São Paulo, Feb 13: Woman claims to have been attacked by ‘werewolf’
According to the victim’s account, the creature looked like a big dog. Police is looking for a suspect that may have used a costume to attack the girl.
The inhabitants of São Sepé, Rio Grande do Sul, [Brazil] have one more reason to fear Friday the 13th. Besides the bad luck and the strange happenings during the day, a ‘werewolf’ is supposedly at large. One of the possible victims, a 20-year-old, recorded her complaint in the police.
According to the police, Kelly Martins Becker claims to have been attacked in the night of January 28 by an animal that looked like a big dog, that was standing on its back feet and walked as if it were a man. She made a sketch of the creature.
According to the complaint, the creature scratched the face and arms of the victim. The police informed that Kelly underwent medical examination, where the wounds were confirmed. Officers also claim they will investigate if someone is using a werewolf costume to scare people. No suspect was arrested until Friday.
AROUND THE COUNTRY
Cases similar to the one from São Sepé were recorded. In the rural area of Tauá, Ceará, locals asked for police help in July 2008, scared with sightings of an individual “half man and half wolf” that was stealing sheep and breaking into houses.
At the time, the police investigated the case, suspecting that a gang was using costumes to scare the locals and commit the crimes. The case, called ‘the midnight mystery’, then became a joke in the city.
In April 2008, some inhabitants of Santana do Livramento, Rio Grande do Sul, also had their moments of terror with the attacks of the ‘Man in the Black Cape’. With no solid evidence about the creature’s sightings, the police archived the records as folklore.”
From G1: Jovem do RS afirma ter sido atacada por ‘lobisomem’
We translated the reports about last year’s incidents, and this one even has a sketch of the creature. It’s relevant to note that São Sepé, the current werewolf-scared city, is near Santana do Livramento, last year’s scared city. Both being small rural cities. The photo above comes from Zero Hora, and the G1 link above has another photo of Kelly Becker and her sketch of the creature.
If you are a diligent Fortean, you will associate this series of reports with popular panics around the world and history, from the more recent Monkey Man in India (c. 2001) going as far back as the Spring-Heeled Jack in England (c. 1837 and onwards).
And those are just the more obviously similar and famous cases. So similar they are almost identical, with only a couple of differences, like the height of the Indian and the Brazilian creatures. Does this make them real?
Curiously, the more you acquaint yourself with numerous similar cases, the more an alternative explanation that sounds terrible at first looks more and more acceptable. It’s mass sociogenic illness. Or, as it’s popularly known, mass hysteria.
It’s a damned expression, due to no doubt much abuse. Robert Bartholomew is the name to look for if you still dread that term. See: Protean nature of mass sociogenic illness – From possessed nuns to chemical and biological terrorism fears.
We shouldn’t keep abusing the term and tagging everything as “mass hysteria” – criminals could be using costumes, and it’s not impossible that an unknown violent bipedal creature is lurking those places. Only highly improbable, the more so as no solid evidence ever comes up.
And the one important thing about ‘mass sociogenic illness” is that though the creatures may not be real, the victims are. They may also be highly educated, intelligent people.
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