You are hereForums / Mysterious Britain / Folklore and Legends / Werewolves of Langavat

Werewolves of Langavat


16 replies [Last post]
SJMcKenzie
User offline. Last seen 5 years 23 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Nov 2008

One of my pet peeves about the internet is the way that a single piece of data can get replicated so many times that it starts to look authoritative, but it is impossible to get to the substance behind it because everyone copies the same text. Is this particularly annoying with folklore or is it just me?

An example I'm trying to track down concerns a family of werewolves that used to live around Loch Langavat in Lewis, were killed and buried, and will rise again if their graves are disturbed.

As far as I can gather the original source is here:

www.paranormaldatabase.com/islands/outedata.php

From there, it made it's way to Wikipedia, and from there on to who knows how many sites containing 'lists of mysterious creatures'. But I can't find any more than that.

Does anyone know of a real text source? Sounds like a great basis for a short story. I had always thought of werewolves as being Germanic rather than Celtic and I would be interested to see what sort of creatures are described in Lewis.

Anyway, I'm going to try and track this one down.

Steve.

http://celtlore.wordpress.com

Daniel Parkinson's picture
Daniel Parkinson
User offline. Last seen 2 years 30 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Werewolves of Langavat

I have never heard of the story so could be dubious, would be interesting to find the original source though.
It's not just the internet where things get copied and repeated, books on hauntings also repeat stories and mistakes from author to author, as mentioned in the copyright and sources section. I even know of a few hauntings that authors have invented but have been copied as 'real' events. Pluckley may be a good case in point. I imagine a lot of folklore started as tall stories centuries ago until they were put into text by researchers.
The internet does seem to create its own folklore however.

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
User offline. Last seen 2 days 11 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Loch Langavat

I have spent many months on the Isle of Lewis and had family living up there, but I have never heard of a werewolf legend based up there. In fact I am struggling to come up with a British or Irish werewolf tale.

Neil Boothman's picture
Neil Boothman
User offline. Last seen 3 weeks 2 days ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Wulver

There's always the Wulver, a wolfman type creature in Shetland Islands folklore.

Lee Waterhouse
User offline. Last seen 4 years 45 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Wulver

I can imagine that the Wulver would have come with the Vikings to the Shetlands.

SJMcKenzie
User offline. Last seen 5 years 23 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Nov 2008
Wulver / Norse in Hebrides

I hadn't thought of the Wulver, thanks.

From what I've just read though, the main source for that creature, Jessie Saxby's Shetland Traditional Lore, detials the Wulver as a very place-specific creature, found near a certain cave and rock (the Wulver's Stane in the Shetlands), usually fishing. He was non-agressive, and seen over long periods, as recently as last century.

I'm thinking that the Langavat legend sounds quite different. However it is certainly possible that the Langavat legend was based on Norse ideas about wolfmen, seeing as they occupied the Hebrides during the middle ages, and maintained trade links afterwards.

Anyway, I think I'm just going to cut to the cjhase and contact the folks at the paranormal database to see what they have to say...

Steve.

faoladh
User offline. Last seen 5 years 45 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Dec 2008
I hope that you will share

I hope that you will share what you find out about the Loch Langavat werewolf story, as it has been of interest to me for a while now.

Ian Topham wrote:

In fact I am struggling to come up with a British or Irish werewolf tale.

The word to look into is "Ossory", which is the most well-known instance (being mentioned in Gerald of Wales' Description of Ireland.) However, there are many others, such as Saint Ronan. Dr. Bernhardt-House's (so far unpublished) doctoral thesis, which he defended while at Cork, is about canines in Irish, Welsh, etc. cultures, and includes a substantial section on werewolves. Werewolf lore forms a substantial portion of British and Irish folklore.

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
User offline. Last seen 2 days 11 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Thank you for the pointer

Thank you for the pointer Faoladh :)  I really need to find out more about Irish folklore. 

Welcome to the website, I hope you enjoy it.:)

SJMcKenzie
User offline. Last seen 5 years 23 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Nov 2008
Thankyou.I have been having

Thankyou.

I have been having a busy time of it lately  with a move and preparations for a new life next year in Australia. So my input into this site got kind of waylaid.

There's always next year...

http://celtlore.wordpress.com

SJMcKenzie
User offline. Last seen 5 years 23 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Nov 2008
OK folks...

I have mailed the paranormal database but no response as of yet. I suppose it's possibe they do not know where the tale comes from.

However a bit of sniffing about confirms faoladhs assertion that the werewolf motif was alive and well in the Celtic countries. I found several accounts from Celtic lands - just nothing on Langavat so far.

For instance, you can download Irish writer Elliot O'Donnel's book Werewolves over at http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/26629

Here's a sniff: 
 
In a village at the foot of Ben MacDhui a shepherd of the name of Colin
Graeme informed me that he remembered hearing his grandfather, who died
at the age of ninety, speak of an old man called Tam McPherson whom
he--the grandfather--had known intimately as a boy. This old man, so
Colin's grandfather said, had perfect recollections of a man in the
village called Saunderson being suspected of being a werwolf. He used to
describe Saunderson as "a mon with evil, leerie eyes, and eyebrows that
met in a point over his nose"; and went on to say that Saunderson lived
in a cave in the mountains where his forefathers, also suspected of
being werwolves, had lived before him, and that when on
his--Saunderson's--death this cave was visited by some of the villagers,
a quantity of queer bones--some human and some belonging to wolves--were
discovered lying in corners, partially covered with stones and loose
earth...

Ben MacDhui - now isn't that where that grey mist giant is supposed to dwell?

Steve.

http://celtlore.wordpress.com

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
User offline. Last seen 2 days 11 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Here's a link to our Grey



Share/Save

Navigation

Recent comments

Featured Site