Lycanthropy is the ability or power
of a human being to undergo transformation
into a wolf, or wolf-like characteristics.
The word lycanthropy is sometimes
used generically for any transformation
of a human into animal form, though
the precise term for that is technically
"zoanthropy" is used instead
of "therianthropy" (Guiley,
192). Guiley, R.E. (2005). The Encyclopedia
of Vampires, Werewolves & Other
Monsters. New York: Facts on File.
word has also been linked 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
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.
Wolf Man (1941)
Synopsis: Upon the death of his
brother, Larry Talbot returns
from America to his ancestral
home in Wales. He visits a gypsy
camp with village girl Jenny Williams,
who is attacked by Bela, a gypsy
who has turned into a werewolf.
Larry kills the werewolf but is
bitten during the fight. Bela's
mother tells him that this will
cause him to become a werewolf
at each full moon. Larry confesses
his plight to his unbelieving
father, Sir John, who then joins
the villagers in a hunt for the
wolf. Larry, transformed by the
full moon, heads for the forest
and a fateful meeting with both
Sir John and Gwen.
North and Central America, and to
some extent in West Africa, Australia
and other parts of the world, every
male acquires at puberty a tutelary
spirit (see Demonology); in some
Native American tribes the youth
kills the animal of which he dreams
in his initiation fast; its claw,
skin or feathers are put into a
little bag and become his "medicine"
and must be carefully retained,
for a "medicine" once
lost can never be replaced. In West
Africa this relation is said to
be entered into by means of the
blood bond, and it is so close that
the death of the animal causes the
man to die and vice versa. Elsewhere
the possession of a tutelary spirit
in animal form is the privilege
of the magician. In Alaska the candidate
for magical powers has to leave
the abodes of men; the chief of
the gods sends an otter to meet
him, which he kills by saying "O"
four times; he then cuts out its
tongue and thereby secures the powers
which he seeks.
Malays believe that the office of
pawang (priest) is only hereditary
if the soul of the dead priest,
in the form of a tiger, passes into
the body of his son. While the familiar
is often regarded as the alternative
form of the magician, the nagual
or bush-soul is commonly regarded
as wholly distinct from the human
being. Transitional beliefs, however,
are found, especially in Africa,
in which the power of transformation
is attributed to the whole of the
population of certain areas. The
people of Banana are said to change
themselves by magical means, composed
of human embryos and other ingredients,
but in their leopard form they may
do no hurt to mankind under pain
of retaining forever the beast shape.
In other cases the change is supposed
to be made for the purposes of evil
magic and human victims are not
further link is supplied by the
Zulu belief that the magician's
familiar is really a transformed
human being; when he finds a dead
body on which he can work his spells
without fear of discovery, the wizard
breathes a sort of life into it,
which enables it to move and speak,
it being thought that some dead
wizard has taken possession of it.
He then burns a hole in the head
and through the aperture extracts
the tongue. Further spells have
the effect of changing the revivified
body into the form of some animal,
hyena, owl or wild cat, the latter
being most in favour. This creature
then becomes the wizard's servant
and obeys him in all things; its
chief use is, however, to inflict
sickness and death upon persons
who are disliked by its master.
here now for more on the beast of
the full moon
... ALSO SEE:
WHO’S THAT HOWLING OUT IN
THOSE WOODS? “CHERE! AIN’T
NAUGHT BUT DE LOUP GAROU!!”
Vampires & Werewolves: Are They
Mostly Ghostly or Really Rather
the term lycanthropy properly speaking
refers to metamorphosis into a wolf
(see werewolf), lycanthropy is in
popular practice used of transformation
into any animal, even though the
proper term is therianthropy. In
India and the Asian islands the
tiger is the most common form; in
North Europe, the bear (see berserker);
in Japan, the fox, tanuki (raccoon
dog), and sometimes a wolf; in Africa,
the leopard, hyena, or lion; and
in South America, the jaguar. Though
there is a tendency for the most
important carnivorous animal of
the area to take the first place
in stories and beliefs as to transformation,
the less important beasts of prey
and even harmless animals like the
deer or rabbit also figure prominently
among the were-animals. Other cases
are the were-shark of Polynesia
and were-crocodile of Indonesia
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.
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.
Cajuns of Louisiana also believed
in a similar creature with the variant
name of Rougarou.
folklore from Wisconsin describe
a werewolf or man-wolf creature
called the Beast of Bray Road.
ON THE INTERNET
to Become a Werewolf
You need not suffer from lycanthropy,
the mental disease of werewolves,
to become a wolfman. Below are some
shortcuts to becoming a wolf. Steps:
1. Sleep on the ground in an open
field on a Friday night when the
moon is full. Many Europeans who
lived several centuries ago approved
of this method.
2. Drink water from a wolf's footprint.
Two hundred years ago, Balkan natives
thought this act would surely help
you grow hair and fangs.
The Myths & The Truths
An informative site exploring truths
and myths around the werewolf legend
from scientific point of view.
In real werewolves a physical change
to wolf form does occur. The change
can be voluntary (at will), or can
be forced by certain cycles of the
moon and ...
Includes links to individual pages
and an artist section.
Legends from Germany
If real wolves were feared in earlier
times, werewolves were feared all
the more. A real wolf could be shot
dead or lured into a so-called wolf
WEREWOLVES. Introduction to Lycanthrophobia
· Filmography · Bibliography
· Monsters Frontpage.
Encyclopedia article on werewolves,
including sections on history, science,
fiction and film.
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Werewolves are sometimes held to
become vampires after death. ...
Many European countries and cultures
have stories of werewolves, including
Although most people know werewolves
as simply creatures of nightmares
and horror ... During the medieval
times, the fear of werewolves took
grip of Europe. ...
Monstrous is your first source about
vampires, werewolves and other blood-sucking
... In this context, lycanthropy
would appear to include only werewolves.
162 × 126 mm
Source Gotha, Herzogliches Museum
Date um 1512
Author Lucas Cranach der Ältere