Description: Werewolves are supernatural creatures that look like a man, but can assume the shape of a wolf.
Origin: Ancient, Everywhere
An ancient Greek story tells of Lycaion, who the gods turned into a wolf after he ate human flesh - which means tales of werewolves pre-date vampires by thousands of years. Stories of shape-shifters that transform into other animals are common around the world, notably in Native North American culture - although there is speculation that they may have acquired their werewolf lore from some visiting Vikings.
In Haiti there are stories of a wolf-like shape-shifter known as Je-Rouge, or Red Eyes. But to the Turkik people of central Asia, where the wolf is a totemic ancestral figure, a 'Kurtadam' (Wolfman) was a powerful shaman who could change himself into a wolf after a long and painful ritual.
Note: These superstitions
were researched and written by Stuart Macfarlane (Website:
and Tom Metcalfe (Website:
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The Werewolf of Klein-Krams
- Karl Bartsch
In the vicinity of Klein-Krams near Ludwigslust in former times
there were extensive forests that were so rich with game that the dukes
often came to this region to hold their great hunts. During these hunts
they almost always saw a wolf who -- even though he came within shooting
distance -- could never be killed by a huntsman. Indeed, they even had
to watch as he took a piece of game before their very eyes and --
something that was most remarkable to them -- ran with it into the
Now once it happened that a hussar from Ludwigslust was traveling
through the village and just happened to enter the house of a man named
Feeg. When he entered the house a flock of children stormed out of the
house with a loud cry and hurried out into the yard. When he asked them
about their wild behavior, they told him that except for a small boy, no
one from the Feeg family was at home, and that he -- as was his custom
when no one was at home -- had transformed himself into a werewolf, and
that they were running away from him, because otherwise he would bite
Soon afterward the feared wolf appeared, but by now he had laid aside
his wolf form. The hussar turned to the Feeg child and tried to learn
more about the wolf game, but the child would say nothing. However, the
stranger would not give up, and he finally succeeded in making the child
The child told him that his grandmother had a strap, and that if he put
it on he would instantly become a wolf. The hussar kindly asked the boy
to make an appearance as a werewolf. At first the boy refused, but
finally he agreed to do it, if the strange man would first climb into
the loft, so that he would be safe from him. The hussar agreed to this,
and to be sure pulled up the ladder with which he had climbed into the
As soon as this had happened the boy ran into the main room, and soon
came out again as a young wolf and chased away all those who standing in
the entryway. After the wolf had run back into the main room and come
back out as a boy, the hussar climbed down and had the Feeg child show
him the magic belt, but he could not discover anything unusual about it.
Afterward the hussar went to a forester in the vicinity of Klein-Krams
and told him what he had experienced in the Feeg house. Upon hearing
this story, the forester, who had always been present at the great hunts
near Klein-Krams, immediately thought about the werewolf who could not
be wounded. He now thought that he would be able to kill the werewolf.
At the next hunt he said to his friends, as he rammed a bullet of
inherited silver into the barrel of his rifle, "Today the werewolf will
not escape from me!" His companions looked at him in amazement, but he
said nothing further.
The hunt soon began, and it did not take long before the wolf showed
himself once again. Many of the huntsmen shot at him, but he remained
unwounded. Finally he approached the forester, who brought him to the
ground. Everyone could see that the wolf was wounded, but soon he jumped
up again and ran into the village. The huntsmen followed him, but the
werewolf outran them and disappeared into the Feeg farmyard.
In their search, the huntsmen came into the house, where they found the
wolf in the grandmother's bed. They recognized it from the tail that was
sticking out from under the covers.
The werewolf was no one other than Feeg's grandmother. In her pain she
had forgotten to take off the strap, and thus she herself revealed the
* Source: Karl Bartsch, Sagen, Märchen und Gebräuche aus Meklenburg
(Wien: Wilhelm Braumüller, 1879), v. 1, no. 183, pp. 148-150.
The Wolf Stone - Alexander
In a valley in the Fichtel Mountains a shepherd tended his flock in a
green meadow. Several times it happened that after driving his herd home
he discovered that one of the animals was missing. All searching was in
vain. They were lost and they remained lost.
Watching more carefully, he saw a large wolf creep out of the forest
thicket and seize a lamb. Angrily he chased after him, but the enemy was
too fleet. Before he could do anything about it, the wolf had
disappeared with the lamb. The next time he took an expert marksman with
him. The wolf approached, but the marksman's bullets bounced off him.
Then it occurred to the hunter to load his weapon with the dried pith
from an elder bush. The next day he got off a shot, and the robber ran
howling into the woods.
The next morning the shepherd met an old neighbor woman with whom he was
not on the best of terms. Noticing that she was limping, he asked her: "Neighbor,
what is wrong with your leg? It does not want to go along with you."
"What business is it of yours?" she answered, hurrying away.
The shepherd took note of this. This woman had long been suspected of
practicing evil magic. People claimed to have seen her on the Heuberg in
Swabia, the Köterberg, and also on the Hui near Halberstadt.
He reported her. She was arrested, interrogated, and flogged with rod of
alder wood, with which others suspected of magic, but who had denied the
charges, had been punished. She was then locked up in chains. But
suddenly the woman disappeared from the prison, and no one knew where
she had gone.
Some time later the poor, unsuspecting shepherd saw the hated wolf break
out of the forest once again. However, this time it had not come to
attack his herd, but the shepherd himself. There was a furious struggle.
The shepherd gathered all of his strength together against the teeth and
claws of the ferocious beast. It would have been his death if a hunter
had not come by in the knick of time. In vain he fired a shot at the
wolf, and then struck it down with his knife. The instant that blood
began to flow from the wolf's side, the old woman from the village
appeared in the field before them, writhing and twisting terribly. They
finished killing her and buried her twenty feet beneath the earth.
At the place where they buried the woman they erected a large stone
cross, which they named the "Wolf Stone" in memory of these events. It
was never peaceful and orderly in the vicinity of the stone. The
Malicious Messenger (der Tückebote) or the Burning Man (der brennende
Mann), in the language of the people, still goes about his dangerous
* Source: Hans Sponholz, Der verwunschene Rehbock: Sagen aus Bayern um
Wald, Wild und Jagd (Hof [Saale]: Oberfränkische Verlagsanstalt und
Druckerei GmbH, 1981), pp. 56-57.