Black Magic and Corpse Breeches
I’ve got quite the treat for you dear readers, an old tale of black magic and wolves. The story hales from Iceland, where items known as “corpse breeches” could help a warlock change his shape into that of a wolf.
Corpse breeches (also known as nabrock trousers) were said to be used by ancient Icelandic witches and warlocks. They were the feet, legs and lower body (including the genitals) cut from a fresh corpse and made into a pair of trousers or breeches. Disgusting right? Once made into wearable clothing, a black magician would first recite certain incantations and then would put the pants on. The stories say that during the hours of darkness, the magicians would fill the breeches up with gold (usually the scrotum if the corpse was male). The trousers were said to give the wearer special supernatural powers.
It was said that the “most evil man in Iceland,” Gottskalk Grimmi Nikulasson (Bishop of Holar 1496-1520), left detailed instructions on how to create the corpse breeches, as well as skin cloaks for turning men into animals.
These secrets were also taught at the famous Black Schools of Iceland, which were schools hidden away in secret locations that taught dark magic. These schools created some of the most evil sorcerers of the time. During this time, local stories tell of people that could change into the form of ferocious animals, like wolves.
Sadly, this is where the gruesome story ends. In short, it was once believed in Iceland that wearing the skin of a corpse and filling it with gold would give a magician the power to transform into a wolf, or any other animal. This definitely one of the more twisted werewolf stories I have heard.
What do you guys think about this folktale? Do any of you want to be a werewolf so badly you would wear another person’s skin?