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Werewolves Around the World

August 23rd, 2009 § 11

Werewolves have been a part of the folklore of many different cultures since ancient times. Images of European werewolves in dark forests usually come to mind when the beasts are mentioned. However, stories of lycanthropes and shape changers have permeated the mythos of cultures as diverse and aged as Ancient Greece to Native American folklore. Modern countries all over the world from Latvia to Argentina have their own stories about werewolves. Famous among the Ancient Greeks and classical literature was the story of Lycaon from which lycanthropy likely gets its name. Lycaon is said to have been a cannibal, and turned into a wolf as a result of his crime.

Even Herodotus, the father of History, wrote of a people called the Neuri would turn into wolves every nine years. Ancient Rome also has many tales of werewolves with the pages of Ovid’s Metamorphoses to Gaius Petronius’ Satyricon. Both works feature stories about men who turned into wolves with Metamorphoses emphasizing that there were many, and not solitary. Werewolves in European lore are very prevalent with the belief that most werewolves were in league with Satan, and cursed. The medieval French poem, Bisclavret tells of a man who turned into a wolf every week.

But this is still a poem reflecting the people’s fears of the werewolf in literature. There are documented cases of werewolves. One of the more interesting stories is of the Gandillon family, which is detailed in Boguet’s Discours de Sorciers. The story begins with a girl Pernette Gandillon that one day walked around on all fours like a wolf and attacked another girl. The attacked girl’s brother helped her only to get his throat torn out by Pernette. The townsfolk quickly killed Pernette on the spot without trial. The story does not stop there, however. Pernette’s brother was also accused to have been a werewolf, and there were accusations that he used a salve given to him by Satan so that he could transform into a wolf.

His son, Georges also claimed to be a werewolf, and as well as his sister, Antoinette. The three ended up being arrested and then hung and burned to death. Historical figures as well have been accused of being a werewolf, such as King Harold I of Norway simply because his hair was wolf-like to more serious assertions that a prince from Belarus named Usiaslau was said to travel at night in the form of a wolf moving at incredible speed. Even more mysterious is the documented case of the Beast of Gevaudan where over 80 people in France were attacked and killed by what was described as a large wolf. The attacks stopped after wolves in the area were hunted down and killed. These are just a few examples of werewolves around the world from literature to actual historical accounts. One can believe the accounts of werewolves or not, but it is clear that the werewolf has had quite an impact on many different cultures and nations over the ages.

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11 Responses to Werewolves Around the World

  1. sapphiremoon says:

    n e wolves out there

  2. Angel says:

    i don’t think it’s right for people to assume things. not all werewolves in wolf form are visious, in-humane, and blood thirsty! only the rogues are. the ones that have control over themselves are actually quite gentle. and for all we know, there might be werewolves out there!

  3. Kristopher (The No-life king) says:

    Werewolfs are true but there not like folklore and there not like horror movies like lets say van hellsing they coul not rip or drip their own skin off and do that face crap a werewolf is a being of great power you can not invoke it when it wants a partner it will find one i hope you unerstand that you can never ask a real werewolf to turn ou right also if you so want to be werewolfs go to snowlands where the wolfs are born kill a wolf then let its mother bite you 7 times maybe then you will become a werewolf but th chances are so slim it is like fishing in the sea and hoping you see a robot thought you could chant random words and come acrosse the right words to turn into a wolf but ou would not stay that way ou would trun back into a human and then die slowly

  4. Suzi says:

    that is so sad that they did that to them to kill the wolfs like that

    • skyler says:

      you people are crazy theres no such thing as werewolves people are people and wolves are wolves. its impossible to manipulate the human genome to have “wolflike” characteristics. stupids

  5. Andres says:

    peopl realy need to know that werewolves arent evil and we are not viscious after all in other terms we are also called “the hounds of god”

  6. Wad says:

    I don’t believe Weres are evil or kill for no reason. I love the Supernatural world so much I am obsessed with vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, and fairies stories. I read so many novels about the supernatural world. I accept their existences, with no other concern or threat to the human society. Have guys read the “Sookie Stackhouse Novels” the vampires and the Were/shifter came out on TV; however I wish it was true.

  7. Diana Delaney says:

    I would like to know if there is real werewolves out in the world, any part of the world?

  8. Victor says:

    All i just wanna know is that is there a werewolf in this time

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