The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Decorated in Early Werewolf

I stumbled upon this gem a few minutes ago - an early werewolf story. How early, you ask? How about nearly 2000 years ago?

It so happened that our master had gone to Capua to attend to some odds and ends of business and I seized the opportunity, and persuaded a guest of the house to accompany me as far as the fifth mile-stone. He was a soldier, and as brave as the very devil. We set out about cock-crow, the moon was shining as bright as midday, and came to where the tombstones are. My man stepped aside amongst them, but I sat down, singing, and commenced to count them up. When I looked around for my companion, he had stripped himself and piled his clothes by the side of the road. My heart was in my mouth, and I sat there while he pissed a ring around them and was suddenly turned into a wolf! Now don't think I'm joking, I wouldn't lie for any amount of money, but as I was saying, he commenced to howl after he was turned into a wolf, and ran away into the forest. I didn't know where I was for a minute or two, then I went to his clothes, to pick them up, and damned if they hadn't turned to stone! Was ever anyone nearer dead from fright than me?
Does it read better in the original Latin? Actually, I'm kind of surprised I hadn't read this before... (Not in Latin - I am a total barbarian) At any rate, the full text of Petronius' Satyricon may be found here - the werewolf tale is related in "Chapter the sixty-second". [Hat tip to my friend, William, for mentioning this story in passing in a now-abandoned blog of his]


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