In Russian legends it is said that one way to identify a werewolf is to check to see if they have “bristles” or stiff hairs under their tongue – those that do are likely werewolves. The legends also say that most werewolves are dangerous, wicked, aggressive creatures that easily destroy humans, however they do hold that they are not all evil creatures, but rather some that are “good” werewolves.

In 1872, W.R.S. Ralston wrote a book about these types of Russian legends (including witches, vampires, and werewolves). In it, he talks about sorcery and witchcraft, specifically citing an incantation that a wizard would use to turn into a werewolf. He does not cite what rituals would be used at the time of recitation. Here it is, from the book “Songs of the Russian People”:

In the ocean sea,
on the island Buyan,
in the open plain,
shines the moon upon an aspen stump,
into the green wood,
into the spreading vale.
Around the stump goes a shaggy wolf;
under his teeth are all the horned cattle;
but into the wood the wolf goes not;
in the vale the wolf does not roam.
Moon, moon! Gold-horned moon!
Melt the bullet, blunt the knife, rot the cudgel,
strike fear into man, beast, and reptile,
so that they may not seize the gray wolf,
nor tear him from his warm hide.
My word is firm,
firmer than sleep or the strength of heroes.