The 'loup-garou,' which means 'wolf man,' is similar to werewolf legends in other parts of the world, but in Haitian folklore it is a person who is possessed by a spirit and can turn into a beast or even a dog, cat, chicken, snake or another animal to suck the blood of babies and young children.
Haitians fear loups-garous in the best of times and even more since a powerful earthquake wrecked the capital of Port-au-Prince two weeks ago, killing as many as 200,000 people and forcing hundreds of thousands more to sleep outside in vast camps or on the streets.
Some people accused of being loups-garous have apparently been lynched since the earthquake, including a man killed at the La Grotte camp for displaced people on a barely accessible hillside that looks down on Port-au-Prince.
"After the earthquake, the loup-garou fled from prison. He was bragging that he was in jail because he was caught eating children ... During the night he went into the tents and tried to take someone's child," said Michaelle Casseus, a camp resident.