History Channel’s Cryptid: The Swamp Beast Unveiled

Cryptid.The.Swamp.BeastHCLast night History channel debuted a new program called Cryptid: The Swamp Beast. I watched along with many others with great excitement. Over the years I had heard many strange and inexplicable accounts of creatures in the swamps of the deep South so I’m very interested to see if they can find any definitive proof of the existence of some of these beasts.

The program takes place in southern Louisiana. If you’ve never been there, let me assure you, despite the tourist hot spots and good cooking, most of the area is a swampy, spongey, muck-filled, life-threatening nightmare.  If you venture into the wilds you had better be sure you know what you’re doing or else have Les Stroud (Discovery Channel’s Survivorman program)with you.

But it’s a great place for a cryptid to live. (Unknown artist’s rendering of a Rougarou below left.)

Rougarou01Behind The Curtain

As much as I enjoyed it, I had a strange feeling that there was something scripted about the show. Sure some of the locals seemed genuine and their body language as they told their stories supported the truth of their tales. But there was something that reminded me of the debacle over on Animal Planet with their movie Mermaids: The Body Found. (See my Mermaid articles for more about that – check the Articles by Topic field to the right.)

So I decided I had better investigate.

Sure enough, plain as day, the History Channel reveals the show is scripted. However, they are replaying accounts told by real eyewitnesses, so it’s not a total fiction.  Here’s how they put it:

Rougarou03“The plot of Cryptid: The Swamp Beast is fiction based on real sightings and weird events, but it’s a story nonetheless. Some of the people are actors, others are local people who help carry the narrative. But the show also features actual eyewitness interviews and experts weighing in throughout the dramatization that give the series real-world context.

What is the program’s intent?

This program is a legend brought to life. Down in Louisiana, there are a lot of strange legends. One concerns the Rougarou, a kind of shape shifter and boogieman. While not widespread, there are certain regions where the belief in this creature is strong. This series brings that legend to life and tells a horror story by weaving in reported sightings, Bigfoot legends and folklore. It’s an entertaining fictional story, however, it is filled with real history, information, and fascinating context.” (Unknown artist’s rendering of a wolfman/rougarou above right and below left.)

Rougarou04Setting the Record Straight

They’ve stated their intent clearly. I can live with that. It reminds me of the format of that paranormal show, The Haunted, where they act-out accounts that happened to real people while interjecting interviews with the witnesses between scenes.

It’s not a live-action show like Ghost Hunters and Finding Bigfoot, but given how elusive these great apes (or werewolves/rougarou) are proving to be, this is a nice way to get the stories told. It may also help raise awareness so folks living in the area are better prepared to capture some real evidence.

What did you think about the show?


UPDATE: Who is Tammany played by? I’ve been asked this so much lately and people are searching my website for this information, so to the best of my knowledge, here is the info some of you want to know:

I ***think*** Tammany is played by Rachel G. Whittle. You can look her up on imdb.com.

3rd UPDATE 7.19.14: Yes, by now we know for sure Rachel is portraying Tammany in the show. By this time she is well integrated into social media.  However, at the time I wrote this article, there was little to nothing about her out there. Now let’s stop talking about Tammany and go back to looking for cryptids.

2nd UPDATE: Some people insist that Cagin Beasts is a real company because they have a website with a “home” page.

I’m a little suspicious that that might just be a “dummy front cover” to lend some credibility to that show. The reason is, that’s an awfully slick and fancy website page for a pest removal company. And if they paid someone to do it, that would cost a lot of money – most likely more than pest removers living in a poor area of the country (which is what Louisiana is) have to spend.

Look on imdb.com and look up Rachel G. Whittle – see if she doesn’t look 100% like Tammany.

I checked out 3 business finding websites for Louisiana and Cagin Beasts wasn’t listed in any way shape or form. Their website doesn’t list a town or city that they’re near, and they conveniently don’t include a phone number.

Most businesses want to grow and expand. So if they’re so busy filming, why don’t they hire more employees to handle the everyday calls?

None of this adds up for me. I’m not trying to change your mind, I’m just telling it as I see it.

To see the Cagin Beasts “website”, go to www.caginbeasts.com


    • Lisa, the show is a new series. It’s going to be like “The Haunted” where they tell you real eyewitness accounts as they act them out. I’m looking forward to learning about more of these stories because there’s not that much “out there” about them. I’d recommend giving it a chance.

      • If you do a Google search for “Rachel G. Whittle,” you find a link to her Facebook page. She’s posted enough to show she’s the actress playing “Tammany.”

  1. I had not heard of it until it came on. I’m always excited to watch documentary type programs, such is Monster Quest. I was excited, but it was pretty evident early on that it was scripted, but still pretty fascinating! Thanks History Channel!

  2. Reading the disclaimer basically tells us that ALL of what we are watching is fictional, portrayed by actors, and loosely based on “eyewitness” account. Disturbingly, false web links have been planted by producers (History Channel) to further this fraud such as with “Cagin Beasts” (google it). Being the “HISTORY” channel, I don’t think this is the appropriate place for Cryptid: Swamp Beast. I am fascinated by the subject, LOVE the area and it’s population. This could have been done with ‘actual’ footage the swamp areas, and actual eyewitness interviews. The Louisiana Bayou is an incredible place with plenty of mysterious history, enough to fill many seasons on HISTORY Channel. When ‘actors’ are used to dramatize fabricated locations, events, and individuals, that then becomes PURE FICTION (even if based on regional lore). Better suited for Syfy IMHO. . Blair Witch Project worked well, everybody loved it, and IT WAS FICTION (loooooosely based on rural legend…). Just another Mermaid. P.S. The ‘recording’ in episode 2 I believe to be a Ram’s horn trumpet. BTW, what was Jeff Meldrum thinking?

      • No Need to ***Think*** Tammany is played by Rachel G. Whittle. Going to IMDB, as you suggested, clearly explains that she is an actress on the “Cryptid: The Swamp Beast” TV Series (Fourth one down under filmography). Hate to sound like a bung hole but when you “think” it is her instead of reading the full IMDB page and filmography, you don’t look as if you’re doing much homework, thus making Cryptoville look unprofessional. Research should be done before you turn in your final analysis.
        By the way, the show sucks and when you endorse such trash, you give no validity to this site or the cause of finding cryptids. Or maybe that is your intentions?
        The show is for entertainment and lends no validity to “real” sightings or video (videos can’t be trusted if ithere is disclaimer saying based on actual events). Also ruins Jeff Meldrum (whom i greatly respect) credibility to be involved with such a show. Shows like this hurt the cause because they draw attention to it as a fake and not real. Despite the disclaimer or the validity of the any scholar involved.
        Now that my rant is done, please change the channel and find a show that doesn’t paint believers as “performers” fake shows on the History Channel.

  3. I love the show Cryptid Swamp Beast. It reminds me of when the X-Files came out. I’m not comparing it to the X-Files. I’m just saying that the thrill is there for me. I love the show. It’s entertaining. I don’t care if it’s reenactments. But it is based on eyewitness accounts. So who knows? Maybe the Rougarou really does exist?

  4. And people think those shows ghost hunters and finding Bigfoot are for real? If you do I’ve got some swamp land in Arizona for sale

    • Well, they’re dopey but at least they are more or less “live action”. Whereas Cryptid: Swamp Beast is actually scripted with actors. I put Cryptid in the same category as “The Haunted” TV program where they re-enact people’s supposedly real experiences while adding comments between scenes by the people who actually lived the haunting. It’s interesting, and I think Cryptid is interesting too. I never heard much about these legends and this is one way to bring them to light.

      • The first time I heard of this”beast” was on the TV series Cajun Justice it actually showed a home video of “it” idk what “it” was but it freaked me out so I was thrilled to see History Ch. show me more either real or not it’s exciting ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  5. I fell for “Mermaids”, and was pretty disappointed when I researched it online and found out it was a sham. But a very well-done sham!
    Now, I am watching “Cryptid” and I suspected it might be fake and scripted…..well, this here website is my proof! I still love the show!!! Lots of fun, adventure, suspense…pretty good scary story lines, pretty good convincing acting too!! I will continue to watch!!

    • Hi Valerie! The Jagneaux family are almost certainly part of the script, and Amos, like other actors in other films, did not actually die. Still, it’s an interesting story line! … Susan (CryptoVille)

  6. Rachel G. Whittle has a FaceBook page that promotes the show so that alone should tell the believers that think it’s real, it’s not. Sorry to burst any bubbles. That’s not to say the swamp beast isn’t real though. Nobody can prove either side of that argument yet. 😉

  7. Actually, Louisiana isnt poor. Being a resident in Louisiana and growing up here, with Cajun French relatives, I know just about everything there is to know about Louisiana, past and present. Louisiana is where Jake Delhomme, Payton Manning, Tim McGraw, Venus Williams, Kevin Gates, they’ve all grown up, lived, or is living in Louisiana.

  8. I have to admit that their are some actors in the show. My cousin plays the part of the Cemetery groundskeeper in the first episode. His name is Edward A Chambers, a New Orleans actor, and he told me that he met and interviewed the real groundskeeper who did in fact find the grave broken into and the skull was missing. He also told me that all of the newspaper headlines you see are real, and that all of the people you see are real, except for maybe a couple of actors who are playing the people who did not want to be on camera.

  9. History channel should at least be honest and change their name or just start another channel and call it the BS channel home of Shelby and the other ridiculous shows they promote as history! Truth in, well something.

    • I agree. When I tune to the History Channel I expect to see true history. Not something fake for entertainment.

      • Hi C! I understand – I’ve had other people make the same comment.

        I recommend contacting History Channel directly and airing your thoughts with them. I’m just a cryptozoology site and I have no influence with them whatsoever.

        History channel seems to be going the way “SyFy” channel has gone, which I think is a mess.

        … Susan (CryptoVille)

  10. I’m curious about the hikers video. The one gets pulled up into the air and drops his cell phone. If this is based on actual accounts did that really happen? My husband laughs at me for these shows…but well…dang it. Nothing paranormal (aka NOT or opposite of normal. Not just ghosts) has been proven or disproven. That’s why it is researched. They called botanists and alchemists crazy too and yet viola! Science! Biology. Metallurgy. Physiology. Medicine. Etc. Someone’s gotta do the dirty work

    • Hi Kami! That’s a great point! I don’t know much about movie making, but I have seen similar scenes filmed. They attach a harness to the actor and then at the right moment, hoist them up, he drops the camera-phone, and voila, you’ve got the scene. They more than likely used a stunt actor.

      From the feedback I’ve gotten, it seems people either like the show or hate it. I enjoy it knowing full-well that it’s scripted. If anything, it’s made me even more interested in finding out if that beast, the rougarou, actually exists.

      … Susan (CryptoVille)

  11. No way its a real company…if they were Cajun they would spell it right and talk like a Cajun…it wouldn’t be spelled cajin…I’m a real Cajun or I could say coon ass from south Louisiana..the rougaroux is just like the boogie man..something to scare kids to behave and say if u don’t the rougaroux gon’ get u..this show is totally fake..we know the rougaroux is just made up

      • I’m a native as well. Born and raised in Cajun Country. “Cajin Beasts” is a play on words for “caging” beasts. Growing up near swamps we see things in nature that are hard to explain. We aren’t ignorant and we don’t usually jump to supernatural conclusions…However the legends are deep rooted in our French culture. I think legends and folklore add intrigue to our lives. 🙂
        Rachel Whittle aka Tammany 😉

  12. The Cagin’ Beasts website was put up conveniently near or on the day the show premiered so that also gives away they are not a real company. Second, IMDB says all the names of the actors who play the people in Cagin Beasts. I do watch this show, and I watch it for a form of entertainment, like I would watch any other show with a fictional plot. For that purpose it is a good show with exciting plot points and fairly good acting.

  13. I have been interested in Cryptids for agile which is why I like the “legend rough to life” piece and getting to hear about stories that other cultures tell. I mean, people enjoy scary stores around a campfire, but they know they’re not true. This show is a little like that.

  14. I spend time in the bayou down near Du Large, Du Lac and Cocodrie and i can tell you many of the stories out there about the cryptids. The show is another attempt to cash in on the popularity Swamp People created with bayou country. Watching the episodes thus far my hubby and I can pick out where quite a number of the scenes have been shot right down to their B reel Voodoo snippets and interior shots.. we know at least one person who has appeared on the show…. it’s fun to be able to watch and say HEY that’s so and so’s hunt/fish camp, recognizing parts of the bayou as they go by in the boats and even roads LOL It’s certainly NOT a real documentary the majority of folks on the show are actors…

    • That must be fun to recognize people and places in the show! LOL!! I think most of us just enjoy hearing about these legends and seeing another way of life.

      Have you ever watched Mountain Monsters on Destination America channel? Same thing – what a group of oddballs but I enjoy it!

      Thanks for sharing! … Susan (CryptoVille)

  15. Can’t say I have Susan.. I do like Destination Truth however.. they are often out there looking for the Cryptids…

    • I loved DT! He was so funny on top of the interesting investigations! Did you hear that he announced on his FB and Twitter accounts that DT has officially been cancelled by SyFy channel? Then a week or so later he announced a new series he’s doing for Travel Channel soon, a different name but essentially still DT. I’m soooo excited to see that!

      If you’re on FB, you can look it up on my CryptoVille page – just scroll down a bit and you’ll find the link to the Travel Channel announcement. 🙂

  16. I missed a couple of episodes and am unable to catch up on the history channel.com site. The episodes are displayed, however will not activate to PLAY.
    Is it because they are attempting to sell the dvd?

    • Hi Colleen! I have no idea – please understand CryptoVille is in no way shape or form associated with the show or the History Channel network.

      I suspect they’ll be repeating the episodes in a couple months or so – that’s what usually happens with these shows.

      … Susan (CryptoVille)

  17. I understood from the show’s beginning that the cast are actors re-enacting the eyewitness accounts, stories & legends of Louisiana Bayous. Despite it being a cast of actors re-enacting such, I enjoy it. My only concern is when Luc Baptiste happened upon those poor animals strung up by the supersticious backwoods woman, what was used to depict their bodies? In the meantime, I will continue watching faithfully.

    • Hi Sharon! I’m not affiliated with the show or History Channel in any way shape or form. However, I’m pretty sure those “animals” were just props created by people you see in that SyFy show Face Off – prop experts. If they were real animals, they’d have every animal lover and animal rights group raising Cain in the aftermath. … Susan (CryptoVille)

  18. Cryptid fans should check out the premiere of MONSTERS UNDERGROUND on Destination America on Friday, August 22nd at 10/9c.  
    The first episode will follow a team of four hunters into Volcano Caverns in Flagstaff, Arizona, as they search for the reptilian/bat “cave demon” known as the Olitiau.
    Future episodes will explore the dangerous caves of the American Southwest in search of cryptids including the Aswang, Mapinguari, Subterralien, and more.

    Check out a preview of MONSTERS UNDERGROUND here:

  19. History channel…. seriously? I used to think history classes should rely heavily on the shows in this channel but with them moving into fiction, we have to take everything we see on it as pure bs fiction

  20. Sucks. Another one of these idiotic wastes of time that proves nothing. Listen – the Louisiana swap has alligators, snakes, spiders, mosquitoes the size of Volkswagen Bugs, and weather conditions that can kill you dead. Why make up crap about a creature that does not exist ? We have a million years of history and this is what you show? Maybe Cryptip is the child of Bigfoot and that Mermaid ? Silly and you guys can do much better.

    • Dave, I, CryptoVille, am in no way affiliated with the show. We talk about cryptids & other weird things on this blog, and I covered this show initially because I was interested to see what it’s about. Plus, a LOT of my readers were interested in it.

      At this point, we all know it’s fiction, but it seems some people like to watch it anyway.

      You may want to direct your comments over on the History Channel website: history.com.

      … Susan (CryptoVille)

    • Glad you’re enjoying it Kaz! I like it too. Again, it’s a re-enactment/fictional account, but it is interesting. The fact remains that people in that area of our country believe this beast is real.

      Thanks for visiting CryptoVille! … Susan (CryptoVille)

  21. I can’t believe anyone could possibly think the show is real. You can clearly tell they are acting; some of them are not very convincing. In addition to that many of the events are unrealistic in the way the actors react. Cops allowing noncops to investigate a scene they clearly didn’t, stumbling upon event after event…Everyone on the show is an actor as evidenced by a cast list on imdb. I looked this up trying to figure out how the “History” channel gets away with airing constant fiction and hiding it as “re-creations” only to read that there are actually people who fell for it. If only I could have found the remote faster. This is beyond campy. I think people with a real interest in cryptids would be insulted.

  22. I Dont like the mix of “real” and scripted, it does indeed feel just like the mermaid thing, and I didn’t like that. Its phony with a few real interviews thrown in to lend credibility. The mix is uncomfortable at best.😵

  23. I call it a dram-u-mentary. Really cheesy stuff. Decaying tissue and severed body parts are added to pique interest instead of any actual research type activity which I guess would be too boring. Don’t watch while trying to consume a tv dinner. The tv dinner smells like the show looks.

      • Susan the TV dinner was some kind of sliced beef and gravy crap that I swear was the same color as some of those props they had scattered around. Yuck! I’ve sworn off TV dinners forever. Seven months later and I still remember. I guess I should thank the History Channel and the creators of that awful show for my new healthy diet.

  24. Oh please, the same actor who plays one of the ‘Native’ Lousiana indians in the newer series ‘Swamp People’ is also an actor belonging to the ‘Ragneaux’ family on the fictional series ‘Cryptid’. Open your eyes!!

    • You’re assuming everyone watches Swamp People, Chuck. I think I already covered the fact that the people in Cryptid Swamp Beast are actors.

      Thanks for visiting CryptoVille! … Susan (CryptoVille)

  25. If this show is a reenactments of actual events and is “said” to have actors playing the roles of the main characters and “interspersed” with real locals, then why is EVERY person listed in the cast an actor? There is not one role or person that says “self”. I believe it is 100% a scripted story which IS sad because most of the country does know there is a great belief in the old legends and superstitions and they could have easily found REAL stories to investigate. I was GREATLY disappointed to discover the truth about this show.

    • Pam, you need to look at when I wrote this article. It was back in February 2014. At that time the show was so new, nobody knew a lot about it. At that time they didn’t list the people as actors anywhere. I was digging around trying to find out the truth about the show because so many of my readers were asking me.

      It is a scripted story and nothing about it is real, except perhaps for some of the people they interviewed who seemed to be sincere about the experiences they had. Mountain Monsters and Alaska Monsters does the same thing, although I have not been able to find where any of the characters are actors. They seem to be themselves just playing along with the show.

      TV is like everything else in life – “Buyer Beware.”

      Thanks for visiting CryptoVille. … Susan (CryptoVille)

  26. I loved the show and I didnt want to believe it was scripted but I figured it was. But I forgot the names of these people in the show but there was some kind of cryptozoologist (sorry if I spelled it wrong) on the show that apparently died and they even talked about what might of killed him. Also at the end of season I believe one of the people from that crazy family got there throat torn out by a police attack dog. So was there actual scenes that were scripted? Sorry about the long message. Also sorry I can’t remember the names of the characters it’s been a while since Ive watched the show.

    • Hi Jake! The entire show was scripted and no one really died. Most of them were actors with some local people coming in as “extras.” It sure was a crazy show that a huge number of people loved!

      Thank you for visiting CryptoVille! … Susan (CryptoVille)

Leave a Reply