jump to navigation

Non-Existent Werewolf Boy and the Lord of the Forest(s) March 29, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Non-Existent Werewolf Boy and the Lord of the Forest(s)

Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions is a wonderful sources for witchery and bizarre history, but Mackay is a poor historian and, a bit like this blogger, references nothing. Take this passage that fascinated Beach. One young man at Besançon, with the full consciousness of the awful fate that awaited him, voluntarily gave himself up to […]

Dogs of God! Christian Werewolves? March 21, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Dogs of God! Christian Werewolves?

This is one of those rare times in the early modern witch craze where one feels sorry for the judges.  I mean they turn up at Jurgensburg in Livonia on the Baltic expecting an easy burning: old man widely thought to be a witch hauled up in front of them (though on another charge) and […]

The Christian Wolves of Ossory July 18, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The Christian Wolves of Ossory

We all know that medieval chroniclers and sensationalists love wonder stories. Beach has a private rule that even if a medieval tale takes place with a ‘reliable’ witness in living memory, then he still looks the other way. But the following story clearly ‘happened’ (though there may be a way to reread it) in that […]

The Were-Hyenas of Ethiopia June 26, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Were-Hyenas of Ethiopia

In the winter of last year Beachcombing had the werewolf mania bad and before he got bored with the hairy-handed ones he started to make notes on the Buda of Abyssinia, a winsome African lycanthrope. The following text was published in the second quarter of the nineteenth century and was written by a one-time European […]

The Werewolf Faith in Nineteenth-Century France January 28, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Werewolf Faith in Nineteenth-Century France

  Since beginning this blog eight months ago Beachcombing has had various itches including elephants, Atlantis (to be continued), birds and lightning. But none has bitten so deeply as the werewolf. Indeed, Beachcombing has sketched out another ten posts on the men and women who were furry on the inside. He even, damn it, started vaguely jotting […]

Irish Werewolf Cub-Scouts from Hell? January 26, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
Irish Werewolf Cub-Scouts from Hell?

Irish werewolf cub-scouts from hell… Sounds like a bad slasher film doesn’t it? But actually Beachcombing is about to introduce a genuine all singing, all dancing early medieval Irish institution. His first reading is from the  Annals of Ulster for AD 847 ‘the sack of the island of Loch Muinremair by Mael Sechnaill [Irish High King] […]

The Werewolf of Temesa January 25, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
The Werewolf of Temesa

A painfully short post tonight but Tiny Miss B is screaming next to the keyboard, Mrs B is out looking for a school for the elder daughter and Little Miss B is making the au pair’s life an inferno downstairs. So in dereliction of parental duty another part of the soon-to-end werewolf series: let’s hope […]

A Roman Werewolf and a Dinner Tale January 18, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
A Roman Werewolf and a Dinner Tale

Beachcombing still has the werewolf itch and it will not be exorcised unless he manages to spit out the story of Niceros the Freedman. The tale appears in Petronius’ Satyricon, the incomplete and bawdy Roman road novel that is best know today for its description of a Roman feast – where, in fact, this story is told. […]

A Werewolf in 1960s Italy January 16, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
A Werewolf in 1960s Italy

Regular readers will know that Beachcombing has no great love for sociologists, who are to historians (or should be to historians) what garlic is to a vampire. However, he makes an exception for Belden Paulson’s brilliant The Searchers (1966) a description of life in a small Italian town, Castelfuoco (not its real name!), in the […]

The End of the Werewolf Faith in Strasburg January 14, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The End of the Werewolf Faith in Strasburg

Beachcombing recently examined the death of the fairy faith in the Yorkshire town of Ilkley and sold it to his readers as a melancholy moment in that community’s history. Today he thought, instead, that he would give evidence for the beginning of the end of faith in were-wolves in the area around Strasburg (‘Germany’ or […]