Searching for Old Stinker: Medieval Legends meet 21st Century Werewolf Hunters

Searching for Old Stinker: Medieval Legends meet 21st Century Werewolf Hunters

It all began a couple of weeks ago when a journalist on an English national newspaper phoned me up out of the blue and asked “You’ve written a book about the history and legends of East Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Wolds, what do you think about these reports of werewolf sightings in Hull?”

Now this interested me as werewolves are not part of the traditional folklore of England. Yes, we have plenty of “ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night” (to use and old Cornish saying) but we don’t have werewolves. In fact, the only werewolf to be found in the legends is the Werewolf of Flixton, otherwise known as “Old Stinker” because of his foul breath, who was first reported in the 12th century.

An illustration from Topographia Hiberniae depicting the story of a traveling priest who meets and communes a pair of good werewolves.

An illustration from Topographia Hiberniae depicting the story of a traveling priest who meets and communes a pair of good werewolves. (Public Domain)


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