Werewolves in Denmark and the origin of nightmare
This may surprise you about Danish werewolves:
1. they were all male
2. they were all created at birth
That is according to the traditional legends in Denmark..but does it still hold true today?
According to legends…
It is said that virtually all Danish Werewolves were werewolves by birth, rather than by some sort of external influence (be it curse, bite, etc.). What’s interesting however is that they were not born from actual werewolf mothers, but rather from a human mother that undergoes a ritual which will cause her child to become a werewolf. The rituals were performed to relieve the mother of pain during child birth, however the unknown and surprising side effect was that the child ended up being not quite human. How many mothers did this, and if they continued the ritual despite knowing that it might “turn” their unborn child is unclear.
Actually however, when the child was born to these mothers, not all of them were werewolves. In fact, only the male gender turned out to be werewolves. The females were actually quite different, and called “mares”.In the daytime it is said that both werewolves and mares took on human form, however at night, both become their “shifted” self. The mare (or sometimes called “Mara”) was not exactly a female werewolf, but rather something else altogether. The mare was a creature that was considered a “supernatural spirit” and at night would sit on the chests of humans suffocating them and giving them nightmares! And yes, that is the origin for the word NIGHTMARE!