Cajun Superstitions and Spells
Cajun supersititons and spells to get you through the day.
Here are some Cajun superstitions and good gris-gris (that’s “charms and spells” for you non-Cajuns):
Beware of sleeping in the moonlight. It will make you go moon mad.
To protect against the devil: Hang a mirror on your porch by the door. M’su Diable is very vain. He is so attracted to his own image that he can’t move from the spot until the sun rises and he has to scat.
To protect against the Cajun loup garou (werewolf) : Lay 13 small objects such as pennies, beans, or broom straws by your doors. The werewolf is not too bright. She cannot count higher than 12. When she comes to the 13th object, she gets soooo confused and has to start over. The poor thing will be there counting all night until the dawn when she must flee the sun.
For good fortune: Never eat both ends of a loaf of bread before you’ve eaten the middle — if you do, you’ll have trouble making ends meet. Also, be sure to eat cooked cabbage (and lots of it) on New Years Day for good fortune in the coming days. And, like many Southerners, Cajuns also eat black eyed peas on the first to have good health in the New Year.
If a alligator crawls under your house, be extra careful – it could be a warning of someone’s impending death.
To find a treasure: The fifolet is an eerie burning light that is seen often in the swamp, gently floating and beckoning all to follow. Some say it is swamp gas. Some say it is a spirit which may or may not be evil. Treasure hunters believe that a fifolet will lead you to treasure. Just hide and watch to see if it hovers over a certain place. Come back in the daylight with a shovel and you may find a treasure. But beware — many have tried to follow the fifolet, and few have returned.
Just for fun — a love potion: Mix a little orange flower water, rose water, three small bottles of honey together. Add nine lumps of sugar on which the mans’ and womans’ initials have been scratched. Pour around the house of the intended love. Then, burn a pink candle for 9 days.
Finally, to ward off evil: Drill a hole in a dime and wear it about your neck under your clothing. You can also spit three times (this will ward off just about anybody!)
And — never, never, never, try to make bad gris-gris (a bad spell on somebody). Remember, what goes around, comes around. The best revenge is to live a good, happy and long life!
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24 Responses to “Cajun Superstitions and Spells”
sleep in the moonlight 🙂 im gonna do that & put 13 pennies for the werewolf to count ;D
Hello. Love your site and thanks for all the great information.
I was hoping you could tell me exactly what kind of items would be found in a gris-gris bag made for protecting a person from the loup-garou. I am writing a story about a young woman being stalked by a loup-garou and a young man makes her a gris-gris bag for protection. Since I like to be historically correct, I am trying to find out what items exactly would be in such a bag for her protection.
I am hoping you can tell me what sort of items would be in the bag. I know it has to be an odd number and no more than 13 items. I was thinking of putting maybe five or seven items in the bag. Can you help me? Thank you very much.
Hi Deborah, if only our good friend JJ Reneaux was still with us she could answer. But she passed several years ago. I really don’t know. I’m sure there are Cajun groups on the Web that might know, maybe a folklore program in Louisiana. Hope you find the info!
[…] that. They are alive with the abundance that mother nature and the Good Lord have put there and they are alive with stories. I love to hear the stories of the swamp. Especially when they are told by someone who has lived […]
heard these stories from mom and grangma , grew up in pointe-aux- chene’La..funny stuff
There is shockingly little info on Cajun magick and mysticism out there. I know that a lot of it is secretive, but as someone who is of Cajun ancestry and who has studied with various practitioners in New Orleans and is well-known as a student of the mantic arts, I would really like to know where i can find good sources for legends, folklore, and healing practices. Thank you.
Really cool site. I am of Cajun ancestry and visit Louisiana at least once a year. I will be there in June. I am a writer and really want to know more about Cajun mystical and healing practices.
[…] to The Moonlit Road: Strange Tales from the American South, in Cajun […]
I am Cajun French but have lived in Tulsa all my life ,
I would like to be able to read about myths legends monsters ECT
Like peremalfait , loup garou and all kinds ok stories I never heard as a child
So I can learn about the stories lousiana children know even ghost stories
Thank you I don’t know who else to ask thank you kent Lasyone
We’ll do some research Kent.
were is the cupracobra
The lune garu loves shiney objects anything shiney or sparkly works
I heard a story from creole friends that was used to scare children into behaving. If a child misbehaved, a creature was said to perch on the child’s back while he slept and steal his breath/life. I can’t remember the name of this creature…does anyone know it?
I enjoy reading any sort of cajun folklore, cajuns always have great stories and superstitions, there is no where else in the world like Louisiana. ive lived just north of new orleans most of my life and some of the best stories for me tend to come from the beliefs of my african american friends such as, red brick dust across doorways keep out any one meaning to do you harm, or bury your boyfriend/husbands underwear in your front yard and he can never leave you. a screech owl outside your window 3 nights in a row or if a bird flies into your home is a sign of impending death of a loved one.
@ Miki the creole call it couchesmal
Look for the person who really loves you and then you will have all the happiness and bliss in life.
Between them, you’ll find a bombable piece of rock wall.
Love spells that will work can easily be spotted while they are being cast and
in many instances, these love spells have to be cast by only well experienced personal in magic making.
Miki I think you are thinking of Peremalfait. His legend was expounded in an episode of the old Kolchak: The Night Stalker TV show from 1974. Check it out.
This is an awesome story made me cry a little it so nices
D J Moreau:
My grandmother would tell us if we were behaving badly
That “Bon nome a’ cheaux” was watching and he would come and get us if we
Continued to misbehave.Translation was “Good man with tail” Never made sense to me.
Has anyone else ever heard this?
[…] Learn more about Cajun superstitions and spells. […]
My great-grandma was Sicilian and told us it was a sin to eat the end of the bread (so she could have it! haha :D)
I have been having the worst luck lately, what would you recommend to turn it around?
[…] From The Moonlit Road’s page about Cajun superstitions: “To protect against the Cajun loup garou (werewolf), lay 13 […]
With a legend as long as Jean LaFitte’s, it makes sense that tales of buried treasure would be prevalent in Louisiana. Legend states that before pirates would bury their treasure, they would kill a member of their own crew to throw into the hole along with it. This would bind the slain man’s spirit to the treasure, restlessly guarding the hoard until the end of time. The spirit would take on the form of a ball of light known as a fifolet. Usually light blue in color, the fifolet is often spotted moving through the trees in the dead of night.
Tales of fifolet sightings are prevalent, including this one from http://www.hauntedshreveportbossier.com: Two men were working on the railroad along Lake Pontchartrain and one night they were awakened by a soft blue light moving through the trees. Having heard the legend from the local people, the men grabbed their shovels and ran after the spirit with their minds on the fabled treasure. Suddenly, the light stopped and sunk into the ground. The two men dug furiously and struck something hard. Using their hands, they brushed away the dirt to reveal a treasure chest. Greed overtook one the men and he struck his partner in the head with his shovel, knocking him out. As he began to pull on the chest, the ground around his feet began to sink. He tried pulling his legs free from the quicksand, but only sank deeper. The other man awoke to the screams of his friend as he watched both him and the treasure sink into the ground. Scared to suffer the same fate, he ran back to camp, crawled into his tent and waited until morning. He returned to the site once the sun came back up and the only thing he found from the previous night’s encounter were the two shovels he and his friend brought into the woods. The ground where he last saw his friend and the treasure were solid once more. As he left the swampy area he heard the sound of laughter in the wind.