Day 85: Monsters of the Ozarks: The Wampus

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

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Moving on from giant reptiles, we come to the next Ozark monster, the wampus. The wampus is generally considered to be a giant cougar or “painter” (panther) sometimes with other reptile or amphibian qualities. “Painters” figure into a lot of Ozark hunting tales, despite the fact that the existence of the animal in the Ozarks is often debated. Talk to any backwoods person and they’ll tell you there are most certainly “painters” out in the woods, heck I’ve see one run across the road before, and no it wasn’t a coyote or housecat. The Game and Fish Commission will say that there may be “painters” in the Ozarks, but they’re just moving through, and haven’t ever bred here. If that’s the case they’ve been moving through for the past couple hundred years, because there have always been “painter” stories here in the Ozarks.

Vance Randolph classifies two varieties of wampus…

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