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  • Portuguese Werewolf October 30, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary , trackback

    This note was published in Folklore in 1942 by, of all people, Violet Alford, one of a handful of impressive interwar British folklorists.

    Following Professor Hutton’s Presidential Address on Werewolves, this note may be of interest. An English friend, born and brought up in Portugal, remembers, when she was about seven years old, the mysterious whispering of the Portuguese servants. She gathered that the son of the farmer, whose premises touched those of her family, was suspected of being a werewolf. This frightened her at the time, but she went away to school and forgot all about it. Seven or eight years later, when she was fourteen (about 1917) she and her sister sat on their window-ledge, overlooking the garden. Suddenly, on to the wall dividing their garden from the farmer’s property, there leapt a large animal – a dog, she supposed-which ran along the wall, sprang down at the end and made off into the open country. Both she and her sister exclaimed that they had never seen the creature before, and did not know the farmer had such a queer dog. She described it to me as dark and shaggy, and not quite like an ordinary dog. It was only after some time that both girls remembered the long-ago stories of the farmer’s son who was a werewolf, and both, rather apprehensively, came to the conclusion that they had seen the lobishomem [werewolf in Portuguese]. (Alford 1942)

    Any other werewolf accounts: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com

    *Mermaid Monday back next week.

    31 Oct 2017, Bruce T:  ‘Sounds like a Portuguese Water Dog, which due to it’s dark heavy curly/shaggy coat makes it look much bigger than it is, they generally run in the lower thigh high, 50 lb. range, but that’s the size that has been standardized and chosen for show by dog breeders going for “perfection”. They’re a guard and herding dog. There are much bigger crosses of this basic type running around both Portugal, western Spain and the Azores who have met nice Mastiffs and other larger herding/guard dogs and freely interbred. The very large Azorean crosses are used for fighting for the ilk who indulge in such things here. Many a young backpacker has been chased across the countryside of Western Iberia by these fine dogs and their variants. Shades of “An American Werewolf in London” but with Lisbon for the final setting. This formerly young fellow learned from an early age how to deal with large dogs in the countryside, a sack full of rocks and an accurate, strong, throwing arm. Those Iberian hellhounds didn’t stand a chance. A rock about a third of the size of your fist is a fine dog deterrent in most parts of the world. Lots of weird things going on in Portugal in 1917, were-dogs and Marian apparitions. Must have been a bad rye crop or a good grape one? Something had those folks addled