|Photo Courtesy of Fremlin, Flickr Creative Commons|
A very long time ago when I started my quest to cull the strange and unusual stories of our communities I came across a tale from the Randolph area. The tale was only a mere mention within a conversation about many other stories from the area. I never pursued the tale for some time but eventually came back around to hearing it again and again. I was hooked and have pursued it ever since. The story was about a creature that lurked in the hills and swamps of Randolph named the Lookaroo. It was told that if you sought the Lookaroo and offered it a sacrifice that it would come to you. Creeping out of the confines of the marshes and forest it would come to claim it’s prize. Exactly what the Lookaroo looked like was a different story. I have been told it was as big as a bear and more fierce or that it was exactly like a ape of some sort. No one could ever tell me for sure what lurked in those woods.
In my research I came across two possible derivations of this creature that lives in the small community of Randolph, and both are quite frightening. The first I came across many years ago and it was the legend of the Loup Garou. The legend comes from the French and tells of a man that can change into a wolf. The root of the legend regards the werewolf but in some areas it was also considered that the man could change into a cow, horse or some other animal. This could account for the possibility that witnesses and stories cannot conclude in what form the Lookaroo takes. This man-beast will roam the woods and lands by night and changes back to his human form by day. This curse will last until someone recognizes the cursed soul in animal form and somehow draws some blood to perform the ritual to break the curse.
The second story refers to the Loogaroo, a witch that has made a pact with the devil. In any pact with the devil there are consequences and because of this the witch is then cursed. The curse takes the form of the acquisition of blood for the devil from night to night. The witch removes her skin and takes the form of a ethereal ball of light by night. The story concludes that if you find the skin of the cursed creature the only way to stop the harvesting of blood is to pound the skin in a mortal and pestle with salt and pepper. To do this will cause the creature not to be able to take human form again and die a miserable death.
Even though these tales refer to a werewolf and a vampire they have been derived from the same French roots. The question is what kind of creature roams the hills and dales of Randolph? And to what ghastly end does their quest take on? If ever you are in Randolph late some evening and you see something strange it may be the Lookaroo out to get you.