What you may not know is that it hasn’t always been this way! Before the religious leaders between the 12th and the 16th centuries decided to lump werewolves in with witches and condemn them all as evil servants of the Devil, werewolves were often seen as neutral beings, good, or even benevolent.
A group in Italy was known as the Benandanti, which means “good walkers” or “those who go well”. They practiced white magic and claimed to travel out of their bodies while they slept for the purpose of battling evil. Both male and female members of the group took part in this four times a year, and as spirits they commonly took the form of wolves, although they might assume that of other animals as well. Specifically, they used their wolfen form to fight demons and witches to protect their crops, and if they won, there would be a good harvest. If they lost, their crops would wither in the fields, and many of their children would die as well. It was also said that the Benandanti were said to be able to contact the world of the dead, and to protect the road between the living and the afterlife.
|The priest and the wolf|
|Bisclavret became a favorite pet of the king and|
accompanied him everywhere
|Wulvers were gentle creatures with generous hearts|
Werewolves in Scotland were often of a type called Wulvers. The creatures were known for having kind hearts and only wanted to live in peace. Often sad and forlorn, they were nonetheless generous to those in need. They were known to leave fish at the door of widows and poor families. Sometimes their presence indicated that money or some other treasure was hidden nearby.