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In the folklore of Trinidad and Tobago the Lagahoo (or Li Gahoo) is a mythical shapeshifting monster. It is cousin to the French loup-garou and the Germanic werewolf, yet not restricted to the form of a wolf.

It seems like a normal human by day, but this creature takes on the form of a man with no head, who roams the night with a wooden coffin on its neck. On top of the coffin are three lighted candles and the long loose end of a heavy iron chain, noosed around its waist, trails behind him. Often, it is seen with chains around its neck, which change size.[1] One appendage is said to be turned backwards.

It can shapeshift into various animals, including horses, pigs or goats, and said to often take the form of a creature similar to a centaur; is also thought to be a blood sucker which is less than particular about its food source, making do with such animals as cows and goats.

To kill the Lagahoo one must beat the creature with a stick which has been anointed with holy water and holy oil for nine days. While beating the demon, it changes into other beasts such as a snarling dog, a wild bull and thunderous waves of water and finally will disappear into a mist.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

The Lagahoo of James Christopher Aboud’s recent[when?] poetry anthology, Lagahoo Poems, is an ageless, restless wanderer who "takes his shape from the wind" and "has no master", except his own hunger and desire.[3]

In Escape From Silk Cotton Forest by Francis Escayg, the Lagahoo are not all evil. They actually want to be part of a peaceful society. However, due to their "different" appearance - in this case they look like canine-humanoids with totally white eyes and can replicate the traits of the species they change into - they take the forms of several local species, goans and douans being the most mentioned

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Personal interview with Pundit Bissessarnath Ramcharan-Maharaj
  2. ^ Courtesy The Heritage Library via the Trinidad Guardian
  3. ^ Nicholas Laughlin. "Lagahoo rules the world". Caribbean Beat.