Romanian werewolf legends allege the origin of this curse to conceiving or birthing a child on Easter or Christmas day or eve. Abstinence from sex was required by church canons on the eve of Christmas, Eve, and Pentecost. Failure to do so supposedly caused deformity and ‘animal characteristics’ to the baby including ‘wolf ears’ or a ‘wolf’s head’. They would then grow up to become werewolves and become hostile towards their parents for the transgression. The Slavic werewolves of Serbia, Bulgaria, Czechoslavakia, and Slovenia devour the moon and the sun and love darkness. The Romanian cousin Vircolac eats the moon.
Pricolici were violent or murderous men who returned from the grave as unread monsters and took the form of a giant wolf. This is different from the Capcaun who were dog-headed ogres who ate man flesh and kidnapped the innocent. They lived in dens alone and attacked any who passed by.
In Portugal, the seventh son (sometimes required to be seven sons in a row with no girls) to be born to a woman was expected to become a Corredor which is a “night ranger” or “wehr-wolf”. This would occur before the child reached puberty. They could also be cursed by drinking from the puddle of a wolf footprint or stream where wolves frequently drank. In Portuguese man-wolf is lobis-homem. These creatures were unaware of their night activities and would only harm themselves. They had supernatural speed. If the spell was not broken they would become versi-pellis, wolf man. Females were known as lobeira. At this point the creature would kill pray and devour children. They can never become human again unless the animals clothes can be found and burned. Another cure would be to draw the blood from the body of the beast shape. This would break the spell.
In Argentina, Lobison means werewolf. This was similar to the Portuguese legends and the creature would wonder the mountains and hills feeding mostly on dead animals. They will however, instantly attack a human. The survivors of such an attack will also turn into Lobison. The saliva of the creature will also cause the curse to spread. The legend would sometimes cause parents to give away the child or abandon them. Occasionally the child would even be killed by the parents. To combat this the president of Argentina passed a law in the 1920s where a seventh son would receive the protection of the president of Argentina through godfathership. The child would receive a gold medal after his baptism and a free scholarship for school until he turned twenty-one years of age. The law is still in effect and president will attend some baptisms during election season.
Romanian Werewolves: Seasons, Ritual, Cycles
Vol. 93, No. 2 (1982), pp. 206-215
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of Folklore Enterprises, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1259941