Monster Monday: Wulver

We all know about vampires and werewolves, or at least we think we do. The legends and myths that inspired these monsters are sometimes surprisingly different, but no less chilling. In this series of posts, Monster Monday, we’ll investigate the monsters that have informed our modern notions, as well as some lesser known monsters. Today, we talk about the Wulver.

The Werewolf Howls, Weird Tales, November 1941
The Werewolf Howls, Weird Tales, November 1941

A wulver is a werewolf-like creature in the folklore of Scotland’s Shetland Islands. It has the body of a man and the head of a wolf and is covered in short fur. It doesn’t shapeshift. A wulver lives alone in a cave, or sometimes in an abandoned building or graveyard and is rarely seen except when sitting on a rock by a river fishing for its dinner.

Unlike other werewolves, wulvers are gentle, benevolent creatures. They lead lost travelers to safety, and they often leave fish on the doorsteps of poor families on the verge of starvation. Sometimes they perform the same favor for families with a gravely ill family member. In some legends, a wulver will appear near the house of someone who is terminally ill, looking forlorn. A wulver will not harm a human except in self-defense.

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