Clinical Lycanthropy

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“And he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws” (Daniel 4:33, King James Version). Just as in the book of Daniel, cases of human beings believing themselves to be animals have occurred throughout all of history. This condition, being scientifically named Clinical Lycanthropy, is not only rare, but also very much a mystery. The term Lycanthropy comes from two Greek words: lykoi, meaning wolf, and anthropes, man. In ancient and modern legend, there were those who were cursed with the ability to shape shift into an animal, most commonly a wolf. These humans were called lycans or werewolves (Vogt). Unlike folklore, people suffering from Clinical Lycanthropy do not actually change into a beast but suffer from delusions in which they believe they are transforming into an animal (Liden). Throughout the early 1500’s to early 1600’s, over 30,000 people were labeled as werewolves. These humans were avoided and criminally investigated. The less fortunate were even tortured or put to death (Vogt). Most of these people were likely suffering from Clinical Lycanthropy. Though few were actually dangerous, a handful were deadly. In 1573, a man by the name of Gillas Garner was arrested and accused of “werewolfism”. Near Dole, Frenche-Comte, several children between the ages of nine to twelve had been brutally murdered. Garner had savagely slaughtered them with what he believed were his claws and fangs, then devoured the flesh from their bodies (Vogt). Victims of Clinical Lycanthropy have unmistakable traits in common with one another and the symptoms they suffer can be severe. The invalid oft... ... middle of paper ... ... things are possible. “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored Him that liveth for ever (Daniel 4:34).” Works Cited Daniel 4:33, King James Version Daniel 4:35, King James Version Liden, James D. (2008). Clinical Lycanthropy. Otten, Charlotte. (1986). The Lycanthropy Reader. Syracuse , New York: Syracuse University Press. Plaza-Cruver, Jennifer. (2010). “Lycanthropy: Myth and Medical.” Rostenstock, Harvey, M.D., Vincent, Kenneth R., Ed.D., (1977) “A Case of Lycanthropy.” Vogt, Katie Caldwell, Chris Gomez, Miriam Fussell, Meredith Wilson, Monique. (2003). Lycanthropy.

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