A werewolf or werewolf is a legendary being that is present in the culture of very different areas of the world. It is the human being endowed with the mythological ability of lycanthropy, that is, the power to become a wolf. In Supercurioso we talk about the origin of the word licántropo that is linked to the myth of the Greek king Lycaon and the punishment that Zeus sent him for feeding one of his own children. If you want to know the whole story you can read it here: " Do you know who Lycaon was, the king who gave his name to the LICANTROPÃ A? " On this occasion we wanted to get close to the first serial killer documented in Spain and who thought he was a werewolf. Is about Manuel Blanco Romasanta, a clinical lycanthrope who confessed to having committed 13 murders.
Obviously, humans do not become wolves, but there have been people who do believe they are affected by lycanthropy and this hallucinatory disorder is called clinical lycanthropy . In case of Manuel Blanco Romasanta, who was known as "the werewolf of Allariz", It is one of the most documented in the world. Join us to meet him.
Manuel Blanco Romasanta, 13 murders
There are lives that seem to twist from the moment of birth. Manuela Blanco Romasanta was born in a village in the province of Orense, Galicia, Spain, on November 18, 1809 and no, we were not wrong. His parents registered a female on the birth certificate they called Manuela. When the girl was 8 years old, the registry was modified and was renamed Manuel. Manuela was not a girl, but a boy. He was one of the five offspring of the marriage formed by Miguel Blanco and María Romasanta. According to the descriptions of the newspapers of the time, his appearance was that of a normal man, with blond hair and soft features, but with a very small stature since he was 1'37 cm.
Portrait of Manuel Blanco Romasanta
Apparently, the family enjoyed some economic slack since Manuel was considered an educated man because he knew how to read and write , something rare in towns of Galicia at the beginning of the 19th century. Manuel worked as a tailor / dressmaker because he knew how to embroider and sew. He married, but his wife died, without him having anything to do, when a little over a year after the wedding and it was at that moment when Romasanta's life changed completely. He left his trade and became a street vendor, traveling all over Galicia. In 1844 he was accused in a village of Leon of the murder of a sheriff who wanted to collect the debt of a third party and had to flee. Time after, Manuel Blanco Romasanta He changed his name to Antonio Gómez and he was integrated into the life of a small Galician village where he worked as a weaver, a profession that at that time was mostly exercised by women. Their friendships were mainly feminine and for this fact and the officiate of weaver, was considered effeminate. When he returned to street vending, especially ointments, he offered to accompany women who travel alone or with their children crossing the forests filled with wolves of Galicia.
The communications at that time were difficult and scarce, so the families of the women he accompanied did not miss receiving news and Manuel assured them that he had left them healthy and safe to them and their children. Sometimes he even sent them missives that were later discovered to be written by himself. Suspicions that something strange happened were aroused when he began selling clothes and belongings of his victims and the rumor that the ointments he was selling were made with human fat . Finally someone lodged a complaint about the disappearances and was arrested in the province of Toledo. Court in Allariz (Orense), was condemned to garrote vile by 9 assassinations, since of the 13 of which was accused, 4 could not prove. Honored by Isabel II thanks to the interest of a French hypnologist who wanted to study the case, he died of stomach cancer in 1863, when he was admitted to the Ceuta prison.
Your case has been diagnosed as "Clinical lycanthropy" since he confessed that when there was a full moon he became a wolf due to a curse or an illness and attacked his victims by destroying and dismembering them and then eating them. He explained during the process that in many of the occasions he did not act alone, but with two other lycanthropes called Antonio and don Genaro, who attacked people because they were hungry. He was condemned to death because at that time the doctors of Allariz, among whom there was no psychiatrist, considered that he was not sick and that he killed for "vice" and was not a madman, but knew exactly what he was doing.
The legend of the "sacamantecas" or the "bogeyman" with which the children were once scared, seems to have its origin in the case of the werewolf of Allariz Because of his job as an ointment salesman and because he murdered several children. Of its nine victims, 8 were mothers and children and the ninth was a 12-year-old girl.
Pharmacy jars for Axung Hominis (human fat) from the 17th-18th centuries
Currently, psychiatry, which regrets that the case of Manuel Blanco Romasanta he was not able to promote psychiatric studies in nineteenth-century Spain, he considers that he was not a psychotic, but suffered from an antisocial personality disorder. Nevertheless, a Galician forensic surgeon who in 2012 reviewed the figure of Romasanta , diagnosed a genetic disorder of intersexuality, reason for which segregated a large amount of male hormones and suffered a process of virilization. Due to these androgens it is possible that it presented episodes of aggressiveness.
In case of Manuel Blanco Romasanta It has been captured in studies, novels, reports and also taken to the cinema a couple of times. What do you think about the story of this clinical lycanthrope? Do you think he really believed that he became a wolf? Do you think these legends still scare the population today? We await your comments! If you want to know more about werewolves we invite you to read the post: The Beast of Gévaudan, a man-eating cryptid .