|By Clyde Lewis
Speak of the Werewolf and you are told that it is a mythical creature. Others will tell you about lycanthropy and how people would have the appearance of wolves. Shape shifting has also been recorded anciently, where a man wears the skin of a creature and becomes that creature. What is a werewolf and how does one become one? Have there been werewolves in our midst? The answer is surprising.
It has been observed that perhaps the inhabitants of hell far exceed those who reside in heaven. When the moon is full, it is written that the inhabitants of these netherworlds journey to earth looking for prey. While animal, vegetable, and mineral are pleasing to these profane creatures, it is man who often gets in the way. When the creatures have their first taste of blood, they know what is most desirous of the planet. However it is not just any blood. It is the blood of the young, and only blood that is taken when the target is in fear for it's life.
With the quickness of a cat the monster attacks from the shadows pouncing on it's victim, ripping it's throat out and quenching it's thirst with the severed vein which serves as a fountain of life. The twitching body slowly loses its life force and the creature drops the lifeless body to the ground and moves on to the next unsuspecting victim. The Story of the shape shifter or Werewolf is as old as your bedtime stories.
The wolf disguised as grandma lies in the bed as the young girl with the red hood arrives with wine and bread. It is symbolic of trying to get the evil shape-shifting creature to partake of the sacrament. There is also an element of transubstantiation as the shape shifter eats the Girl and then she returns again in an act of resurrection. So perhaps the werewolf is real? That we merely try to explain it away with science when in reality, it is creature that has been yanked from its domain in hell to prey upon children.
"Even a man who is pure in heart,
And says his prayers by night,
May become a wolf when the wolf bane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright."
Werewolf tales existed during the Inquisition. In 1598 a werewolf was reportedly captured and was forced to drink a tub of water to cleanse it of its possession by Satan. The werewolf died of a distended stomach.
Another werewolf tale was that of Peter Stubb of Cologne. The story goes that Stubb was brutally tortured until he confessed that he transformed himself into a wolf by a magic apron given to him by the devil. The judges couldn't find the apron where Stubb claimed it was hidden and so it was explained that Satan had taken the apron back to hell. Stubb was sentenced to have the flesh pulled off his bones in ten places with red-hot pincers, then to have his legs and arms broken with a wooden axe; finally to be beheaded and burned.
On December 14, 1598, a tailor of Chalons was sentenced to death for having confessed to luring children into his shop, murdering and eating them. It was believed that the man was a werewolf however no one will know for sure. Cover-ups aren't necessarily the product of paranoid conspiracy theorists because the judges ordered the court records burned.
In 1521 at Poligny, three men were induced by torture to say they had made themselves wolves with a magic salve given them by the devil, and in wolf shape they had eaten several children, and enjoyed sexual relations with wild she-wolves. Gilles Garnier was a famous "lycanthrope" caught by the Inquisition, tortured and executed for having devoured children. The charge was not murder or cannibalism, but lycanthropy. Whatever was left of the pagan wolf cults, it seems the Christian church molded the material into the enduring legend of the werewolf.
However medieval Christianity is not the only place where werewolves lurk in the shadows.
Ancient Navajo beliefs speak of the shape shifter and its mannerisms. The skin walker wears the skin of who it wants to be, and literally becomes that person or that creature. The skin walker often wears the skin of the wolf and of course the mentality of that creature takes over the mind of the man, thus making him a Werewolf.
There were many rituals that were said to transform a man into a were wolf. They would draw circles and ingest substances that would put them in a trancelike state. Great fires would be built and opium was smoked then a medicine man would use an incantation:
"Hail, Hail, Hail, great wolf spirit, Hail!
A boon I ask thee, mighty shade.
Within this circle I have made.
Make me a werewolf strong and bold.
The terror alike of young and old.
Grant me a figure tall and spare;
The speed of the elk, the claws of the bear;
The poison of snakes, the wit of the fox;
The stealth of the wolf, the strength of the ox;
The jaws of the tiger, the teeth of the shark;
The eyes of a cat that sees in the dark;
Make me climb like a monkey, scent like a dog;
Swim like a fish, and eat like a hog.
Haste, Haste, Haste, lonely spirit, Haste!
Here, wan and drear, magic spell making,
Findest thou me - shaking, quaking.
Softly fan me as I lie.
And thy mystic touch apply.
Touch apply, and I swear that when I die,
When I die, I will serve thee evermore,
Evermore, in gray wolf land, cold and raw".
The supplicant then kisses the ground three times, and advances toward a fire and then screams:
"Make me a werewolf! Make me a man-eater!
Make me a werewolf! Make me a woman-eater!
Make me a werewolf! Make me a human -eater!
I pine for blood! human blood!
Give it to me! Give it to me tonight!
Great Wolf Spirit! Give it to me, and heart, body, and soul, I am yours!"
It was told that after all was said the trees would begin to rustle, and the wind would moan and out of the sudden darkness there would be a glowing, tall, cylindrical, pillar-like phantom of the Unknown, seven or eight feet in height.
There are others who claim that the column would take on a half man half human form. Gray in color with large eyes. It would then transform into a woman with large ears and a doglike snout. It eventually transforms into a wolf. The wolf then would bite the supplicant.
It would then produce a prolonged howl that sounds as if it is produced from the bowels of the earth, a piercing, harrowing whine, or a low laugh of hellish glee. The supplicant is now a werewolf. He undergoes his first morphing into wolf form the following evening at sunset, reassuming his human shape at dawn This will continue until his death, when he may once morph either from man form or wolf form.
The Spanish story of Manuel Blanco Romasanta is one that talks of a ritual that Romasanta performed before he would attack his victims and eating them and leaving behind their bones. He would strip off his clothes dance in the moonlight and then roll around on the ground three times in order to become a werewolf.
There have been several murderers in the modern age that may have been in fact werewolves. When we look metaphorically at the acts of Jeffery Dahmer and Ed Gein one needs to question if the spirit of the wolf possessed them.
It was said that Gein preserved his mother's skin. He confessed that he often dressed up in it, wore his mother's clothes, and ran outside the farmhouse to dance in the moonlight. He also wore belts of human nipples and would make furniture of human skin.
Dahmer of course was legendary for eating his victims which also is a trait of the man wolf.
Is it madness or possession? What causes a man to kill and eat his victims?
Of course we are forced to consider the moon and how phases may or nay not affect human behavior. During a full moon, more crimes, violence and accidents are reported. Hospital Emergency rooms are said to fill up during a full moon.
A lot of people claim that it is an old wives tale, however the moon affects the tides, and since our blood is made of sea water it stands to reason that perhaps we are affected. Many scientists say that the notion is purely speculation and that there is no proof that this happens. I guess the answer lies in what you think. The again you could always ask a werewolf.
Copyright 1998-2007 Ground Zero Media, Clyde Lewis, and John Hart. All Rights Reserved.