Werewolf Myth, Shape-Shifter Legends
and Vampire Beasts
History of the Werewolf Myth, Shape-Shifter Legends And Art Drawings of Werewolves, and Vampire Beasts . . . Mythical Creatures and Demons
From the time of the Babylonian Exile comes The Jewish Legend of the Vampire Demon Lilith to Native American Indian Shape-shifting Shamans and Legends of Shape-Shifters, Werewolves and Vampires that turn into Bats
Among earliest accounts of werewolves are legends from Romania and Greek sources.. Shape-shifter myths can be found all over the word from among the legends of the Native American Indians to China, India. The legend of the werewolf is one of the best know of the shape-shifter creature mythology. Lycanthropy comes from the Greek lykoi, "wolf" and anthropos, "man." Stories of werewolves can be found as far back as written is known. Loki is the trickster god of the Norse pantheon of gods. Shape shifting shamans and creatures are well know in Native American lore. There are Vampire legends of the undead who can turn into wolves and/or bats. And from the legends of the Jews come the vampire myth of the demoness Lilith who at one time human turned into the vampire demon Lilith.
Listing of Were-Creatures / Shape-Shifters from around the world:
Africa: the Bouda, the hyena-men of Africa. Also legends oft he ilimu a man-eating shapeshifter that starts out as an animal, but can shift into the form of a man.
American Indians: limikkin or skin walkers. And, Thunderbirds huge birdlike creatures described in the lore of several Native American tribes; some thunderbirds turn into human beings. The Native American Indians of the northern United States and Canada have legends about a mythical being called the windigo, wendigo or witiku (often called by many other names as well). This creature was thought to be a human who had become a cannibal. Cannibalism then turned this human into a monster in more ways than one. This person would transform into a big hairy monster in order to eat even more people. This monster looked something like Bigfoot
Argentina: A fox-like werewolf lobizón or lobisón as well as were-jaguars know as runa-uturungu, also spelled runa-uturuncu. Also the Yaguaret are were-jaguars from Argentina
Asia: Nagas are snake-people of Asian countries, especially India & Nepal. They may appear either as transforming between human and snake, or as a cross between the two (such as the upper torso being human and the lower torso being serpentine); some Nagas have also be known to assume the form of dragons according to legend
Brazil: lobisomem. The boto, a river dolphin that transforms into a boy, and a uirapuru - a small brown bird that transforms into a boy. And, also the encantados who according to stories from Brazil are "the enchanted ones," creatures from an underwater realm, usually dolphins with the ability to change into humans
Canada: bearwalkers. (see also American Indian lisitng)
Chili: The chonchon shapeshifter is a witch that transforms into a vulture.
China: Lang Ren
Ethiopia, Morocco and Tanzania: The boudas is a sorcerer/blacksmith that changes into a werehyena. This creature often wears an ornament during its human form by which it can be recognized.
France: loup-garou. The Beast of Gevaudan in France is one of the most famous documented case of lycanthropy. Also from this region of the world source of stories of the bisclavret which is a werewolf that cannot return to human form unless it can put its clothing back on.
Greece: Zeus the head of the Greek pantheon routinely transformed into various animal forms and coupled with human women to beget half-god mortals. Proteus a Greek sea god capable of changing his form to avoid being captured. Also, vrykolaka a catchall word for werewolf, vampire or sorcerer. The word lycanthropy, from the ancient werewolf-king Lycaeon, originated here.
Publius Ovidius Naso or Ovid was born on March 20, 43 B.C. He was a poet one of his biggest contributions to history was his classical Greek book, Metamorphoses wrteen on the subject of the transformations of mostly humans and nymphs into animals, plants, etc. The famous legenday Greek Myth of the story of King Lycaeon is found in the Metamorphoses. In this Greek legend King Lycaeon not believing his visiting guests to be true gods decided to test them. So, giving a feast in their honor he had human flesh added as an ingrediant to one of the recipes in one of the many dishes served. As punishment he visiting gods changed King Lycaeon into a werewolf; judging that since he obviously liked to eat human flesh, the wolf form would be a more acceptable for such a diet than Cannibalism.
Haiti: loup-garou can change into anything plant or animal.
Iceland: Old Icelandic literature is the source of stories of the hamrammr a werecreature that shifts into the form of the animal it has most recently eaten. Its strength increases with each animal that it consumes. The current (and more correct) word for werewolf is varulfur.
India: rakshasa or raghosh is a shifter who can change into any animal it wants and is characterized by its large size and color of hair (red or blond).
Indonesia (Bali): layak is a spirit that shape-shifts into humans, animals or objects. This creature brings with it mishaps, illnesses or even death.
Ireland & Scotland: The Selkie are the Seal-maidens of Irish/Scottish myth. Selkies are seals that take off their skins to become human. Legend has it that the dark-haired Celts may have their geneology explained via the mermaid selkies. Selkies are helpful water creatures who watch over fishermen.
Italy: lupo mannero or licantropo the Italian werewolf. The "Benandanti' are werewolves that leave their physical bodies behind to become wolves in order to go to the underworld to fight witches. In this myth one may recognise a source of today's popular UnderWorld Movies.
Japan: The most popular were creatures in Japanese folklore is the kitsune (fox) and the tanuki or mijina (raccoon dog or badger). The kitsune is usually female, and the tanuki, male. Collectively, shapeshifters are called henge. Werefox myths abound from other countries such as China, Korea, Vietnam, and even the United States, but "kitsune" refers specifically to the Japanese variety
Kenya, Africa: the Bouda, the hyena-men of Africa. Also legends oft he ilimu a man-eating shapeshifter that starts out as an animal, but can shift into the form of a man.
Latvia: vilkacis, meaning "wolf eyes" or "werewolf," is a shapeshifter that is usually evil, but occasionally offers treasures.
Lithuania: vilkatas is the Lithuanian version of the werewolf.
Mexico: In Mexican lore, the Nahuales are shamans that have shapeshifting abilities, usually turning into coyotes, wolves or jaguars
Native Americans: Many different types of "skin walkers such as the Navajo Indians' skinwalkers, the Mai-Coh and the. Mohawk Indians limikkin.
Normandy, France: lubins or lupins look like wolves, but can speak and are very shy.
Norway and Sweden: eigi einhamir (not of one skin) has the ability to change into a wolf by wearing a wolfskin.
Panama: Tula Vieja has been and continues to be sighted in Panama on a regular basis. The creature takes the form of a very, very old woman or witch (bruja) with a crow's foot for a right hand. This child-eating shifter haunts all places dark and dismal, waiting to take anyone back to Hell with her that she can get her claw/hand on.
Persia: The Persians have a creature similar to the Indian rakshasa that pretends to be a harmless animal. It often attacks travelers.
Philippines: The aswang is a vampire-werewolf who transforms from a human to a canine form at night, and eats human flesh. The aswang also manifests itself as a decaying corpse that has been severed at the waist (in other words...it has nothing from the waist down)... with batwings. They are very closely related to the Berbalang ghouls of legend.
Portugal: The bruxsa or cucubuth is a vampire-werewolf that consumes both flesh and blood. The lobh omen would be your everyday werewolf.
Romania: Zmei are Romanian mythological creatures, similar to Ogres
Russia: The wawkalak is a werewolf who has been transformed as a punishment of the Devil. Not considered frightening by friends and neighbors.
Russia, Central: The bodark is a Russian name for the werewolf.
Scandinavia: The varulv much prefers beer to human flesh. Scandinavia is also home to the berserker (bearskin). There is also the ulfheobar (wolfskin), which is usually lumped in with berserker.
Serbia: The wurdalak is a werewolf that died and became a vampire.
Slovakia: The vlkodlak is transformed into a werewolf by the sorcery of another. It usually shies away from people.
South America: Kanima, a jaguar-shaped spirit that seeks and kills murderers.
Spain: The Spanish werewolf, the lob hombre, prefers pretty gemstones to human flesh.
United States: Native Americans have many types of "skin walkers."
Copyright: © 2003-2012 Janice Moore - SeekerWorld.Com Fiction & Non-Fiction. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Purported Werewolf Sightings in History
||Earliest human altars, including evidence of prehistoric bear-cult.
||Domestication of dog
||Catal Huyuk cave-drawings depict leopard men hunting
||Epic of Gilamesh written down (first literary evidence of werewolves)
||Odyssey written down (includes many traces of werewolf beliefs)
||Scythians recorded as believing the Neuri to be werewolves
||Damarchus, Arcadian werewolf, said to have won boxing medal at Olympics
|100 - 75 BC
||Virgil's eighth ecologue (first voluntary transformation of werewolf)
||Apuleius, Metamorphosis composed
||Pausanias visits Arcadia and hears of Lykanian werewolf rites
||St. Patrick arrives in Ireland
||Saint Albeus (Irish) said to have been suckled by wolves
||Wolves said to have attacked heretical monks
||Paulus Aegineta describes "melancholic lycanthropia"
||Hrafnsmal mentions "wolf coats" among the Norwegian Army, Canon Episcopi condems the belief in reality of witches as heretical
||First use of the word "werewulf" recorded in English
||Death of Prince Vseslav of Polock, alleged Ukrainian werewolf
|1182 - 1183
||Giraldus claims to have discovered Irish werewolf couple
|1194 - 1197
||Guillaume de Palerne composed
||Marie de France composes Bisclavret
||Lai de Melion composed
|1275 - 1300
||Volsungasaga, Germanic werewolf saga, written down
||Wolf child of Hesse discovered
|1347 - 1351
||First major outbreak of the Black Death
||Werewolves mentioned during witchcraft trial at Basel
||Else of Meerburg accused of riding a wolf
||Malleus Maleficarum published
||Swiss woman tried for riding a wolf
||Woman tried for riding a wolf at Lucerne
||Werewolves of Poligny burnt
||Paduan werewolf dies after having arms and legs cut off
||Witekind interviews self-confessed werewolf at Riga, Johann Weyer takes up post of doctor at Cleve
||Modern French version of Guillaume published at Lyon
||Olaus Magnus records strange behavior of Baltic werewolves
||First publication of Della Porta, Magiae naturalis
||First publication of Weyer, De praestigus daemonum
||St. Bartholomew's Day of Massacre, intensification of French civil war
||Gilles Garnier burnt as werewolf
||Trials of the benandanti begin in the Friuili (and will continue for a century)
||Rebellion at Romans with cannibalistic overtones
||Reginald Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft published
||Alleged date of Auvergne female werewolf (Bouget)
||Peter Stubb executed as werewolf at Cologne
||Roulet tried as werewolf, his sentence commuted "Werewolf of Chalons" executed at Paris,Gandillon family burnt as werewolves in the Jura
||2nd edition of Bouget, Discours des sorciers
||Jean Grenier tried as werewolf and is sentenced to life imprisonment
||Two women condemned as werewolves at Liege, Jean Grenier dies
||Webster's Duchess of Malfi published
||Famine in Franche-Comte: cannibalism reported
||Cromwellian law forbids export of Irish wolfhounds
||The Livonian werewolf Theiss interrogated
||Perrault's Contes includes "Little Red Riding Hood"
||De Tournefort sees vampire exhumation
||Bete de Gevaudon starts werewolf scare in Auvergne
|1796 - 1799
||Widespread fear of wolves reported in France
||Victor of Aveyron first seen
||Grimm Brothers publish their version of "Little Red Riding Hood"
||Antoine Leger tried for werewolf crimes and sentenced to lunatic asylum
||Death of Victor of Averyon
||Souix warriors reported hunting in wolfskins
||Accusation of being "wolf leader" ends in court in St. Gervais, G. W. M. Reynolds, Wagner the Wehr-Wolf published
||Folklorist collects werewolf tale in Picardy
||Johann Weyer's book reprinted at Paris
||Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde published
||Freud lists Weyer's book as among ten most significant ever published
||The Werewolf (film) using real wolf in transformation scene
||Freud publishes "wolf man" paper
||Kamala and Amala - the Orissa wolf children - discovered, Right-wing terror group "Operation Werewolf" established in Germany
||Jekyll & Hyde (film) starring Frederic March
||Werewolf of London (film)
||Wolf Man (film) starring Lon Chaney Jr.
|1943 - 1944
||Childhood autism first described, LSD discovered
||House of Frankenstein (film) includes mention of silver bullet
||Outbreak of ergotism at Pont-Saint-Esprit
||Ogburn & Bose, On the trail of the Wolf-Children published
||I Was a Teenage Werewolf (film)
||Shamdeo discovered living among wolves in India
||Surawicz & Banta publish first two modern cases of lycanthopy
||"An American Werewolf in London" (film) includes first four-footed werewolf
||"Death of Shamdeo" "Teen Wolf" (film)
||Monsieur X arrested, "McLean Hospital" survey published
||"Werewolf rapist" jailed, McLean Case 8 full report published
||"The Wolfman" escapes from Broadmoor