This is seriously one hell of a fascinating and frightening theory that may still be happening today with accidentally and unintentionally injested mind altering doses and deliberately and intentionally administered mind controlling dosages of various substances laced upon and within the brains and minds of an obliviously unsuspecting mainstream public...
Quote: As centuries passed there arrived a point when fanciful stories told to amuse people were replaced by real incidents and real suffering.
Suddenly tales such as Stubbe’s started to emerge. It was as if people believed that werewolves were everywhere. The trial records of lycanthrope increased at an epidemic rate.
In France alone between 1520 and 1630 some 30,000 individuals were labeled as werewolves. Many of them underwent traumatic interrogation and torture. Confessed or not, most of them suffered vile death at the stake.
Quote: The Werewolf witch trials were witch trials combined with werewolf trials.
Belief in werewolves developed parallel to the belief in witches, in the course of the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern period.
Like the witchcraft trials as a whole, the trial of supposed werewolves emerges in what is now Switzerland (especially the Valais and Vaud) in the early 15th century and spreads throughout Europe in the 16th, peaking in the 17th and subsiding by the 18th century.
The persecution of werewolves and the associated folklore is an integral part of the "witch-hunt" phenomenon, albeit a marginal one, accusations of werewolfery being involved in only a small fraction of witchcraft trials.
Quote: The connection between werewolves and witches and the accidental consumption of hallucinogenic compounds isn’t a recent development, in fact, over the last eight centuries various researchers, physicians and scientists have made striking cases for a correlation between local diets and werewolf and witch trials, but most were ignored.
Meanwhile, scores of people were tortured and executed for allegedly being possessed by demons and making pacts with the devil.
Tens of thousands died in Medieval Europe as a result of supposed curses either cast by witches or werewolves, or curses that caused a person to become a werewolf or witch.
The truth is that despite the fact that werewolves, witches and other creatures of lore remain popular today, these fictional creatures are actually based in a dark but very real past.
A past that likely included hallucinogenic food poisonings that caused mass sustained hysteria.
A surprising amount of both anecdotal and empirical evidence suggests that the werewolf hysteria that gripped Europe in the middle ages and the witch hysteria that plagued the U.S. centuries later were both caused by acute convulsive ergotism. Ergotism refers to a pathogenic condition caused by consumption of the ergot fungus. Ergot poisoning occurs in both humans and animals. According to the North Dakota State University Agricultural Department;
“Ergot, caused by the fungus Claviceps purpurea, is a disease of cereal crops and grasses.” ”Ergot’s medicinal applications and animal poisoning properties first called attention to this plant disease. Human poisoning was common in Europe in the Middle Ages when ergoty rye bread was often consumed.”
Convulsive ergotism causes muscle twitching, spasms, altered mental states, hallucinations or delusions, sweating and long term fever. There is no specific treatment for ergotism except to treat symptomatically; however, discontinuation of consumption of the contaminated food source will eventually lead to the return of a normal physical state in most cases. However, changes in mental state caused by ergotism can be permanent for some people. It is these mental disturbances that are most troubling, because when combined with severe hallucinations human behavior can become extremely erratic, especially when large populations are eating the same contaminated food.
“Ergot poisoning usually affects whole towns or at least poor areas of towns and results in hallucinations, mass hysteria and paranoia, as well as convulsions and sometimes death. (LSD can be derived from ergot.) Ergot poisoning has been proposed as both a cause of an individual believing that he or she is a werewolf and of a whole town believing that they had seen a werewolf.”