The Bite

 

We cannot ignore the promiment importance of the bite and just what it signifies. All of our faveroite monsters have one key thing in common. The Vampire, the Werewolf, and the Zombie, they pass on thier curse if you will through a bite, and not just a bite, but it always involves some exchange of fluids to some degree.

There are two ways in which to understand and view this, for one, the fact that it is like the spreading of a disease, as well most these conditions, have some link to blood. The Vampire obviously feeds upon blood, and Zombies are seen as having a virus in the blood stream, and the lycan feed upon the flesh of thier victims, and can seen has exhibiting some blood drinking behavior in this, as well the brutal way in which they are often thought to kill, which tends to lead to the loss of vast amounts of blood.

But you can go beyond just the concept of a diseas, and venture further to the idea of an STD, and the clear sexual symbology. though this does hold most true for the vampire above all else becasue of his clear sexual nature, but to some degree it can be glimpsed in the others.  As all involve a pentration of the skin, and drawing fluids out, and in the case of vampires and zombies this often also involves the exchanging of fluids. As it is comonly beleived to become a vampire, not only most one be bit, but they also must drink of the vampires blood as I have discussed, and with the zombie, it is not just the bite itself that changes one, but having dna of the zombie entered into the victims system which is very much like an STD though one can agree that zombies are not in nature sexulaized.

Yet on the other hand, though the disease anagloy works with today, and our world of science and understanding blood borne passegens, these myths have been around long before that, which is what makes it so difficult to escape the sex factor, afterall, that is one of the things that was held in great fear the idea of one giving into thier passions, of becoming animal like a discussed before each of the 7 sins are aspects of our animal nature that needed to be control and of course one of the biggist was Lust.

I know I have discussed this more then once, but that is becuase of the simple fact it is something that just simply cannot be escaped in discussing these topics.

The fear of the vampire, the werewolf, and even the zombie to some degree boils down to the fear of man uncontroled, man treturning to his nature that he tries so desperately to repress.  

Mythos of the Lycan

 

After spending time extensively discussing the vampire, I thought I would now take some time to speak to some of the mythos of the werewolf and some common lore both historicaly and in varrious modern media forms that surround the werewolf. Like with the vampire, there are many conflicting ideas, as well as artistic creativity so of course no everyone follows these guidelines, but these are those most commonly arrtibuted.

 Becoming a werewolf

Histrocialy there were three basic ways it was thought one could become a werewolf.

1. To be cursed, usually by a witch

2.  Making a pact with the devil

3. To be bitten by werewolf

Today most commonly hold the 3rd as the most widely acceptiable way that a perswon can by transformed into a werewolf.

Transformation

In most mondern myth it has come to be most widely held that a person who has been infected with the werewolf gene so to speak, on the night of the full moon will change unconrtobaly into the “beast”

Though historcialy this was not always held, and there are some mondern stories that are moving away from that idea. Some do hold that the transformation can occur at any time by the will of the werewolf.

There are a few different myths regaurding the extent of the transformation, some hold that a werewolf when transformed fully becomes a wolf.

While others commonly dipeict the werewolf transformation as being more of a man-wolf creature, often still walking upright, but having the features of a wolf, covered in fur, with long claws, fangs, pointed ears a tail and so on. Though usually these beasts are also much larger in size then either wolf or man, and pocesses a great strength, agility and speed.

There are others that belive that the werewolf can take either form, either full wolf form, or the man-beast form.

Slaying a werewolf

Silver is widely regaurded as the only true weakness to the werewolf though in some myths it is beleived that if you are able to kill the “master” werewolf so to speak, or the one that turned you, then all those whom had been infected/bitten by that werewolf will be relived of the curse and returned to normal.

Abilities

Werewolves are granted with the ablity to regenerate. Any wond inflected will heal itself.

Often it is held, that even when not in werewolf form, those that have been infected by the werewolf will have accute and hightend senses and in some cases super human strength.

Missalanious

It is most widely held that when a werewolf does transform into beast state he will then go upon a wild and savage killing ramapage and feast upon the the flesh of whatever gets in its way, and often it is beleived that after the transformation is compelte the werewolf, restored to human form again will be blacked out and not remeber what happend during the transformation, and will be regretful when they discover the things they have done.

One intresting thing to note, is that despite the fact that the wolf itself is a pact anima, the werewolf is commonly seen as a solitary animal, there are not very many occurances of werewolves acutally forming, hunting, living, or traveling in pacts.

Bill Ramsey

Not all “werewolves” actually killed. In London, Bill Ramsey first experienced a strange sensation and its accompanying foul odor when he was nine years old. He began to think of himself as a wolf and to experience rage-filled compulsions in the form of seizures that made him snap and bite. This pain dogged him into adulthood, but he kept it under control until one night in 1983. He went to a hospital, and as he was being treated, he lunged out and bit a nurse. He then ran to a corner and crouched on all fours, like a wolf, growling at anyone who came near him.The police arrived to take him into custody. Several people grabbed and restrained him on a gurney until a sedative could be administered. From there, he was taken to a psychiatric institution. It was not clear what should be done for him.

Steiger describes how demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren soon got involved with the case. They proposed that Ramsey was possessed by a “werewolf demon” that needed to be exorcised. With the family’s permission, they invited Bishop Robert McKenna to perform it. They all gathered in Connecticut for the ritual, along with four police officers, just in case things got out of hand. It was said that Ramsey possessed great strength and they feared what could happen should he become possessed, break free and escape. During the ceremony, a crucifix was applied to parts of Ramsey’s body while Latin incantations were said.

Ramsey apparently thought the ritual was bogus before it began, but supposedly the bishop recognized the demon spirit inside the man. The ritual lasted for half an hour, as the bishop commanded the demon to leave Ramsey’s body. The officers restrained Ramsey when he tried to attack McKenna, but eventually, as described in the Warren’s book, Werewolf, he experienced a force leaving his body. Supposedly, he found peace from the demons and was free thereafter from any further possession.

It’s not clear whether there was much follow-up, so as to note whether Ramsey was genuinely “cured.” Even so, the ceremony might merely have had a powerful psychological effect on him. As such, he might have come to believe strongly enough in his religious purification that he was able to go on with his life.

Historical Vampires

 

Here is a list of historical vampires, that I was not able to dig up much information about, but I thought were still worthy of metnion.

Late 16th Century – Clara Geisslerin of Germany was accused of having sexual relations with three demons. they conspired to dig up the graves of desceased children and drink their blood.    Accused of Vampirism, Witchcraft and Cannibalism.

Sergeant Bertrand Even as late as 1847, a man named Sergeant Bertrand who was engaged in necrophagy linked his own condition to werewolfism. Apart from his monomania, he was found to be completely sane. His good character and otherwise friendly nature was attested to in court. Sergeant Bertrand was imprisoned for one year and disappeared in to obscurity after his release. He was also dubbed as the Vampire of Montparnasse

Victor Ardisson

Dubbed the Vampire of Muy, in 1901 though he was not a murderer he was a nerophiliac, digging up corpses in order to satisfy himself with them, which lead people at first to believe there was a vampire in the area, though when he was eventually caught, Ardisson admitted to being the “Vampire of Muy, and the courts found him irresponsible for his actions, so he was sent to an insane asylum.

The Wolf-Girdle

 

Around the middle of the sixteenth century, the town of Bedburg, near Cologne, experienced a long bout of inexplicable murders. Guilley, Blundell, Steiger, and numerous other authors offer descriptions of the tale from a 1590 chapbook. Over the course of twenty-five years, from time to time a savagely mutilated body would be discovered. These victims had in common a disagreement with an otherwise unassuming man by the name of Peter Stubb (Stump, Stumpf, or Stubbe). But young girls who did not know him also had met such a fate. During one period, dismembered limbs were found on a regular basis out in the fields and the townspeople feared a marauding wolf. Some authors indicate that Stubb actually did these things, while others believe that he was merely the victim of a system that needed a scapegoat. It’s impossible to know the truth.

As the story goes, the authorities used hounds to track down the beast in 1589, only to discover, according to the illustrated chapbook, Stubb removing his wolf-hair girdle and transforming back into a man. He was caught and “voluntarily” offered a rack-inspired confession, describing a string of atrocities from incest to murder to cannibalism. Ordered to produce his girdle, he said he’d abandoned it. People were sent to find it, but could not locate it, so authorities assumed that Satan had come along and picked it up to use it again on some other hapless soul.

The murders of some thirteen or fourteen children were attributed to Stubb, as well as attacks on two pregnant women that ended with fetuses torn from them as they died. Apparently Stubb implicated his mistress, Katherine Trompin, and his daughter, Beell, in his crimes, and they supposedly “knew” that he had feasted on the brains of his son (the product of incest with his daughter). Stubb declared this “a most savory and dainty delicious” repast. He’d also raped children, he stated, and had torn out their hearts to consume while still hot and beating.

Stubb was tried with his mistress and daughter as a “pack,” and all three were convicted of murder. He was further tortured on a wheel with heated pinchers, his flesh pulled off, and his limbs broken with wooden hatchet blows. Then he was decapitated and his head displayed as a lesson to others while his body was burnt on a pyre. His mistress and daughter, forced to watch his fate, were burned there as well. The rack on which he’d been tortured was broken into sixteen pieces, each representing a victim, and displayed for the community.

By 1603, some 600 alleged shape-shifters had been likewise burned. Although voices were raised in opposition from influential places, the trials and tortures continued. In fact, as late as 1764, the blood-sucking Beast of Le Gevaudon started a three-year panic in France. Reportedly, it was a large wolf that could walk erect and it attacked women and children. A posse killed it with a silver bullet.

Several women, too, had confessed to participating in rituals in which they killed children, animals, and other women. After Francois Secretain admitted that she’d had illicit relations with the demon, in the shape of a black man, she was executed.

But the times changed and the Church lost ground to medicine and science. Eventually lycanthropy became one of the disorders studied by the alienists. Jean Grenier had more or less led the way, and eventually all such cases were considered more appropriate for psychiatry than the stake.

Werewolf of Châlons

The “Demon Tailor,” known also as the “Werewolf of Châlons,” was arraigned in France on December 14, 1598 on murder charges so shocking that after the trial all court documents were destroyed. Officials wanted no one to see in writing what he had done. Nevertheless, there were rumors, and these were written into documents that have been passed down.

The unnamed man was reputed to have lured children into his tailor shop in Paris, where he tortured them with sexual perversions before slitting their throats. He would then dismember them, dress the flesh as if he were a butcher, and consume the remains. When he could not get victims that way, he roamed the woods, supposedly in a wolf’s form, to find them, and he was alleged to have killed several dozen. Officials raided his shop and found barrels full of bleached bones in the cellar, along with other foul items. They were presumably human, although it’s unclear if officials were actually able to make that determination or were guided instead by superstition.

This offender was quickly convicted and sentenced to die by being burned at the stake. Nigel Blundell reports that a large crowd gathered to watch him get his due. Even as the flames burned hot and scorched his flesh, he showed no remorse for his deeds and never confessed or asked for forgiveness. “He could be heard cursing and blaspheming to the very end.” The people took that as a sign that his soul belonged to the Devil.

The same year, a sister, brother and two of the man’s children — the Gandillon family — were tried together in France. Rosemary Ellen Guilley tells the tale in Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters: Pernette Gandillon believed she was a wolf and displayed wolf-like behavior. She attacked two children one day, and the older one survived to identify her to authorities. They seized her and “tore her to pieces.” They then accused her brother, Pierre, of being a witch and a shape-shifter. He and his son confessed that they possessed an ointment that allowed them to change into wolves. The scars on their bodies reportedly attested to attacks from dogs when they were in wolf form. Once they were imprisoned, they moved around on all fours and howled. Pierre’s daughter was also accused as a witch, and all three were hanged and burned. But only Pernette had been a killer.

Werewolf Persecution

 

During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church had to deal with the Protestant revolt, which inspired church officials to make their doctrines more forceful in those countries loyal to the Pope. Thus, they supported campaigns throughout central Europe to rid the populace of satanic entities. In other words, it was a fear campaign designed to make people more eager to cling to God and the Church. As a result, between 1521 and 1600 several men were prosecuted in court for therianthropy (becoming a wild beast). In fact, during one extended period, some 30,000 cases of werewolf “infection” were reported to authorities. In God’s name, inquisitors sometimes hacked these people apart to search for the telltale wolf hair supposedly planted inside their bodies. No one was immune from arrest, and some witch-finder generals fully indulged their lust for torture.

Witch-hunters were especially active in France, a country fighting for its former political glory. At that time, demons were blamed for a great range of criminal behavior, with the devil inspiring his followers to take different shapes. Some people viewed themselves as being cursed with an animal compulsion. They not only killed but also consumed their victims’ flesh and drank the blood.

In the countryside, governing bodies issued proclamations to warn citizens about werewolves and to instruct them in how to arrest and punish the beasts. In essence, “shapeshifters” were people leading degenerate lives that endangered others. Yet despite the Church’s firm attempts to convert everyone to the true faith, mystical practices calling on nature deities continued to flourish, especially in outlying areas. Many practitioners viewed shape-shifting as a gift not a curse. And for those people who possessed a strong sexual drive, a pact with the devil seemed a perfect excuse — a way to “accept” that their misdeeds were beyond their control.

For example, in 1521, Pierre Burgot and Michel Verdun were tried in Besancon, France. They said they had pledged obedience to the “master” of three black men they’d met in exchange for money and freedom from trouble. They had then been anointed in a ceremony with unguents that changed them into savage animals. Together they had torn apart a seven-year-old boy, a grown woman, and a little girl, whose flesh they consumed. They so loved lapping up the warm blood that they could not help but continue to kill. They also had sexual relations with female wolves, “as Dogges follow a Bitche.” In fact, Verdun had supposedly been discovered in the guise of a wolf. It seems that a traveler had wounded him before he could kill and had followed his trail to his home, where his wife was bathing his wound. The court listened to all this with little tolerance and both men were executed for sorcery.