A bobcat has a haunting cry. While it can make a “chuff” noise that sounds like a cough, it can also make a soft noise that sounds like a baby or smile child weeping. It’s a noise that a dog can recognize right away. A wampus cat howl is something far darker, something you will never forget. It’ll make the hair stand on the back of your neck should you ever be unlucky enough to hear it.
There are stories of them in Floyd, VA, where they are large black panthers. Other stories have them as more of a human-cat hybrid. These creatures stalk children and animals as they prowl through forests and farmlands.
There have been many sightings of these fearsome creatures throughout the South. In East Tennessee, seeing one of them may mean that someone’s going to die.
According to Cherokee legends, the “Ewah”, a similar creature, is a woman that wanted to eavesdrop on men, hearing their sacred legends. As a punishment, the pelt that she wore to disguise herself then grew into her skin, transforming her. Another story has a woman donning such pelts seeking revenge for her warrior husband that was driven insane by looking into the eyes of a great beast that haunted the woods.
There are West Virginia stories of a witch woman whose transformation into a cat was interrupted, living her half-cat and half-woman.
Ever hear of a “catty-wampus”? I grew up with that word. It always meant that something wasn’t right. Some say that a wampus cat is a play off of that word. It’s a beast that isn’t human and isn’t cat, but something inbetween.