There are stories of wampus cats in Floyd, VA, where they are large black panthers. These mythical creatures supposedly stalk children and animals as they prowl through forests and farmlands.
According to Cherokee legends, the “Ewah”, a similar creature, is a woman that wanted to eavesdrop on men, hearing their sacred legends. As a punishment, the pelt that she wore to disguise herself then grew into her skin, transforming her. Another story has a woman wearing such pelts seeking revenge for her warrior husband that was driven insane by looking into the eyes of a great beast that haunted the woods.
Ever hear of a “catty-wampus”? I grew up with that word. It always meant that something wasn’t right. Some say that a wampus cat is a play off of that word. It’s a beast that isn’t human and isn’t cat, but something inbetween.
In Lott’s Mountain, these creatures roam the hillside. You can follow them if you want, as they wind past old, haunted buildings. But beware … find a wampus cat in the middle of the night and you never know the dark places they will lead you.