Serious Werewolf (et al.) Question


#1

There is another thread on here about werewolves and the theoretical moral dilemma that would arise if they really existed.

As I understand it, there were extensive books of demonology produced in the Middle Ages, and a whole armoury for spiritual warfare against all kinds of supernatural beings, goblins, boggles, werewolves, the undead, werewolves, etc. Consequently, one may assume that somewhere there are recorded the correct rites for a Catholic exorcist to bless all kinds of strange things to ward off evil spirits, vampires, werewolves, and all kinds of other bizarre supernatural beings. (I wonder if the rite for the blessing of silver bullets was revised at Vatican II?) Several saints stories have encounters with dragons, St George for example. There is even a mention of goat-demons and lilith the devourer of children in the Bible (Isaiah 34:14).

There is an acceptance by some Catholics, and certainly by most Orthodox, that demons really do exist and interact on the earthly plain. A few Catholics, including many priest-exorcists, believe in the phenomenon of spirits trapped in this world who need help going on to their eternal home.

Does the other stuff of folklore and legend really exist? If not, did it ever exist? If not, does that mean all those scholars of the paranormal in the Middle Ages wasted their lives?

I’m going to leave this thread alone now, as I have a terrible feeling, like a presence of some bad kind in my room. I don’t normally feel the presence of the Evil One, I’m not some psycho, but I feel like I’ve opened up something that maybe I shouldn’t. That surprises me, as this wasn’t intended to be anything more than a place for some fairly light-hearted speculation.

I ask the moderator to exercise prayerful discernment as to whether to pull this thread, and not to think twice if he thinks something sinister about it.


#2

Most of those books are actually Early Modern. Which tells you something. As colour and dignity drain out of life due to technological progress, people look to fill the gap with all sorts of nonsense.

Generally I don’t believe in the paranormal, but one thing I make an exception for is ghosts. The phenomenon is very widely documented and, unusually for these things, there is a plausible mechanic. However most highly educated Catholics don’t agree with me in this.


#3

I think part of it stems from the human urge to understand the physical world.

Take werewolves, for instance. How many times have we heard now that this is explained medically by Hypertrichosis or Porphyria, which is also thought to be the basis for the vampire legends. To a time and place that could have benefited from the scientific method, germ theory, genetic abnormalities, etc., they did what they could. So no, I don’t think that the scholars of the Middle Age wasted their time- I think they spent their time doing what they could with what they had. I’ve read that legends to the cyclopes sprung from elephant skulls, which are massive, vaguely human-looking, and, due to the physical makeup of the elephant, seem to contain only one eye socket.

However, to deny the existance of evil, of demons, and of the father of lies is to turn one’s back on one’s Christian faith. It is equally dangerous to see shadows behind everything as it is to pretend they don’t exist.


#4

Somewhere, I remember reading an idea proposed by former FBI Profiler John Douglas, the idea that werewolves, vampires, and their kin, were probably actually serial killers, in an age when people couldn’t imagine human beings doing some of the things that these people do.
This would actually make sense, if you consider that there were a few serial killers who were identified in the middle ages…Giles de Rais & Elizabet Bathory come to mind…
Our ancestors seem to have been loathe to believe that we humans are capable of the kind of evil that sometimes occurs…Which is, when you think about it, more than a little ironic, considering that we who name the Name of Christ are the ones who believe that we all got things so badly fouled up, that Jesus had to die on the cross to put things right again.


#5

We should remember in the Pre-modern age people found it very easy to believe in numinous beings such as angels, demons, the Devil, and also creatues such as monsters, witches, wizards, and many bizarre beings such as vampires, werewolves and cannibals we would now dismiss as legend. These sorts of beings are common to the mythologies of many places in the world and in places today not touched strongly by scientific empiricism and reason-based thinking and logic, such beliefs are often very common.

Belief in these sorts of things declined in a way after the Renaissance and Enlightenment and the Age of Reason, which dismissed such things as superstition to which there was no good evidence. This is reflected by a healthy skepticism today towards things such as ghosts, apparitions and reports of vampires, though belief in these sorts of things continues.

I believe in our age we can explain these ‘beings’ as part of the human experience of the numinous or sacred realm. This experience always occurs through the senses and the mind, and while some are no doubt due to insanity or psychiatric illness, Christians can reasonably believe that some powers or forces from the numinous are evil, provided we don’t fall into superstition. The sacred is also the realm of angels and of God himself, though no human mind or sense experience will (except by grace) have any experience of these in their life. Great mystics generally tell us we should ignore things such as visions or in seeking relevelations or extraordinary ‘experiences’ from the numinous realm, which often lie at the heart of heresy, and instead focus only on God.


#6

We should remember in the Pre-modern age people found it very easy to believe in numinous beings such as angels, demons, the Devil, and also creatues such as monsters, witches, wizards, and many bizarre beings such as vampires, werewolves and cannibals we would now dismiss as legend. These sorts of beings are common to the mythologies of many places in the world and in places today not touched strongly by scientific empiricism and reason-based thinking and logic, such beliefs are often very common.

Belief in these sorts of things declined in a way after the Renaissance and Enlightenment and the Age of Reason, which dismissed such things as superstition to which there was no good evidence. This is reflected by a healthy skepticism today towards things such as ghosts, apparitions and reports of vampires, though belief in these sorts of things continues.

Yes! Precisely…
Whereas, in earlier days, there was a strong belief in these things, but a difficulty in believeing the sort of things that human beings might well be capable of…
We have reversed thinking around. What seemed to our ancestors like proof positive of vampires or werewolves, seems to us like proof that the police need to form a special taskforce, to hunt down the person who is performing these horrific acts.
We think of those of bygone days as being very superstitious, but what they were really doing was to try to explain what was happening around them…


#7

On vampires I remember a show on them. Basically they are total Hollywood.

It was a wihile ago I can only remember some highlights. In the day when doctors didnt understand why a dead body had hair and nails still “growing” it caused panic when that happened. There was alot about digging up bodies and probably killing them again, cant remember if the church was in there or not.

But there was no blood sucking in that. Then Dracula came out and if I got it right the two were merged. Along with Vlad the Impaler, who I dont think drank blood, just really good at shedding it. Villian to his enemies, hero to his people. Anyway, there was no vampires “proper” in a rumour running around to start the myth of vampires, there was several factors.


#8

You have the light hearted speculation.

Now let’s address this.

:bible1: Eph. 6:10-12Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places

There are things that are evil that we cannot see. However, sometimes people make the mistake in thinking that they need to study about these kinds of evil or cults and stuff in order to better arm themselves.

But what we need to do is to study and arm ourselves with the “armor of God”. Study the Truth, and we will be able to recognize and fight evil when we see it.

As for the “presence” you say you felt, go get some Holy water. Sometimes using sacramentals can help us focus and pray for God drive the evil from your room or conversely, bring the good:)

Just a little story to show you the power of prayer using sacramentals.

My 8 year old son was worried about his younger brother who had fallen out of bed 2 nights in a row, probably while trying to sleep walk, (bunk bed, top bunk). My younger son was already asleep when my older one asked me to pray that he would be safe.

So, I pulled out the Holy Water, and started to pray, sprinkling water as I went. I got to the bunk bed and I sprinkled it along the side and said, “Lord, place your angels here and keep Douglas from falling out of bed again”.

Remember, he was already asleep:)

Later that night, I heard a horrendous scream. I ran to the bedroom to see my older son sitting up with awe on his face and to see my younger son, sitting up in bed, yelling to no one we could see towards the side of the bed. “Let me down!!! Move!”

Doubt if you want to, but angels were at his bedside keeping him from climbing out again:)

Prayer is an awesome thing. Sometimes we can just be freaked out by nothing. But the great thing is, prayer will never hurt and can only help:thumbsup:

God Bless,
Maria


#9

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