Wampus cat

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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 spiritual 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 legends, 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 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]


The Wampus cat is the mascot of the following:

Margaret R. Tryon's 1939 depiction of the Wampus cat catching an eagle. An almost identical illustration attributed to "Nick" Nicholas C. Villenueve was published and copyrighted in 1938 in A Saga of the Sawtooths by Henry L. Senger
Margaret R. Tryon's 1939 depiction of the Wampus cat catching an eagle.

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "American Dialect Society. Dialect Notes (1905-1912). Volume III. (New Haven: The Turtle, Morehouse & Taylor Company, 1913)". September 4, 1890. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
  2. ^ Randolph, Vance. We Always Lie to Strangers: Tall Tales from the Ozarks. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1951.)
  3. ^ Tribune, Dale Gowing Mooresville (October 5, 2016). "Wampus and other spooky tales…". Mooresville Tribune. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  4. ^ Clark Fork Junior/Senior High School website Legend written by lifelong Clark Fork resident Shirley Dawson Crawford
  5. ^ Owens, Judy (June 20, 2008). "Reporters Looking for Stories, Finding Wampus Cats | Daily Yonder | Keep It Rural". Daily Yonder. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  6. ^ "Atoka Alumni Association – Home". Wampuscatalumni.com. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  7. ^ Itasca ISD - TX - IISD Home Archived September 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Leesville High School - Home Archived April 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Home - Uwharrie Wampus Cats". www.wampuscatsbaseball.com. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  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 (March 8, 2016). "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]