The idea of a being, half wolf, half man, and possessing also many demoniacal attributes, is a very curious piece of old-world superstition still to be found in very many European countries , and strengthened, no doubt, by the discovery, at times, of children who have been carried off and cared for by wolves who preferred the role of foster-mother to that of devourer —an occurrence of which there are frequent proofs on record. The wild and howling night winds, the Maruts that gave name to our too familiar nightmare, may have given the first notion of demon wolves to the trembling listener as they passed shrieking by his solitary tent or hut. As the transition of thought by which the spirit-wolf and the human form became amalgamated is easily imagined. There appears to be plenty of evidence that, at different times, a form of madness has broken out by which individuals have fancied themselves to be turned into wolves. Burton, in his ” Anatomy of Melancholy,” desoribes this disease, which he calls Lycanthropia, as ” when men run howling about graves and fields in the night, and will not be dissuaded ,that they are not wolves or some such beasts.”
-Manchester Courier, October 20, 1883
Happy Werewolf Wednesday!