In the 17th century, an old man on trial openly confessed to being a werewolf but claimed to be good-natured, stating that he regularly went to hell with other werewolves to battle the witches and wizards of Satan to ensure a bountiful harvest.Previous Fact Next Fact
Thiess of Kaltenbrun, also spelled Thies, and commonly referred to as the Livonian werewolf, was a Livonian man who was put on trial for heresy in Jürgensburg, Swedish Livonia, in 1692. At the time in his eighties, Thiess openly proclaimed himself to be a werewolf, claiming that he ventured into Hell with other werewolves in order to do battle with the Devil and his witches. Various historians have turned their attention towards the case of Thiess, interpreting his werewolf beliefs in a variety of different ways.
In 1691, the judges of Jürgensburg, a town in Swedish Livonia, brought before them an octogenarian known as Thiess of Kaltenbrun, believing him to be a witness in a case regarding a church robbery. Thiess proceeded to offer them an account of lycanthropy that differed significantly from the traditional view of the werewolf then prevalent in northern Germany and the Baltic countries. When the judges enquired how wolves could roast meat, Thiess told them that at this point, they were still in human form, and that they liked to add salt to their food, but never had any bread. Thiess also told the judges of how he had first become a werewolf, explaining that he had once been a beggar, and that one day "a rascal" had drunk a toast to him, thereby giving him the ability to transform into a wolf. The judges of Jürgensburg were confused, asking Thiess why the werewolves traveled to Hell if they hated the Devil. The Jürgensburg judges then asked Thiess where the souls of the werewolves went when they died, and he responded that they would go to Heaven, whilst the souls of the witches would go to Hell.