Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -

The long, hidden history of the Viking obsession with werewolves


Still Waters
 Share

Recommended Posts

Posted (IP: Staff) ·

AFTER A HARD DAY’S WORK of thieving, Sigmundr and his son Sinfjötli happened upon a house. It looked empty, so they slipped inside to find two wealthy men fast asleep. Hanging above them were two luxurious wolfskins. The father and son helped themselves—they were thieves after all. But when they put the pelts on, they started to walk on all fours and grow long, fang-like teeth. They howled at the night sky and bared their teeth. Out in the forest, they confronted several bands of men and left none standing—more than 13 victims between them. With no one left to stalk, Sigmundr attacked Sinfjötli, digging his long teeth into his son’s neck. When he realized what he’d done, he used a magical herb to restore Sinfjötli’s health. Eleven days after their transformation, father and son finally returned to their human form and burned the nefarious pelts.

The story of Sigmundr and Sinfjötli is one of the Viking world’s oldest and most popular tales, passed down orally for centuries before being written down in the Vǫlsunga Saga around 1270. It turns out the Vikings were a bit obsessed with wolves and the people who become them. 

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/hidden-history-viking-wolf-warrior-werewolf

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 
7 minutes ago, Still Waters said:

AFTER A HARD DAY’S WORK of thieving, Sigmundr and his son Sinfjötli happened upon a house. It looked empty, so they slipped inside to find two wealthy men fast asleep. Hanging above them were two luxurious wolfskins. The father and son helped themselves—they were thieves after all. But when they put the pelts on, they started to walk on all fours and grow long, fang-like teeth. They howled at the night sky and bared their teeth. Out in the forest, they confronted several bands of men and left none standing—more than 13 victims between them. With no one left to stalk, Sigmundr attacked Sinfjötli, digging his long teeth into his son’s neck. When he realized what he’d done, he used a magical herb to restore Sinfjötli’s health. Eleven days after their transformation, father and son finally returned to their human form and burned the nefarious pelts.

The story of Sigmundr and Sinfjötli is one of the Viking world’s oldest and most popular tales, passed down orally for centuries before being written down in the Vǫlsunga Saga around 1270. It turns out the Vikings were a bit obsessed with wolves and the people who become them. 

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/hidden-history-viking-wolf-warrior-werewolf

You know my mother and father immigrated from Flensburg, Germany to the US in the early 1950s, I was the first American Citizen in the history of my family, I was born in the US in 1959. They were both born around Flensburg and my family genetic heritage  is Danish-German. Flensburg is located very near the Boarder of German and Denmark in fact we have relatives in both countries. My father and mother both use to tease me when I was a child that if I was bad, that the Werewolf would get me (. der Werwolf würde mich kriegen ). Now, I understand why so they did that, so thank you for posting this now I understand why they use to tease me about Werwolves.:tu:

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember reading in these books not to eat wolves and snakes because it will make your heart cruel. You're better off sleeping outside than spending overnight in a witch's house.

I thought about this pertaining Corona virus about how they eat dogs over there and snakes too. How western paganism is more civilized than their current state.

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, The_Phantom_Stranger said:

I remember reading in these books not to eat wolves and snakes because it will make your heart cruel. You're better off sleeping outside than spending overnight in a witch's house.

I thought about this pertaining Corona virus about how they eat dogs over there and snakes too. How western paganism is more civilized than their current state.

How they eat dogs where Asia or are you talking about the United States?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Manwon Lender said:

How they eat dogs where Asia or are you talking about the United States?

I've never heard of someone eating dogs or cats in the United States. If someone eats wild animals it is typically frowned upon. In China however it is a commodity. I have even seen a video of a Chinese dog-meat trader beating dogs to death to, "Put the hormones of fear in them before they die," many years ago.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (IP: Staff) ·
3 minutes ago, The_Phantom_Stranger said:

I've never heard of someone eating dogs or cats in the United States. If someone eats wild animals it is typically frowned upon. In China however it is a commodity. I have even seen a video of a Chinese dog-meat trader beating dogs to death to, "Put the hormones of fear in them before they die," many years ago.

Geez, leave the Chinese, C-19, and the eating of cats and dogs for somewhere else. That isn't what the topic is about. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, The_Phantom_Stranger said:

I've never heard of someone eating dogs or cats in the United States. If someone eats wild animals it is typically frowned upon. In China however it is a commodity. I have even seen a video of a Chinese dog-meat trader beating dogs to death to, "Put the hormones of fear in them before they die," many years ago.

Don't think because my profile says Korea that I am Korean. I am actually an American who is retired US Military that chooses to live in Korea. You must no live in the Southern United States because Rattle Snakes and other Snakes are on the menue there and they are eaten very very frequently. So is dog in some areas, along with Possum, Armadillo, Raccoon, Turtles, and a variety of other animals you most likely can't even dream of on a regular basis. 

So my adivse to you especially since you don't know much about your own country or it's people is to get out and travel and if you can't afford it or you are unable to do it, then do some research. I thought all of the above was common knowledge I am actually surprised in this day and age Americans know so little about the country they live in.

No disrespect intended, please have a great day!:tu:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, rashore said:

Geez, leave the Chinese, C-19, and the eating of cats and dogs for somewhere else. That isn't what the topic is about. 

I apologize for my involvement but, it's strange an American knows so little about their own country so i respectfully responded to him to clear something's up.

Peace

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wolf Walkers, Bearzerkers... Wyld Men.  Long tradition in Viking lore.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of the cultures in Europe had to deal with wolves and bears.  The article is  good.

Bare-sarks from which we get berserkers of course originates from this. .  Scholars come down on both sides of the question.  Is it bear shirt or bare shirt?   I think they are both cognates in old Norse as well as English.  In any case these bare or bear shirted warriors  were indeed a thing. They wore bear or wolf skins into battle some sources claim.  I don't know if that is universally accepted. They appear in many sagas and histories of the viking era.  If you google Lewis Chessmen, a  number of chessmen carved mostly of whale ivory, you will see the guys biting on their shields, those are representations of beserkers.  They were feared for their battle rage and disregard for injury. They were said to be immune to cuts from iron.  They did not make trustworthy neighbors and not generally admired.  If you read Egil's saga, Skallagrim his father is a berserker I think.   I know Egil has to fight a berserker in one of his duels.  He wins by discarding his sword, throwing his foe to the ground and chewing through his neck.   Almost sounds wolf like, but Egil was not a berserker.  The Norse also had aptrgangr, literally after walker.  They were like the draugr characters in  Skyrim, zombies.  Also not admired.

The Lewis Chessmen: Vikingeskibsmuseet i Roskilde

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, quiXilver said:

Wolf Walkers, Bearzerkers... Wyld Men.  Long tradition in Viking lore.

Yes this is true but Berserkers and wild men can be easily explained and Wolf Walkers could be attributed to either one of them.

Here are some real explanations that caused some Vikings to become Berserkers:

Berserkers were known in history as fierce and blood-thirsty warriors who 'bit their shields' and were 'strong as bears' and 'mad as dogs or wolves. Having that said, it doesn't mean Viking men didn't use other forms of remedies to ease the pain in battle. In one berserker's grave found in 1977, archaeologists found decomposed traces of Hyoscyamus niger, commonly known as stinking shade. Historians believe that stinking shade had a dual purpose during the Viking age, for it was used both as medication and as war paint to scare off the enemy.

However, the most probable explanation of 'going berserk' comes from neither history nor archaeology but psychiatry. Psychiatrists believe that Viking men performed spiritual rituals before battles, after which they probably went into some form of self-induced hysteria, which helped them lose control of their consciousness. Self-induced hysteria put the berserkers into the dissociative state of mind, which caused them to act solely based on their subconscious instincts and primal impulses. This state of trance helped the berserkers break free of social constructs and critical thinking and made them act more aggressively and ruthlessly than any other warriors in history.

Last combined with the above information the Vikings were also known to use Magic mushrooms which are hallucinogenic fungi that grow wild in many parts of the world including the UK. The main type used recreationally is the liberty cap (Psilocybe semilanceata) but fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) is also sometimes used.

The Viking Wolf legends all stem from Nordic mythology as described below:

""According to the myth, the wolf Skoll is chasing the Sun and the wolf Hati is chasing the Moon until Ragnarok. When Ragnarok starts, Skoll and Hati will devour the Sun and the Moon, and the prophecy will be fulfilled. The wolves  Geri and Freki are known as the companions of God Odin and their existence is strongly connected with the famous wolf warriors named Ulfhednar.""
 
""Fenrir or Fenris is the most common name of the legendary monstrous wolf. In several manuscripts of the Viking Age, Fenrir also referred to as Hróðvitnir which translates to “fame wolf” and Vánagandr which means “monster of the river”. The wolf Fenrir is the son of god Loki and the giantess Angrboda who had two more children, Jörmungandr known as “The World Serpent” and the goddess of the Underworld Hel.""
 
""When the three children were born, Aesir Gods sensed that great catastrophe and disaster will be caused by the three children, raised in Jötunheimr, the land of the Giants in Norse Mythology. Because of this sense, Odin commanded the Gods to gather the three Giants and when they arrived Odin threw Jörmungandr to the depths of the sea and Hel to Niflheim.""
 
""For Fenrir, they decided to raise him themselves to control him. Aesir Gods noticed that the Wolf Fenrir was growing very fast along with his divine physical strength. Only the God Tyr dared to approach Fenrir and feed him. It is said that when Fenrir opened his mouth, his jaws touched the Heaven and the Earth. Fenrir’s nature is known as “Jotun” or “Jotnar” who were the old Norse Giants."
 
 
Viking Wild Men and Berserkers were the same thing the name was interchangeable.
 
Peace my friend!!:tu: 
 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Tatetopa said:

Most of the cultures in Europe had to deal with wolves and bears.  The article is  good.

Bare-sarks from which we get berserkers of course originates from this. .  Scholars come down on both sides of the question.  Is it bear shirt or bare shirt?   I think they are both cognates in old Norse as well as English.  In any case these bare or bear shirted warriors  were indeed a thing. They wore bear or wolf skins into battle some sources claim.  I don't know if that is universally accepted. They appear in many sagas and histories of the viking era.  If you google Lewis Chessmen, a  number of chessmen carved mostly of whale ivory, you will see the guys biting on their shields, those are representations of beserkers.  They were feared for their battle rage and disregard for injury. They were said to be immune to cuts from iron.  They did not make trustworthy neighbors and not generally admired.  If you read Egil's saga, Skallagrim his father is a berserker I think.   I know Egil has to fight a berserker in one of his duels.  He wins by discarding his sword, throwing his foe to the ground and chewing through his neck.   Almost sounds wolf like, but Egil was not a berserker.  The Norse also had aptrgangr, literally after walker.  They were like the draugr characters in  Skyrim, zombies.  Also not admired.

The Lewis Chessmen: Vikingeskibsmuseet i Roskilde

Great information my friend I enjoyed reading it, it kind of brings the Wolf out me !!!:tu: I was a Werewolf when I was young!!:tu:

Peace my friend

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 
On 10/28/2021 at 7:22 AM, Still Waters said:

AFTER A HARD DAY’S WORK of thieving, Sigmundr and his son Sinfjötli happened upon a house. It looked empty, so they slipped inside to find two wealthy men fast asleep. Hanging above them were two luxurious wolfskins. The father and son helped themselves—they were thieves after all. But when they put the pelts on, they started to walk on all fours and grow long, fang-like teeth. They howled at the night sky and bared their teeth. Out in the forest, they confronted several bands of men and left none standing—more than 13 victims between them. With no one left to stalk, Sigmundr attacked Sinfjötli, digging his long teeth into his son’s neck. When he realized what he’d done, he used a magical herb to restore Sinfjötli’s health. Eleven days after their transformation, father and son finally returned to their human form and burned the nefarious pelts.

The story of Sigmundr and Sinfjötli is one of the Viking world’s oldest and most popular tales, passed down orally for centuries before being written down in the Vǫlsunga Saga around 1270. It turns out the Vikings were a bit obsessed with wolves and the people who become them. 

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/hidden-history-viking-wolf-warrior-werewolf

Now this is the stuff I signed up for here!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.