Vironsusi: The Werewolves of Finland
Every country and every region around the world seems to have its own werewolf legends it seems. And Finland is no different. The fact that the Finnish people know their werewolves by the name of “Vironsusi” is odd, seeing as how this translates into “Estonian wolf.” But then again, Estonia does lie just to the south of Finland and at times Estonia is called “Viro” in Finland. Mix in the fact that Estonia is highly known for its werewolf legends, and the name makes sense after all.
In Finland it’s believed that a person transforms into a werewolf involuntarily and that they are changed by unknowingly doing something to make them do so. In some Finnish cases, it’s believed that a witch can place a curse on someone that will turn them into a vironsusi. Once changed, the werewolf is then forced to hide around houses and in the town until they see someone that they know. Should the person recognize the person in their vironsusi form, it is possible for this person to break the curse and allow the werewolf to be changed back into a man once again, for good. Until that time, the werewolf would be forced to eat the cattle in the area, but they would rarely feast on humans.
After being recognized, the person could call the werewolf by their Christian name, or offer them some bread. This was thought to break the curse of being a vironsusi. It was still thought however that at times, the person would still be cursed to live with their werewolf tail for the rest of their lives, even after being changed back to a man. It’s even thought that in some places of Finland today, houses are still equipped with benches known as “sauna benches.” These benches are for sitting but have holes cut out in them for the tail to rest while the man-turned-from-beast took a load off.
Who knows if these benches still exist today but if they do and you know of them, please let us know!