Read PDF Animal Behavior and Other Tales of Lycanthropy: A Chilling Collection of Werewolf Horror

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A Chilling Collection of Werewolf Horror! "Keith Gouveia offers an irresistible buffet of werewolf stories. Succulent and satisfying, fans of.
Table of contents

For the serious devourer of lycanthropic lore, it's a fascinating and provoking read. While many of the others cover esoteric topics of local folklore and Church history, it is no surprise that this one still attracts modern readers. It is one of the first and still one of the best books on the topic, and is such a standard reference that many later books on werewolves and lycanthropy owe a great deal to his work. Baring-Gould attempts at least three tasks: to summarize folklore and beliefs about werewolves and related phenomena; to collect specific cases from ancient, medieval, and modern histories; and to explain the origins of the beliefs and demythologize the superstition.

The origin of the species: Werewolves

He includes stories of physical transformations alongside stories of metempsychosis the transmigration of the soul into another body as well as legends where the transformation is only illusory. Baring-Gould gives particular attention to the Scandinavian sagas and mythology, devoting two whole chapters on them. I found a lot of interesting stuff there. The next third of the book, covering the middle ages and more modern times, focuses on the details of how one becomes a werewolf, how they can be identified, and how the affliction might be cured.

This book is also thought to be the first to articulate the idea that werewolf legends arose from incidents of serial murders. Maybe the fact that he was an Anglican priest led him to the view that all people are equally capable of sin and evil? Baring-Gould gives what he says is the first English account of the horrible crimes of Gilles of de Rais, expurgated of the most heinous details.

Feb 13, Octavia Cade rated it really liked it Shelves: mythology , werewolves , legends , folklore. First published in , this really interesting study on the werewolf is notable for what it doesn't show. Ask a random person on the street today what they know about werewolves, and the answer will generally involve silver bullets and a full moon, but the mythos of earlier centuries is very different indeed. Baring-Gould's assessment of the phenomenon comes from a place of rationalism - it is clear he ascribes symptoms of lycanthropy to mental illness rather than supernatural effect.

However First published in , this really interesting study on the werewolf is notable for what it doesn't show. However the folklore, legends and myths of lycanthropy - and how they appear in history in the recorded criminal trials of those affected, for example - describe populations and cultures where this rationalism was very far from a satisfactory explanation for the people involved.

Baring-Gould, while not convinced human beings physically transform into wolf bodies, nevertheless has taken a scholarly, detailed, and anecdote-filled look at this phenomenon. The resulting book is fascinating, profound, and sometimes disturbing…both by what it says about were-wolves, and by what it says about ourselves.

A Personal Touch Mr. Baring-Gould begins his work by explaining why were-wolves came to be of such interest to him. He describes a personal experience in an isolated village in France, where the local villagers were deathly afraid of crossing the heath at night, for fear of the loup-garou.

Baring-Gould poo-poos the idea of supernatural beings although he provides himself with a cudgel for use against actual wolves. He says that the persistence of the belief in were-wolves — even into his own time — inspired him to study the phenomenon in depth. This personal touch persists throughout. The book is stuffed with examples and anecdotes of vicious men, men and women who turn into beasts not limited to wolves , accounts of diabolic interference, and other strange circumstances. It is now over a hundred years since Baring-Gould composed his work, and yet the intimacy and authority of his source material brings the subject uncomfortably close to home.

Legend — Near and Far Baring-Gould also strives to include a diverse selection of material. In contrast, the Catholic peoples of Europe were more likely to ascribe were-wolves to the Devil. A scholarly treatise anyone can read.

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Does the Devil have the power to turn men into wolves, the better to rend their fellow humans? Is it solely the result of mental illness, where men either believe themselves responsible for the work of normal wolves — or believe themselves transformed into wolves, and so act according to their new nature?

Animal Behavior and Other Tales of Lycanthropy

Is it a self-fulfilling prophecy, where people who believe in were-wolves imagine any violent, vicious man to be actually transformed into a wolf? Baring-Gould makes this point emphatically. The examples he gives are horrific, while not being explicit or gory. Without sensationalizing, he lets the facts speak for themselves as he describes historical, document-able cases of cannibalism, torture, or sadism…with no excuse of physical transformation or diabolic possession.

Respectable is not Holy. Although a war hero to his country, rich beyond imagination, and an advisor to his king, he was not satisfied. When he read of the cruelties of some of the Roman emperors, he was so thrilled that he determined to imitate — and even surpass — their wickedness.

In , he was arrested, tried, and condemned for kidnapping, torturing, murdering, and beheading over a hundred children most of them seem to have been about ten years old. What madness possessed this noble of France? What excuse could possibly be given for this horrific practice? He did it because it was FUN — and admitted as much as his own trial.

ISBN 13: 9781940761084

Now, he also protested repentance, begged to be sent to a monastery to purge his soul, and sermonized at his own execution about the forgiveness of God. Was he sincere?

Only God can know. But as Mr. How many hope to go to heaven because they have pious emotions! How easy it is to relegate savagery and cannibalism and child sacrifice to the heathens of long ago! But these evil impulses still lurk among us today…they lurk in my heart, and in yours. What would it take to bring them to the surface? Just reading the preview text is probably enough to make your stomach turn.

Five words: Planned Parenthood sells baby parts. Onward, Christian soldiers! Lord, forgive me, a sinner! Please check the copyright laws in your own country. Sabine Baring-Gould was an Anglican priest, hagiographer, antiquarian, and writer of several hymns in the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.


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This is a very dry read, and you have to really want to know about werewolves to slog through it, but it is full of some very gruesome stories, indeed. Of course, "gruesome" is in the eye of the beholder. The author wrote this at around the time of the civil war in the United States, and what was considered too horrible to be printed then would be put in children's books now. I exaggerate, but only just. I read this book for reference, and will probably refer to it as a source for werewolf and This is a very dry read, and you have to really want to know about werewolves to slog through it, but it is full of some very gruesome stories, indeed.

I read this book for reference, and will probably refer to it as a source for werewolf and other were-animal stories when the fancy strikes. If you can find an actual written copy, you'd be better off. The e-book is riddled with transcription errors that probably occurred when the original was scanned using OCR. It often turns 'e' into 'a' or 'o', as well as making other strange substitutions. Which is sometimes easy to catch when the author is writing in English, but almost impossible to catch when he is writing in German, Greek, French, or Latin.

If nothing else, I've found a treasure trove of names, dates, places, and events to research separately. An interesting glimpse into werewolf history. The book has aged well and makes for good reading even if it's originally from the 's. The Finnish translation of this book is really good, giving additional information on names, events and even concepts in the book that I wouldn't have otherwise understood.

The crime stories towards the end of the book didn't bother me even though the information on the werewolf myths was the best thing about this book. I'd recommend this for anyone who is inter An interesting glimpse into werewolf history.

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I'd recommend this for anyone who is interested in history, myths and of course werewolves. I listened to the Librivox recording of this book. I say give it a try, it's free after all! Mar 03, Leah rated it liked it Shelves: into-the-forest Sometimes those stories were obtained from documents like court transcripts; other times the stories were told dir " Startling though the assertion may be, it is a matter of fact, that man, naturally, in common with other carnivora, is actuated by an impulse to kill, and by a love of destroying life.

Sometimes those stories were obtained from documents like court transcripts; other times the stories were told directly to the author. Despite the antiquated statements and supporting "evidence," there's enough information to hold the attention of a curious reader or researcher. Were it not for the repeated references to the "savage" and "its uncultivated mind" and the author's obvious bigotry, this book might've earned higher placement on my folklore shelf.

Otten as a companion or replacement read for The Book of Werewolves. Since then, werewolves have retreated into fiction and famously into films where, along with vampires, they have become purveyors of macabre entertainment. But what this book demonstrates is that the werewolf was once the object of very real terror. And with good reason. Jan 04, Darkvine rated it liked it. Sabine Baring-Gould was a Vicar in the Church of England in Devon, an archaeologist, folklorist, historian and a prolific author.


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Baring-Gould was also a bit eccentric. He reputedly taught classes with a pet bat on his shoulder. He is best known for writing the hymn 'Onward Christian Soldiers'. This book is one of the most cited references about werewolves. The Book of the Were-Wolf takes a rationalistic approach to the subject. The book starts off with a straightforward academic revie Sabine Baring-Gould was a Vicar in the Church of England in Devon, an archaeologist, folklorist, historian and a prolific author.