« Lore

Episode 193: Eye to Eye

2022-02-28 | 🔗

The monsters from folklore that make the biggest impact on us are also the ones that are the most similar to us. It’s almost as if the most dangerous creatures of all are the ones that have a healthy dose of humanity in them. 


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
it's to say the most of us have felt it before. It's that feeling unease. Whenever we look at a robot or a doll, or even some halfway decency gee, I meant to look like a human being, but something doesn't sit right. psychologists today call it the uncanny valley, this emotional response. We all have to things that are supposed to look human, but don't tireless, sell the part they fail, but just barely, and that leaves our brains trying to solve a very subtle puzzle, thus that feeling of unease, but it's also the Tipp of a larger iceberg. We as human beings are very aware that we are unique on this planet. No other animal comes close to our intelligence. Our use of language or
adaptability and nothing quite looks like either in that Meekness is reflected in our folklore, for as long as we ve been telling stories, some of them frightened entails have been those about creatures that look a bit too much like us. The globe Little people stories are just one clear example in Aceh, for someone else to blame for our own, very human failings, culture have invented smaller humans to use as scapegoats, and it lights a sort of invisible line, one drawn between the truly human and the almost a line that separates our lived experiences from the unexplainable and provide AIDS, believable excuses for events and evidence that our mind I don't want to a tribute to our friends and neighbours, in that line is where the most frightening stories can be found. The vampire there's werewolves and zombies of pop culture terrifying because they straddle that line
and so does one other creature, one that is both highly regional and historically common the stories are fascinating, yes, but even some of them, are true there. Also. Absolutely terrifying. I'm Erin Monkey, and this is lower It begins. like a scene from a classic horror film, The moon was bright and the night sky partially obscured by the fog rolling in off the swamp as the boat slip through the dark water, the man standing in the boat, was an alligator hunter, hired tourists out for a taste of adventure and as they The long someone spotted movement up ahead at the edge of the water everywhere, else glanced up and sure enough there,
a darker shape among the shadows, and it was dragged, in a large object out of the water, as they apply which they could see a man size figure pulling what looked like the carcass of a deer up the steep bank and to dry land, but as the tourist boat spotlight, cut through the darkness and found its target every Gasped they assumed was a man turned out to be something more something beastly. It's just one of countless stories told all throughout the Louisiana buyers that surround New Orleans in the months. at the heart of them all is both familiar to locals and typically unhurt, of my visitors, the rural but its history and characteristics make it one of the richest creatures at the edge of our folklore. now before we dig deeper. Let me set the stage by pushing away a misconception people believe that the rougarou is nothing more than a cage inversion of a werewolf
and while there are a lot of similarities, there are big difference. As well. So I tell you about the beast I'll use werewolves as a comparison to draw distinct lines around this powerful regional creature, the name self is said to have come from the french term Lou Guru, which roughly translates as Wolf man. In fact, the earth his pieces of the folklore about it, come from France Werewolf, we were a constant source of fear and danger for many centuries but along the way, some time in the sixteenth century fear of wolves began to its form into something darker soon enough. The wolf and was the go to boogeyman excuse for all sorts of tragedy. Did you, he'd go missing. Livestock get attacked and break of disease swept through your town. The culprit was most likely, the Lou guru It even crept into the local catholic Church, where it was rumoured that, if any one failed to observe lent, they too would be
hunted by the Lou guru and when, folklore embeds itself in not only the normal communal life of a country but also its religion, it becomes really difficult to separate them. Which is why the Lou grew followed french settlers to the new world today that biggest hotspots for rigorous folklore are come back in the north. and Louisiana in the south. So how are rue guru different from where was well? It comes down to. few key rules. Everyone is familiar with how werewolves of legend are supposed to transform right only. AIDS and only during a full moon which makes their appearance predictable, but also less common, but the guru can transform any night, they want an invite folklore about the werewolf. The huge that transformed into the creature never remembers the deeds, they ve done when they wake up in the woods the next morning. There, too information is completes. Both physical and mental, which means
humanity disappears for awhile, not so with the rue said that humans, that transform into the rue guru are fully aware of their humanity while they are out hunting and terrorizing, which, as torturers for them, but us good for the community. Why? Well, it gives them that, should they ever encounter a rule, guru themselves a creature. Might have pity on them or even be talked out of murder visit de Roo, guru and werewolves look similar, but the real guru is said to have bright red eyes and they can also take on other shapes as well. Animals like mountain lions, wild boars and even bears, but the biggest. Prince between the two creatures might just be the most frightening because it highlights just how easy it is to fall victim to the most terrifying possibility of all that you might so become one
We all know the story: the web jumps out of the forest and bites you but leaves you on the edge of death's door, and if you should be lucky enough to recover, you gain more than just your life back. You gain the curse. in a lot of ways, werewolves like so many other creatures from folklore, behave like in full just disease which makes sense Very long time, our ancestors had no idea how illness worked and too soon that evil spirits were involved. And so maybe, all evil spirits behave that way. with the rue, though, it's not that simple, in fact, folklore around it feels more like a curse than an infection, and maybe that's why it's more frightening basically, the legend says that if you are bitten by a rule guru or
if the real transforms before you and reveals their human identity, its tag you're at that, the start of a curse. That's supposed to last one hundred and one days after that, Who might be safe but there's always a catch during those one hundred and one days, you reveal the identity of the rue guru who cursed you. Your curse becomes permanence. and it's easy to see how this feeds into the folklore. If no one is allowed to talk about where they got their curse, it makes it easier to avoid handing over definitive proof that stop people from reporting rue guru sightings over the years in the early nineties. Twenties, for example, two boys clay that they were chased through their dark neighbourhood by a strange dog after climbing, fence in hiding in some bushes, they watched as the jumped over the fence and then try formed into a person before walking off in another direction. One may
back in nineteen. Seventy one claim to have hit a calf while driving one night when he got out of his vehicle to inspect the damage, though the animal got back up and transfer. into a more human like shape and walked away. The man got back into his car ass, fast ass. He could and sped away, and I probably would have done the same In writing. Eighties, a sheriff in another small by your community was called about a mutilated cow. When he arrived, though the locals were quick to suggest the obvious rue guru had done at which time like superstition, I know, but it was enforced by another, citing just the day before of an unusual wolflike creature them Come in story told, though, might just be tale of the White dog. There are You versions of it, but it goes a little something like this. A teenager. Is walking home one evening after spending time with his friends, but as he's going along, he notices a strange dog following him at a distance. Soon
the dog had moved closer and that made the teen uncomfortable in Mostar, as they say he picks up some rocks and try scaring the dog away by tossing the mandate, but nothing worked too long after as he's walking more quickly down the street with a bit of panic in his chest, it feels the dog nip at his heels. finally, out of desperation, the team pulls his pocket knife out and flicks the blade open as the dog broaches again, he turns around and swings the knife downward catching the animal on the snout and draw blood, Only then does it stop. Following but even stranger things are about to take place, the dog they say against to make an unusual sound, something a real dog wouldn't be capable of, and as it does, its bite twists and morphs until it takes on the growing shape of a human being, a man and it's a man, but the boy recognizes upon, locking eyes with a teenager. One of them
they say that the curse can be passed on to others, the man said to have smiled and remit Did him of how the curse works? I know the rue gurus name He tells anyone about it the tea, we'll be locked in his curse forever and with that, and no further details about whether or not the boy avoids the curse, the story always ends. it's a fairly modern legend, although it hasn't stop the story from being passed around as if it happened to a teenager right there in countless communities, its parts, entertainment part, warning careful what you do when you see strange creatures because might be getting more than you bargain for I'm stories are older, so old, in fact that we have to follow them back to France and these ancient tales. Do a couple of powerful things? May provider with a unique view into the lives of people who lived long ago. They give us a reason to be very afraid,
John Plant and his brother Thomas lived in the french village of Argentina. Back in the sixties, hundreds I could set the these for you. But honestly, if you just conjure up images of idyllic rural life and the french countryside, you'll get pretty close. You This was the world before electricity and the industrial revolution, but never lacked in safety and comfort in more than made up for it through sheer beauty, and that's right where The brothers operated, a grain mill on the arm Khan River low It was said that John wasn't very superstitious which made him unusual in the small community. They also said he drank, alas, and had a temper of all those. two things might be closely related and then was the rumour that he slept in a bed with a big vicious looking size hanging over it and all nice Guy for sure Jack. Actually lived at the mill, although his brother lived elsewhere in just showed up each day for work. I dont
What that says about them, though it could be that they never got along, or it might just mean that John owned, the mill and simply employed his younger brother Thomas, either way they were together every day and parts each night one day, though John got drunk a little bit earlier than usual, which meant that Thomas was there to see it happen, While they were working, a knock sounded from the door of the mill it The stranger, a man who appeared to be a beggar and John shouted across the room for him to go away. Thomas actually approached the man and locked eyes with him. He repeated his others, dismissal, although a bit more kindly stranger walked off disappearing, into the nearby woods it was a brief encounter and most likely quickly forgotten. After all, if at the mill, was a bit of a grind, but soon enough, stranger things began to happen. First, mills water wheel, stopped working after checking the wheel and all the gears connected to it. John became
convinced that the problem was a jam in the mill itself, fully Thomas failed to notice that there were stones mixed in with the grain Thomas denied. It course and suggested another explanation, perhaps The beggar had cursed them version hated all things superstitious and fuelled by a bit too much alcohol in his veins, he attacked his brother and threw him to the floor with clenched fists. Thomas almost return, the abuse only to stop and walk way with a warning. when you see me again, was all John could hear Got blindingly drunk that night, more than usually what they say, and in his drunkenness. He passed out on the grass outside the mill when he in the middle of the night, though he looked up at the window of his bed chamber to see the candle light. Moving in It seemed to leave the room and go elsewhere in the mill the net. Night he even heard footsteps in the mill but couldn't find the source and night after night.
This went on slowly driving him more and more to the edge until finally, one night about a week later, he decides To get so drunk that he would pass out and not here a thing, but in doing so Slept long into the next day and Miss a major feast day at his local church. All saints day then it's a storm blew in the darkness, was deeper than usual and the wind kept pushing the door of the mill open and as John sat there in his chair beside his bed, stress beyond his limits by the week's events you watched as a Large dog walked inside and began to climb the stairs toward him, a dog. They say with red glowing eyes just as the dog was nearing him, another Gus the wind howled through the room and blew out the candle leaving John in total darkness, but he could feel the creature approaching its hot on his skin in the eyes,
still, there still flickering like fire, spirit he reached for the side above his bed and swung it The creature slicing off one of its ears, a heartbeat, eight, though a flash of lightning lit up the room to reveal that the dog was gone and standing in its place was a familiar shape. The figure of his brother Thomas asked his brother why he was so afraid and what doing sitting in a dark, but I could only stare because there was blood on the side of his brothers head right, his ear had once been, and then with it. trembling, voice. John, whispered his realisation out loud. It was you.
Some legends are more powerful than others. Sure we have sorts of wild and wacky monsters in our collective folklore, frog, people giant birds, people with that. out of pigs where their faces should be that might only be explained by pointing at an old newspaper article about a burned down military research facility. You know, but the ones that catch The ones that seem to spread and develop a solid base of believers tend to have some in common human. Like characteristics, Vampires are frightening because you could be standing next to one and not know it werewolf, look exactly like you are I, until they transformed in the rue guru, fit that mould as well. but it's not all children thrills in the world of the rue guru, thankfully sure peoples whisper scary stories about them. probably always will, but there is an entire subculture that sees them as fun, fascinating and celebrating
probably the best example out. There is something that happens every year in the Louisiana town of Homer. They it's real guru fast and its everything you'd expected to be theirs. Krueger Rue Parade, filled with all sorts of monster costumes may him his life music, a costume contest, they even crown a rule guru queen every year, its proof positive that people of Louisiana still a door, the rural and maybe even also fear. It only just a little it's a mess. Stir that's close enough to human beings to feel like an old friend or our worst nightmare. I suppose I'll just depends on the circumstances and whether or not one is looking you straight in the eye and for the avis to the brave maybe swing by the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, because for the law twenty years, or so it's been home to a swamp monster, exhibit and the real guru or at least a life size. Replica of one person's interpretation of it is one of the most,
popular attractions. There but if you see one out in the wild, it might be better to run and what, You do don't make eye contact The real guru is a fantastic example of a regional variation on an older theme, a werewolf alter by time, culture, religion and word of mouth all working together create something unique and special in the world monsters but there are other tales in the south that fall cuff Billy inside the shaggy corner of folklore. In fact, there One more that I just had to set aside because it is so incredibly creepy sticker
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the daughter of one of Woodland, Georgia's most wealthy citizens. After all, in her play, though her father passed away, leaving her mother Mildred to care for Emily and the others all by herself. It was a lost that had a silver lining. Now Emma Father had left his wife and nice. Tidy sum of money, rather than struggle through parenthood alone, even higher someone to help around the house. She some of that money to send all the kids off the boarding schools. Apparently, an empty nest was exactly what Emily's mother was looking for. whenever we returned from a year in Europe, folks around her notice that she was different than before. Of course, she'd spent time in the old world, so maybe the different cultures there had made an impression, but it seems that there were more oddities than just a darkened personality. Her mother, is that Emily was a bit more distant, more tired and depressed then? No wonder to Emily clearly having trouble sleeping at night, but be
and that there were some other unusual changes such as darker thicker, hair on the girls hands and feet. Oh and her mother swore that Emma teeth had gotten longer anyway, kids grow fast, so it was hard to figure out what was normal and what wasn't with all the other kids home for the summer as well. Mildred hands were full so, as so often happens for parents life business swept all the little stuff away. It was Firstly, all she could do to keep up. That summer farmers in the area began to have trouble with wild animals. They would hang out Their fields in the morning and find one or two of their cows on the ground, with vicious wounds in their sides and their throats torn out and did what they'd always done when they had trouble with wolves the organ did overnight watch in hopes of catching the beasts in the act, but nothing worked. When they became desperate enough. They reached out to the last person they wanted to speak with you. He was newcomer in town, maybe
the handful of years before having travelled all the way from Eastern Europe to settle out on the edge of town in the woods, They assume that he could help, because the rumours all said that he had unusual skills. So a number of those farmers gathered together one day and had it to see the old man. They told him about their problem and how their lately HANS had failed to find anything, and then they asked him for a solution The old man told them to go gather a good quantity of silver and then use it to make as many silver bullets as possible. The farmers were sceptical, but also desperate and desperation often has a way of helping people forget common sense, did, as they were told The old man's last piece of advice was to wait for a full moon, which was also odd. Perhaps They assume the increase in light from the moon might better their chances of hitting their targets, so they went along with it and when the moon was full, they gathered for one final hunt that now
the farmers headed deep into the woods outside of town near where all the mutilated cows had been, an hour or so into their vigil. They came upon a clearing that was open to the night sky and soon enough. Watched as a large shape approached from the opposite side. But it wasn't a wolf. No, this creature stood on two legs, not for yes, it was Harry and yes, the shape of its face and ears looked a lot like a wolf. there was also something distinctly human about it and as it moves at the edge of the clearing, the farmers felt fear hush over them. Really, though, one of the main raised his rifle and took aim and all of the others around him did the same on command, they all pulled their triggers and the silence was torn open by a thunderous volley of gunshots. They heard the he's towel in pain but lost yet in the smoke and darkness as it fled their weapons and that rumble of gunfire did something else. It woke up Mildred
When she sat up in bed she wondered what the noise might have been an if Emily, her teenage daughter with so many troubles had fallen. Of bed or needed her help. So milk pulled on her naked and headed to Emily's room, but the girl. Wasn't there. Bed was empty a worse than that the front door of the house was standing wide open had Emily wandered out into the night. Was she sleep walking alone in the woods. Mildred search frantically for her daughter, there was done but the moon above cast just enough light for her to find her way. She cried Four Emily and ass time went on. She felt her heart, beating harder and harder, but then. just ass. She was about to give up, she noticed a pale shape, Resting against the base of a tree, it was Emily and she was bleeding. Mildred you some of the fabric of her coat to put pressure on her daughters, wound and then ran for help.
Soon. She was back with a town doctor and he helped bring Emily home and tend to or injury It couldn't be sure he told Mildred, but it looked as if a bullet had grazed her side, leaving a vicious cut across her skin and muscle. Millie recovered in the coming days, but as she did, rumours also started to get stronger. Farmers all knew that aid hit their targets whatever the animal had been, and they knew that Emily Birds had been in the woods and struck by a bullet in their mind. Math with simple Emily was the beast: a werewolf. Mildred didn't addressed the rumours, but she did do something odd after that, active, Emily's things and ship. The girl back to Europe out of reach the gossip mill in town but also sent special instructions for Emily to see a particular doctor in Paris, one who experience treating a rare illness like Anthropophagi.
Emily wouldn't come home for many years after that, when she though it seems that the darkness of her teenage years was gone. Perhaps had grown out of it or perhaps the doktor in Paris had cured her of something deeper will never know for sure. What we do know is that she followed in her fathers footsteps. After that becoming a very successful business woman, there were ways be some who looked at her with a cautious I because hard to say what might happen at the next full moon. This episode of law was written and produced by me, Erin Mahnke, research by Michel, Muso in music by Chad, Lawson more
much more than just a podcast there's a book series available in bookstores in online two seasons of the television show on Amazon. Prime video check both. If you want more lore in your life? I also egg and executive produce a whole bunch of other podcast, all of which I think you'd enjoy my production, company grim and mild specializes in shows that sit at the intersection of the dark and the historical you can are more about all of those shows and everything else going on over in one central place: grim and mild dot com, you can also follow the show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Just four lore podcast, all one word and then click add follow button and, when you do say, hi I like it. When people say hi. and, as always,
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Transcript generated on 2022-02-28.