A Regency Ghost

Wench wolf

Also probably not a werewolf

Joanna here. Ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night are my topic today. That line would be a wonderful old survival from the past if only it were genuine instead of a Victorian fake. But it is fakes I’m going to talk about so this sets the mood pleasantly.

What did our Regency and Georgian predecessors dread when they huddled under the bedclothes and brisk winds blew their midnight candle out? What did they fear? What haunted their nightmares?

Superstition was pretty rife in the elegant Beau Brummel days, as we know by looking at all those ‘horrid novels’ they shiveringly adored. Before I let myself go all smug and superior, I’ll remind myself superstition is pretty rife nowadays too. Grossmom was born at the end of the nineteenth Century not far from Kiev. She not only believed in werewolves, there’d been one killed in her village in her father’s time. They tracked a killer wolf into the deep woods and shot it. When they came up to find the body, it was a naked man they found dead.

Hmmm … (goes jo skeptically.) Was this some hunting accident quickly hushed up? Or just somebody who'd made himself unpopular in the village? Grossmom believed it though.

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