Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Evil looking face
Judge him not by looks alone
Kind and gentle heart
                                               ~Morrigan Aoife

The Wulver is found in Scottish folklore and is said to inhabit the Shetland Islands located off the Northeast coast of Scotland. Although they are often called werewolves, legends show that they are quite different; unlike a true werewolf the Wulver is not a shape shifter and according to the majority of tales was never a human being.  The Wulver makes his home in a cave dug out of the side of a steep knowe, half-way up a hill. Being solitary creatures the Wulver prefer to keep to themselves and are no threat to humans. This evil-looking but harmless creature is not aggressive if left in peace and will only attack, hurt, or kill humans in self-defense. They are gentle, kind-hearted beings that should be treated with respect and left alone.  The last reported sighting of a Wulver was in the early 20th century.

The Wulver is a creature similar to a human in that they walk upright, however they have a wolf's head and their skinny bodies are covered in short brown hair.  These creatures are built for speed and use it to evade predators such as the Kelpie or aggressive humans. Having no venom glands, the bites of the Wulver will not transform humans into a werewolf. Many accounts tell of Wulvers having intelligence similar to that of humans and it is possible but not confirmed by a large number of reports that they may also be stronger than humans and have a mouth filled with sharp teeth or fangs.

Wulvers are fond of fishing and are sometimes called the Fishing Werewolf. They can create fishing supplies out of resources that surround them, either stealing or making them by hand. They are frequently spotted fishing for their daily meal of Sillaks and Piltaks while perched upon a small rock known as a "Wulver's Stane which is located in a deep water loch. Wulvers are patient creatures and can spend hours upon hours catching fish. Wulvers are also powerful swimmers and use their speed to catch fast moving fish in the rivers and small lochs nearby.

The Scottish Wulver is considered kind hearted and will often beckon to lost travelers and guide them to nearby towns and villages. This peace-loving creature demonstrated a benevolent side as well and was frequently observed leaving a few extra fish on the windowsills or porches of homes of starving families.

Two pronounced superstitions surround the Wulver; the first being that a Wulver may lead a person to treasure buried amongst ancient ruins. Conversely the other relates Wulvers with supernatural canines such as Hell Hounds, Black Dogs and Galley Trots as omens of eminent death.

**  The ancient Celts believed that the Wulver evolved from wolves, and that the Wulver symbolizes the in-between stage of man and wolf.

**  Today some of the more scientific minded humans have tried to explain away the existence of the Wulvers stating that there are conditions such as hypertrichosis also termed "Werewolf Syndrome" (excessive hair growth over the entire body) which could explain the tales of the Wulver.  Another not-so-popular theory is a rare mental disorder called clinical lycanthropy, in which an affected person has a delusional belief that they are transforming into another animal, although not always a wolf.

Centuries ago the Shetland Islands were quite isolated and families carrying these genetic conditions could have married into one another passing the genes on. If there is truth to this belief it may explain the kind heartedness of the Wulver, for they are not werewolves but actually men and woman who were outcasts due to their inherited medical conditions.

* * They're closely related to the dog headed people known as the Cynocephali. Part of this same family also includes a similar un-hostile werewolf, the Faoladh of Ireland.  Tales of the Faoladh spoke of how they protect children and stand guard over wounded men.


  1. Huh, that's interesting. Wulver's huh? Where do you find these beasties? I like it a lot. :)

  2. Many cultures are very proud of their heritage, Scotland and Ireland are no exception. Volumes on celtic myth and lore are fairly abundant in their prospective countries and luckily amazon ships world wide. Also there are a number of wonderful people who contribute to internet websites such as wikipedia, mosteropedia which are great places to start your research, then you have to dig deeper and find out what facts are consistent via more reputable sources. I would really like to get my hands on this book - An Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, & Other Supernatural Creatures by Katharine Briggs but undamaged copies range from $50.00 to $180 dollars... or Shetland Traditional Lore by Jessie M.E. Saxby but that book haas a used price of $153 Bucks as well. Maybe someday....

  3. I suppose we ought never judge a beast by its looks. The Wulver looks fearsome. What a surprise that it's actually kind and harmless (and loves fishing)!