The Honey Island Swamp Monster, also known as the Cajun Sasquatch and in Cajun French: La Bête Noire, is an ape-like humanoid cryptid creature, similar to descriptions of Bigfoot, purported to inhabit the Honey Island Swamp in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. It has become a part of Louisiana folklore, with many swamp tour companies in the area capitalizing on its alleged existence, which is considered unlikely by some scientists.
The creature is commonly described by alleged witnesses as a large, bipedal, humanoid, about 7 feet (2 m) tall, covered with gray hair, having yellow or red eyes and accompanied by a putrid odor. Other local names for the creature include the Rougarou, Louisiana Wookiee, and The Thing. Alleged plaster casts of footprints said to be from the creature showcase four toes; not a natural trait found in primates, who possess five.
The first claimed sighting was in 1963 by Harlan Ford, a retired air traffic controller who had taken up wildlife photography. After his death in 1980, a reel of Super 8 film showing the creature was found among his belongings.
In 1974, Ford and his friend Billy Mills claimed to have found unusual footprints in the area, as well as the body of a wild boar whose throat had been gashed.
Today, the creature is still purported to inhabit the swamp and the bayous along the Pearl River. Local lore tells of a train crash that occurred near the swamp in the early 20th century in which a traveling circus lost chimpanzees who adapted to the environment and offer a potential explanation as to the creature's origins.
This is a cast of the footprint impression of the Honey Island Swamp Monter. A cast identical to this one was donated to the Abita Mystery House by Dana Holyfield, grand-daughter of Harlan E. Ford, the hunter who found and cast the tracks. He was the first man to report a sighting of the creature and he was also the first and only man to my knowledge who poured plaster of Paris casts of its tracks found deep in the swamp. The Honey Island Swamp is about 25 miles East of the Abita Mystery House. There are several swamp tours of the area.
Harlan Ford passed away in the early '80s, but the legend about his sighting lives on in Louisiana and across the country
For sale is one Honey Island Swamp Monster footprint cast replica.