Wampus cats in modern-day Texas are beloved high school mascots. The town of Itasca, Texas took on the legendary cat as its mascot in the 1920s. Before that, it was a terrifying legend in Sherman, Texas where a hunting party supposedly came across the accursed beast one fateful night. It begs the question of how the Wampus cat went from a terrifying legend to an adorable high school mascot.

The Wampus Cat Of Sherman, Texas In 1908

Wampus cats are legendary beasts that have haunted the folklore of towns from Appalachia to Texas. In most of them, the Wampus cat is akin to a bobcat, but just a little bit bigger and meaner. In some stories, it even has six legs. In some places, it's a hybrid between a mountain lion and a woman.

Wampus cats are blamed for reigns of terror that include over 100 dogs being killed with only the bones left behind, children going missing, strange sounds in the night, and a whole host of other unexplained happenings. A Wapus cat even found its way into a newspaper article from 1908 in Sherman, Texas.

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According to the article, a hunting party went out one night. The hounds were losing their minds near a tree, so one of the hunters decided to climb up and see what prey might be hiding. The hunter described seeing something that looked to be about the size of a bobcat. He asked for a gun, and when it was handed to him, he took aim and fired. Supposedly there was the sound of a woman shrieking and then the Wampus cat jumped down among the hunters and their hounds.


The hounds tried to subdue the beast, but it seemed to vanish in thin air. It wasn't the first time, nor the last, that this Wampus cat would be seen. In fact, it already had a nickname. It was the Wampus cat of Choctaw Bottom.

From Horrific Beast To Beloved High School Mascot In Texas

It isn't all terrifying legends when it comes to the Wampus cat. One Texas town, at least, has decided to take on the legendary cat as its official high school mascot. They are the Wampus Cats of Itasca, Texas.

The story goes that in the 1920s, there was a student who came up with one of the most recognized school nicknames in the state of Texas. Supposedly, the school was looking for a nickname for its teams, when a student declared during a post-game celebration, "...we were really Wampus cats tonight!" The quote is attributed to a student named Trav Burks.

Whether the mysterious, terror-inducing beast exists or not, you'll be able to find one trying to hype the crowd under the Friday night lights in Itasca, Texas.

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