Lycanthropy is described as the “process by which a witch or sorcerer was once thought to be able to change into the form of a Wolf.” A feature of being a witch is that they could often change into Hares in order to steal milk from cows, into birds and cats in order to spy on humans, or into wolves in order to prey on children. Lycanthropy is therefore the ability of a witch to change into an animal.
Throughout history many have questioned whether lycanthropy could even happen or if it was just a delusion. Some suggested that those who believed they could turn into wolves or some other creature were actually fooled by the devil into believing that they had committed acts such as spying and harming humans or livestock, but that had really been carried out by the Devil and his minions. Some witches even confessed to turning into a wolf-like form to harm humans and livestock. The witches that confessed were burned at the stake or incarcerated in a lunatic asylum. Many people across the Continent of Europe heard tales about signs on humans that indicated that they had the power oflycanthropy. For example, if a wolf had been shot while attacking a human or livestock then the wound or wounds would also be found on the human. Other signs included hair on the palms of the hands and eyebrows that joined in the middle. When wolves started to disappear, many started to believe that witches took the form of domestic animals such as cats. Many also believed that no matter what creature the witch or sorcerer could form, the only way to kill them was by shooting them with a silver bullet.
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