During the famous Werewolf Trials in Estonia, there was one story in particular about a man who lived his life feeling as most werewolves do, I imagine – lonely and out of place in his own skin. This man came to be known as Hans the Werewolf, and he was an Estonian that was tried and executed at the Estonia Werewolf Trials.
It was in 1651, when Hans was only 18 years old, that he was brought forth before the court in Idavare, on the grounds of being a werewolf. Hans’ trial didn’t last very long. He confessed immediately that he had been hunting in werewolf form for the past two years. Hans also told the court that he had been doing so ever since being bitten two years ago by a man dressed in black who, he soon found out, was a werewolf.
The judge asked him whether he felt more like man or animal and Hans replied that he felt like a “wild beast.” The judge also asked Hans whether he felt more like man or animal while he was in the midst of a transformation and Hans replied that he felt like a “wild beast.” The judge then asked Hans whether he felt as though it was just his soul that transformed, or whether or complete physical transformation took place as well. Hans replied that he still had the scar where a dog bit him while he was in wolf form, indicating that it was a full physical change and not just a metaphysical one on Hans’ part.
The court ruled Hans guilty of being a werewolf for a number of reasons. The first was that, because an actual physical change took place, Hans had actually had magic performed on him, which was considered to be Satanic. The courts also thought that the man dressed in black that Hans had described could only have been Satan performing the black magic. Because of these things, Hans was declared to be a werewolf and like so many other werewolves at the time, was sentenced to death.
It’s a sad story your life ending at the age of 18, whether you’re a werewolf or not. But you’ve really got to wonder why Hans didn’t fight back just a little bit more. There are many stories that have come out of the werewolf trials of the 1600s. The story of Hans the werewolf, although one of the more commonly known, is just one of them