Werewolves and Zombies

Miranda Griffin gave a lecture at the University of Cambridge Festival Ideas in 2013 - she concentrates on Medieval example: Werewolves and snakewomen 

For Roman examples I recommend A Roman Werewolf and a Dinner Tale - Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog - he covers the story from the Satyricon:
The word for werewolf is versipellis, ‘turn-fur’, and werewolf veterans will notice some familiar traits. The moon is very much in evidence in Petronius’s story.
Dr Beachcombing even has a tag devoted to Werewolves!

There is quite a good summary of the Greek and Roman examples of the λυκάνθρωπος on Wikipedia, although as always I recommend double-checking anything there: Werewolf - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dr Beachcombing also has a tag for witches - here - and one for human sacrifice - here - and ... oh, I'm going to bet if you click on his blog you'll find something fascinating!

Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog -

For zombies, see Medievalists: What a Bunch of Tools: Zombie Saints and Their Use Within Medieval Communities


  1. Versi-pellis would be better rendered as 'pelt changer' which is also the old Germanic term (in Norse or whatever, rather than English of course). Petronius is quite tame, the History of Stube Pieter is the stuff of nightmares and a true case from fifteenth century Germany complete with Inquisitors and the Medieaval version of the 'short sharp shock' - the long drawn out, mutilation - ghastly on soooo many levels.

  2. Yes, pelt changer is much better!


I do not moderate comments, but I remove spam, overt self-promotion ("read [link] my much better post on this") and what I consider hate speech (racism, homophobia etc).

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.