A farmer in a small village in Macedonia is digging up a new part of his field when the plow hits an object. It’s a box that’s chained shut. Being brave and curious (and probably hoping it contained gold or something that might get him his own reality show), he opened the box and found a strange skull that looks to him to be from a werewolf or ‘Varkolak’ in the local language. Is it?
That the story a farmer named Trayche from Novo Selo Stipsko in Macedonia told Filip Ganov, a Bulgarian student who was in the village doing research on the Balkan Wars. The inside lid of the box contains lettering in Cryllic script which is common in Bulgarian and Macedonian languages. No translation was given of the lettering, which would have been helpful.
Trayche wouldn’t part with his werewolf skull but he did let Ganov take pictures, which were presented to a wildlife expert in Bulgaria who speculated that it was indeed from a wolf but not necessarily a werewolf. Instead, he surmised the wolf was suffering from Paget’s disease, a genetic disorder (also common in humans) that can cause misshapen bones and enlarged skulls. Paget’s disease can be caused by canine distemper virus, a common virus in wolves and dogs.
The skull definitely looks both canine and human and a little baboonish, which would probably cause some consternation among Bulgarians and Macedonians raised on Eastern European folklore. The chain around the box is a good indication whoever buried it believed it was a creature they didn’t want roaming around again.
So, is Trayche’s skull-in-a-box from a werewolf? It’s definitely a creature that’s out of the norm. Only a DNA test will tell. Until then, Trayche probably keeps digging and hoping for a reality show.