Werewolf Hunting #101 – In Search of Legends, and Busting Folklore Myths

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Think about you’ve been invited to satisfy in an deserted cemetery to go on a dogman hunt on the night time of the following full Moon however you don’t know what to pack?

It could sound like one thing out of a tacky horror film however, as I recounted in my Historical Origins Premium article “ Looking for Previous Stinker: Medieval Legends meet twenty first Century Dogman Hunters ”, that is what occurred to me just lately, after I was referred to as in by a UK nationwide newspaper to assist examine a reported dogman sighting in Yorkshire which may have been linked to the Medieval legend of a dogman referred to as “Previous Stinker”.

My suspicion—a suspicion confirmed by what we really noticed on the night time was we have been by no means going to sighting something supernatural and that our “creature” could be only a regular flesh and blood canine, albeit a frighteningly giant canine. That mentioned, in making ready for the journey, the thought did cross my thoughts… however what if? What if it really was a “actual” dogman? All legends have to begin someplace and even essentially the most unbelievable have a germ of reality at their root.

Sculpted head of the “Loup Garou” or werewolf in Cognac, France.

Sculpted head of the “Loup Garou” or dogman in Cognac, France. ( CC BY-SA 4.0 )

Hunters of Historical Folklore

I subsequently spent the times earlier than the deliberate hunt going via sources, each historic and fashionable, searching for recommendation on what precautions to take ought to I sighting a dogman or, for that matter, a plain vanilla pure wolf or giant canine. Nevertheless, what I found was a lot of the so-called “lore” surrounding werewolves owed extra to Nineteen Thirties motion pictures plots and novels (in different phrases the world of fiction) than to folklore traditions, with an added complication that a few of “defenses” in opposition to werewolves have been really solely ever meant to offer safety in opposition to different types of magic and supernatural threats.

There may be then a component of folklore myth-busting on this article however earlier than going into extra element, let’s begin with one vital caveat: The target of our hunt was to not monitor down and kill the dogman (if that’s what it proved to be) however to attempt to observe and file its existence. Why? As a result of there are not any werewolves (and even their stays) recognized to fashionable science. All we’ve are fractured, ambiguous, and usually unsatisfactory people tales and witch hunt confessions from the 18th century and earlier.

Crops, Crucifixes, Poisons and Different Defenses Towards the Supernatural

One of many first myths I encountered is that Christian spiritual symbols, equivalent to crucifixes, holy water, and prayers provide safety in opposition to werewolves.

Engravings of wolves and wolf-men

Engravings of wolves and wolf-men ( Public Area )

BUSTED. There isn’t a proof in folklore (though it’s a well-liked trope in fantasy fiction) that werewolves concern or are repelled by any type of spiritual symbolism or ritual, whether or not belonging to Christianity or some other faith. Presumably, as a result of we’re so used to seeing vampires and werewolves interacting collectively in the identical narrative, there’s now an assumption that what works with vampires additionally works with werewolves. It doesn’t.

A ‘Vampire Killing kit’, equipped with items thought to ward off or defeat supernatural creatures, such as silver bullets and an ivory crucifix.

A ‘Vampire Killing package’, geared up with gadgets thought to chase away or defeat supernatural creatures, equivalent to silver bullets and an ivory crucifix. ( CC BY-SA 3.0)

Subsequent: the plant world. In the event you have a look at the folklore of vegetation and herbs, you’ll steadily see point out that mistletoe, rye grass, and mountain ash are all pure dogman repellents. It’s even instructed that if you’re being chased by a dogman, working into area the place a rye crop is rising or else climbing up an ash tree will prevent.


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High Picture: Deriv; Dogman costume ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ) and pure panorama ( CC BY 2.0 )

By Charles Christian

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