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Werewolf warrior: Thiess of Livonia

1722 German woodcut of a werewolf transforming.

Image via Wikipedia

In 1692, in the Northern European country of Livonia (now part of Estonia), the Catholic Inquisition put an 80-year-old man named Theiss on trial for idolatry and superstitious beliefs.

Those beliefs: that he was a werewolf. Well, not really that he was a werewolf. The problem was really that he was a werewolf and he said he was going to heaven.

According to Theiss, he and a bunch of other Livonian guys turned into wolves and descended into hell three times a year, to fight witches to maintain a good harvest for the countryside. Theiss claimed that witches, lead by a guy named Skeistan, did their best to screw up the food stocks by stealing seed grain and taking it to hell to keep crops from growing. If Theiss and the others didn’t fight to get the seed back, the crops would suffer, and so would other food stocks, including the fish catch.

Theiss claimed his werewolves were the hounds of God, doing the work of good against the evil witches. The judges were totally shocked by his claims… not of being a werewolf, but that being a werewolf wasn’t a bad thing. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t get him to say that he’d signed a pact with the devil.

So they sentenced him to ten lashes (A slap on the wrist, really), and let him go about his business.

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werewolf
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
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About teresawilde

Author of Young Adult Paranormals, Paranormal Romance, Historical Paranormal Romance, tragical- comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, and poem unlimited.

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