Werewolves and Silver, Part Two
So we know that the tradition goes back at least a couple’a-three centuries. Folklore from Germany and England in the1800s tells of werewolves felled by silver. A story from the Brothers Grimm involves a witch being killed by a silver bullet. But what’s the origin of this belief, that silver is a “holy” metal, useful in battling evil and killing monsters? Is it because of a supposed connection between silver and the moon? In ancient times, there were only seven known metals—tin, gold, silver, copper, iron, mercury, and lead—and these were seen as being connected to heavenly bodies. There were also only seven of the latter, and silver was seen as being connected to the moon. Monday was also the day of the week linked to silver, and comes from the Latin “dies lunae” or “day of the moon” and has been known since Roman times as a day with connections to anxiety, fear, and madness. This link betwixt madness and the moon survives in our modern terms such as “lunacy” and “lunatic.”
Silver supposedly has antiseptic properties as well as magical properties. Silver is the best known conductor for electricity and heat and is the best reflector of light (hence its popularity in use as a mirror). Mining of silver dates back to 3000 BC in Greece and Turkey. Silver is produced when a star goes supernova.
So silver is cool and has quite a pedigree. But where and when did it become to go-to for killing werewolves? We must keep looking.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!