A Journey to Hell: Reconsidering the Livonian “Werewolf”

A Journey to Hell: Reconsidering the Livonian “Werewolf” ´ WILLEM DE BLECOURT Huizinga Institute When in 1691 the judges of Jurgensburg (at present in Latvia, about 100 ¨ kilometers due east of Riga) interrogated the octogenarian Thies of Kaltenbrun, they were certainly not looking to create another werewolf. On the contrary, they were more or less forced to question him since he was a witness in an unrelated case about a church robbery. They had, however, been told that everyone knew that he consorted with the devil and was a werewolf. Thies readily conceded the last point. Certainly, he had been a werewolf, but he had given it up ten years ago. He had been to court then, too, because his nose had been broken by a farmer from Lemburg (Malpilis). This had happened in hell and his nose had been damaged by a blow with a broomstick, decorated with a bunch of horses' tails. The werewolves had been to hell to retrieve the grain and the wheat germs that the farmer had hidden there. On that occasion, the judges had laughed at his testimony and had let him go. This time they did not laugh and wanted to know whether Thies was of sound mind http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft University of Pennsylvania Press

A Journey to Hell: Reconsidering the Livonian “Werewolf”

Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft, Volume 2 (1) – May 11, 2008

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 University of Pennsylvania Press
ISSN
1940-5111
Publisher site
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Abstract

´ WILLEM DE BLECOURT Huizinga Institute When in 1691 the judges of Jurgensburg (at present in Latvia, about 100 ¨ kilometers due east of Riga) interrogated the octogenarian Thies of Kaltenbrun, they were certainly not looking to create another werewolf. On the contrary, they were more or less forced to question him since he was a witness in an unrelated case about a church robbery. They had, however, been told that everyone knew that he consorted with the devil and was a werewolf. Thies readily conceded the last point. Certainly, he had been a werewolf, but he had given it up ten years ago. He had been to court then, too, because his nose had been broken by a farmer from Lemburg (Malpilis). This had happened in hell and his nose had been damaged by a blow with a broomstick, decorated with a bunch of horses' tails. The werewolves had been to hell to retrieve the grain and the wheat germs that the farmer had hidden there. On that occasion, the judges had laughed at his testimony and had let him go. This time they did not laugh and wanted to know whether Thies was of sound mind

Journal

Magic, Ritual, and WitchcraftUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: May 11, 2008

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