Rugaru lore: Is this something made up just for Supernatural?

SUPERNATURAL -- Metamorphosis" -- Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR
SUPERNATURAL -- Metamorphosis" -- Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR /

When you hear the term “Rugaru,” do you think of Scooby-Doo? It wasn’t surprising to hear Dean question whether Rugarus were real, but here’s a look at Rugaru lore on Supernatural and in real life.

Supernatural Season 4 introduced us to a creature that we hadn’t heard of or seen before in the series. The Rugaru was something even the Winchesters hadn’t heard anything about and it was another hunter that explained the Rugaru lore–and then Sam did his own research.

There is real lore on the creature, which was loosely used for the series. Here’s a look at both lore to see how they connect.

Rugaru lore in Supernatural

In the series, a Rugaru was a humanoid that ate human flesh (or “long pig” as it was referred to. They’re similar to the Wendigo in a way, although the basis of the Rugaru lore is from a different part of the world.

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The creatures start off human. As they get older, they gain the craving for human flesh and this has (so far) been shown to be impossible to overcome. Eating human flesh just the once during the change will lead to a permanent change.

After the change, they do still have their memories of their human life. They have some human feelings but those feelings are diminished with the monster taking over. The only way to stop a Rugaru is by killing it. Some hunters will also kill the offspring even before they’ve turned into monsters.

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Supernatural Season 4, Episode 4
SUPERNATURAL — “Metamorphosis” — Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

Real lore about Rugarus

The Rugaru is from European lore, closely linked to the werewolf. You can also see it written as Rougarou, Rugaroo, or even Roux-ga-roux. The change in spelling depends on the location, as it was originally from the Laurentian French communities of the past.

Lore is similar to that of the werewolf in the sense of the man turning into the animal. In this case, the man doesn’t turn back into a human when the full moon goes down.

The Rugaruu lore made its way to North America through the French settlers. Parts of Louisiana and Quebec have adaptations of the lore. In Cajun lore, the Rugaru has the body of a man but the head of a dog/wolf.

There’s also a blood-sucking version of the lore, where the creature will be a Rugaru for 101 days before the curse moves onto someone else. The person can transform back to human during the day, which certainly isn’t something Supernatural chose to run with.

What did you know about real Rugaru lore? Are you surprised at the connections to other creature lore? Share your thoughts in the comments below?

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