; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Wampus Cat Stalks Coastal North Carolina Native Family


A young native woman, living in a small community in coastal North Carolina, describes her family's experiences with the legendary Wampus Cat.

I recently came across this interesting account:

I live on the edge of the North Carolina coast, and have been in this beach town my whole life. You get a few miles west from the beach, and you're immediately in the country. My mother's side has lived here as far back as memory serves, and my father is a Sioux who's mother moved him here as a child away from the reservation.

Since I can remember, my mother's side of the family has had run ins with the Wampus Cat. Legends vary depending on where you are, but commonly around here it's said she was a Cherokee woman who snuck into the woods to listen in on a males-only meeting that included the chief and their medicine-man (not sure if it's the correct term for this tribe). She wore the skin of a cougar as a disguise, but she was found out, and the medicine man cursed her to forever wear the cougar skin. She now stalks people, for what reason, I don't know. But it follows me. And my family. Always has.

We've gotten so used to the Wampus Cat, we just expect her when we move to a new house, or the seasons are changing, or we find ourselves in a moment of emotional weakness. When my mother had a rough day being bullied in middle school, back in the 80's, she was crying and riding her bike home down a country dirt road. The sun is setting, but it's not dark out yet. Behind her she hears this shriek. I've heard it before, and it sounds like when an eagle screams, but with that gurgling guttural-ness of a cougars roar. So she turns around and she sees a huge creature, dark matted fur, in a stance like a gorilla stands in when it walks on its knuckles (back legs crouched a bit, chest and head up and supported by the arms on the knuckles.) She turns around and races on her bike all the way home. She told her mom what she saw, and she calmly says, "That's a Wampus Cat. They've never hurt us, they just like to spook you." And that was that.

So I grew up with a native father, superstitious as all hell, and practically jumping under the bed to hide when we heard the Wampus Cat scream in the backyard some nights, while my mom and grandmother just kind of acknowledge, "oh, it's the cat again." And I have gone my whole life with this as completely normal. Even when I got married and my husband was out by the woods with me, we'd hear that scream, see the leaves on the forest floor kick up as it stalked us, never coming too close, and have to realize that to people who didn't grow up in my town, this was a terrifying experience. To me it's like when you occasionally see a Cardinal in the trees. A bit different than the day to day, but nothing life changing.

My closest encounter was one night in high school. My friend and I, and her boyfriend, were sitting on the front porch enjoying the nighttime salt air and the lightning bugs. A huge, gorilla sized, extremely hairy animal runs up to the front of the porch, and screams like hell has opened up. Now I'm semi-used to the critter, but I don't want it 5 ft from me. We go to her bedroom, and for about an hour hear it stalking back and forth under her window, about 10 ft down (coastal towns have raised houses on stilts in case of hurricanes). Growling, spitting, screaming, rolling around in the foliage. Just being pesky and grumpy. Finally it wanders off, all is quiet, and we fall asleep.

Every once in a while, I'll still hear it. It's just life here. This town is extremely haunted. I've grown up a few miles from the Fort Fisher battleground and many historic and tragic places. I have too many unnatural encounters with all sorts of things to put in one post.

But that's it. My experience with a not-so-talked about creature that is just a part of life to me. Hope y'all learned something, and don't go out too late in coastal NC if you're easily scared!" WH

NOTE: for more information on the Wampus Cat, go to Big Cats: From the Appalachians to the Southeast Swamps - Lon

I received the following account back in 2014:

"I heard the Coast to Coast AM program last night about Cryptids. I heard some talk about Wampus cats. Well I grew up in west central GA right on the GA/AL line. We lived out in the country and had a swamp down behind our house. I had a dog named Silver Chief. When he was a puppy I was a baby. We grew up together. I had graduated high school when he died. Anyway that dog was not afraid of anything man or beast. We had been having some chickens killed at night & thought it might be a fox or something. One night I heard the chicken hollering so I grabbed a flashlight and a .22 rifle and ran to the chicken house. It was dark but I saw some big and white looking jump over the chicken wire fence. It was 7 ft high. I went in and there were six dead chickens.

It was not long after that on another night I heard my dog barking. I could tell by his bark he had something treed. All of a sudden he screamed and ran back to the house. He had never run from anything. My brother got the .22 and walked up into the woods. He was walking around and heard claws scratching on tree bark. He looked up right into the eyes of what we called a Wampus Cat. It was getting ready to pounce on him. My brother who was an excellent hunter just threw the rifle barrel up without taking time to aim and shot the cat right through the head.

He brought the cat home and I had never seen anything like it. It was solid yellow/white colored. Had long 3 or 4 inch fur, and a tail about 4 or 5 inches long. Even with the short tail he was 3 feet long from nose to tail. We skinned him, salted his skin and stretched it on the barn door.

I remember that we used to hear it screaming in the swamp at night. Sometimes it sounded like a woman screaming and sometimes it sounded like a baby crying.

I have never seen anything like it before or since. It had huge teeth that had grooves in the gums and lips on the opposite of the teeth. It had huge feet." PGD


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