Is there really a Honey Island Swamp Monster, Louisiana’s Bigfoot? Curious Louisiana answers. | Curious Louisiana

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Bobby Brettel grew up in New Orleans, practically 40 miles away from the moss-tangled bayous of jap St. Tammany Parish’s Honey Island Swamp. However for many years, he’s questioned about one of many swamp’s fabled creatures — the Honey Island Swamp Monster, a legendary 500-pound beast that some declare hides amid the cypress timber and murky waters.

“I had family that lived in Covington,” Brettel stated. “I heard the story from veteran hunters. I grew up that means and you’ll hear about unusual issues.”







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He let his thoughts wander. Was there actually a monster within the swamps? The query nagged him into maturity. 

Over the a long time, quite a few individuals have talked of an ape-like creature or creatures residing in swamps. Like different “monsters” — Loch Ness, Bigfoot — the Honey Island Swamp Monster has developed an everlasting legend. The monster has its personal Wikipedia web page and has been the supply of quite a few information tales and documentaries. Speak of the monster, after all, can also be a staple of a number of the swamp excursions working within the space. 

“Reporting a sighting of Bigfoot, Sasquatch and even the Honey Island Swamp Monster doesn’t get you labeled a loopy particular person anymore, and due to this fact, those that imagine eyewitnesses aren’t labeled loopy both,” stated Dana Holyfield, granddaughter of Harlan Ford — a person typically credited with having the primary recorded encounter with the purported swamp monster. 

However as with all nice monsters, certifiable proof has been elusive.

A chilling encounter

A 1981 report by author Jerry Breaux pulled from The Advocate archives recollects a dialog the author had along with his long-time pal, Hubert. The pal described a chilling encounter one heat morning.

Out looking for deer, Hubert was perched atop an oak tree when he heard heavy sounds approaching from the woods behind him. Too afraid to maneuver, he watched as a determine about 8 ft tall and furry from head to toe handed slowly beneath him, finally disappearing additional into the woods. In keeping with Breaux, as Hubert retold the story, he started clenching his tooth and respiration quickly as if he had been reliving a terrifying expertise.

Often known as “beast” within the story, the part-man, part-animal with piercing yellow eyes has appeared in a number of anecdotes by self-styled witnesses for the reason that Sixties.

In 1974, Ford, a wildlife photographer and former air visitors controller, claimed to have witnessed the creature whereas exploring potential looking grounds. After Ford’s loss of life, a grainy movie reel was present in his attic that exhibits a big and furry determine shuffling upright between the timber. A monster?

Rougarou, guess who?

One other well-known swamp monster born out of Cajun folklore is the Rougarou. With the top of a werewolf and the physique of a person, the creature is alleged to prey on misbehaving youngsters and dates again to medieval France.

Fashionable claims of Rougarou sightings are few and much between, nonetheless, in contrast to experiences of one thing unusual seen within the swamps of Honey Island.

“I feel it’s fascinating,” stated Brettel. “Who is aware of what it’s? We could by no means actually discover out.”

In a 2008 Fox Information particular, individuals claimed they’d seen the beast.

“What I noticed scared the life out of me. It had a face like a person and the physique of an animal,” stated Herman Broom.

“This factor had a flat again. That is how I knew it wasn’t a bear,” one other witness reported.

A lethal historical past

The monster’s reputed locale, within the Honey Island Swamp, has an ominous and lethal historical past that precedes the legend.

A 1926 article within the New Orleans States juxtaposes scenes of the wild honeysuckle and vibrant Southern foliage of the realm towards bushes used as hiding spots for murderers to ambush victims. An unlawful moonshine distilling enterprise as soon as drove a lot of the realm’s economic system, however competitors might be shot down with none repercussions, in keeping with the article.

The article reported the homicide of a person killed as a result of his whiskey was too good and too worthwhile. Will Seals’ residence was set afire and he was shot down whereas making an attempt to flee the flames. In keeping with two deputies who refused to have their names revealed for concern of retaliation, killers knew they may disappear into the swamp’s thick fog, their whereabouts untrackable by officers or bloodhounds.

In keeping with the deputies, the Honey Island Swamp was a hellhole the place criminals — and monsters — thrived.

Curious Louisiana connects readers with our newsroom’s reporting. For those who’ve received a query about one thing Louisiana-centric, ask us. You may attain the Curious Louisiana staff at CuriousLouisiana@theadvocate.com.

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