Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Myths & Legends: Karl Bartsch's Three Stories About Werewolves

Legends about werewolves are very well-known. Referring to them, many people were said to be able to transform into wolves by putting on a wolf belt. They wandered in such form at night, attacking their enemies or their enemies' livestock.

In Fahrenholz, in the year 1682, a certain number of people was accused of the power to transform into wolves and put on trial. No more than thirty years ago (in the 40s of the 19th century) many cases of similar magic were related in all children's rooms, although there had not been any wolves in Mecklenburg for more than a hundred years. This proves how widespread such legends were.

Beyer, in Mecklenburgische Jahrbücher (Annals of Mecklenburg), states: "As far as I remember, during youth I had only heard of men-werewolves, never of women. However, in other regions the gender is of no significance."


There once was a man who possessed a wolf belt, which enabled him to change into a wolf (werewolf). Once upon a time, a group of huntsmen organised a fox-hunt and placed a corpse of a dead horse in the forest to lure them out. Instead of foxes, a werewolf appeared and started biting at the meat. The huntsmen suprised the werewolf and shot him. It fled, but when the huntsmen went to the home of a man who they suspected of being the werewolf, they found him bedridden, with a gun wound in his side.

The husband of a young woman often and without any explanation left her at home, so she began suspecting him of being a werewolf. One afternoon they were both working in the field. The man once again abandoned his wife. Suddenly, a wolf jumped out of the bushes, ran up to the woman and grabbed her by her woolen skirt, tearing at it back and forth. Screaming, the wife managed to fend off the wolf using her pitchfork. Not long after her husband emerged from the same bushes. She told him about the horrible event, to which he burst out with laughter, thus revealing red, woolen scraps of the skirt that were stuck between his teeth. The woman complained to a judge and the man was burned on a stake.

A lumberjack was working in the woods with his brother. The latter disappeared suddenly and soon after, from the nearby bushes, there emerged a wolf. The lumberjack wounded the wolf's right paw in self-defence with his axe. Howling, the wolf fled. That evening, when the lumberjack returned home, he found his brother lying in bed with his right hand hidden under the covers. Only after repeated threats did he finally show the hand to his brother, on which was the same wound that the lumberjack inflicted earlier on the wolf. The lumberjack reported his brother who was subsequently burned alive.

On the basis of: Karl Bartsch, Sagen, Märchen und Gebräuche aus Meklenburg (Wien: WIlhelm Braumüller, 1879), v. 1, no. 182, pp. 147-148

* * *

1 comment:

  1. am lucas from uk tanks to dr.princearata for transforming me into a werewolve i never believed i would become a i have great powers of doing anyting i want and going any were i want to and if you really desire to become a werewolve i want you to contact him at and i bet you,your heart desire will be granted immidiatly.