The Morbach Werewolf
The Morbach Monster (Munster Von Morbach) is a werewolf that has been allegedly haunting the area of Wittlich in Germany.
As an armchair monster scholar, how exciting it is to come across something new! A story with which I am, despite all my years of study on the subject, still unacquainted. I had never before heard of the Morbach Monster, a werewolf that terrorized the German countryside during Napoleonic times, a deserter named Thomas Johannes Baptist Schwytzer, cursed for his evil deeds to become a werewolf—this is one of the few original werewolf legends to incorporate the need for a full moon (unless this was added later, which is a possibility). Folks in them thar’ parts took the legend so seriously that somebody at some time erected a shrine, where a candle is kept burning to keep the unholy thing at rest. (I bet that’s really bad for tourism, too. Photo opportunity much, y’think?)
I could see how this story might have a basis in fact. The villainous Schwytzer might actually have existed, a dangerous criminal who preyed on the locals until he was killed. Keep in mind that another, older term for a robber or highwayman is “wolfshead.” With the passage of time, tradition could easily have attributed to the human monster fangs, fur and tail. The shrine could actually stand over a genuine gravesite.