Dec 09, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Dog-Men: Centuries Ago They Were Known as Werewolves. It's All the Same, Though

Dog-Men: They're getting more and more publicity lately. The fact is, though, there's nothing new or strange about them. They've been around for centuries. Back then, they were known as werewolves. That's right: werewolves and Dog-Men are pretty much the same. With that said, let's have a look at some of those cases from older times. In 1879, Karl Bartsch wrote that in the vicinity of Klein-Krams, near Ludwigslust, Germany, there existed in earlier centuries huge woods that “…were so rich with game that the dukes often came to this region to hold their great hunts. During these hunts they almost always saw a wolf who - even though he came within shooting distance - could never be killed by a huntsman. Indeed, they even had to watch as he took a piece of game before their very eyes and - something that was most remarkable to them - ran with it into the village.” Bartsch continued that, on one particular occasion, a hussar from Ludwigslust was making his way through the village to meet with a man named Feeg. When the unnamed hussar arrived at the home of the man in question, he got far more than he bargained, as Bartsch recorded:  “When he entered the house a flock of children stormed out of the house with a loud cry and hurried out into the yard. When he asked them about their wild behavior, they told him that except for a small boy, no one from the Feeg family was at home, and that he - as was his custom when no one was at home - had transformed himself into a werewolf, and that they were running away from him, because otherwise he would bite them.”

(Nick Redfern) Dog-Men / Werewolves: there's not too much difference

Soon afterwards, Bartsch continued, the much-feared wolf-boy appeared, but by now he was back in his human form. The hussar demanded that the child tell him what manner of devilry was afoot in the village. Although the boy was initially reluctant to say anything at all, he finally relented. In Bartsch’s words: “The child told him that his grandmother had a strap, and that if he put it on he would instantly become a wolf. The hussar kindly asked the boy to make an appearance as a werewolf. At first the boy refused, but finally he agreed to do it, if the strange man would first climb into the loft, so that he would be safe from him. The hussar agreed to this, and to be sure pulled up the ladder with which he had climbed into the loft.” By Bartsch’s account, the incredible transformation from boy to monster happened quickly: “As soon as this had happened the boy ran into the main room, and soon came out again as a young wolf and chased away all those who standing in the entryway. After the wolf had run back into the main room and come back out as a boy, the hussar climbed down and had the Feeg child show him the magic belt, but he could not discover anything unusual about it.” In no time at all, the astonished and concerned hussar went to a forester in the vicinity of Klein-Krams and told him what he had experienced in the Feeg house. On listening to the tale, the forester, “…who had always been present at the great hunts near Klein-Krams, immediately thought about the werewolf who could not be wounded. He now thought that he would be able to kill the werewolf.” 

At the very next hunt the forester told his friends, as he carefully inserted a silver bullet into the barrel of his rifle: “Today the werewolf will not escape from me!” His concerned friends looked on in silence. According to Bartsch: “The hunt soon began, and it did not take long before the wolf showed himself once again. Many of the huntsmen shot at him, but he remained unwounded. Finally he approached the forester, who brought him to the ground. Everyone could see that the wolf was wounded, but soon he jumped up again and ran into the village. The huntsmen followed him, but the werewolf outran them and disappeared into the Feeg farmyard.” There was, however, an unforeseen ending to this strange saga of shape-shifting in Germany of centuries past. The werewolf killed by the forester was not the young Feeg boy, after all. Bartsch revealed the twist in the story: “In their search, the huntsmen came into the house, where they found the wolf in the grandmother's bed. They recognized it from the tail that was sticking out from under the covers. The werewolf was no one other than Feeg’s grandmother. In her pain she had forgotten to take off the strap, and thus she herself revealed the secret.” 

Now, onto another thought-provoking case. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, far better known, of course, as the Brothers Grimm, were born in Hanua, Germany – Jacob in 1875 and Wilhelm in the following year. They are renowned for their popularization of folklore, myths, and legends, and for promoting the likes of Rapunzel, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and Rumpelstiltskin. They also had an interesting tale to tell of werewolves. In 1816, they wrote: “A soldier related the following story, which is said to have happened to his grandfather. The latter, the grandfather, had gone into the forest to cut wood with a kinsman and a third man. People suspected that there was something not quite right about this third man, although no one could say exactly what it was. The three finished their work and were tired, whereupon the third man suggested that they sleep a little. And that is what they did. They all laid down on the ground, but the grandfather only pretended to sleep, keeping his eyes open a crack. The third man looked around to see if the others were asleep, and when he believed this to be so, he took off his belt (or, as others tell the story, put on a belt) and turned into a wolf. “However, such a werewolf does not look exactly like a natural wolf, but somewhat different.

(Nick Redfern) That's me on the right...

Then he ran to a nearby meadow where a young foal was grazing, attacked it, and ate it, including skin and hair. Afterward he returned, put his belt back on (or took it off), and laid down, as before, in human form. “A little later they all got up together and made their way toward home. Just as they reached the town gate, the third man complained that he had a stomachache. The grandfather secretly whispered in his ear: ‘That I can well believe, for someone who has a horse, complete with skin and hair, in his belly.’" The third man replied: "If you had said that to me in the forest, you would not be saying it to me now." And:  “A woman had taken on the form of a werewolf and had attacked the herd of a shepherd, whom she hated, causing great damage. However, the shepherd wounded the wolf in the hip with an ax blow, and it crawled into the brush. The shepherd followed, thinking that he could finish it off, but there he found a woman using a piece of cloth torn from her dress to stop the blood gushing from a wound. At Lüttich in the year 1610 two sorcerers were executed because they had turned themselves into werewolves and had killed many children. With them they had a boy of twelve years whom the devil turned into a raven whenever they were tearing apart and eating their prey.” 

In a century long past and in a valley in the Fichtel Mountains, Bavaria, Germany, said Alexander Schöppner, in 1874, a shepherd was tending his flock in a green meadow. Several times, it happened that after driving his herd home he discovered that one of the animals was missing. On each and every occasion, the search for the animals ended in complete failure. They were, said Schöppner “lost and they remained lost.” On one occasion, however, the shepherd spied a huge wolf-like animal stealthily exiting the woods and attacking, and quickly killing, a small lamb. The shepherd gave chase, but was not quite quick enough. The wolf-thing was near-instantaneously gone, as was the unfortunate lamb. Schöppner noted that the shepherd was not going to give up quite that easily, however, and he formulated a plan: “The next time he took an expert marksman with him. The wolf approached, but the marksman’s bullets bounced off him. Then it occurred to the hunter to load his weapon with the dried pith from an elder bush. The next day he got off a shot, and the robber ran howling into the woods. The next morning the shepherd met an old neighbor woman with whom he was not on the best of terms. Noticing that she was limping, he asked her: ‘Neighbor, what is wrong with your leg? It does not want to go along with you.’

 The old woman, eying the shepherd with suspicion, replied: “What business is it of yours?” She didn’t wait for an answer and quickly went on her way. The shepherd, said Schöppner, took careful note of her reply. Chiefly because the old woman “…had long been suspected of practicing evil magic. People claimed to have seen her on the Heuberg in Swabia, the Köterberg, and also on the Hui near Halberstadt. He reported her. She was arrested, interrogated, and flogged with rod of alder wood, with which others suspected of magic, but who had denied the charges, had been punished. She was then locked up in chains. But suddenly the woman disappeared from the prison, and no one knew where she had gone.” That was not the end of the story, however. Sometime later, Schöppner recorded, the shepherd encountered the wolf again, yet again on the fringes of the forestland and late at night. On this occasion it was not the shepherd’s animals that the beast had come for. No. It was the shepherd himself that the monster had in its deadly, predatory sights. A violent battle between the two erupted, during which the shepherd “gathered all of his strength together against the teeth and claws of the ferocious beast.”

Despite the shepherd’s determination to slay the beast, it quickly became clear that he was overwhelmed when it came to the matter of sheer, brute force and strength. The shepherd would have died had it not been for a hunter who quickly happened upon the scene and who “…fired a shot at the wolf, and then struck it down with his knife. The instant that blood began to flow from the wolf’s side, the old woman from the village appeared in the field before them, writhing and twisting terribly. They finished killing her and buried her twenty feet beneath the earth.” Schöppner concluded his account as follows: “At the place where they buried the woman they erected a large stone cross, which they named the ‘Wolf Stone’ in memory of these events. It was never peaceful and orderly in the vicinity of the stone.” Now, to a case that's in a later time, but that still falls into this particular issue of Dog-Men

Dog-Men and Werewolves: what are the differences? Not Many

Dion Fortune was an occultist, mystic, and the author of a number of acclaimed works, and whose real name was Violet Mary Firth. Fortune, who died in 1946 at the age of fifty-five, was someone who was skilled at creating monsters in the mind and who then unleashed them into the world around her. Fortune made it very clear, however, that creating a mind-monster rarely has a positive outcome. It is something that each and every one of us should take careful heed of. Her story is as fascinating as it is disturbing: “The artificial elemental is constructed by forming a clear-cut image in the imagination of the creature it is intended to create, ensouling it with something of the corresponding aspect of one’s own being, and then invoking into it the appropriate natural force. This method can be used for good as well as evil, and ‘guardian angels’ are formed in this way. It is said that dying women, anxious concerning the welfare of their children, frequently form them unconsciously. “I myself once had an exceedingly nasty experience in which I formulated a were-wolf accidentally. Unpleasant as the incident was, I think it may be just as well to give it publicity, for it shows what may happen when an insufficiently disciplined and purified nature is handling occult forces.

“I had received serious injury from someone who, at considerable cost to myself, I had disinterestedly helped, and I was sorely tempted to retaliate. Lying on my bed resting one afternoon, I was brooding over my resentment, and while so brooding, drifted towards the borders of sleep. There came to my mind the thought of casting off all restraints and going berserk. The ancient Nordic myths rose before me, and I thought of Fenris, the Wolf-horror of the North. Immediately I felt a curious drawing-out sensation from my solar plexus, and there materialized beside me on the bed a large wolf. It was a well-materialized ectoplasmic form. It was grey and colorless, and had weight. I  could  distinctly  feel  its  back  pressing  against  me  as  it  lay  beside  me  on  the  bed  as  a  large  dog  might. I knew nothing about the art of making elementals at that time, but had accidentally stumbled upon the right method - the brooding highly charged with emotion, the invocation of the appropriate natural force, and the condition between sleeping and waking in which the etheric double readily extrudes.”

What all of this tells us is that there's very little difference between ancient werewolves and today's Dog-Men. Only the name has changed.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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