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The Vilkacis

Time again for another wonderful werewolf myth. Woo! This time we’re traveling to a land of rich history, beautiful lakes and dark forests – Lithuania. The vilkacis, which literally means “wolf eyes” is a werewolf that comes from Lithuanian mythology.

The vilkacis is a regular human that has the ability to shapeshift into a wolf, although in some versions of the myth it is said they don’t transform into a wolf but instead their soul leaves their body for a while and enters a wolf’s.

When it comes to turning into a vilkacis the stories vary. In one version of the tale it is said that all you have to do is wait for a full moon and find a tree that’s top branches have grown into the earth, forming an arch. Once you find this tree on the night of a full moon simply stand under the arch and you will be turned into a vilkacis. Easy enough. In other myths, to be a vilkacis you need to wear wolf fur, recite some incantations and you become a wolf. This method is pretty common through Europe, there are a handful of wolf belt stories.

In later times there were stories of German invaders that were vilkacis. They were more like the traditional type of werewolves and they hunted in packs, the pack consisting of their family members. In some of the wealthy werewolf families their servants were also vilkacis as well and would often hunt down and kill everything from cows to wild game for the family.

The vilkacis are believed to be kind and werewolves that keep to themselves, unless threatened. They show no aggression to others and are nothing like the werewolves in film that hunt and kill innocents. But this also varies from story to story, in other versions they are wild beasts, but most say that they are good people.

– Moonlight

By moonlight

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

16 replies on “The Vilkacis”

Humm interesting, did u know that the name of all da kinds of werewolves in da east of europe come from da name of the Greek Vampire Vrikolakas? It literaly means well full of poo =S

srry i didnt read that post :P
Anyway did u know that even teh romans had there own legends a bout werewolves, the “versipellis”
Oo nd did u know bout the Alp?Its not exactly a werewolf , but more like a man that turned in to a wild dog,he was supossed to live around the Rin.
Plz would u find a legend bout werewolves in Spain??, its just cuz ive been triying to find sum but the only thing Ive found is a story bout a crazy dude that used to fight against dogs near my village =S

But the Alp its not just a vampire, its also a man that turns in to a wild dog.
I ve found information bout him in a book called “el magico mundo de los vampiros” (its in spanish) It talks a bout all da kinds of vampires, nd it explains that the Alp could be respresented as a man that transforms in to a bird or a cat and that suck the blood of your nipples when you r sleeping.
But it also says that in some traditions of a city called Köln they describe him as a men that turned in to a wild dog

im a wolf! i found out a couple nights ago cause every day i wake up and i have this sharp pain of where i turned, it has been happening years and years im about to turn 13 and i got bit when i was 4 or 5 and i love to run and i dont care about the cold i NEVER wear a jaket outidce when its cold and i love to howl at the moon, and i have a good hearing and sense of smell. i am a brown black color i have alot of white on my face with brown a tan on it. i am one so dont say i am lyin!vTHANKS

dude little shewolf1997: youre a big time liar. how would you know what color you were? wolves are color blind and thusly a human who became one would also be color blind. you have this sharp pain when you wake up? but only when you wake up? how is it you remember turning but clearly have no recollection of that pain of actually changing which if it hurts at all would cause you sever pain almost to the point of sending you into shock. bite me faker.

This really isn’t too exciting but it’s been really steaming hot in Philadelphia for many days in a row. I do work on people’s gardens, lawns and swimming pools. I don’t think people want me jumping into their swimming pools but today it was so hot I lay down so my waist and legs were on land and let my upper body dunk down into the water. I stayed that way until I had to come up for air then I crouched by the edge of a pool and shook the water off of me just like a dog. I felt so much like an animal that my instinct was to growl. Yes, I growled and it felt perfectly natural. If anyone came out of the house and told me to get away from the pool I probably would have shown my teeth. I got to thinking that really humans are animals. Maybe we are more than that but we are still animals. I think I make a real good wolf.

I’m a writer looking to create a story about the vilkacis and I need some info about their powers. What can you tell me?

Also , as a believer in the supernatural (and I have some powers myself and am part fae) I think that both shewolf and Tomas are at least part werewolf, or Tomas could be part weretiger.
But, shewolf, do you live in the south? I mean, I’ve been to the south (I live in MN) and I’ve noticed the natives have a really skewed perspective of cold – like, they break out the winter jackets when it gets down to forty, think they will freeze to death at twenty degrees Fahrenheit, and cancel everything when they get like two inches of snow because a lot of them have never seen snow before before and it freaks them out. So if you live in the south & don’t care about the cold, you should know: that’s not really all that cold.

Tomas, are you part Arab, Asian, Hispanic, or Persian? They have a lot of legends of werecats, especially weretigers. You should look into that.

Hi, Beth! I’m actually Lithuanian, like the Vilcacis. I was born in the US but both my parents are Lithuanian. I’ve been to Lithuania and I got a book with all sorts of folklore stories about Lithuanian werewolves, devils (velnai), and other Lithuanian supernatural things. It was very fascinating reading but I think I lent it to my brother. I think I remember a different spelling for the Lithuanian word for werewolf and it might have been something like Vilkatis. Aside from that, in addition to my curious behavior at the swimming pool, I know I seem to associate more easily with dogs than with people. I have always had a dog and, once one passes away, I can’t seem to live for too long without getting another one. The one I have now I found on the street and then she gave birth to four puppies right in my bedroom (the first one right on my bed right next to me). I kept the mother and one of the puppies and close family members took the other three. I have to say I feel very much part of the pack and it’s great when all of us are reunited on occasion. Thanks for all your comments and I wish you all the best with your writing. Sincerely, Tomas.

That makes a lot of sense, wolves r social creatures & werewolves r 2. Also, as a creature of the night u probably hav some nocturnal tendencies. Do u feel like it’s hard 2 get 2 sleep at night or like its ur natural instinct to sleep during the day & be awake @ night? R u claustrophobic? Do u feel like u operate on a different wavelength than regular humans? R ur senses better? Do u hav predator-like tendencies, such as unusually high endurance, or an antsiness that can only be soothed thru movement? Do u feel most @ peace when u run? Hav u always felt a connection 2 the supernatural and fantasy stories, as if maybe those people are more like u than the regular humans in your life? Hav u always longed 4 adventure & excitement, like ur destined 4 something greater than what others expect of u? If u answered yes 2 most of these, ur part werewolf.

Now what are the powers of the vilkacis?

Hi, Beth,

Sorry for the delay, but here is a lot of information for you that maybe you can use.

Well, to begin with, if the qualities you mentioned indicate who’s a werewolf, then call me king. A few of the qualities actually don’t apply to me but most of them do and those apply to an extreme.

Now for the powers of the vilkacis – here’s what I seem to remember. For one thing, the spellings Vilkacis and Vilkatis are more acurately Latvian. Latvia is just north of Lithuania but they have a lot of things in common. The more correct Lithuanian spellings are Vilkolakis or Vilkatlakis. It’s possible that all these spellings are used in both countries.

Lithuanian werewolves are known for sometimes being actually very good natured. I have to tell you that Lithuanian fairies and witches are not always clearly either good or bad. There are witches who are actually very good to know and will bring you good fortune, etc. eventhough they might also steal babies from their cradles. There is a certain type of fairy that is famous for bringing treasures. I have heard it described as sometimes manifesting itself as a buzzing insect or moth who will travel around the globe to bring back to you wonderful things. The Lithuanian werewolf also has a reputation for bringing treasures. Quite different from the Hollywood werewolf, don’t you think?

OK. Here are a few other things I remember. As mentioned in the original posting at the top of the page the involvement of the arched tree branches is well known. Lithuania has a type of tree that actually has above ground roots that spring from fairly high up on the truck and then arch down into the ground. If you walk under these (I think it has to be midnight with a full moon) then you will transform into a werewolf. To undo the effect you simply walk under again but backwards. I also read about another ritual. Someone saw a many performing a ritual in a clearing in the woods. He stood in a ring created by a certain number of staffs stuck into the ground. He transformed into a wolf and then left the clearing. The spectator went and pulled one of the sticks out of the ground. The wolf returned and transformed back into a man but he kept the wolf tail, probably because the circle wasn’t complete.

Or perhaps, Lithuanian werewolves always keep their tails. I remember a story where some peasants gave some travels food and lodging for the night. All was merry as the family brought food to the table until one of the girls noticed the tip of a wolf tail sticking out from the pants cuff of one of the guests. She tried to warn everyone but I think it all ended badly for the peasants.

One other story. A wolf with a beautiful coat of fur was seen regularly sneaking into a barn at night. The people planned to catch it so they could sell the fur. They succeeded but when they killed the wolf it screamed like a human being and when they skinned it the skeleton was human.

I’ll post again if I can find out anything more. All the best.

Sincerely,
Tomas

And as for grenadier, being color blind doesn’t mean you can’t see ANY colors. There was a girl in my french class last semester who used to be colorblind, with her it was just that sometimes she thought orange was yellow and yellow was orange. And a werewolf wouldn’t be a regular wolf, so what makes you think a werewolf would be color blind?

Hello, again, Beth. I hope you got all the information I posted about Lithuanian werewolves. It’s a little further up in the thread. I wanted to be sure you got it for your writing but I didn’t see any response from you. Here’s a little more. For one thing, whether we are talking about Vilkacis (Latvian) or Vilkolakis (Lithuanian), et., maybe we should just refer to them as Baltic werewolves since I think the two countries have the same werewolves with only different name spellings. OK but there are still two different kinds of werewolves in these countries. One is the common werewolf that pretty much all countries have. Then there is a more specifically Baltic werewolf. This is a human who falls unconscious, appearing to be dead, at the time of the full moon. His soul leaves him in the form of a wolf and runs independently of the human body. It is important the the unconscious body not be discovered or disturbed by anyone. The soul must return to the body before the first ray of sun after the full moon or it can never re-enter and must remain a wolf forever. Regarding the treasure that I mentioned before, each Baltic werewolf has a secret stash where it hords treasure. He shares this with people he loves or those in need who he is moved to help. I’ll post more if I can remember anything else or find additional information. Beth, do you have any of your writing anywhere online that we can read?

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