Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768dbb666b-l8xdn Total loading time: 0.27 Render date: 2023-02-06T15:48:06.317Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Lycanthropy: alive and well in the twentieth century

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2009

Paul E. Keck*
Affiliation:
From the Epidemiology Laboratory, Laboratories for Psychiatric Research, Mailman Research Center, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Harrison G. Pope
Affiliation:
From the Epidemiology Laboratory, Laboratories for Psychiatric Research, Mailman Research Center, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
James I. Hudson
Affiliation:
From the Epidemiology Laboratory, Laboratories for Psychiatric Research, Mailman Research Center, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Susan L. McElroy
Affiliation:
From the Epidemiology Laboratory, Laboratories for Psychiatric Research, Mailman Research Center, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Aaron R. Kulick
Affiliation:
From the Epidemiology Laboratory, Laboratories for Psychiatric Research, Mailman Research Center, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
*
11Address for correspondence: Dr P. E. Keck, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02178, USA.

Synopsis

Lycanthropy, the belief that one has been transformed into an animal (or behaviour suggestive of such a belief), has been described by physicians and clerics since antiquity, but has received scant attention in the modern literature. Some have even thought the syndrome extinct. However, in a review of patients admitted to our centre since 1974, we identified twelve cases of lycanthropy, ranging in duration from one day to 13 years. The syndrome was generally associated with severe psychosis, but not with any specific psychiatric diagnosis or neurological findings, or with any particular outcome. As a rare but colourful presentation of psychosis, lycanthropy appears to have survived into modern times.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1988

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Adams, F. (1864). The Seven Books of Paulus Aegineta, Vol. 1. Sydenham Society: London.Google Scholar
Arieti, S. (1974). American Handbook of Psychiatry, Vol. 3, pp. 719770. Basic Books: New York.Google Scholar
Bodin, I. (1581). Andegavenis de Magorum Daemonomania, Vol. 4. Thoman Guarinum: Basile.Google Scholar
Bodin, I. (1592). Demonomania de gli Stregoni, cioe, Furori, et Malie de Demoni, Vol. 3. Presso Aldo: Venice.Google Scholar
Bodin, I. (1593). De la Demonomanie des Sorciers. Chez Iehan Keerberghe: Anvers.Google Scholar
Coll, P. G., O'Sullivan, G. & Browne, P. J. (1985). Lycanthropy lives on. British Journal of Psychiatry 147, 201202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Driver, S. R. (1912). The Book of Daniel, Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.Google Scholar
Innes, M M. (1955). The Metamorphoses of Ovid. Penguin: Harmondsworth.Google Scholar
Jackson, P. M. (1978). Another case of lycanthropy. American Journal of Psychiatry 135, 134135.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jung, C. G. (1954). Collected Works, Vol. 17. Routledge & Kegan Paul: London.Google Scholar
Kaplan, H. L. & Sadock, B. J. (1985). Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry (third edn), Vols 1 and 2. Williams & Wilkins: Baltimore.Google Scholar
Pope, H. G. & Lipinski, J. F. (1978). Diagnosis in schizophrenia and manic-depressive illness. A reassessment of the specificity of ‘schizophrenic’ symptoms in the light of current research. Archives of General Psychiatry 35, 811828.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rosenstock, H. A. & Vincent, K. R (1977). A case of lycanthropy. American Journal of Psychiatry 134, 11471149.Google ScholarPubMed
Scot, R. (1886). Discovery of Witchcraft. Vol. 1. Clarendon Press: Oxford.Google Scholar
Sennert, D. (1654). Practicae Medicinae de Capitis, Cerebri, et Sensuum Externorum Morbis & Symplomatibus. Venice.Google Scholar
Shinkichi, T. (1879) Is lycanthropy confined to the Province of Shikohu? [transl.] Tokei Ijishenshi 86, 364370.Google Scholar
Summers, M. (1966). The Werewolf. University Books: New York.Google Scholar
Surawicz, F. G. & Bunta, R. (1975). Lycanthropy revisited Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal 20, 537542.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Thyreus, P. (1603). De Obessis a Spinlibus Daemoniorum Hominibus. Societatis iesu Doctore.Google Scholar
Wharton, W. (1978). Birdy. Alfred A. Knopf New York.Google Scholar
Werner, A., Campbell, R. J., Frazier, S. H., Stone, E. M. & Edgerton, J. (1984) The American Psychiatric Association's Psychiatric Glossary. American Psychiatric Press: Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
Zilboorg, G. & Henry, G. W. (1941). A Historyof Medical Psychology, Norton: New York.Google Scholar
37
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Lycanthropy: alive and well in the twentieth century
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Lycanthropy: alive and well in the twentieth century
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Lycanthropy: alive and well in the twentieth century
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *