xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Kryssie Fortune: When Werewolves Go Rogue

Saturday, 10 January 2015

When Werewolves Go Rogue

Killing sprees? Unexplained deaths? Bite marks and deep furrows on the outside of doors. Scary—especially if you live in the North Yorkshire village of Flixton. Rudyard Kipling once advised watch the wall my darling until the gentlemen go by. 

This ain’t no gentleman. 

It’s a freaking werewolf.

A Werewolf in Yorkshire? Get real.
Let’s start with some background. Flixton once stood by a lake. In 1947 archeologists excavated Starr Carr—a sunken village. To quote Wikipedia: It (Starr Carr) is generally regarded as the most important and informative Mesolithic site in Great Britain. It is as important to the Mesolithic period as Stonehenge is to the Neolithic period or Scandinavian York is to understanding Viking-age Britain.

The lake’s more a bog now, and since the village was organic – probably wood and thatch—only post holes remain. There is evidence of a jetty into the lake. 
Back in the 1940’s the archeologists assumed it was for boats.

Fast forward to 1982, and Francis Pryor discovered something similar at Flag Fen near Peterborough. There, people used the wooden walkway over the Fens to make ritual sacrifices. Precious items only I hope. I’ve never heard of human remains. 

Now scholars think Mesolithic tribes made similar sacrifices at Starr Carr. It was a place of mystery and magic, but where does the werewolf come in? 
First, ask what the locals were sacrificing to. 
Nobody knows, but I’m an author and a million what-ifs kick in.

So, back to the legend. The earliest records are from Saxon times. In the 10th century, King Athalstan ordered a shelter built at Flixton to defend people from the werewolf. Apparently it attacked both cattle and people.

Winters were hard back in Saxon times. Men and beasts often went hungry. People sometimes discovered freshly dug-up corpses in graveyards, their flesh half eaten by… Well, let’s just say the Saxons called January wolf-month.

Two hundred years later, Flixton’s inhabitants reported more werewolf attacks. Something attacked a  Shepherd, his flock, and young girl. Something with claws and fangs. 
This time, someone spotted the wolf as he abandoned his victims—a fearsome creature that walked upright on two legs and smelled like a cesspit.

I never imagined a werewolf with B. O?

Superstition? Too much imagination? Just the local wolves? A magician somehow controlling an enormous wolf? Well, hang on… Let’s shoot forward to around the year 1800. Wolf packs were pretty much eradicated by then, and there was another sighting.

A werewolf attacked a carriage traveling toward York. Where was that? Flixton of course.
One lone wolf against a coachman and a carriage full of people? Wolves aren’t that stupid. One of the passengers reportedly shot the werewolf, but it ran off unharmed. 
Guess he hadn’t loaded his pistol with silver bullets then.

Even more recently, in the 1970’s a trucker reported a huge wolf-like creature that attacked his truck and tried to batter its way through the windscreen.

Whatever you believe something spooky’s going on there. Maybe someone or something is linked to an ancient magic. Everyone has a theory.
My favorite? Perhaps a family of Lycans who’ve lived in the area for centuries. They could be otherworld guards of a sacred site, but occasionally, one of number turns rogue. 

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