All throughout history you can find stories in nearly every country of men that transform into beasts, and ancient Ireland is no different. Ireland is home to stories of ancient warriors known as the Laignach Faelad, warriors that could change their form into that of a savage beast, such as a wolf. Just imagine it, a small army of wolves… terrifying isn’t it?
In what is now known as Tipperary, Ireland, there are stories told, stories about a group of vicious warriors called the Laignach Faelad who were said to be half man, half wolf. These men are mentioned in an incredibly ancient Irish text known as the Coir Anmann, which claims that these faelad (soldiers) would fight for any king willing to pay their steep price. The text goes on to say that these men dressed in wolf skins and were tremendously brutal in battle, which is why the old Irish kings wanted them so badly. During this time the land was drenched in the blood of battle, the country was constantly at war and the kings would do whatever it took to win, including hiring the inhuman Laignach Faelad, which not everyone was too pleased with.
Now, you may wonder why one would be wary about hiring the Laignach Faelad, kings have plenty of gold right? Yes, but unfortunately these warriors did not ask for money, instead they asked for something entirely more precious – the flesh of newborns. They would divide among themselves, falling upon the flesh like wolves and devour it raw. A king would have to be pretty desperate and ruthless to hire these warriors.
The Laignach Faelad were followers of the awful and bloodthirsty god Crom Cruach (the Bowed God of the Mounds), one of the oldest and most horrible of Irish deities. It is also said that these ancient warriors were the most powerful during the reign of king Tigernmas, who was also a follower of this god.
Amazing story, right? Well, in the late 1500s, the English writer William Camden ridicules these stories, saying that the “Wolf Men of Tipperary” never existed. However, no one can know for sure if they are or not. You’ll have to decide for yourselves – do you think the Laignach Faelad really existed?