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The Terrifying Folklore That Inspired The Lougarou In The Winchesters Episode 1

During its 15-season run on The CW, "Supernatural" provided horror fans with a perfect mix of overarching apocalyptic storylines and more lowkey monster-of-the-week scenarios. That said, while Sam and Dean's missions to save the world offered more high-stakes storytelling, their everyday battles against the lower-rent monsters in the forgotten corners of Americana were arguably more interesting.

"Supernatural" was fascinated with a wide range of legends from all over the globe. While ghosts and demons were the show's bread-and-butter villains, the series still made time for the world's more obscure monsters, including Wendigos, Shtrigas, and Crocottas. As such, most episodes were a learning experience that invited viewers to research some spooky real-world tales and gain some insight into different cultures' unique superstitions and beliefs.

The prequel series, "The Winchesters," looks set to continue this trend. Episode 1 lays the foundations for a grandiose mystery that will entail our heroes, Mary Campbell (Meg Donnelly) and John Winchester (Drake Rodger), saving the planet from otherworldly beings that can't be stopped with salt and holy water. However, the first installment also unleashes a Lougarou, which has roots in real-life folktales.

Mary and John take on a Lougarou in Episode 1 of The Winchesters

The Lougarou is essentially the Haitian variation of the werewolf legend. Per Mysterious Universe, there are a couple of superstitions surrounding these monsters that have scared the locals throughout the centuries. Some people believe that they are shapeshifting sorcerers who wear animal skins. Conversely, they are also said to be human beings who have been possessed by evil spirits that wield the power to transform their hosts into animals such as wolves, dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles.

"The Winchesters" alters some details regarding the Lougarou. The pilot episode sees Mary and John confront the wolf in Louisiana, which is still quite relevant as the American state has a similar legend. As noted by Pelican State of Mind, the wolf-like creatures are rumored to dwell in the swamplands, albeit with a different name and backstory. Known as Rougarou, the Louisianan wolves supposedly migrated to the state from France in the 16th century, though it's also believed that people would turn into Rougarou creatures if they did not follow the rules of Lent for seven years.

So, why was the Louisana version of the creature named after the Haitian legend on "The Winchesters," you ask? Most likely, the creators wanted to avoid confusion with the humanoid monsters known as the Rugaru that appeared on "Supernatural" back in the day.