These Are The Most Fearsome Lady Werewolves Throughout History

When one thinks of werewolves, one typically thinks of a man afflicted with a transformational curse. It's true that most historical werewolf tales feature male shape-shifters, but there's also a rich female werewolf mythology ripe for exploring. In fact, there are numerous female werewolf stories throughout history that are just as terrifying as the most disturbing tales of men becoming wolf-like. These lady lycanthropes rival "real-life" werewolves such as the vicious serial killer Peter Stubbe and the Wolf of Ansbach that attacked humans and livestock in 1685. 

Interestingly, werewomen and witches were often thought to be the same thing. If the legends hold any truth, lady werewolves are potentially far more powerful than their male counterparts. After all, combining the powers of a witch and a werewolf into one package makes for a formidable opponent. Therefore, it's no wonder that historical accounts of werewolf women are typically filled with bloodshed and lots of fear. Let's examine these intriguing stories to discover the most badass female werewolves in history! 

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  • 300 She-Wolves From Jülich Killed 94 People In 1591

    In 1591, a report was printed out of Augsburg, in what is modern day Germany, that the Duchy of Jülich was attacked by female werewolves. Dubbed the She-Wolves of Jülich, 300 women shape-shifted into wolves and terrorized the local area. It was reported that at least 94 people died, along with numerous horses and livestock.

    Ultimately, the town captured 85 of these werewomen and they confessed to a combined 94 murders. If the legend is true, all 85 She-Wolves were executed for their crimes. Of course, this was a time when sensationalist headlines were catching on and ultimately in the story the report only actually alludes to one village woman confessing to the crimes and implicating 24 others.

  • Argentinean Women Turn Into Lobisóns After Surviving A Werewolf Attack

    In Argentina, people have long believed that the seventh son of every family is doomed to become a lobisón (werewolf). The seventh daughter is said to become a witch. When a lobisón attacks a victim, male or female, most die but a few are transformed into lobisóns themselves. This has supposedly led to female lobisón who roam Argentina, spreading the lobisón curse. 

  • Murderous Female Werewolves Would Drain The Blood Of Children In Tlaxcala

    Murderous Female Werewolves Would Drain The Blood Of Children In Tlaxcala
    Photo: Lionsgate

    The indigenous people of Tlaxcala, Mexico, tell tales of female werewolves in the form of tlahuelpuchi, which is a sort of shape-shifting witch or vampire known to morph into a dog, coyote, or some other animal after sunset. Parents were especially terrified of tlahuelpuchi because children were their primary target. Unless a child was properly protected, they were at risk of having their arms, legs, and necks brutally bitten. The female shape-shifters would reportedly drink a child's blood until they died. 

  • A 12th Century Irish Werewoman Sought Absolution For Her Affliction

    Like their male counterparts, female werewolves wake up in human form to face the moral implications of their nightly crimes. An Irish tale from the 12th century showcases the softer side of these savage beasts. A werewoman and her werewolf husband were cursed to be lycan for seven years. His wife near death, the husband werewolf sought a priest to give his dying wife her final wish, to receive absolution for her crimes. Her dedicated husband found and convinced a priest to help and proved his wife's humanity by pulling back her hide. Beneath was an elderly woman and the priest agreed to perform the viaticum.

  • A Family Of French Werewolves Included Two Werewomen Put To Death In 1598

    A Family Of French Werewolves Included Two Werewomen Put To Death In 1598
    Photo: SyFy

    The Gandillon family of St. Claude, France, was said to include at least four werewolves. Two of these shape-shifters, Antoinette and Perrenette, were women. Perrenette may have suffered from clinical lycanthropy, a condition which causes a person to believe they are a wolf. She attacked two small children in 1598. One of the kids died but not before identifying his assailant. Townspeople marched to the Gandillon home and tore Perrenette to pieces with their bare hands. 

    This wasn't the end of the Gandillon family's werewolf troubles, though. Before 1598 was over, three more of them were executed for werewolfism. Antoinette confessed to transforming into a werewolf. She also claimed she had sex with the devil while he was in the form of a goat. Unsurprisingly, these confessions led to death by fire.  

  • The Auvergne Werewolf Inspired Numerous Stories After Attacking Her Husband In 1558

    The story of the Auvergne Werewolf has evolved into numerous urban legends and fairytales. However, the origins of the story are based in truth. In 1558, a humongous wolf attacked a hunter in the woods of central France. During the attack, the man managed to chop off one of the wolf's paws. When he brought the paw back to town he took it from his bag to find it had transformed into a human hand and was wearing another villager's wife's wedding band. That villager confronted his wife, found her hand to be missing, and turned her in to authorities for being a werewolf. 

    The woman was tried and convicted of witchcraft and was put to death in front of a crowd of thousands.