. However, considering the area is currently a Superfund site and deemed extremely hazardous thanks to chemicals, the toxic sludge in the ground may be scarier than the ghosts.

    1,623 votes
  • 5
    1,585 VOTES

    The Frenchtown Road Devil Cult May Have Claimed A Railroad Overpass

    Many enthusiasts of all things spooky around Baton Rouge know about Frenchtown Road. It's now part of the Frenchtown Road Conservation Area, but at one point, people used to travel there at night just to be scared. As the road goes deeper into the forest, trees are all that drivers will see; trees that grow close together and become almost like a wall, making the road even darker. In the middle of the forest, extending over the road, lies a train trestle that visitors have covered with graffiti.

    Satanic symbols, like pentagrams, adorn the sides of the trestle, leading to rumors Satanic groups gather together in surrounding areas. Visitors have claimed to see people watching them along the side of the road and feared being taken and possibly slain if they continued to follow the road. Other stories claimed Satanic groups hung their targets from the trestle and might do so again, adding their souls to the ghostly beings allegedly haunting the area.

    1,585 votes
  • 6
    1,256 VOTES

    Giant Water Creatures Like The Altamaha-ha May Lurk Below The Swamps

    Giant Water Creatures Like The Altamaha-ha May Lurk Below The Swamps
    Photo: Max Pixel / Max Pixel / Public Domain

    Stories about the Altamaha-ha, AKA "Altie," date back to at least the 1800s, mostly stemming from the folklore of Georgia and the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe. According to legend, the body of the Altamaha-ha resembles a sturgeon with a head like an alligator, with sharp teeth and large front flippers. Witnesses claimed it measured from 20 to 30 feet long, leading them to first assume the creature was a giant snake.

    People have been reporting Altamaha-ha sightings ever since. Some creature enthusiasts believe Altamaha-ha may have traveled to Louisiana at some point and might be hanging out in the bayous. According to a vacationing family, an Altamaha-ha-like creature paid them a visit while jet skiing in the southeastern part of the state. If that's not creepy enough, it's also possible a 50-foot-long alligator known as a DinoGator lurks in the bayou waters as well.

    1,256 votes