According to the legends of various peoples, a werewolf is a person who takes the shape and properties of the wolf to taste human flesh and blood. It can be transformed equally easily from man to wolf and vice versa.In mythology, a werewolf is the transformation of the human form into an animal, under the influence of the moon. In folklore and superstition, the transformed into a wolf man maintains full human intelligence.
Myths About Werewolves
In Portugal, the myth speaks of 2 species of werewolf. One species when a transformed wolf is screaming wildly, but in fact it is unpopular, peaceful, does not hurt and resembles a wounded animal. The other is bad, blood-thirsty and this is even seen in its eyes when it is in human form. The “Russian werewolf” is called wawkalak or bodark. A person becomes a werewolf through old shamanistic rituals and mystical dances so that the soul can be captured by the spirit of the wolf. A man expresses his desire to become a werewolf by nailing a bronze knife on a tree.In Germany and Scandinavia, the legend says a man can become a wolf wearing the wolf’s skin, or a wolf skin belt. And in general, a man takes the form of the animal whose skin he uses. In Germany, the werewolves can only be killed by a silver gun using silver bullets.
One of the earliest written testimonies of a werewolf comes from Herodotus in 440 BC, which describes a tribe of people in Scythia, who every year was transformed into wolves. About 500 years later, Ovidius is referring to the story of King Lycaon. According to this, when Zeus decided to visit the king he did not believe for a moment that his visitor was the god and decided to feed him human beings. If he were a god he could understand the fraud.God pushed away from the dish with disgust and either killed the king and his sons with his thunderbolt or transformed them into wolves.
Beyond mythology, there are recorded cases of people who were characterized by werewolves from their social background. Petrus Gonsalvus, born in 1537, suffered from a hormonal disorder that covered his entire body with hairs, making him look like a werewolf! He was, of course, a peaceful and good citizen, and that secured his much-needed social acceptance, though most of them were watching him with suspicion. Gonsalvus became a member of the court of the French King and later joined the circles of Margarita of Parma, a lady of aristocratic origin who was acting as a regent of the Netherlands. Despite his tranquil life, his representations were widely circulated in museums with “freaks” and curiosities of Europe, as most were convinced that he was a good werewolf!
Contemporary of Gonsalvus, Gilles Garnier also spent much of his life in France. “It was what we would call a serial killer today. Also known as the “Hermit of St. Bonnot “, he killed children near his home, with a preference for the ages of 9-12. In his trial, he claimed that a spirit offered him a magic filter that transformed him into a werewolf! Garnier confessed four murders and was sentenced not only for lustration but also for magic. He burned alive on January 18, 1573.
18 Year Old Hans
Close to the eastern border of the Holy Roman Empire were the territories of Estonia. There, of course, was the 18-year-old Hans. Tooth marks at Hans’s feet, clear signs of a dog bite, were considered sufficient evidence of his lizards, as it proved that he was biting a werewolf colleague. The court managed to persuade him to confess that a “black man”, Satan himself, had transformed him into a werewolf, and he filled him with innocent blood for two whole years. In 1691, his trial, which was a real parody, ended with his condemnation of death.
Manuel Blanco Romasanta
Even at the beginning of the 19th century the accusations of murderers that were essentially werewolves did not cease. Such was the case of serial killer Manuel Blanco Romasanta (November 18, 1809 – December 14, 1863), who was depicted in the collective unconscious as a werewolf. At the same time, he was the first recorded Spanish to be killed, as he confessed 13 murders, and was sentenced to strangulation, although his sentence was never executed. The story of his life was also strange as his parents grew him up as a little girl until a doctor explained to them that … Manuel is a boy! As for the causes of his death, as the prison records were destroyed, the most popular theory wants a prisoner to shoot him dead when he believed he was ready to be transformed into a werewolf.
Until now, it has been shown that, during history, werewolves have been classified as either serial killers or people who had some random traits that collided with the superstitions of the time.
But there is also the disease called “Werewolf Syndrome”.
It is scientifically called congenital hirsutism syndrome (CHL),(CHL), and is an extremely rare condition as it affects a person at 340 million, while from the Middle Ages there are 50 confirmed cases. People suffering from the syndrome exhibit particularly intense hair growth in abnormal physiological points.From the psychiatric side, cases of schizophrenia and psychomotor epilepsy have been reported. The exact definition is Clinical Lycanthropy, in which the patient has the illusion that he is transformed into a wild animal! It is considered a rare condition and essentially ominous for the clinical depression that occurs.