Morbach Monster: Werewolf in Wittlich Germany

Sightings of werewolves in the town of Wittlich, Germany, have gone on for hundreds of years, and there is one werewolf in particular that brings the fame.  The werewolf is famously known as the “Morbach Monster” (Monster Von Morbach), and is believed to be a real werewolf local to the area.

The stories and local legends of the Morbach Monster say that the story goes back to a deserter from Napoleon’s army who is fleeing with a group of Russians, and they go through the town of Wittlich (although there have been some that say that the town is actually Wenigerath) in Germany. While in the small town, one of the soldiers – Thomas Johannes Baptist Schwytzer – attacks and kills a farmer and the farmer’s wife. Before he kills the wife however, the wife has enough time to curse the soldier into becoming a werewolf on the night of each full moon. The werewolf is evil, vicious, and attacks people at his leisure, eventually causing the villagers to find him, capture him, and destroy him. The villagers then set up a shrine at the site with a lit candle that they burn on the night of each full moon. Legends hold that as long as the candle burns, the werewolf will not return.

Morbach Monster Werewolf Shrine

Morbach Monster Werewolf Shrine

Fast forward to the near-present day in 1988, where a group of US military men are stationed at nearby Morbach US Air Force base in Germany. They know of the legends and that there is always a candle lit in the shrine on the night of the full moon. One night however they see that the candle in the shrine as burned out, and they joke around about it. To their surprise however, later that same night, a large creature that resembles an upright wolf is spotted. When they go out searching, the military tracking dog clearly smells something but absolutely refuses to pursue the creature.  Many believe that the coincidence is just too great, and that the creature that was spotted was the infamous real werewolf – the Morbach Monster.



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19 Responses

  1. Dynomutt says:

    Myths, legands, and traditions all come from some form of truth. And, as long as there is beliefe in it, that truth will exsist. I hope someone is keeping that candle burning . . .

  2. pklett92 says:

    yet another charming tail :) for children of all ages….

  3. konno12moto says:

    candles are alway lit for them.

  4. Lunar says:

    Quite interesting

  5. David says:

    I was K-9 stationed there at the time this story supposedly occured, never happened. It’s a story we told newbies to make boring night less so. My dogs name was Cooter.

    • Steve says:

      I concur with you David. I was in the Missile Shop from December 1986 to September 1988 and Munitions Control until I PCS’d in December 1989. In addition, I lived in Heinzerath, a town a short distance away. It never happened.

  6. It is a true legend being told in that area. Im German and use to live close to Morbach, the story was told by the elders in towns near by. The Shrine exists too

    • Andre says:

      No offense but from what I know this is not true. There are werewolf-tales in Hunsrück area yes, but this particular tale really only came up among the GIs in the latter half of the 20th century. There was even a survey in the area around Mohrbach a few years back and nobody knew of this tale. In fact it never established itself in Germany. It originated exclusively with US-American GIs as a reaction to an environment they didn’t know and the history they had with Germany. The structure fits what we in Germany call a “Sage” (it’s comparable to what Americans call urban legends). And this is truly what it is, an “urban legend”. Nothing of this tale is actually old it is all brand new.

  7. Allen says:

    I was stationed twenty minute from Wittlich back in 1974 to 1978. The Tale was so believible it set fear into many poor souls’.

  8. Andre says:

    I forgot earlier, the depicted shrine is not a werewolf-shrine but a “Heiligenhäuschen” (a little shrine for saints) which you can find on many pilgrimages and also often in the catholic parts of the area. They have lit candles because people still care about thise little buildings, there are even some official ceremonies for them.

  9. yoxx says:

    people have actually seen “real” werewolves. There are only sightings…

  10. Andre says:

    Sorry, but there is no truth here. The legend doesn’t exist among the stories of the region. None of the werewolf stories of the region has similarity to this.
    All evidence points to it having emerged solely among American GIs. It is an American legend and not a German one.

  11. she wolf says:

    I agree with Dynomutt. All legends came from truth but as time passed by they are forgotten and seen them as myths by the next generation.

  12. Alpha One says:

    Sad little people. Sorry to pop your bubbles but I was the Security Supervisor that night. I know what happened. I know what we saw. I know who was there. If you want to hear what happened please respond to this posting. I will post the incident and decide for yourself. Anyone who was there please feel free to contact me. It would be great to reconnect.

  13. sgt rick richmond says:

    It happened I to was security supervisor in that area and can really relay the real story.

  14. Greg says:

    Wenigerath is the name of the village where the shrine is, not Wittlich ( Wittlich is on the other side of the Mosel River near Bitburg).I was stationed at Hahn from 86 -90 as a Security Policeman, and worked at Morbach regularly. I heard all the werewolf stories and walked all over the area at night.I never saw anything out of the ordinary. The werewolf stories were told to the new Airmen to try and scare them. We had a loof fun with it, but I never saw a werewolf the whole 4 years I worked there.

  15. sgt rick richmond says:

    for you guys to scare airman but, we witnessed it along with canine dog Rocky I was stationed from 86 – 90 myself. There Wade Welker an like I stated canine who there also to witness the same.

  16. Anthony monroe says:

    Ye true story I was also stationed there during that time

  1. July 19, 2015

    […] According to a legend centered on the town of Wittlich, a farmer’s wife had cursed a Russian soldier after he’d killed her husband. The […]

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