The Book of Were-Wolves by Sabine Baring-Gould
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book may well be dated but it presents the information in a simple to understand fashion. It sticks more to the earth than most works coming out about Werewolves these days. The Book is to the point and the author explains their salient facts and then supports them with stories and legends produced from around the world.
Anyone interested in the concept of Werewolves would do well to check out this work. It covers the mythology on lycanthropy from all over the world. It is a factual breakdown into the exact nature of this mythological character.
One can imagine that on a darkened night maybe in France or some other part of Europe you are walking on the the road and you hear a bone chilling howl. Suddenly a large loping figure appears and it is coming right for you. Werewolf legend and indeed other shapeshifter legends go back all the way to Greek and Roman times. We have instances of the Gods being offended by mortals and changing them into animals of sorts. King Lyacon offended Zeus and was turned into a wolf for seven years. Apuleius story the "The Golden Ass" has him being changed into a donkey and finally being able to change back.
The old Norse has their berserkers who could put on a wolf skin and change into a wolf . Other versions of Norse shapeshifting include the witch being able to throw their fetch and take over the body of another animal. Legends abound of people cursed with having to be a werewolf for a certain amount of years and then being able to change back. Others have to change into wolves during certain times of the year. Others are blessed to only have to turn once.
Lycanthropy was art of changing into a werewolf. It was the ability not of sorcerers and witches. THey would take an ointment that would let them change or give them the feeling of turning into a wolf. At first Lycanthropy was taken seriously but then eventually it was regarded as madness. There are Werewolf like creatures the world over. There are also those who can shapeshifting into other animals. Hyena men of Ethiopia change into that animal. Rakasha are vampire like creatures and there is crossover into the vampire realm from the werewolf realm. In Poland and Slavaopkia they believe that once a werewolf dies he becomes a vampire. Ghouls are jinn that eat corspes like vampires during the day that have the shape of the wolf. I got this book three days ago and have already completed it. Enjoy
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