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Marching Werewolves

It is time again dear readers for another old Livonian werewolf legend. The story says that when Christmas day is over a boy who limps with one leg goes around town calling together all of the people who have yielded to the Evil One (and there’s a whole lot of them), bidding them to follow him. If any of these people resist or hesitate, then a huge tall man hits them with a whip braided from iron wire and tiny chains, driving them along with force. The legend says that he whips at the people so roughly that even after a great time has passed the painful marks and scars remain on their bodies.

As soon as the group begins to follow the boy, they begin to lose their former shape and transform into wolves. Several thousand wolves come together, walking through the town. The harsh man with the whip leads the way. When they are led into a field, they brutally attack and ravage the cattle, ripping every animal that they can get their fangs on into pieces. But while they are able to kill cattle and livestock, this band of wolves is unable to harm humans.

When they eventually come to a body of water, the tall man strikes it using his whip and the water divides, allowing the wolves to cross over with dry paws. After twelve days have passed, they abandon their ferocious werewolf form and become humans once more.

I have heard countless werewolf myths, but this one is very new to me. I don’t think I have yet to hear a story even close to this one, I really wish there was more to it. What did you guys think of the legend? What to you think the story means, why were they changed for twelve days? Let us know in a comment below.

– Moonlight

By moonlight

One of the writers for werewolves.com, as well as vampires.com.

13 replies on “Marching Werewolves”

I think it is connected with the 12 Days of Christmas; December 25 to January 6. By the 16th century, some European and Scandinavian cultures had combined the Twelve Days of Christmas with (sometimes pagan) festivals celebrating the changing of the year. These were usually associated with driving away evil spirits for the start of the new year ( http://www.crivoice.org/cy12days.html). Instead of driving away evil spirts I think the Livonian people just combined the two, embracing their past. It is a well know fact the church took over many pagan holiday and incorportated them into their own religion. Maybe the 12 days were originally a pagan holiday that the church took over. Somone should change the words to the 12 days of Christmas with werewolves in mind.

if they “drive away evil” or whatever why would they transform into wolves? arent wolves supposed to be evil back in that time period? and why would they kill as much cattle as they can within 12 days; because to me that also sounds like the kind of evil stuff they talk about back then. to me that sounds like theyre evil themselves. but then again maybe they are trying to make themselves feared by other evil entities and “drive them away” by turning themselves into wolves and killing cattle brutally. if i were an evil god or power or something i would be a little intimitated by that so maybe that is why they turn into wolves but thats just my concusion.

i can argue with your theory due to the simple fact that despite the wolf being rgarded as a an evil creature by the catholic church in pagan cultures there isnt reference that wolves were seen as a symbol of evil. And since this ritual had an origin in pagan cultures i can assume that they are offering their loyalty to the pagan good of the woods (cant remember the name) the catholics used the image of this god to become that of Satan himself, so when they are regarding to the evil one they may have been referrering to this god and only when they become wolves and offer the lives of the cattle as sacrifices can they cleanse the land of the evil spirits. So im betting this was a pagan form of a massive exorcism, just my theory though.

Well, actually, a few years ago on wikipedia, I came across a story about a man being tried for a werewolf that claimed he was a “wolf of God.” I think that this statement, if werewolves really exist, might be a true one. After all, in the bible, you have angels and demons, who are part of the same race; and dragons and sariphim, who my learned teacher bassically swears are the same race, so why not werewolves

It strikes me as strange that they’d kill all the cattle in winter. There can’t have been many cattle afield after the winter solstice and it’s a well-known fact that wolves can easily pick out the diseased members of a herd. Cattle are big animals, even an army of wolves wouldn’t tangle with an army of healthy cattle.
I’m thinking that maybe the herdsmen left the sick ones “out for the wolves” and this ritual is a reflection of that. It ensures the surviving cattle will be that much stronger and have more to eat, raise healthier and stronger calves, give more milk, etc.

This is simaler to a dream I once had after being bitten by a large dog.In the dream I was a cow and when the full moon apeared everyone in my town changed into wolves.They promptly chased me through the town ond out into a secluded pine forest.After a while I reached a clearing in the middle of these woods.It was then that the wolves caught ip with me.The dog that had bit me stepped forward and launched himself at me,with the others following,and began ripping me to shreds and finaly ate me.The dream was so vivid that when I woke up screaming I could actually feel pain were they bit me.

i myself have never heard of such a story, but as for it being cross referenced to a pagan holiday u are correct,and it was a sacraficial cleansing of evil sorta like the boy who cried wolf. yes the wolves were showing loyalty to the pagan god (pan). and also the wolf was kept in high regards to the native americans as a spirit animal, so therefor i dont see were a wolf is EVIL.

I’m guessing the reason why wolves pops up as evil is because the church viewed any pagan practice as herasy, and therefore a practice against god. Due to this view, anything pagan was thought to be not of god and so was viewed as satanic and evil. Thus being why a pagan ritual of clensing the land could turn into a myth of terror and violence. There’s no telling if there were any cattle involved in the original ritual or not because this seems like something that would be written after the country’s conversion to Christianity. On the side note, it could be that the pagans of the time thought of winter as a harsh yet natural cycle which weeded out the weak from the strong, thus why a clensing would take place durring winter and not other times.

Mhm i have never heard of storys mmmm…i had dreams of it and seen a wovles = \ but i have never….but in a dream i been biten its werid its like i feel it in reallife but when u wake up its not there don’t you think thats werid? i think it is because like u have the dream but like at the same time you think its real,well no one can tell maybe it is real but you don’t know..OH! at my gramam’s i’ve wake up to dart in my bed but i couldnt think what was happing! we set up cam’s to see what was happing that i just sleepwalk to holws! it was so so so werid! we set them outside….we seen that i was just standing there and a big dog came to me just standing there looking at me but we wounder why it wouldnt come closer to me it lefted after a short while i walk back inside like if nuthing happen i layed in bed next morning i woke up and didnt remember anything they showed me i said i don’t remember that?!..it stoped after awhile..

Well I have never heard that story before but maybe the people already wolves and turn them into wolves is making them angry or scared. Plus they where wolves for twelve day he had to get them food or they would have died and that would not be good.

Well I never heard this story before but may be the people where already wolves and turn them into wolves. Maybe they turn into wolves by making them angry or scared. Plus they were wolves for twelve days. The tall man had to get them food some and that by letting them eat cattle on a farm because there are lot animal that they can eat there in till they get full but I like the story so far.

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