5 Freaky French Folklore Creatures


5. Tarasque
In various literature the creature is described in many different ways but the best and clearest description there is says that the tarasque was a sort of dragon, with a lion’s head, six short legs like a bear’s, an ox-like body covered with a turtle shell, and a scaly tail that ended in a scorpion’s sting. Quite a peculiar looking creature I must say.1
It was said that the tarasque lived near a city in south(southwest) France at the beginning of the 1st century. Tamed by Saint Martha, the aggressive creature turned docile and was brought back with her to town. But the people were scared of the creature, scared of the unknown.
So that very night, the townspeople attacked the creature. Surprisingly for them, the creature did not fight back nor tried to runaway. Finally, coming to their senses, guilt overwhelmed them when St Martha defended the dead creature and preaching to them of their wrongdoings.
As a form of apology and reminder the townspeople changed the name of the town to Tarascon in honour of the Tarasque .

4. Lou Carcolh
The story of the creature is prominent in southwest France. Part serpent, part snail, very big and long. Imagine a huge snail complete with slime and shell. They also have slimy yet hairy tentacles that can extend itself for more than a mile and they would eat humans.
They trap unsuspecting humans by hiding in underground caverns and leaving its slime covered tentacles extended on the ground hidden beneath a thin layer of dirt. Once you stand defenseless in the range of its tentacles, it would ensnare and paralyse you then drag you back to its lair where it proceeds on swallowing you whole with its gigantic gaping mouth.

3. Barbegazi
It is a variant of the dwarf or gnome. They live and travel in the mountain regions of France and Switzerland.
They are small, has a long beard, covered with white fur which is either its own or a garment they wear and has enormous feet. Also, their enormous feet that is always bare can be used as skis or snowshoes which is an advantage when living in snowy mountains.
Then during summer, they would aestivate or hibernate and would only come out when there is snow. Because of them only coming out during cold temperatures where humans are not so good with, they are mostly hidden from the world.
Though they hide most of the time, they are said to take care of the mountains and will protect the mountain environment from harm. They are also benevolent that they will help people who got lost or even dying of the cold in the mountains especially those who have not done any harm to the mountain themselves.
It is said, that their best form of entertainment is to surf on the avalanches as if surfing on the waves. They would also give low whistles as a warning that an avalanche is coming.

2. Matagot/Mandagot
It is a spirit in the form of an animal, usually a cat but can be a rat, fox or even cows. It is a folklore from Southern France. The matagot are not entirely evil and not entirely good either, just like humans. I guess it depends on their mood and how well they are being treated.
What makes them special is that, they can bring wealth to you if you manage to keep one. Now, to lure the Matagot, you need a fresh, plump chicken to feed the Matagot with. How you’re going to identify what animal is a Matagot remains a mystery and all just depends on either trial and error or just plain luck.
So wants you manage to lure the Matagot towards you, you need to bring the creature with you without looking back all the way to your home.
At home, when it comes to meal time. Make sure to feed the Matagot whatever you are eating and drinking. You’d have to also make sure that it eats until it is full. If you do it right, you would have good luck and wealth given to you by the Matagot.
But be careful not to keep the Matagot the rest of your life because, if you are dying and the Matagot is still under your possession, you will suffer a long agony as if the soul cannot pass on and is stuck in your dying body.

1. Guivre
It is a serpent like dragon, with no wings, which rather than fire, breathes out venom instead.
These dragons were around during the Medieval times and were said to always be in secluded places such as caves and the forests. They also always dwell in areas with small bodies of natural pools.
I guess its just searching for a good place where it could call home with clean water, a pool and is only a walking distance for food, you know, without being disturbed by humans.
If angered, of course it would fight back, I mean who wouldn’t? But there are stories that, it would run away from a human, if the human is 100% naked. Makes you think if they were scared of humans or just disgusted by humans.


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