Well, currently I've been striving to reach my goal/calling of becoming a dark fantasy/horror author. I'm slowly working on what I hope to be a series of novels about a vampire, and currently I've been working on writing horror/macabre poetry. I've wrote two poems so far, one called "Lust for War", which isn't really horror but a fantasy/norse mythology-based poem about a norse warrior king whose kingdom has been conquered by a demon lord, and another poem called "Ravenlord" which is a Lovecraft-style poem about a dark god of death.
I'm currently writing an epic macabre/horror poem entitled "From Man to Beast" which is about a man who is bitten by a werewolf and is slowly turning into one himself and all the hellish torments/problems he encounters along the way, and I was wondering if any of you could please give me some info on a question I have regarding this poem I'm writing? You see this poem is set in the 18th century, and I plan to have, somewhere in the poem, a doctor examining the man after he's been bitten. And I was wondering if any of you know or have any information of how a doctor back in the 1700s would treat a patient with lycanthropy. I would dearly appreciate any help you could give me. Thanks. :D
May 19th, 2004, 04:20 PM
I was wondering if any of you know or have any information of how a doctor back in the 1700s would treat a patient with lycanthropy. I would dearly appreciate any help you could give me. Thanks. :D
They would kill them..... sorry.
That's the short version, at least. To give a better answer (and I'd like to since you're idea sounds very intriguing) you'd have to be a little more specific about the date and the place.
During the 1700's anyone growing fangs and barking at the moon would be well served to stay out of site. During the early part of the century the witch craze was still going on. The middle to the later half saw a turning away and eventually a backlash toward witch hunting and spiritism altogether.
I say witches, but any paranormal activity would have been grouped into witchcraft/demonology by the people of the era. I'm told that the official history book of Paris actually records a man being turned into a werewolf then burned at the stake. Don't know the date on that one, though.
The key is going to be who is giving the medical help. If your poor soul was able to find a surgeon who could keep a secret (and remember it would HAVE to be a secret since the general consensus on treatment would be a wooden poll, some rope, and a nice high pile of kindling) treatment could have been anything from bloodletting to hypnosis (phychology was just underway in those days). A sympathetic member of the clergy would probably have tried to perform the rights of exorcism - biblical resitation, prayer, and the pouring on of holy water, oil, or salt.
A good book on the subject is Devils, Drugs, and Doctors - by Howard Haggard.
May 23rd, 2004, 04:47 PM
Quite a few people were executed for being werewolves, which was considered a Satanic condition akin to witchcraft. There were some werewolf epidemics in France, according to my kid's educational shows, and this might have been caused by contaminated grain that created symptoms mistaken for a werewolf (not body hair but behavioral, body oder, etc.) To remove lycanthropy from someone or protect them from it, the traditional mythological cures were probably used -- wolfsbane (a plant,) silver and silver nitrate, holy water, holy wafer and bloodletting as mentioned. But lycanthropy was largely a matter of myth, not a common medical condition that doctors were called upon to treat, as far as I understand it.