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Werewolf - one of the central figures of ancient superstitions. With vampires, witches, mermaids, ghosts and witches, he has been around for thousands of years, bringing terror to the adults and children in big cities and small towns of the Deaf. The word "lycanthrope", from which it got its name, literally means "man-wolf" and comes from the Greek Likantropia. Some dictionaries define the word as "the transformation of witches into a wolf."

The subject of human-wolf was popular in the oral traditions and chronicles almost all over the world. In France, this monster was known as Lugar, in other parts of Europe as a werewolf, or Verman, werewolves, or volkolok - in Transylvania, poltenik - in Bulgaria. Since the Romulus and Remus story about the wolf, man-beast and the werewolf excited the imagination of people like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Carl Linnaeus and Jonathan Swift. The talented writers have created a series of remarkable works about werewolves.

However, the werewolf is not as well known as his brother - a vampire villain. Werewolf multi-valued and more mysterious than a vampire. All his alleged mythical quality can be quite easily debunked by modern science, but in ancient times there was really a kind of disease that affects the whole of the village, turning people into frantic animals, and these patients had all the classic symptoms of lycanthropy. It is known that in Europe in the XVI century, after the bloody orgies, these accidents suspected of demonic, persecuted and etched dogs killed hundreds.

Interest in lycanthropy is truly inexhaustible. In XX century, he put it in a production of such films as "The Wolf Man" (1941), "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man" (1943), "Female Wolf of London" (1946), "Werewolf" (1956), " I was a teenage werewolf "(1957)," werewolf in a girl's bedroom "(1961) - this is only a small part of the list of more than fifty films mentioned in the" directory catalog science fiction movie "Walt Lee. Probably the most famous werewolf movie screen is Lon Chaney Jr., 41 cinematic transformation of human into a wolf and took less than six hours of prior training in the dressing room, and even more during the conversion itself. Images of werewolves submitted films are very diverse, from the genuinely artistic, sometimes even causing a liking to deliberately intimidating and fun-Kpovozhadnyh. Modern literature and journalism shows a deeper approach to the topic of werewolves, more shiroksd its consideration.

December 17, 1976, for example, the London "Daily Mail" published an article entitled "We caught the werewolf killer," - says the police ", which reported on the details of the capture of the perpetrator has committed numerous murders, known as the" Paris werewolf. " At the end of World War II, the Nazis created a terrorist profit organization whose members worked awful crime, codenamed "Werewolf" (werewolf). When applied to criminals word "werewolf" serves as a strong moral metaphor, when it comes to some inhuman, wild, beyond the logic of crimes such as mass murder, rape, cannibalism, torture. The irony of this assessment is that the wolf itself (unless it is hungry or injured) does not kill and does not attack. According to recent studies, in the wolf pack maintained close relationship of trust, a community based on mutual responsibility, and if any of its members begins to show a killer instinct, destroying it for the good of the whole pack.

"Genuine" werewolves in our modern society - those who appear as patients in psychiatric hospitals and funeral ceremonies of the American Indian. About the people of both sexes, to imagine and feel the werewolves, doctors say as lycanthropy. Although the etymological distinction between "Werewolf" and "lycanthrope" slightly (the vir-werewolf, lat .: Wolfman; lycanthrope-lykanthropos, Greek .: volkochelovek), in their application, they differ: the word "lycanthrope" is a professional term for today refer to a pathological condition, and "werewolf" - not a medical term used in literature, films and characteristics of criminals.

We have a long way - through the ages, in different countries. But first we will dare to bring a story that will cause the reader awe and bewilderment; It helps you understand how all this mysticism might survive and persist to this day. At the end of the XVI century in Auvergne lived a wealthy gentleman named Sanrosh. He lived in a big way, kept servants, was happily married. Manor Sanrosha was located on the hill. Of the many windows of the landowner and his household enjoyed the green slopes, rapid stream, magnificent forests and distant mountains, rising above in the bluish haze. One afternoon in early autumn 1580 Sanrosh sat by the window when logged servant reported that he came Monsieur Ferola.

Ferola was known in the county hunter and angler and Auvergne was considered a great place for these activities: in the cleanest rivers full of fish, and in the woods - birds, deer, bears. Ferola came to invite a friend along to stalk deer. Sanrosh same regret declined the invitation - he was waiting for his lawyer, who is about to enter was on business. Ferola went alone. The lawyer came, as had been agreed, and more than an hour they Sanroshem involved in cases related to the estate, Sanrosh even forgotten about the visit of his friend. After seeing a lawyer and supper, he suddenly remembered the day the invitation. Urgent cases have Sanrosha no longer in sight, his wife was not at home, too, and he's not to be bored alone, I decided to meet his friend. He quickly went down the path leading to the valley, and a few minutes later noticed on the hillside opposite the figure of his friend, all scarlet in the last rays of the sun. The closer he got to the other, the clearer Sanrosh saw that his friend something excited.

When they met in a narrow ravine between two hillsides, the landlord saw that Ferola dress torn and covered with dirt and stains, like blood. Ferola was severely depressed and barely breathing, so that his friend was adjourned questioning and was limited by the fact that the hunter took his musket and bag game. Some time friends walked in silence. Then, a little breath, but still worrying, Ferola told Sanroshu a striking incident, his experiences in the forest. Here is his story.

Hunter had a fairly long walk through the woods before he saw a group of deer in the offing. Get as close to them, to make the shot, he could not. In the end, chasing them, he went into the thicket, and felt that the return journey will require a lot of time ... Turning home Ferola suddenly heard a terrible roar, to distribute raw, overgrown fern gully. Slowly backing away and not taking his eyes off the spot, the hunter, step by step, crossed about fifty meters when a huge wolf jumped out of the ravine and ran straight at him. Ferola prepared to fire, but stumbled - his boots was at the root - and the shot did not hit the target. Wolf with a furious roar jumped hunter, trying to grab his throat.

Fortunately, Ferola was a good reaction - he hit an animal butt, and he fell to the ground. Almost immediately, the wolf jumped up again. Ferola managed to snatch a hunting knife and stepped forward bravely preparing for the jump to the beast. They met in mortal combat. But the second break and experience helped the hunter, he could wind his cloak on his left hand and put it into the beast's mouth. While he tried in vain to dobrats their sharp tusks to hand Ferola slapped his dagger, trying to cut the animal's throat. Hunting knife Ferola with a wide and sharp as a razor blade, with a huge butt was almost as weighty as a small hatchet. Man and beast fell to the ground and rolled in a violent fight over the leaves. At some point they were at a fallen tree, an animal's paw, staring furiously at the hunter's bloodshot eyes caught on the crooked trunk. At the same moment Ferola hit her with a knife and cut through the flesh of a sharp blade, tendons and bone. Wolf howled terribly, and sad, and escaping from the clutches of a hunter, limping, ran away. Ferola, blood-spattered animal, exhausted, sitting on the ground. Raincoat was torn into strips, but he discovered with relief that, thanks to the improvised protection on hand were only surface scratches. Hunter loaded gun, intending to find and finish off a wounded animal, but then decided it was too late, and if it is delayed, it will have to get to the house of his friend in the dark.

You can imagine how excited listening Sanrosh the detailed story, continually interrupting his exclamations of surprise and fright. Friends walked slowly, and finally entered the garden Sanrosha. Ferola pointed to his bag. "I picked up the paw of the beast with him - he said - so that you can verify the veracity of my story." He leaned over the bag, his back to the other, so that Sanrosh could see immediately that he pulls out. A strangled cry, the hunter dropped something on the grass. He turned and struck him Sanrosha deadly pallor.

"I do not understand, - I whispered Ferola - because it was the wolf's paw!" Sanrosh bent down, and he, too, was terrified: lying on the grass svezheotrublennaya hand. His fear increased even when he noticed a dead delicate fingers a few rings. One of them, elaborate in a spiral and decorated with blue topaz, it is learned. It was his wife's ring.

Somehow got rid of completely bewildered Ferola, Sanrosh brush wrapped in a shawl and stumbled trudged home. His wife had already returned. The servant reported that she was resting and asked her not to bother. Going into his wife's bedroom, Sanrosh found her lying in bed in a semi-conscious state. She was deathly pale. On the sheets was blood. They called the doctor, and he was able to save the life of Madame Sanrosh elaborately wound treatment: the brush of her hand was severed. Sanrosh spent several agonizing weeks before my wife and I decided to talk about this story. In the end the poor woman has admitted that she was a werewolf. Apparently, Sanrosh was not a very good husband, because he went to the authorities and reported her. Commencement of the trial, and after the torture the woman confessed their evil deeds. Soon Madame Sanrosh was burned at the stake, and more Auvergne werewolves are not disturbed.

The story in this or that form is preserved in many sources that time. Definitely, it is - one of the most striking illustrations of the terrible phenomenon. Now it is time to call a spade a spade, to try to shed light on this mysterious story. Werewolf and his disgusting things were already known in the days of the founding of Rome. That being feared in ancient Greece. But, as in the stories with vampires, werewolves presence most evident in Eastern Europe, where just at the mere mention of werewolves farmer turned pale and looked around anxiously.

France have suffered considerably from Lugar and folk legends contain many stories about the hunt for the man-beasts that lived in the mountains. It is natural that these legends are more common in rural and mountain areas such as Auvergne and Jura, where wolves have caused much trouble to the shepherds. Germany has gone through a lot of this misfortune. As it spread to the north, at least England, apparently, it was not too exposed, surviving records indicate that werewolves lived in Ireland. Unlike a vampire coming out of the grave to drink the blood of human beings, the werewolf is not a native of the "order" of light. He - a phenomenon purely earthly. It seems that the transformation of man into a werewolf was caused by some disease that can strike anyone. Bitten infected by a werewolf necessarily, but the terrible symptoms could appear in person, and when he sat in safety at home and did not do anything that could identify him such a provision. It is with these were associated wild fear and mass executions in the Middle Ages, when the suspects that they are werewolves, burned and betrayed the sword. Terrible was the fury with which the people greeted inherent manifestations were thought werewolves signs and primitive courts and mass executions like the general hysteria. During outbreaks of violent mass fear man, slightly touched by madness or "resemblance" to the wolf - which has sharp teeth, thin long face - could easily be under suspicion and end up in court.

The most feared of the full moon, as it was believed that the attack strikes at this time is particularly common. "Affected moon" found that their bodies have changed vile, disgusting, they began to look like a wolf and behave like these beasts. Having undergone such transformation, they would go to night wandering and killing anyone who gets in their way. It is likely that they were a terrible disaster. To people turned into a vampire, it must attack another vampire. But lycanthropy can unexpectedly affect anyone, and there is no escape from it - no garlic, no cross is not helping.

How to tell the ancient treatises, the true lycanthrope not only changed physically, so that their appearance begins to resemble a beast, but changed his mind and behavior. He feels only the beast. Unlike the vampire he is not limited to nocturnal activities, meeting with him face trouble and a sunny day. Yet the moonlight is particularly dangerous. In the full moon people especially at risk. Struck lycanthropy very quickly change the appearance. Home attack is often accompanied by a sense of lung fever, which then gave way to a fever. The man had a headache and was suffering from severe thirst. The hands began to swell and lengthen u like leprosy, the skin of the face and extremities Grubel and blurred. Sweat and shortness of breath is also often accompanied npevrascheniyu, then receiving a more definite shape. Feet Hachinala interfere shoes, and the victim threw her toes curl and made tenacious. Reason victim also changed: she felt comfortable and not cramped in the house and wanted to get out. Then, along with nausea and cramps come complete brain fog, chest started burning, tongue refused to obey, instead of being articulate speech publish guttural mutterings. When it is this stage, lycanthrope dropped clothes and got up on all fours, his body was getting dark, covered with matted hair, zatverdevali soles - naked man-beast could run over sharp stones and thorns as could not have a normal person with sensitive skin. Head overgrown coarse hair so that it seemed as if the person wearing the mask of an animal. Later, especially during the full moon, lycanthrope fully seized with the thirst for blood, suppressing all other feelings. And he ran away into the night, howling at the moon and killing everyone - animal or human - who came into his path.

Usually he killed, like most predators, biting through the neck artery. After satisfying their bloodlust, lycanthrope fell in the forest to the ground and fell asleep. By morning, the man-wolf became a man again. Murders night, remorse during the day - such was the terrible fate of the murderer-werewolf.

Lycanthrope always felt like these changes started, but everything happened so fast that suffer from this disease were to take special measures to prevent their exposure. Those houses were large enough, hidden in a secret room up until once again did not get themselves. Others, if the attack started during the night and fled into the woods and there growling and rolling on the ground, biting and scratching tree trunks, and then tormented agony of mind as much as the torments of the body.

Lycanthrope have had little chance of being cured. He was doomed to wander every night, until some being stronger than it, not destroy it, or is not a silver bullet put an end to his suffering. However, unlike werewolves vampires could be killed and conventional methods, but the most effective way was considered specially made silver bullet, truly amazing for a monster to death. This view was widespread in some areas of Europe to the XVIII century, just like the old story that the werewolf always carries with him his thick, shaggy wolf's tail. People believed that this physical feature is always preserved when lycanthropy, and in examining doctor invariably inquired about his availability.

There was also the view that, if the hide or burn the clothes of the suspect werewolf, he can not regain his human form. This superstition has been particularly prevalent in Eastern Europe and Russia. In many countries, the holy water is considered to be an elixir against adversity. People believed that spilled on the suspect lycanthrope, it burns the hair and physically clears the victim.

The situation in which turned out to be a suspect in lycanthropy was really terrible. This attack created a whole set of moral and religious problems in an age when the church played an important role in virtually all daily human affairs. If the authorities learned of the existence of a lycanthrope, it was waiting for a terrible fate. Most of what he could expect - fast and easy death, but this is rarely bestowed mercy accident. Usually werewolves betrayed public trial, accompanied by torture, and then sent to a terrible punishment, often burned.

And the proof of guilt of the werewolf mined very cruel ways. With one we have already seen in the story of Madame Sanrosh. More frequently, lycanthrope tracked down the blood trail leads to the person or, if a wounded animal did not leave a trace, looking for a man who had a wound or lesion in the same place where he was wounded and the wolf. There was another "sure-fire" way that helps to identify company-og. During the transformation into a wolf increasing blood lust was combined in an accident with an irresistible desire to tear off all my clothes, and, tearing it, he, of course, hurt themselves; the skin is damaged and, being already a wolf, he ran through the forest. Therefore, when the persecutors, among whom were often obsessed with revenge relatives of the victims, the suspect broke into the house, he was often forced to undress and treacherous traces become clearly visible on the human skin has ...

It is much more brutal method of determining the werewolf gave rise to the belief, widespread in Germany, France and Eastern Europe, though werewolf can change his skin, just twisting it inside out, that is, if he appeared in human form - so he just wrenched out of human skin . And when he will again turn into a wolf, he will change the cover by unscrewing out fur. Hard to believe, but many people were literally cut to pieces "whistleblowers" who were trying to turn their skin "fur on the outside"

Man stubborn by nature, he believes in what he wants to believe, inquisitors, undeterred by the bloodshed, hoping crawled chit more tangible evidence in their righteous struggle against the forces of darkness. Given the time and the circumstances, they can be understood, although it is impossible to forgive.

It is unknown the exact number of people hanged and burned, accused of lycanthropy, but the number of victims, as evidenced by ancient records, was significant. Obviously, most of these people were clean before God and men. ^ It is not surprising, though in such a sad state of the victims 'justice' desperately, with great cunning and ingenuity were looking for a means to salvation. Consider a few basic ways, which was believed to have resorted people-wolves, to hide his misfortune.

At full moon, when the lycanthrope was particularly prone to bouts of illness, he locked himself in his room and threw the key into the darkness, and when the attack was over, he had to find the money to get out. Other manufactured clever belts that tied herself to the bed. Most werewolves arranged shelter in a house somewhere in a secret place, perhaps under the roof, so that all the noise drowned. The windows in their homes werewolves tried to close the bars, and put the door bolts. Apply special constipation, are beyond the beast, but that could open people.

However, all these measures, carefully prepared, only briefly delayed the inevitable exposure. The main trouble accidents "wolves" was that there was no medical remedy for this disease. Werewolves and brought with them one more trouble. It was believed that the true werewolf can physically transform into a real wolf. French, Spanish, Italian legends tell that often some simple farmer responsible for the tricks of the beast.

However, we must remember, taught ancient records that, in addition to "werewolves victims", and werewolves existed "at will." These people enjoyed to be cruel. Some believed that the transformation of man into a beast can be effectively used plants, and in the period between the XV and XIX centuries, those who tried to be a wolf, not just kneaded bizarre brew. Philosophers and other scholars for centuries led debate: whether werewolves were actually? Assuming, in principle, the possibility of mental health problems, reflected in the fact that the patients felt like wild beasts, many authorities were of the opinion that there are real lycanthropes can not in principle.

Speaking about the true werewolf, which is able to turn into a wolf with the help of black magic or any other forces, Dominican monks James Springer and Heinrich Kramer, categorically stated:. "It's impossible" They argued that with the help of various potions and spells a sorcerer or magician can make the person who looks at it, to imagine that he turned into a wolf or another animal, but it is physically impossible to turn a man into a beast. Nevertheless lycanthropy as a disease makes a person think that he turned into a beast and should behave accordingly, it has been known since ancient times.

Until about 125 BC. e. Roman poet Marcellus Sidetes wrote about lycanthropy, indicating that the affected person covers mania, accompanied by a terrible appetite and ferocity of a wolf. According to sit, people are more prone to it at the beginning of the year, especially in February, when the disease is most common and can be observed in the most severe forms. Subjected to its influence and then removed the abandoned cemeteries and live there like hungry wolves ferocious. It was believed that a werewolf - that's a bad man, whom the gods have turned into a beast as punishment. In the Middle Ages, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, was born the view that werewolves are a result of the evil machinations of witches and wizards, and as a result of superstition in a variety of used elaborate procedures that can supposedly save from witchcraft.

In Greek legends, too, can find a lot of references about wolves and about turning people into animals. For example, one of the legends says that in Arcadia people turned themselves into wolves during a special ceremony. Those wishing to become wolves withdrawn on deaf marshes, where they took off their clothes and get across the swamp on a special island. On this island, the new arrivals were taken the same wolf-people and live among them as equals.

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