A Wisconsin man who claimed to be a shape-shifting werewolf when cops arrested him for breaking into a house, was this week beginning a six month jail term after pleading guilty to criminal trespass.
Robert Marsh, 40, had reportedly been up for 3 nights consecutively and drinking heavily when he started speaking in tongues and smashed down the door of a house belonging to a woman who'd been helping him after he was released from jail several days before. US media said Mr Marsh repeatedly told his victim he was a werewolf with special magic powers.
Following his arrest, London's Metro newspaper quipped that 'police are not yet believed to have investigated the possibility that he actually is a werewolf', even though numerous well documented cases exist of a related medical condition called lycanthropy
"Persons suffering from this disorder often believe that they actually can turn into a wolf," says esoteric website Paranormality.com.
"They are often reported behaving in a wolf-like manner by howling at the moon or attacking people using their teeth and fingernails. This particular disorder, although rare is occasionally still reported in Europe."
The topic was covered in detail in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 1977, in a report which described a 49 year old woman who would regularly experience 'delusions of a wolf-like metamorphosis.'
"She would gaze into the mirror and see "the head of a wolf in place of a face on my own body--just a long-nosed wolf with teeth, groaning, snarling, growling . . . with fangs and claws, calling out "I am the devil." Others around her noticed the unintelligible, animal-like noises she made," the Journal reported.
Investigating doctors Harvey Rostenstock, M.D. and Kenneth R. Vincent, Ed.D. pointed out that 'delusions of being a wolf or some other feared animal are universal' throughout all civilizations and linked the case to 'bizarre and chaotic sexuality'. The lady in question (who was apparently cured) suffered from 'chronic pseudo-neurotic schizophrenia', they suggested.
"Patients whose internal fears exceed their coping mechanisms may externalize them via projection and constitute a serious threat to others," the doctors added." Throughout the ages, such individuals have been feared because of their tendencies to commit bestial acts and were themselves hunted and killed by the populace. Many of these people were paranoid schizophrenics," they suggested.
Article by Jonty Skrufff
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