Posted by: Craig Woolheater on March 13th, 2013
On screen illustration of El Lobizon – Argentina for Destination Truth by Nathanael Lark
When someone mentions the word werewolf, images of a full moon, silver bullets, and hairy man-beasts with a hunger for human flesh come to mind. Although not every culture shares that image, shapeshifting beasts can be found all over the world in differing forms. In the South American country of Argentina, a creature called El Lobizon (sometimes known as the Lobison) is spoken of in hushed whispers. The word lobizon itself means “sons of the wolves.” While most of modern society refuses to believe in the existence of werewolves and other such creatures of the night, the terror that this beast holds over the people of Argentina is very real.
The Lobizon as the people of South America know it (the beast is also known and reported in Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil) is a bit different from the Western notion of the Werewolf. According to legend, the Lobizon is a type of Werewolf (some say that the beast is a weredog or a werefox of some kind) that is most often described as being quadrupedal (that is, walking on four legs), but is occasionally seen walking on it’s hind legs. But, unlike the Hollywood incarnation of the beast, El Lobizon is created not from the bite of another Werewolf, but is the result of a hereditary curse. Only the seventh son (that is to say, the seventh boy in an unbroken line of boys) may inherit the condition. This has caused immense fear in the people, and as a result has caused a lot of people to give up these children for adoption, to outright abandon them, and are even killed by their own families in some cases. And like the Hollywood version of the Werewolf, the Lobizon is subject to the cycles of the moon. Every night of the full moon, at the stroke of midnight (especially if the full moon falls on a Friday night), the boy in question undergoes an agonizing transformation into a ferocious wolflike beast of great size and strength that lives to hunt and to kill. At dawn the next morning, the boy reverts to his human form to once again assume a normal life, or at least until the next full moon. Apart from being born the seventh son, it is said that if the Lobizon’s saliva is sprinkled over another person, then they will gradually fall to the Lobizon’s curse as well.
Unlike the Hollywood Werewolf, as mentioned earlier, the Lobizon is generally said to be a quadrupedal beast. The Lobizon, according to eyewitness accounts, is described as being a very large wolf or a dog (one witness likened the beast to “a dog the size of a calf”), having a muscular body covered in dense, dark-colored fur, padded feet that end in sharp claws, an elongated snout, large doglike ears, a furry tail, and a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth. The beast is said to be fairly short in stature, and is sometimes seen as having legs like a child’s. One eyewitness, a junkyard manager, compared the creature to an “enormous monkey” when he encountered the monster late one night. Additionally, according to eyewitness testimony, the Lobizon has a chilling, evil stare (much like the infamous Beast of Bray Road from Wisconsin). And in addition to it’s fearsome appearance, the Lobizon is reported to be extremely savage. If cornered (not an easy task), the creature is said to be able to tear a bloody swathe through half a dozen men very quickly. Some say that, while the beast likes to feed on excrement, unbaptized babies, and the flesh of the recently dead, it is still dangerous to people. If the creature should encounter a lone person, the Lobizon will not hesitate to attack. And when it does attack, there’s only one thing to do: run like hell! El Lobizon is possessed of unnatural strength and speed, and the beast’s endurance ensures that any chase will be short-lived. And after the monster wears it’s prey out, the Lobizon’s ripping claws and teeth-filled, tearing jaws make very quick work of the victim and his body. In short, it is no trouble for the beast to tear a grown man to pieces.
Reports most often tell of the Lobizon attacking domestic dogs and farm animals, but the beast has also been known to menace people as well, even to the extent of invading their very homes. One particular report of such an incident from northern Argentina tells of a particularly bold Lobizon entering a private residence, only to be clubbed and beaten by the occupants until the beast was seemingly dead. Once they had dragged the body outside, the creature picked itself up, seemingly unharmed, and ran off into the night.
So, how does one kill such a beast? For that matter, how do people keep the beast at bay? Like the Hollywood version of the monster (and contrary to traditional European Werewolf lore), the Lobizon may be warded off with wolfsbane (Aconitum Septentrionale). And while wolfsbane is not common in (or possibly even native to) South America, the herb was imported by wise travelers who feared to be without the plant’s protective powers. According to tradition, the herb’s seeds were sown into the soil of a freshly-dug grave. This way, wolfsbane’s apotropaic properties would keep the grave’s occupant at eternal peace.
As for actually killing the beast, one does not need silver bullets or a consecrated weapon to get the job done. Like any other animal, the Lobizon may be dispatched with cold steel and fire (guns and other firearms will work, too). Weapons like long spear and swords are recommended. But be warned: even if one has amassed a large group of men who are armed to the teeth, extreme caution is still advised. The Lobizon is extremely powerful, and moves with a quickness that belies the creature’s size. Trying to pierce vital organs from a relatively safe distance is always a good bet. Even once the beast is down and seems to be dead, the creature’s body should be decapitated with a sharp, heavy blade (like an axe or a sword). Next, the body should be burned to ashes (which may take several hours), and then the ashes should be scattered to the winds or dumped into flowing water. These measures will prevent El Lobizon from regenerating and returning to life. In this case, it is truly better to be safe than sorry.
While it is true that people still believe in the existence of werewolves all over the world, in Argentina the belief is so widespread that even the government is forced to acknowledge the existence of the beast. To this day, the government requires that all large families have their seventh sons baptized to avoid any of the social stigma or superstition associated with the birth of a seventh son. In 1920, the president of Argentina Dr. Juan Hipolito Yrigoyen set forth an ingenious plan in order to rid his country of the superstition and evil that had made all seventh sons outcasts for decades. To that end, Yrigoyen officially decreed that he would henceforth be the legal godfather of any seventh son born in Argentina. He also declared that a gold medal would be presented to the boy’s parents during the baptism ceremony. As a token of his generosity, he proclaimed that all seventh sons, by law, would receive full educational scholarships until they reached the age of twenty-one years. As might be expected, the reports of infanticide and abandonment dropped dramatically. Even now, in the twenty-first century, those same laws are still in effect. The president himself still attends at least some of the baptism ceremonies, especially during election season. However, this has done little to quell the reports of ferocious, doglike creatures attacking livestock.
Despite Yrigoyen’s efforts and his generosity, El Lobizon has been seen by hundreds of eyewitnesses throughout the country. Not all of these sightings have been in rural areas (like farmlands), but the beast has also been seen in villages and small towns. These people swear that they have seen a werewolflike beast live and in the flesh. These people are deeply religious, so a hoax is very unlikely. But one man from the northern part of the country claims that he is a Lobizon. Not only that, but he actually tried to transform for the SyFy Channel’s original television series, Destination Truth (starring Josh Gates and his team of paranormal investigators). Although the “transformation” was highly dramatic, in the end there was no physical change to be had. Was this man simply delusional? Or was he having some fun at the expense of Josh and the rest of the team? Nobody really knows for sure.
It has long been speculated that El Lobizon came to South America with Portuguese settlers. But historical records say that the Lobizon first made it’s appearance in the early 1900s, and reports indicate that the beast is still encountered in the present day. More recently (and perhaps a bit strangely), some reports of the Lobizon haven linked with UFO activity. But while the fear that the Argentinian people feel is very real, the beast doesn’t seem to terrify them as much as some of the more gruesome monsters that are lurking in the darkness of the night. This could be due to the fact that this particular werebeast’s prey mainly consists of farm animals (like cows and chickens), as the Lobizon takes delight in the taste of raw meat. There are very few, if any, reliable reports of this creature having killed and eaten people. Perhaps the beast views humans as being too risky to prey upon. But even though the dread of being devoured by the creature is low, the people are still very frightened by the notion of El Lobizon’s curse coming down upon their humble families. Although skeptics may disagree, werewolves do indeed exist, and El Lobizon is no exception.
Source: The Demon Hunter’s Compendium by Kyle Germann