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Ron Patton | January 21, 2019
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Last night as the shadow of the earth passed over the moon, a reddish tint was seen by observers who were able to get a peek through the winter clouds. The moon appeared to be turning to blood sending the message to those who are eager to point out that these events are signs that the world is about to end.

It was also a bit coincidental that the moon that was bloodied up real good was known as the Wolf Moon.

In Old European texts, the Wolf Moon in January was a reminder that werewolf activity would rise after what was called the Christmas Dormancy. It is said that werewolf would uncharacteristically mingle in regular wolf packs.

Native American stories speak of the Skinwalker that roams the burial sites during the Wolf Moon. In fact, when the Skinwalker entered the burial grounds the regular wolves would cower away.

Hostile presences are frequently felt during moon phases in fact, popular and authoritative perceptions could link the appearance of spiritual visitors and there were shapeshifters and strange animals or monsters physically and symbolically appearing when the moon was full.

Early modern Europe was populated with spiritual beings whose existence could not be understood through reference to or who only marginally belonged to, either Protestant or Catholic doctrines but whose existence was certain. As such, the common belief in these entities reflects the perpetuation of the community between the living and the dead.

Human and animal physiology are subject to seasonal, lunar, and circadian rhythms. Although the seasonal and circadian rhythms have been fairly well described, little is known about the effects of the lunar cycle on the behavior and physiology of humans and animals.

The lunar cycle has an impact on human reproduction, in particular fertility, menstruation, and birth rate. Melatonin levels appear to correlate with the menstrual cycle. Admittance to hospitals and emergency units because of various causes, cardiovascular and acute coronary events, Gastroesophegeal hemorrhage, diarrhea, urinary retention correlated with moon phases. In addition, other events associated with human behavior, such as traffic accidents, crimes, and suicides, appeared to be influenced by the lunar cycle.

There is also a term that has been used in hospitals called the werewolf effect. I am sure that the term has been picked up as a substitute for what is called lunacy; however, it seems to be a form of hyper agitation where patients are having violent and acute behavioral disturbances during a full moon.

There have also been cases of excited delirium during a full moon. It is also known as agitated delirium, which is a condition where patients exhibit psychomotor agitation, delirium, and sweating. It may include attempts at violence, unexpected strength, and very high body temperature.

Over the past decade, the Excited Delirium Syndrome has raised continued controversy regarding the cause and manner of death of some highly agitated persons held in police custody, restrained or incapacitated by electrical devices. At autopsy, medical examiners have difficulty in identifying an anatomic cause of death, but frequently cite psycho-stimulant intoxication as a contributing factor.

Some of these cases over time have included:

• A naked man who was eating the face of another naked man on a Miami highway ramp was shot and killed by a police officer. The media reported that he was on the street drug called bathsalts. An autopsy found only Marijuana in his system.

• A porn actor who reportedly killed a man in Canada, dismembered his body and ate flesh from his corpse, fled Canada and was eventually caught in Germany. He was not on any drugs.

• A Maryland man allegedly admitted to eating the heart and brain of his dismembered roommate. The media reported that the man was on Flaaka. It was found that the man had a few beers.

While the precise cause and mechanism of lethality of the condition remains controversial, the likely whys and wherefores of sudden death of Excited Delirium Syndrome victims are seen to be “biological,” since excessive dopamine in the brain triggers the manic excitement and delirium, which unabated leads to cardiovascular collapse.

The heart tends to explode.

One might compare these cases with the werewolves of the past, who are said to have appeared during the full moon.

Hollywood has given us the image of what a werewolf might look like or act like but both the medical concerns of Excited Delirium Syndrome and the supernatural connections to witchcraft and satanic ritual are also well noted in ancient writings of the Catholic Church and other earlier civilizations.

The relationship between traditional belief and social discipline is just one of the themes that has been developed recently in social and cultural analyses of paranormal events. In most scientific circles logic seem to rule out any and all descriptions of what can be considered fringe events.

This does not, however, mean that things that are completely out of the norm do not happen. Most things remain mysterious until science stapes in and tidies up any and all speculation about anything that can be termed supernatural by any standard of belief.

For example, you can take a look at religion. There are many things that we learn in a religious culture that are supernatural by their own relationship to practices of magic within the parenthetical or permitted practices that link to God.

The Eucharist retains an almost magical power; the transubstantiation process is certainly a supernatural shapeshifting act of turning a simple wafer into the literal body of Christ. Some believe it is symbolic; however, it is the supernatural or preternatural forces that tell the faithful that they are converting it into literal flesh and blood.

There are powers in this world that are not always connected to flesh and blood – and the thought of any transformation or shape-shifting on a grander scale take a lot more work to suspend belief.

There have been sightings of entities that have been known to interact with humans – they have been called figments of the imagination and they have taken on dozens of forms including those of demons, angels, trolls, wandering souls, or flying serpents. Although such beliefs may be interpreted differently, they remain a pervasive part of early modern culture for the literate, illiterate, and the larger community in between.

The increase in sightings have certainly sparked a number of television shows and reality TV offering s that 30 years ago would be unheard of. The sensational aspect of the hunt is certainly entertaining and there has been a scant body of evidence, but a whole ledger of sightings by witnesses that come from various walks of life.

In the recent growth of paranormal studies, two themes have dominated. The first theme examines the place of evil Maleficarum.

Maleficarum is an old Latin term that comes from the Malleus Maleficarum or Witches Hammer, an Old Catholic guide that is literally a guide to destroy witches, vampires, and werewolves.

During the medieval witch-hunting mania maleficia, which implied a pact with the Devil, was generally used to explain any natural disaster, accident, illness, or personal misfortune. It was also used to describe any and all contact with paranormal entities.

There were devils, vampires, werebears, weregoats, and of course werewolves. There was also a little-known demon called Orobas which was a master demon who appeared as a man with a horse’s head.

This rare demon was featured in a movie called, “Lovely Molly.”

The other theme in paranormal studies are primarily demonological theories, especially those concerning conspiracy and domination, and notes the differences, at least in emphasis, between those who are steeped in demonological lore, and histories that link demons to women, serpents, pigs, dogs and wolves.

Throughout history, we have cases of wondrous and fantastical beasts and humanoids that make appearances in art, literature, and indeed even in ancient bestiaries and the journals of explorers.

These oddities are often written off and listed right beside very real known animals and tribes, to the point that at times it can be difficult to tell what might have a basis in the real and what is pure myth and legend.

Perhaps one of the stranger creatures to show up in ancient traveler’s tales is the dog-headed man.

Seemingly an absurd and unlikely beast to be sure, such creature has nevertheless been prevalent and persistent in a wide range of accounts and writings throughout history.

This was called by the ancients as Cynocephali or head like a dog.

Over the centuries many conquerors, missionaries, and adventurers reported coming across these bizarre, somewhat savage creatures. In later times, Roman author, naturalist and philosopher Pliny the Elder listed them amongst various other mysterious types of human, called “the monstrous races,” ranging from cannibals to more surreal humans with heads of dogs that were ravenous creatures that fed on the blood of humans.

These ancient stories, of course, are usually dismissed my so-called skeptics and by those who claim that in our sophisticated society and dogmen and werewolves do not exist.

In 1972, a small town called Defiance, Ohio reported a stranger appearance of a creature that can be defined as a dog-man or a werewolf.

Two employees at a local freight train company were working the graveyard shift, inspecting railcar braking systems. Ted Davis, one of the witnesses, during an interview with the Toledo Blade said, “I saw these two hairy feet. Then I looked up and there it was standing there with a big stick over his shoulder. When I started to say something, the creature took off for the woods.” The creature was also described as having, “huge, hairy feet, fangs, and it ran side-to-side like a caveman in the movies.”

About a week after the first encounter, Davis claims to have seen the creature, at the same place as the first encounter, the rail yard. He said it looked at him from the edge of the woods, and the turned and left. That same night, a grocer reported an attack from a hairy, animal-headed creature wielding a two-by-four.

There is a visceral reason why the werewolf on a paranormal level is probably the most terrifying of all the vicious beasts in the darkness.

Moreover, they act contrary to what is expected from their domestic counterparts. The dog is loyal, useful, and productive, it is portrayed as the mortal enemy of its opposite, the werewolf. As both human and animal, the one ideally common and sociable, the other solitary and fierce the werewolf embodies the tensions within humanity itself.

Werewolves appear to be human but their face and their actions are contrary to anything that is human – and a werewolf itself does not have to look like the Lon Cheney Jr. offering in the 1930’s movies.

The psychology of the werewolf can be found in modern crime stories.

Criminals like Ed Gein and Jeffery Dahmer were killers that had what is known as werewolf syndrome.

It was said that Gein preserved his mother’s skin. He confessed that he often dressed up in it, wore his mother’s clothes, and ran outside the farmhouse to dance in the moonlight. He also wore belts of human nipples and would make furniture of human skin.

Dahmer, of course, was legendary for eating his victims which also is a trait of the man-wolf.

Is it madness or possession? What causes a man to kill, skin and eat his victims?

Of course, we are forced to consider the moon and how phases may or may not affect human behavior. During a full moon, more crimes, violence, and accidents are reported. Hospital emergency rooms are said to fill up during a full moon.

A lot of people claim that it is an old wives tale, however, the moon affects the tides, and since our blood is made of sea water it stands to reason that perhaps we are affected.

Many scientists say that the notion is purely speculation and that there is no proof that this happens.

The werewolf is just one example of the supernatural, preternatural, and at times unnatural presences which early civilizations believed shared their world, and in the contemporary times there have been rare sightings of beasts that remain in the documentation of cryptozoological history.

Written by Ron Patton

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