Guest Author: Heather McCready
Werewolves are the monsters of the forest and our own subconscious. Are they real or just fantasy? Does the full moon really have a prolonged effect on our minds? Werewolves or lycanthropy can be examined by either scientific observation or supernatural observations. These questions and more have been on mankind’s mind for the past five centuries.
Debates and contradictions still rage strongly on this controversial topic on both sides of the coin. The problem is that there is such a diverse and complex matter of opinion. Discussions will still be raised and will continue till a plausible theory will solve the mysterious puzzle.
Werewolves are still alive and well today but they mostly seen in art and literature and of course legend. Let’s take a closer look at what the actual term werewolf means.
The term werewolf is derived from two old –saxon words, wer (meaning man) and wolf. The Greek term lycanthropy simply refers to the transformation process itself. Lycanthrope, which is a term that is synonymous to werewolf, is the affected person.
In Europe, the Middle Ages was an era that was bathed in superstition and ignorance. Towns were much smaller than they are in today’s world. That meant more and more people lived near wooded areas. This of course made the fear of wolves in general like a nightmare. It is said that almost every morning people would find half-eaten human limbs on their fields.
The first well documented werewolf case took place around the countryside of the German town of Bedburg in the year 1591. Some of the town’s people cornered a large wolf and set their dogs on it. They pierced it with spears and sharp sticks. The wolf in turn did not cower to protect itself. Instead it stood up and it turned out to be a middle aged man. His name was Peter Stubbe and he was from the same village.
He was captured and tortured. While he was on the torture wheel he confessed that he committed sixteen murders. That included two pregnant women and thirteen children.
He had told the story of his past that led to his downfall. He stated that when he was twelve years of age he began to practice sorcery and he became obsessed with it. He even tried to form a pact with the devil. After several months he would take the form of a wolf. When he was in wolf form he would tear up his victim’s throats and suck the warm blood that flowed through their veins. As his thirst for blood grew ever stronger he roamed around fields for his prey.
He used to chase young girls when they were outside playing. He would catch the slowest of the girls, rape and kill her. He would then drink her hot blood and eat the tender flesh from her body.
The most gruesome of his acts was the murder of his own son. He took him to a forest, cracked the young child’s head open and ate the brain from the skull.
There wasn’t a punishment severe enough to fit Stubbe’s crimes. The people decided to pull off his flesh with a red-hot pincer, his arms and legs were broken and finally he was decapitated. His remains were burned to ashes.
Another thing that has been studied heavily for years is the full moon and how it affects human behavior. It is a fact that the word lunatic is derived from the word lunar. Also a lot of people in the fields of law enforcement and paramedics have noticed that a lot of crazy 911 calls and situations occur during a full moon. Does the full moon bring out the monsters inside of us?
– Heather McCready is the founder and lead member of Three Rivers Investigations of the Paranormal, or TRIP. I asked her to write a piece on historical werewolves for me as a prelude to myWolf of Romeseries which she graciously accepted.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Heather for the past eight years, and I consider it an honor to call her my friend. If you’re interested in what she and TRIP are doing, you can visit their website at http://threeriversparanormal.blogspot.com/