Creature Compendium

I am playing a little fast and loose with the definition of ‘creature’ today, but I thought La Chassee-galerie unusual enough to warrant inclusion in the compendium.

La Chasse-Galerie

Legende de la Chasee galerie by charlesvinh

 

The story of La Chasse (the hunt) is another French Canadian legend. La chasse-galerie is also known as the bewitched canoe or the flying canoe. The stories involve voyageurs (18th & 19th century fur traders) who make a deal with the devil in order to secure quick transportation through the Canadian wilderness. To ride the flying canoe is a bit of a game. When the voyageurs are in the canoe they must pit their wills against the devil, and battle to control the boat. No one must pray or call out to God while in the canoe, despite the craziness of the ride, and if they do not return home before sundown, their souls will be forfeit.

The most famous story is about a man named Baptiste who takes a new year’s eve ride on the flying canoe to visit his sweetheart, but he gets spectacularly drunk and they have trouble returning home. In some stories, the friends that join him on the canoe manage to escape, while Baptiste does not. In others stories, all the men violate the rules of the game and are doomed to roam the skies forever. The roots of this story are related to the ‘wild hunt‘.

Folktales

Region of Origin: North America, Canada, Quebec

P.S. If there are any creatures/folktales you would like me to cover, or would be willing to guest post about please do let me know! I’m still figuring out how these should be indexed. Perhaps by country/region.

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Creature Compendium

So folks, the genre glossary is complete, and I’d like to introduce a new regular feature to the blog: The Creature Compendium!

Whyfore, you may ask, am I creating just another bestiary? WELL thank you for asking! Every culture has it’s mythical creatures, and I’d like highlight the lesser known. This will be a starting point for research into world folklore.

So without further ado, here’s our first visitor to the blog:

Le Loup-Garou

Garou by Mir-Black-Magic

 

Le loup-garou (le loup = the wolf) is a lycanthrope with a Canadian spin. The stories of le loup originate from the French settlers of Quebec in the 17th century. Le loup-garou is said to be able to change into a wolf at will, and also with the full moon.

There are various stories for how one becomes a loup-garou. One legend says that if you meet a loup-garou, and speak of the encounter, you will be cursed to turn into a wolf for a hundred and one days. In another story, le loup were men cursed for refusing to go to church, and to break the spell, the men had to confess their sins to a priest. In other stories, le loup-garou were men who made a bargain with the devil.

To force a loup-garou to reveal himself, a you must shed a little blood. A pinprick to a finger is enough.

Folktales:

Related Creatures: werewolf, rougarou

Region of Origin: North America, Canada, Quebec

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