F. Werewolf legends in North, Central, and South America

  1. Haiti – Jé-rouges / Barnese J. (A3)
  2. Navajo/Mohawk – skinwalkers/limikkin / Samantha W. (A3)
  3. Aztec/Mexican – Werecoyotes / Brittany E. (B1)
  4. Brazil – Lobisomem / Imani A. (A3)
  5. Argentina – werejaguar/runa-uturungu / Andrea P. (A1)
  6. Argentina – werefox/lobison or lobizon / Jenna S. (A1)
  7. Mexico – Nahaul / Ray P. (B1)
  8. Mexico - Chupacabras / Michelle V. (A3)
  9. Native American - Mai-coh/wendigo / Jasmine W. (A3)
  10. Cajun Louisiana - Rougarou
  11. Virginia – Andrew Rowe


Haiti Jé-rouges / Barnese J.(A3)
http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs24/f/2009/237/8/9/Wolfman_by_geodex.jpg
http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs24/f/2009/237/8/9/Wolfman_by_geodex.jpg

Due to French influence in Haiti, the superstition of ‘loup garou’ is very much alive. Along with that another legend that is connected to it is Haiti’s own lore of werewolves. In Haitian-Creole, the phrase ‘jé rouges’ translated means ‘red eyes’. It is the name of an evil werewolf spirit that is thought to possess people and at night transforms them in to the monstrous beasts (“Werewolf Haiti”).. A person possessed by the jé rouge is able to turn into a wolf at nightfall and is know to prey on young children (“Werewolf Haiti”). The jé rouge will suck the blood of children and may also devour the child completely. (“Werewolf Haiti”). In other tales, the je rouge must ask permission from the mother to feed on the child (“Loup-Garou”). The beast usually asks in the dead of night, waking the mother, in her disoriented state she may possible say yes (“Demons Myths Ghosts Monsters”). In traditional werewolf lore, the beast is never considered a spirit, only another person cursed with lycanthropy. The process is of becoming a werewolf is also vastly different. Voodoo is a common practice in Haiti and the belief that a sorcerer or the act of buying evil spirits can possibly turn you into a werewolf (“Werewolf Haiti”). It is also thought that lycanthropy can be inherited as well. Regarding many legends and pop culture influences, it is commonly assumed it simply takes a bite by a person infected with the curse of lycanthropy turn a person into werewolf.

Navajo/Mohawkskinwalkers/limikkin/ Samantha W. (A3)
wolf_and_indian.png
skinwalkervideos.blogspot.com

In Native American folklore, werewolves are called limikkin or skin-walkers. They are legendary creatures that are somewhat close to the European werewolves. They are shape shifters like any other werewolves in other stories. What is a little bit different is skin-walkers, is that they can shift into any type of animal they want. It could be a coyote, fox, bear, owl, or a crow( "Werewolf: Myth Werewolves, Werewolf Legend, Werewolves History, Were Beasts, Werewolfs :Mythical Realm."). Skin-walkers are mostly heard in the Navajo tribes, but also in Mohawk, Hopi, and Aztecs. These Native American skin-walkers gain power through witchcraft. They are almost impossible to catch in most stories. Yet, humans and animals can easily tell a skin-walker from le real animal, while the skin-walker is in animal form; it is unable to move naturally. In most stories, a skin-walker can only be defeated one way. If a person knows the identity of a skin-walker, they can kill them by saying their name, and stating they are a skin-walker ("What Is a Skin-Walker?" WiseGEEK”).

Aztec/Mexican– Werecoyotes / Brittany E. (B1)
werewolf.jpg
Werecoyote. Photograph. MySpill. Web. <http://my.spill.com/profiles/blogs/johnny-depp-s-the-lone-ranger-not-dead-after-all>.

Werecoyotes used to be taken as a joke compared to other lycanthrope societies, but they are now more dominate. Like foxes, after birth, the Werecoyotes don't hang around long before they are off on their own. They are famous for being able to deal. Werecoyotes are difficult to rattle, with a laid back mentality and attitude. They're very resourceful and the least stuck in their own mentality of all the lycanthropes because they are so adaptable. They can actively change nearly anything about their own habits ("Lycanthropes."). Since the coyote is an animal only found in the American continents, Werecoyote legends are found only in the Americas (Naik). Coyotes did not spread to the East and North of America untill the wolves began to be exterminated, so most legends tend to come from the Southwest. However, as Native Americans disappeared, the werecoyote myths also transferred to other cultures ("Werewolf and Shapeshifter Codex.").

BrazilLobisomem / Imani A. (A3)

wolf.jpg
Lobisomem. 18 Dec. 2011 <https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ _ZhlarjcDn8o/TY5XHjaaDKI/AAAAAAAAAOA /iI526_gp3VY/wolf.jpg>.

The Lobisomem, meaning werewolf in Portuguese, is known to be folklore in Brazil. The mysterious yet well known creature in Brazil is said to withhold quite interesting characteristics and other elements. In order for a young boy to be considered as a Lobisomem, he must be the last and only boy of seven children (do N A Bento, and de Paiva Delgado). All of the children must have the same biological parents which includes the mother as well as the father. Still, not all folklores of the Lobisomem state that he must be the seventh child and only boy born. Other folklores state that he is the eighth child and only boy ("Brasil Escola"). A portion of the folklores that are told about the Lobisomem all have something in common. Many of them believe that a boy becomes a Lobisomem on the Tuesday or Friday right after his thirteenth birthday ("Brasil Escola"). He scrolls in the region going from seven crossroads, seven church yards as well as seven towns, but this only occurs after his transformation and his abrupt howling at the moon that could possibly startle neighboring souls ("Brasil Escola"). If the howl startles one too much, they could easy knock the Lobisomem against the head and it could end his doubled life, or so they say ("Brasil Escola"). After all the only correct way to know of how to cut a Lobisomem’s path short is by conversing with one.



Argentinawerejaguar/runa-uturungu/ Andrea P. (A1)
< http://mayavasepro.webs.com/3282.jpg >
< http://mayavasepro.webs.com/3282.jpg >
The were jaguar is an olmecmotif and a supernaturalentity. People believed the were-jaguarwas tied to a myth of a male jaguar an a female mating. the olmec believed the jaguar to not only be a special creature but to be associated with the cause of fertility and rain. The shamans would put on the skin of the jaguar to be transformed into a " were jaguar". They didnt believe that the were real they knew they wer real. The shamans worshiped the were jaguar and still do till this day.


Argentian werefox/lobison or lobizon/ Jenna S. (A1)
el-lobizon.jpg
EL Lobizon. Photograph. Paranormal Events UK. Web. <http://www.paranormal-events-uk.co.uk/database/cryptozoology/el-lobizon.html>.
Originating in Argentina, the beast known as the Lobizon has left all in fear throughout this South American Country. Although it remains a variation of a werewolf, the Lobizon shares both differences and similarities from its relative. Its physical appearance is much like that of the werewolves that saturate most science fiction movies and novels. It has been described to have a “very muscular physique, extraordinarily sharp teeth, extremely hairy body and an elongated snout”. (“The Lobizon - Werewolf - a Creature of Cryptozoology.”). Unlike other werewolves, not just anyone can be transformed into a Lobizon as the result of a bite from another. It is said that only the seventh son in a family can be turned into this creature. In an attempt for families to remedy this problem, their son was abandoned, put up for adoption, or killed. Thankfully, in 1920 a law was passed that “the government requires families to have their seventh son baptized by the president to avoid the curse” ("Seventh Sons."). Throughout the country, hundreds of sightings have been reported of this creature. The Lobizon has been spotted in a variety of places including farm lands as well as more populated areas. Even though the Lobizon is greatly feared by the people of Argentina, it is not an everyday worry for them because prey for the Lobizon is mainly farm animals ("How to Become a Werewolf."). “There are very few, if any, recorded reports that suggest that the Lobizon has attacked and devoured a human prey” (“The Lobizon - Werewolf - a Creature of Cryptozoology.”) Although the people of this country are not in everyday dread of becoming a meal for the Lobizon, the fear of the curse being placed among their family is still very evident.



Mexico – Nahaul / Ray P.(B1)
mexican-nagual1.jpg
Lenore Hoag Mulryan. Nagual in the Garden: Fantastic Animals In Mexican Ceramics. (unknown). Photograph: ceramics. Find Your Animal Spirit | tea collection blog. 27 Jul 2011. <http://blog.teacollection.com/nahual-find-your-animal-spirit-6731>.

A Nahual, also known as a Nagual, is mostly known as a spiritual being in the form of an animal such as a jaguar, bird, or possum (Lindemans). Sometimes though, the entity can also be in the form of a phenomenon such as lightning or a meteor (Lindemans). Although the belief in nagualism varies from region to region, it has basically the same principles, and most of these beliefs come from the Mesoamerican Indians and the pre-Hispanics ("nagual."). Some people believe that the first animal to cross over the ashes spread over a new born will become its nahual ("nagual."). There is a varying belief that all people have their own nahual, but some people differ in the belief and only believe that only people with the most power can have them ("nagual."). The nahual of most deities are usually used by them to help guard there town (Lindemans). The entity usually came alive during the night and sent out evil airs to ward off rival nahuals (Lindemans). In ancient times, it was said that children were given there nahuals in correspondence to when they were born on the calendar, similar to the zodiac signs of today, but were only given to them when they reached a more responsible age so that they wouldn’t be able to blame evil deeds on their nahuals (Lindemans).
Mexico - Chupacabras / Michelle V.(A3)
Folentino, Madelyn. Chupacabra. 1995. Unknown. The Skeptic's Dictionary. Web. 27 Nov. 2011. <http://www.skepdic.com/chupa.html>.
Folentino, Madelyn. Chupacabra. 1995. Unknown. The Skeptic's Dictionary. Web. 27 Nov. 2011. <http://www.skepdic.com/chupa.html>.


It is not unlike the human brain to assume that something it is merely told is true and in many cases, this is the way in which a legend is created. People no longer require evidence; if something is interesting their brains want to believe what they have heard to be true. The legend of the Chupacabra is no stranger to these habits of man. The Chupacabra, also known as “goat sucker”, has been accused of systematically killing animals in places like Miami, Chile, Mexico, and has reportedly been the suspect of over two-thousand cases of animal mutilations in Puerto Rico (Popa). According to Popa, “the creature’s name originated with the discovery of some dead goats in Puerto Rico with puncture wounds in their necks and their blood allegedly drained”. Popa also reveals that, “the strangest thing about the creature is that it is known to stand up like a human standing at a stand up desk”. The Chupacabra’s blood sucking and standing habits have categorized it as being a creature much like that of the commonly known werewolf seen and told in many stories. Since its appearance, the Chupacabra has been said to look like and be many different things. “Some witnesses have seen a small half-alien, half-dinosaur tailless vampire with quills running down its back; others have seen a panther like creature with a long snake-like tongue; still others have seen a hopping animal that leaves a trail of sulfuric stench” (Popa). “In some circles, it’s considered the pet animal of alien visitors. Others believe it’s the result of a NASA experiment gone wrong. Still other conspiracy theorists sat it’s the source of the HIV/AIDS virus” or that it is a dog, fox or coyote suffering from mange, which causes hairlessness (Heussner). There is no end to the Chupacabra’s description because no one is quite sure of what they have seen or if they have even seen anything at all. The Chupacabra has been killed and blood tests have been done which revealed that it is in no way compatible with human nor with any animal species known to science (Popa). Like many other legends, the Chupacabra allows humans to think and believe beyond what they have seen, making life a little more interesting. Heussner has discovered, “As with Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and the other bizarre beasts in urban legends, the tale of the chupacabra thrives on the first-person accounts of people who claim to see it—and the very active imagination of the public at large”. It couldn’t have been said any better.

Native American - Mai-coh/wendigo / Jasmine W. (A3)

<http://cogitz.com/2009/09/13/wendigo-psychosis-monstrous-men/>
<http://cogitz.com/2009/09/13/wendigo-psychosis-monstrous-men/>

Native American Wendigo
The legends of the Wendigo, thought by many to be the creation of the horror writer Algernon Blackwood, dates back so far that many don’t remember when the stories were told (Taylor). The term Wendigo was once translated to mean “cannibal.” According to Native American legend,” the Wendigo is created whenever a human resorts to cannibalism to survive” (Taylor). Cannibalism is pretty disgusting but rarely necessary when means of survival is at hand. A Wendigo can also be created if a person drinks the blood of another person, just like many vampires to do to quench their thirst. When a person does this, it is to be said that the person was possessed by spirit of the Wendigo and was on the verge of transforming into a Wendigo (Taylor). What’s really mind-blowing is that there were or are people who actually think all this is true. Jack Fiddler, one of the most famous Cree Indian Wendigo hunters, claimed he killed at least 14 of the creatures but was imprisoned at age 87 (Taylor). “In October 1907, Fiddler and his son, Joseph, were tried for the murder of a Cree Indian woman. They both pleaded guilty to the crime” (Taylor). In the end, Jack committed suicide and his son was tired and put to death by Canadian authorities (Wendigo Psychosis: Monstrous Men).

“One of the more famous cases of Wendigo psychosis involved a Plains Cree trapper from Alberta, named Swift Runner. During the winter of 1878, Swift Runner and his family were starving, and his eldest son died. Within just 25 miles of emergency food supplies at a Hudson’s Bay Company post, Swift Runner butchered and ate his wife and five remaining children. Given that he resorted to cannibalism so near to food supplies, and that he killed and consumed the remains of all those present, it was revealed that Swift Runner’s was not a case of pure cannibalism as a last resort to avoid starvation, but rather of a man suffering from Wendigo psychosis. He eventually confessed and was executed by authorities at Fort Saskatchewan” (Wendigo Psychosis: Monstrous Men).

The moment the cannibal is touched by supernatural forces, he has extreme nausea and pain and starts vomiting violently for many hours. At some time, the cannibal loses an astronomical amount of blood and inevitably dies. However, the body undergoes an appalling transformation. The human’s strength, weight, and height increases greatly, gaining supernatural powers in the process, while growing a thick coat of white fur (Wendigo Psychosis: Monstrous Men). The head takes on the features of a predatory beast, including the growth of prominent fangs and sharp teeth, while the fingernails and toenails grow into sharpened talons, completing the transformation (Wendigo Psychosis: Monstrous Men). The cannibal is then resurrected by the evil spirit, no longer a man, but a blood lusting beast known as the Wendigo. The Wendigo, although legendary, is taken very seriously in many places. Moral of the story: Don’t eat people or you’ll turn into a monster that will want to eat people tremendously.

Works Cited
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"Demons Myths Ghosts Monsters." Demons Myths Ghosts Monsters.16 Sep. 2011. Web. 18 Dec. 2011.<http://demonsmythsghostsmonsters.tumblr.com/>.

do N A Bento, Daniel, and Marcio de Paiva Delgado. "Global Legends." Werewolf page. N/A, 2010. Web. 18 Dec 2011.
<http://www.werewolfpage.com/myths/global_legends.html>.


Folentino, Madelyn. Chupacabra. 1995. Unknown. The Skeptic's Dictionary. Web. 27 Nov. 2011.
<http://www.skepdic.com/chupa.html>.

Heussner, Ki Mae. “The Secrets of the Chupacabra. Mystery solved?” ABC News. ABC News Internet
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Lobisomem. 18 Dec. 2011
<https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_ZhlarjcDn8o/TY5XHjaaDKI/AAAAAAAAAOA/iI526_gp3VY/wolf.jpg>.

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