One of great things about living in Louisiana is the folklore! There are several strange and mysterious tales. My favorite story is that of the Cajun Fairies.
The legend of the Cajun Fairy --the Fee Folay-- (feu follet in French-translates to “marsh fire”) began here along the bayou many years ago. They are generally thought to be an incarnation of the natural occurrence of the ‘will o’ the wisp’ which can appear as a phosphorescent ‘ball of fire’ typically in marshy areas such as bogs and swamps. The lights were known as fairies, spirits and sometimes the ghosts of loved ones.
There is a devilish version of the feu follet tale as well. They are sometimes described as a mischievous little demon or spirit which takes the form of light. Their goal is to confuse people until they become lost. The wandering victim believes they see a house or camp, go towards it, and they grow more lost or walk into a body of water and drown.
The ghostly lights are reported to be seen in many South Louisiana cemeteries and graveyards.
One of the very oldest private cemeteries, Bilbo Cemetery in Lake Charles, has had reports of the mysterious glowing lights since the 1840s. Here at the Bilbo Family Cemetery, the feu follet is the otherworldly equivalent of “leaving the light on” to welcome-in new visitors.
I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll try to NOT FOLLOW any floating lights I might see.
To learn more about the feu follets in the city, download our Historic Tour app and test your nerve by following the Eerie Calcasieu tour.
For more Halloween Fun, visit www.visitlakecharles.org/boo.