Was the werewolf
phenomenon really a matter of delusion-or drug induced madness? There was no
lack of effort to explain the werewolf behavior down through the ages. Some
asserted that it was caused by an excess of melancholy or an imbalance in
humors, the liquid or fluid part of the body. Many doctors believed that
such melancholy could lead to insanity,
hallucination and delusion. One physician recommended that the lycanthrope
should be treated with baths, purging, bleeding, dietary measures; to promote a
state of mental calmness, rubbing opium into the nostrils. In his 1621's work
entitled Anatomy of Melancholy Robert Burton, the clergyman and scholar,
considered lycanthrope to be a form of madness, and he blamed every thing
from sorcerers and witches to poor diet, bad air, sleeplessness and even lack of
Whatever would be
the explanation, the frightened common folk preferred magical explanations.
Thus, for some, the werewolf was the projection of a demon, which made its
victims appear as a wolf in his own eyes and to those around him. For
others, the werewolf was a direct manifestation of the Devil. Early seventeenth
century French author Henri Bouguet believed, as did a great many people of that
day, that Satan would leave the lycanthrope asleep behind a bush, go forth as a
wolf, and perform whatever evil might be in that person?s mind. According to
Bouguet, the Devil could confuse the sleeper?s imagination to such an extent
?that he believes he had really been a wolf and had run about and killed men and
The Mysteries of
Magic, written by nineteenth century French occultist ?liphas L?vi,
postulates the existence of a phantom - a body that acted as mediator between a
living organism and the soul. ?Thus in case of a man whose instinct is savage
and sanguinary, his phantom will wander abroad in lupine form, whilst he sleeps
painfully at home, dreaming he is a veritable wolf.? L?vi believed that the
wounds so often reported in the cases of werewolves could be
attributed to the out-of-body experience. He saw the human body as a subject
to magnetic as well as nervous influences and capable of receiving the wounds
suffered by the metamorphosed shape...
There are many individuals today who believe
they are werewolves, and some of the lycanthropes have been studied and treated
by psychologists and psychiatrists. The November 1975 issues of The
Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal reported in details on several
recent cases of lycanthropy. In the first case, the twenty-year-old
patient, referred to as Mr. H, was convinced that he was a werewolf. A drug
user, he told his doctor that while serving in the United States Army in Europe,
he had hiked into a forest near his post and had ingested LSD and strychnine,
the latter a deadly poison that acts as a stimulant when taken in tiny
quantities. Both substances are pharmacologically similar to some of the
ingredient used by shape shifters in the past. They had an instant and potent
effect on the young man, who claimed to have seen fur growing on his hands and
felt it sprouting on his face. Soon he was overcome by a compulsion to chase
after, catch, and devour live rabbits. He wandered in this delusional state
for several days before returning to the post.
Placed on the tranquilizer chlorpromazine, Mr.
H was weaned away from drugs and received adjunct therapy for some nine months,
during which time he continued to hear disembodied voices and to experience
satanic visions. Claiming to be possessed by the devil, he insisted he had
unusual powers. Tests indicated his delusions were ?compatible with acute
schizophrenic or toxic psychosis? He was treated with an antipsychotic drug,
and when he improved sufficiently, he was referred to an outpatient clinic.
After only two visits, however, he had stopped taking the medication and left
treatment. Subsequent efforts to contact him failed. Another werewolf patient,
thirty-seven-year-old Mr. W was admitted to the hospital after repeated pubic
displays of bizarre activity, including howling at the
moon, sleeping in cemeteries, allowing his hair and beard to grow out, and
lying in the center of busy highways. Unlike Mr. H, Mr. W had no history of
drug or alcohol abuse. He had once been a farmer and considered of average
intelligence, which was found in an IQ test administered when he served in the
United States Navy. Now, he was seen not only as psychotic but also as
intellectually deficient, with a mental age of an eight-to ten year-old child...
After setting up cameras and lights in the living room of Linda Godfrey's home on Friday afternoon, Steve Grabo and Jan Day asked Godfrey questions while capturing her responses on film.They asked her about a topic on which she has become an expert-the man/wolf, as she prefers to call it. Grabo and Day are members of the Misplaced Comedy Group, comic actors based out of Sarasota, Fla. They're making a documentary through Grabo Productions based on Godfrey's book titled "The Beast of Bray Road-Tailing Wisconsin's Werewolf."But there won't be anything funny about it.
"We want to make this as scary and entertaining and awesome as possible," Day said.Graboand Day started filming their documentary on Friday with an interview with Godfrey.They hoped to interview some people from Walworth and Rock counties over the weekend who say they've seen men/wolves.They were assisted by Day's sister, Maryanna Philippsen of Williams Bay.Godfrey is a writer and artist who lives in rural Elkhorn.In addition to "The Beast of Bray Road-Tailing Wisconsin's Werewolf," Godfrey has written a book titled "The Poison Widow" and co-written a book with Richard Hendricks titled "Weird Wisconsin."She is currently working on two new books-one titled "Hunting the American Werewolf" and the other titled "Weird Michigan."Godfrey first wrote about man/wolf sightings when she was a freelance reporter for The Walworth County Week.Her article appeared in the paper on Dec.
29, 1991."I never, ever expected it would lead to acareer," she said.Godfrey wrote in the article about people who had seen men/wolves in the vicinity of Bray Road near Elkhorn.They described the creature as being 6- or 7-feet tall with a wolf-like head and dark fur that walked on two feet like a person.After the story was picked by The Janesville Gazette and then was picked up by other newspapers, Godfrey started getting calls from other people in Wisconsin and elsewhere who had seen similar creatures."I became at once the keeper of werewolf lore and a national werewolf expert through no intention of my own," she said.People typically see the men/wolves at night in late summer and into fall, Godfrey said.They haven't been physically harmed by them, but they are sometimes emotionally scarred by having seen them, she said."They think about it for the rest of their lives," she said. "Often, they're very traumatized byit."Peopl......
With little scientific backing, the full Moon has forever been blamed for increased rates of violence, suicide, births and simply driving some people stark raving mad. Even animal behavior has long been tied to the lunar cycle. One word: werewolf.But what about dogs? Is your favorite mutt more likely to take a bite outta someone during a full Moon? The question hasn't exactly been dogging scientists forever, but it does beg for an answer, and now two separate groups of researchers have looked into it. Problem is, they have two answers: yes and no.In one study, animal bites were found to have sent twice as many British people to the emergencyroom during full Moons compared with other days.
But the other study, in Australia, found Fido can be pretty beastly on any given day.
Both studies were published in a recent issue of the British Medical Journal.
Bitten in Britain
In England, researchers
doggedly examined the records of 1,621 animal bite cases at the
emergency room of the Bradford Royal Infirmary, a public hospital.
Eleven of the injuries were inflicted by rats, 13 by horses, 56 by cats
and the rest by man's best friend.
Here's the real news: Not
only are animals twice as dangerous during a full Moon, they seem to
warm up their canine teeth (or their homologues) in the days prior.
The resulting graph of the
activity is a classic bell curve of biting, peaking onthe night when
lovers are supposed to be swooning, not fending off ferocious flea
"Altered behavior of the
animals, influenced by the full Moon, might be the reason of their
increased propensity to bite during the full Moon period," said
Chanchal Bhattacharjee, lead author of the study.
But Bhattacharjee and
colleagues could not sink their teeth into any solid reasons for the
strange behavior, and said more research is needed to confirm the
Another continent, another doggone result
Aussie pooches on the other
hand (which they will still bite) seem to be less affected by calls
from above. The study "down under" surveyed all public hospital
emergency rooms, counting dog bite admissions over a one-year period.