Wampus cat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Wampus Cat.
Bronze statue of the six-legged Wampus Cat located at Conway High School.

The Wampus cat is a cat-like creature in American folklore that varies widely in appearance, ranging from frightful to comical, depending on region.


Early references, by the American Dialect Society, noted the wampus cat as: "A creature heard whining about camps at night," "A mythical green-eyed cat, having occult powers," or "an undefined imaginary animal."[1] Folklorist Vance Randolph described the wampus cat as, "a kind of amphibious panther which leaps into the water and swims like a colossal mink."[2] Other commentators liken the wampus cat to a creature of Cherokee mythology.

In Cherokee mythology, the monster is the cat-like embodiment of a female onlooker cursed by tribal elders, as punishment for hiding beneath the pelt of a wild cat to witness a sacred ceremony. The wampus cat is used as a mascot for several educational institutions. During the 1920–30s, newspapers reported of a "Wampus" cat killing livestock in North Carolina to Georgia. Though possibly due to early intrusions of coyotes or jaguarundi, the livestock deaths were attributed to the Wampus cat.[3][4]


The Wampus cat is the mascot of the following:

Margaret R. Tryon's 1939 depiction of the Wampus cat catching an eagle

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ "American Dialect Society. Dialect Notes (1905-1912). Volume III. (New Haven: The Turtle, Morehouse & Taylor Company, 1913)". Retrieved March 17, 2012.
  2. ^ Randolph, Vance. We Always Lie to Strangers: Tall Tales from the Ozarks. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1951.)
  3. ^ "The Wampus Cat - North Carolina Ghosts". northcarolinaghosts.com. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  4. ^ Tribune, Dale Gowing Mooresville. "Wampus and other spooky tales…". Mooresville Tribune. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  5. ^ Clark Fork Junior/Senior High School website Legend written by lifelong Clark Fork resident Shirley Dawson Crawford
  6. ^ Owens, Judy (June 20, 2008). "Reporters Looking for Stories, Finding Wampus Cats | Daily Yonder | Keep It Rural". Daily Yonder. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  7. ^ "Atoka Alumni Association – Home". Wampuscatalumni.com. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  8. ^ Itasca ISD - TX - IISD Home Archived September 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Leesville High School - Home Archived April 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Stonestreet, O.C. (2016). O.C. Stonestreet IV, Curse of the Wampus, and other Short Spooky Stories of Piedmont North Carolina (1st ed.). Duke Libraries: Createspace. p. 74. ISBN 978-1523237494. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  11. ^ Uncle Dave Lewis. "Buddy Woods". Allmusic. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  12. ^ Sian Cain. "New JK Rowling story History of Magic in North America depicts Native American wizards". the Guardian.
  13. ^ Rowling, J.K. (March 11, 2016). "1920s Wizarding America", "History of Magic in North America". Pottermore.
  14. ^ Rowling, J.K. (June 28, 2016). "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry", "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry". Pottermore.
  15. ^ "Strangeways Wampus Cat Triple IPA". RateBeer. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  16. ^ McCarthy, Cormac (August 11, 2010). The Orchard Keeper. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9780307762504.

External links[edit]