A werewolf (also lycanthrope In folklore,
lycanthropy is the ability or power of a human being to undergo transformation
into a wolf. or wolfman) in folklore is a person who shapeshifts into
a wolf or wolflike creature, either purposely evil, by using magic,
or after being placed under a curse. The medieval chronicler Gervase
of Tilbury associated the transformation with the appearance of the
full moon, but this concept was rarely associated with the werewolf
until the idea was picked up by fiction writers. In popular culture,
a werewolf can be killed if shot by a silver bullet, although this was
not a feature of the folk legends. In Europe Werewolf stories are often
told in hushed tones.
Though often stories in the America's
tell of strange moon light transfprmations of man into beast These tales
are few and far in between.
there real WEREWOLVES IN WISCONSIN! Wisconsin
seems to have a unusal number of werewolf sightings. THE
BRAY ROAD BEAST
Did A Werewolf Stalk the Back Roads of Southeastern Wisconsin?
© Copyright 2002 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.
The Beast of Bray Road (or the Bray Road
Beast) is an unknown creature first reported in the 1980s on a rural
road outside of Elkhorn, Wisconsin. The same label has been applied
well beyond the initial location, to any unknown creature from southern
Wisconsin or northern Illinois that is described as having similar characteristics
to those reported in the initial set of sightings. irst reported: 1936
(sighted later in the 1980s) Last sighted: early 90s (but there was
one in Hebron, north of Whitewater, Wisconsin, in February 2002.) United
States Region: Elkhorn, Wisconsin Status: Local legend The Beast of
Bray Road is described by witnesses in several ways A hairy biped resembling
Bigfoot, An unusually large and intelligent wolf apt to walk on its
hind legs. Different hybrid forms between the two aforementioned.
Although the Beast of Bray Road has not been seen to transform
from a human into a wolf in most of the sightings, it has been labeled
a werewolf in newspaper, web sites and assorted articles. Also:
Vampires & Werewolves: Are They Mostly Ghostly or Really Rather
An American Werewolf in London is a comedy/horror
film released in 1981, written and directed by John Landis. It stars
David Naughton, Griffin Dunne and Jenny Agutter. This movie won the
1981 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film. The film was one of three high-profile
werewolf films released in 1981, alongside The Howling and Wolfen. Over
the years, the film has accumulated a cult following and has been referred
to as a cult classic by some fans. The film was followed by a 1997 sequel,
An American Werewolf in Paris.
In America Today The Werewolf tradition
is also alive with the Louisian Bayou Cajun tales of the Loupe Garou.
Staff Writer for Haunted America Tours,
Paul Dale Roberts in his article A Case of Lycanthropy Refers to thos
What is Lycanthropy you may ask? According
to The American Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 134, No. 10. published in
October 1977 it states:
"Lycanthropy, a psychosis in which the patient has
delusions of being a wild animal (usually a wolf), has been recorded
since antiquity. The Book of Daniel describes King Nebuchadnezzar as
suffering from depression that deteriorated over a seven-year period
into a frank psychosis at which time he imagined himself a wolf. Among
the first medical descriptions were those of Paulus Aegineta during
the later days of the Roman Empire. In his description of the symptom
complex, Aegineta made reference to Greek mythology in which Zeus turned
King Lycaon of Arcadia into a raging wolf. Read
More here: Lycanthropy
The Michigan Dog Man - Mystery animal caught on film
- The Gable Film
The first stills that show the creature clearly indicate a canine-headed
animal moving through knee-high undergrowth. It has pointed ears on
top of its head and shoulders, which ordinary dogs (or bears or other
quadrupeds) do not have. It turns and moves to one side, charging through
the brush in a way that would be very difficult for a human to do."
- Nick Redfern
Folk-etymology also links the word to
Lycaon, a king of Arcadia who, according to Ovid's Metamorphoses, was
turned into a ravenous wolf in retribution for attempting to serve human
flesh (his own son) to visiting Zeus in an attempt to disprove the god's
There is also a mental illness called
lycanthropy in which a patient believes he or she is, or has transformed
into, an animal and behaves accordingly. This is sometimes referred
to as clinical lycanthropy to distinguish it from its use in legends.
Much of the time, lycanthropy is not
given any specific explanation in legends, other than being generally
attributed to magic, which may be voluntary (a preternatural power)
or involuntary (a curse). The wolf is the most common form of the were-animal,
though in the north the bear disputes its pre-eminence. In ancient Greece
the dog was also associated with the belief. The were-boar variant is
known through Greece and Turkey. Marcellus of Sida, who wrote under
the Antonines, gives an account of a disease which befell people in
February; but a pathological state seems to be meant.
Romanian folklore actually has multiple variations on
the lycanthropy theme. The vârcolac is often - though not exclusively
- seen as a werewolf though it can refer also to (usually wolf-like)
demons, vampires, goblins or ghosts as well; the pricolici is more universally
wolf-like, and much like the strigoi is said to be a formerly human
member of the undead, having risen from the grave to wreak havoc on
the living. Additionally, both the terms strigoi and moroi are traditionally
closely associated with both pricolici and vârcolaci, and while
modern fiction makes a clear distinction between the terms (with strigoi
and moroi being in usage more a reference to the vampiric than the lycanthropic,
and the latter in turn referring more to "living" as opposed
to undead vampires), older folklore leaves them not always so easily
differentiated, especially with regional variants.
Even if the denotation of lycanthropy
is limited to the wolf-metamorphosis of living human beings, the beliefs
classed together under this head are far from uniform, and the term
is somewhat capriciously applied. The transformation may be temporary
or permanent; the were-animal may be the man himself metamorphosed,
it may be his double whose activity leaves the real man to all appearance
unchanged, it may be his soul, which goes forth seeking whom it may
devour and leaving its body in a state of trance; or it may be no more
than the messenger of the human being, a real animal or a familiar spirit,
whose intimate connection with its owner is shown by the fact that any
injury to it is believed, by a phenomenon known as repercussion, to
cause a corresponding injury to the human being.
Lycanthropy is often confused with transmigration;
but the essential feature of the were-animal is that it is the alternative
form or the double of a living human being, while the soul-animal is
the vehicle, temporary or permanent, of the spirit of a dead human being.
Nevertheless, instances in legend of humans reincarnated as wolves are
often classed with lycanthropy, as well as these instances being labeled
werewolves in local folklore.
There is no line of demarcation, and
this makes it probable that lycanthropy is connected with nagualism
and the belief in familiar spirits, rather than with metempsychosis,
as E. B. Tylor argued, or with totemism, as suggested by J. F. M'Lennan.
Thus, these origins for lycanthropy mingle a belief in reincarnation,
a belief in the sharing of souls between living humans and beasts and
a belief in human ghosts appearing as non-human animals after death.
A characteristic of metempsychosis is a blurring of the boundaries between
the intangible and the corporeal, so that souls are often conceived
of as solid, visible forms that need to eat and can do physical harm.
Many Native cultures feature skin-walkers
or a similar concept, wherein a shaman or warrior may, according to
cultural tradition, take on an animal form. Animal forms vary accordingly
with cultures and local species (including bears and wolves), for example,
a coyote is more likely to be found as a skinwalker's alternate form
in the Great Plains region. Skinwalkers tend to be totemic.
In modern folklore and fiction the Wendigo
found in the stories of many Algonquian peoples is sometimes considered
to be similar to lycanthropes, in that humans could transform into them.
The original legends varied significantly, however, and the fit may
not be very close.
The Cajuns of Louisiana also believed
in a similar creature with the variant name of Rougarou.
Modern folklore from Wisconsin describe
a werewolf or man-wolf creature called the Beast of Bray Road.
The Rougarou (alternately spelled as
Roux-Ga-Roux, Rugaroo, or Rugaru), is a legendary creature in Laurentian
French communities linked to European notions of the werewolf.
Rougarou represents a variant pronunciation and spelling of the original
French loup-garou. According to Barry Jean Ancelet, an academic expert
on Cajun folklore and professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette,
the tale of the rougarou is a common legend across French Louisiana.
Both words are used interchangeably in southern Louisiana. Some people
call the monster rougarou; others refer to it as the loup garou.
The rougarou legend has been spread for many generations,
either directly from French settlers to Louisiana (New France) or via
the French Canadian immigrants centuries ago.
In the Cajun legend, the creature is said to prowl the
swamps around Acadiana and Greater New Orleans, and possibly the fields
or forests of the regions. The rougarou most often is noted as a creature
with a human body and the head of a wolf or dog, similar to the werewolf
Often the story-telling was used for fear. One example
is stories were told by elders to persuade Cajun children to behave.
Another example relates that the wolf-like beast will hunt down and
kill Catholics who do not follow the rules of Lent. This coincides with
the French Catholic loup garou stories, where the method for turning
into a werewolf was to break Lent seven years in a row.
A common blood sucking legend speculated that the rougarou
was under the spell for 101 days. After that time, the curse was transferred
from person to person when the rougarou drew another human’s blood.
During the day the creature returned to human form. Although acting
sickly, the human refrained to tell others of the situation for fear
of being kille
Other stories range from the rougarou as a headless horseman
to the rougarou derived from witchcraft. In the latter claim, only a
witch could make a rougarou - either by turning themselves into wolves
or cursing others with lycanthropy.
Native American folklore
The creature, spelled as a Rugaru, has been associated with Native American
legends with some dispute. The folklore stories vary from mild bigfoot
(sasquatch) creatures to cannibal-like Native American wendigos. Neither
connections are confirmed.
As with legends passed by oral tradition, stories often
contradict one another. The stories of the wendigo vary by tribe and
region, but the most common cause of the change is typically related
A modified example, not in the original wendigo legends,
is that of a motif of harmful sensation story -- if a person saw a rugaru,
that person would be transformed into one. Thereafter, the unfortunate
victim would be doomed to wander in the form of this monster. That rugaru
story bears some resemblance to a Native American version of the wendigo
legend related in a short story by Algernon Blackwood. In Blackwood's
fictional adaptation of the legend, seeing a wendigo caused one to turn
into a wendigo.
It is important to note that rugaru is not a native Ojibwa
word, nor is it derived from the languages of neighboring Native American
peoples. However, it has a striking similarity to the French word for
werewolf, loup garou.
It's possible the Turtle Mountain Ojibwa or Chippewa in
North Dakota picked up the French name for "hairy human-like being"
from the influence of French Canadian trappers and missionaries with
whom they had extensive dealings. Somehow that term also had been referenced
to their neighbors' stories of bigfoot.
Author Peter Matthiessen determined that rugaru is a separate
legend from that of the cannibal-like giant wendigo. While the wendigo
was feared, he noted that the rugaru was seen as sacred and in tune
with Mother Earth, in the same character of the bigfoot legends of today.
Though identified with bigfoot, there is little evidence
in the indigenous folklore for it being the same or a similar creature.
There are many real werwolves in these haunted states
of America that believe they too are of the lycan blood line. stories
surface of people that change physcally or emotionally to allow the
best in them to emerge. Some still walk among us hiding their own wolfish
secreats. others locked away in mental hospitals and prisons for their
lupine crimes. In the southern part of Mississippi the story of a young
man that would only eat raw meat at times and and hunted naked in the
woods each night for live prey. Or the story of a young teenaged girl
said to be cursed by the wolves blood she once drank.