The notion that people can transform themselves into animals—and that animals can become humans—is an ancient concept, as old as life itself. This study consists of incredible and terrifying tales of deliberate and accidental metamorphoses throughout history. Written by a distinguished scholar, it singles out the most interesting and informative stories from a field of many thousands, offering a comprehensive view that embraces both folklore and occultism.
This fascinating array of "human animals" includes accounts of men and women transformed into lions, tigers, serpents, seals, and werewolves, along with tales of witches and familiars, fairies, monsters, scapegoats, and animal ghosts. Author Frank Hamel explores the roots of transformation, surveying such causal factors as contact with a wer-animal, wearing an animal skin or a specific garment, applying an ointment, and many other expedients. Hamel's gripping tales are intensely readable, the product of extensive research, sound judgment, and a flair for storytelling. Readers will find this book a wide-ranging resource on an arcane subject, offering a compelling melange of strange and disturbing beliefs that appeal to both scholars and romantics.
Reprint of Human Animals, Frederick A. Stokes Co., New York, 1915.
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