The Hairy Killer: Werewolf Legend
Your pet Chihuahua probably didn’t descend from the Werewolf. I’m not sure if any dog can claim the Werewolf as its great-great-great-grandfather.The elusive werewolf does not easily fall on any evolution chart. But this begs the question, where did the werewolf come from?
This is not so easy to answer. Why? Because it’s reliant on our ancestors’ testimony.
We all know this truth. Our ancestors were not well learned people.
Our ancestors the commoners were largely uneducated with barely a second grade education which is probably overshooting it. Second graders are cute and all, but the stories they tell can be quite interesting.
The doctors were well read, educated in philosophy, and understood logic argument. They weren’t exactly the most efficient physicians though in terms of healing their patients.
Raise your hand if you would like to be treated by leeches so your illness is sucked out? Look, even if I thought they might do me good, these critters are not cute people.
And does anyone want your doctor to remove your infected hand? If you lived in the right century, in the right place, you might get something to deaden the pain but probably not. Plan on biting a towel and just know, your ancestors couldn’t see the germ, so it didn’t exist.
Besides the commoners, physicians, and we also had scholars who recorded history. They had a formal education and were intelligent.
The historian recorders, however, were not CNN reporters nor had they ever seen a CSI TV show. They did not quite appreciate the importance of gathering multiple accounts, or understand that eyewitness testimony is biased. The people who recorded our history sometimes never went to the site where it happened. Rather they often took the oral tales told to them and simply recorded it.
Not to mention our record keepers were chauvinist men and extremely superstitious believing every tiny thing that went wrong in their city was the fault of a woman and obviously a witch.
Name the horrid event and you’ll find a nasty witch behind each one. A plague? Damnable witches. A drought- yup, witches. A famine…witches again. Pope has diarrhea, who else, the shitty witches.
A village attack at night and a body found mangled, and it’s the third time this has happened in a month? Hmmm…witches do spells but don’t eat flesh so it can’t be them. Ok, maybe not a witch this time. Got it. A werewolf who consorts with witches. Yeah, that’s it.
In today’s world, when we hear of a string of murders in our community, we think psychopath and serial killer. Our minds conjure up the fictional Hannibal Lecter, and then move on to non-fiction people like Ted Bundy or Jeffery Dahmer.
If we see on TV a person who has hair growing all over their body we don’t gasp, point at the screen and shout, “Werewolf!” No, we understand there’s a condition called Hypertrichosis that causes excessive facial and body hair growth.
When we read in the paper about an eighteen year-old who claims to be a vampire, or werewolf, or something supernatural, we don’t automatically take his word. Rather, the words “crazy” or “insane” pop in our head. If you’ve taken some psychology courses then the words, Delusional or Schizophrenia come to mind.
I say all this before I go into old historical accounts of werewolves to give you an objective lens.
I don’t say all this to be boring or make an argument against werewolves…heavens no. I’d love to find me a werewolf as much as the next guy.
But I’m an educated and pragmatic guy, and very weary of falling into the superstitious trap who accepts everything without questioning the evidence in front of them. We need to rely on deductive reasoning and be mindful there are multiple perspectives to every event and be skeptical of such things as werewolves until we have more evidence to suggest otherwise.
Evidence is Not Fact
It takes tons of data and personal accounts to come to a solid logical conclusion, and in the psychologist world, you never know if you are one hundred percent right.
A piece of evidence does not give you an open-shut conclusion. If you and your peers are nosy and hypothesize your gay professor is cheating with another guy you are more likely to confirm your hypothesis with the smallest of details. Suppose you hear from a good friend he was seen kissing a strange man you’ve never seen. You conclude he’s cheating. You start telling everyone that Professor Joe is cheating on long time husband. The bombshell comes a week a later…you find out your professor’s brother was visiting and in your professor’s culture it is customary to give a kiss.
We should always have to take stories from once upon a time with a grain of salt.
To get a valid account of a story we need to gather information from several sources such eyewitnesses and piece them together.
After the JFK assassination, it took two or three years to get a clearer picture of what actually happened on November 22, 1963 in Dallas.
How many shots were fired? Three, four, five? Did anyone see a shooter on the third floor book depository? Was there a shooter on the grassy knoll?
They conducted interviews, gathered evidence from personal accounts, and even watched hundreds of home videos. Amazingly, after all this, there were more questions than conclusions. Was there more than one shooter?
This doubt was followed a few years later by another group of experts collecting more evidence to come to another conclusion.
The shooter on the grassy knoll still remains unknown.
The point…history is filled with tales that do not provide the accurate, or comprehensive accounts.
Werewolf accounts in our history are more often than not stories that are warped and biased by the people who witnessed them. The stories are further exaggerated and twisted around an oral tradition.
There is no doubt that there were innocent people who were simply mentally ill who claimed to be all sorts of things and were tried as werewolves. Not mention there was no doubt people took revenge on their enemies and accused them of witchcraft and being werewolf.
Superstitions ruled the day, not sane rational thought. The idea that people had mental health problems was a foreign idea just like there being something called “a germ” that was invisible to the eye.
Not to mention, there were probably serials killers who viciously tortured and killed their victims and were called by the people, werewolves.
Why would any average villager kill so viciously? Never mind the Church’s propensity to sadistically torture. That was in God’s name. And never mind the terrifying Armies that committed unspeakable atrocities. That was in defense of one’s country. A villager was suppose to peaceful, and not rip people apart regardless if that villager found himself in a violent culture.
Lastly, there were probably real wolves that preyed on humans. I’m going to say it’s also possible there was a mutant-dog species, or wolf-mutant species that once existed but we’ve never seen.
In todays world we continue to find species that we never knew existed. It’s possible there were species wolves that existed that we’ve never seen.
Now, as for a human mutant who turned into a wolf? Umm, well, okay, I’ll let you decide.