The Legends and Folklore of Werewolves for 16th century England

That Shakespeare Life


Far before the time of Shakespeare, there was a prevalent belief in the creatures known as werewolves, or lycanthrope, as they were called in the Ancient world. This belief saw a large increase by the 16th century, with people believing werewolves were humans capable of shape shifting into the form of a large and evil wolf, desiring to consume other humans, particularly children, by the light of a full moon. The legend of werewolves today is dismissed by the popular mindset and relegated to the halls of horror films, tv shows, and of course, Halloween costumes. However, in Shakespeare’s lifetime, there was not only an established belief in actual werewolves, but documented cases of real people convicted of being werewolves, like the Werewolf of Dole in 1573, Peter Stumpp in 1589, and A Geneva man was convicted of killing 16 children when he had changed himself into a wolf on October 15, 1580, when Shakespeare was just 16 years old. Here today to share with us the history of the werewolf in Shakespeare’s England, and details about some of the surviving documentation we have about real werewolf cases in Europe is our guest and author of Werewolves, Witches, and Wandering Spirits, Kay Edwards. Get bonus episodes on Patreon

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