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Polish Werewolves

Des Essientes Threads: 9
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  ♂   Oct 9, 2011, 08:08am  #1

Sabine Baring-Gould author of the smash hit hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” as well as the charming saga of Stewponey Bla also wrote a book recounting various European myths of the werewolf. His entry regarding Poland is as follows:
The Poles have their were-wolves, which rage twice in the year--at Christmas and at midsummer.
According to a Polish story, if a witch lays a girdle of human skin on the threshold of a house in which a marriage is being celebrated, the bride and bridegroom, and bridesmaids and groomsmen, should they step across it, are transformed into wolves. After three years, however, the witch will cover them with skins with the hair. turned outward; immediately they will recover their natural form. On one occasion, a witch cast a skin of too scanty dimensions over the bridegroom, so that his tail was left uncovered: he resumed his human form, but retained his lupine caudal appendage.

Has this happened to you? Is this legend still remembered in Poland? Is this legitimate Polish folklore regarding werewolves?


a.k.     Oct 9, 2011, 09:41am  #2

Is this legend still remembered in Poland?


No.

Is this legitimate Polish folklore regarding werewolves?


I've just tried to check it now but couldn't find anything on the net about that particular tale which you provided.

hague1cmaeron Threads: 20
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  ♂   Edited by: hague1cmaeron  Oct 9, 2011, 10:50am  #3

The Poles have their were-wolves, which rage twice in the year--at Christmas and at midsummer.

Yep, I can testify to this, his name is Kaczynski, and once in awhile he changes into one and then back again, although for the most part he is a werewolf, or at least he behaves like an undomesticated dog.

boletus Threads: 46
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Joined: Apr 13, 2011
  ♂   Edited by: boletus  Oct 9, 2011, 12:12pm  #4

Here you go Des Essientes,
Krakow, Poland--European werewolves are howling mad over Russian scientists' controversial new plan to blow up the moon!

"It is abundantly clear that this effort is directed at us--none of us are buying this talk about how it's supposed to 'improve the weather,'" fumes Zbigniew Orlowski, chairman of the Pan-European Lycanthropy Association, a Krakow-based support group. "How stupid do they think we are?"

"I suppose we're expected to just sit back and accept this latest effort to drive us into extinction. But we're not going to stand for it."

boletus Threads: 46
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Joined: Apr 13, 2011
  ♂   Oct 9, 2011, 01:00pm  #5

Year: 1559
Scientist/artist: Pierre Boaistuau
Originally published in: Histoires Prodigieuses
Now appears in: Wonders and the Order of Nature by Lorraine Daston and Katharine Park
Within a few decades of Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses a new monster made an appearance in Europe. Called the Monster of Krakow (or Cracow), this beast sported heads on its joints — the standard identifier of demonic handiwork. It reputedly died four hours after its birth, but not without warning, "Watch, the Lord cometh." By the time this monster was "born," Luther and Philipp Melanchthon had published pamphlets about other monsters engendered by divine displeasure with the papacy. Convictions that heretical beliefs were on the rise likely played a role in the appearance of this beast.

http://www.strangescience.net/stmons.htm




carrie65 Threads: 2
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Joined: Sep 15, 2011
  ♀   Oct 9, 2011, 01:23pm  #6

The Poles have their were-wolves, which rage twice in the year--at Christmas and at midsummer.

I'm not too well up on the original legend but in urban areas of south wales there are Polish men who turn into werewolves about every couple of months, this usually has to do with a clear alcoholic spirit and a lot of daft men! They often have painful after effects from this experience and wonder around the house next day crying 'moja głowa boli'
'Ja jestem tak głupi' poor dears must be awful to have such an affliction through no fault of their own!!!!!

pawian Threads: 162
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  ♂   Oct 9, 2011, 03:24pm  #7

Once Jarosław Kaczyński said that Donald Tusk had wolverine eyes.
s

Des Essientes Threads: 9
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Joined: Feb 6, 2010
  ♂   Oct 24, 2011, 03:34pm  #8

The story Baring-Gould recounts may make one wonder why a witch would turn a wedding party into wolves. What is in it for her? The following passage of Popular Tales from the Norse, by Sir George Webbe Dasent, explains:

One characteristic of all these witch trials, is the fact, that in spite of their unholy connection and intrigues with the Evil One, no witch ever attained to wealth and station by the aid of the Prince of Darkness. The pleasure to do ill, is all the pleasure they feel. This fact alone might have opened the eyes of their persecutors, for if the Devil had the worldly power which they represented him to have, he might at least have raised some of his votaries to temporal rank, and to the pomps and the vanities of this world. An old German proverb expresses this notorious fact, by saying, that 'every seven years, a witch is three halfpence richer'; and so with all the unholy means of Hell at their command, they dragged out their lives, along with their black cats, in poverty and wretchedness.

So it seems that just as "virtue is its own reward" then so too is evil, but why, after three years, does the witch in the story change the wolves back into human beings?

PWEI Threads: 4
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  ♂   Oct 24, 2011, 03:40pm  #9

Des Essientes:
but why, after three years, does the witch in the story change the wolves back into human beings?

Statute of limitations.

modafinil Threads: -
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  ♂   Feb 17, 2012, 12:28am  #11

Des Essientes:
So it seems that just as "virtue is its own reward" then so too is evil, but why, after three years, does the witch in the story change the wolves back into human beings?


Lycanthropy has an allegoric harmony with puberty. The movie Ginger Snaps played with that idea very well - monthly cycles, cliques, ravenous (sexual) appetites, etc. So after the struggle with the pubescent stage, one becomes human.

THE HITMAN Threads: -
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  ♂   Feb 17, 2012, 12:31am  #12

pawian:
Once Jarosław Kaczyński said that Donald Tusk had wolverine eyes.

I think he had a good point there. Seems true lately.

jasondmzk     Feb 17, 2012, 12:43am  #13

This group has played Castle Party at Bolków Castle at least twice:


Ironside Threads: 51
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  ♂  :-( Feb 17, 2012, 12:47am  #14

About werewolves wrote Gaius Plinius Secundus in his Naturalis Historia, . According to him some tribes had their warriors turned into werewolves, on territories possibly populated by the Slavic tribes.

JonnyM Threads: 14
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Joined: Mar 9, 2011
  ♂   Feb 17, 2012, 12:56am  #15

Des Essientes:
Sabine Baring-Gould

From near my town. Check out the Sabine Baring Gould Society.
hague1cmaeron:
his name is Kaczynski

No he's just a pest in the bushes at the cruising ground.
Des Essientes:
Has this happened to you?

Actually yes, in a way. Those old legends have an honest basis in the way people interpreted events and yes, I have seen a werewolf.

Des Essientes Threads: 9
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  ♂   Feb 17, 2012, 12:58am  #16

Herodotus in his fourth book, the one on Scythia, in chapter 105 discusses the Neuroi who once a year become wolves "for a few days".

SeanBM Threads: 42
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  ♂   Feb 17, 2012, 01:00am  #17

JonnyM:
I have seen a werewolf.

Do tell? how did it differ from a normal wolf?

JonnyM Threads: 14
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Joined: Mar 9, 2011
  ♂   Feb 17, 2012, 01:01am  #18

Des Essientes:
Herodotus in his fourth book, the one on Scythia, in chapter 105 discusses the Neuroi

He does briefly, but he doesn't pretend it's new and refers to Ovid whose writings are the key to this.
SeanBM:
how did it differ from a normal wolf?

Human.

rozumiemnic Threads: 11
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  ♀   Feb 17, 2012, 01:02am  #19

SeanBM:
Do tell? how did it differ from a normal wolf?

yes cmon jonny we want details....

Des Essientes Threads: 9
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  ♂   Edited by: Des Essientes  Feb 17, 2012, 01:04am  #20

JonnyM:
discusses the Neuroi
He does briefly, but he doesn't pretend it's new and refers to Ovid whose writings are the key to this.

Herodotus is the Greek father of History predating the Roman Ovid by centuries.

JonnyM Threads: 14
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  ♂   Feb 17, 2012, 01:04am  #21

rozumiemnic:
details

I prefer to try and forget.....

SeanBM Threads: 42
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  ♂   Edited by: SeanBM  Feb 17, 2012, 01:05am  #22

JonnyM:
Human

How did it differ from other humans?

(did anyone see that Polish film last night about the two kids with the wishing stick and one fo them wished a wolf would come and a bad man with a wolf tatoo showed up?)

JonnyM:
I prefer to try and forget.....

You peaked my interest.

JonnyM Threads: 14
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  ♂   Feb 17, 2012, 01:07am  #23

SeanBM:
How did it differ from other humans?

Vodka came into it somewhere.

modafinil Threads: -
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Joined: Jun 28, 2011
  ♂   Feb 17, 2012, 01:07am  #24

JonnyM:
yes, I have seen a werewolf.


Well? Where?

JonnyM:
Those old legends have an honest basis in the way people interpreted events


I once heard a story, recounted as true, about an Italian immigrant in America who claimed to be bewitched. He was put into an insane asylum and later it was found out that everyone from his region used that idiom to state they had fallen in love/ become infatuated with a young maiden. Poor guy.

JonnyM Threads: 14
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  ♂   Feb 17, 2012, 01:12am  #25

modafinil:
later it was found out that everyone from his region used that idiom to state they had fallen in love/

In German too.
modafinil:
Well? Where?

That which divides us from animals is a very thin veil which is easily broken...

Ironside Threads: 51
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  ♂  :-( Edited by: Ironside  Feb 17, 2012, 01:23am  #26

Des Essientes:
Herodotus in his fourth book, the one on Scythia, in chapter 105 discusses the Neuroi who once a year become wolves "for a few days".

Wait wasn't that Ptolemy ?

Anyway, I think that Anglo-Saxons were obsessed with wolves and afraid of them contrary to Poles.

Ironside Threads: 51
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  ♂  :-( Feb 17, 2012, 01:35am  #27

Something on topic:


Des Essientes Threads: 9
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  ♂   Edited by: Des Essientes  Feb 17, 2012, 01:53am  #28

Wait wasn't that Ptolemy ?

Anyway, I think that Anglo-Saxons were obsessed with wolves and afraid of them contrary to Poles.

No it was Herodotus

105. The Neuroi practise the Scythian customs: and one generation before the expedition of Dareios it so befell them that they were forced to quit their land altogether by reason of serpents: for their land produced serpents in vast numbers, and they fell upon them in still larger numbers from the desert country above their borders; until at last being hard pressed they left their own land and settled among the Budinoi. These men it would seem are wizards; for it is said of them by the Scythians and by the Hellenes who are settled in the Scythian land that once in every year each of the Neuroi becomes a wolf for a few days and then returns again to his original form. For my part I do not believe them when they say this, but they say it nevertheless, and swear it moreover.

gutenberg.org/files/2707/2707-h/book4.htm

Sabine Baring-Gould notes in his book on werewolves that of all the countries of europe had folktales about werewolves except for England because the Saxon kings paid bounties on wolves and thus exterminated them all. No wolves = no werewolf legends.

wolfcountry.net/ebooks/Sabine_Baring-Gould/The_Book_of_Were-Wolves/bofww10.pdf

pudortiz Threads: -
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  ♂   Feb 17, 2012, 04:18am  #29

the title caught my attention.. whoah.. never thought Jacob is Polish.. :D

JonnyM Threads: 14
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  ♂   Edited by: JonnyM  Feb 17, 2012, 12:33pm  #30

Des Essientes:
Herodotus is the Greek father of History predating the Roman Ovid by centuries.

Yes - I meant the other way round. Ovid referred (as he did so often) to Herodotus. Check out the alcohol connection.

Fraser in The Golden Bough also touches on the east European lycanthropic legends but locates them further south than Poland.

And indeed, most werewolves in Poland are in the south, with the exception of a couple in Warsaw - one just round the back of pl Narutowicza and a few working for Tesco in Kabaty Mall...



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Polish Werewolves

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